Description

This is my first build and while I did make some odd choices looking back, I'm very happy with it.

CPU I finally got around to overclocking it. Ran into some instability and had to drop the OC down. Looks like I have a pretty average chip all things considered.

CPU COOLER With an overclock I wanted a good cooler. Also, it looks great. It has three pre-sets, 'Quiet', 'Balanced' and 'Performance'. I chose to drop a stable OC down a little and opt to set the cooler to balanced. It does make noticeable but acceptable noise and especially with my windowed case.

THERMAL COMPOUND Consistently saw this stuff with good temp scores on different websites.

MOTHERBOARD Really the only part I didn't have to think too much about. Navigating the ASUS Bios is pretty easy.

MEMORY I now know these were WAY overkill for my needs but they look cool. Even today, 16GB is still overkill for a lot of people and you can easily get away with 8GB comfortably. Don't believe me? Actually use your task manager and see how much memory you're really using. It's actually pretty hard to go over 8GB with basic gaming and desktop stuff.

STORAGE One of the best brands for an SSD but maybe under-bought in size. I would have been more comfortable with 500GB. A lot of people over-buy storage but really I don't ever see myself using anywhere near 1TB for my uses.

VIDEO CARD Wanted something decent without going crazy. If I could go back and spend more on any component, it might be this. That being said this card is still running modern games well.

CASE It's a very classy case. I still haven't seen a case I like more.

POWER SUPPLY This was also overkill but its very quiet and the fan often doesn't need to run.

OPERATING SYSTEM No solid alternative.

SOUND CARD Maybe a little crazy to have but I figured I had nice headphones to pair it with.

WIRELESS NETWORK ADAPTER It was a necessary evil to not use a direct Ethernet connection. I trusted ASUS with this as they seem to build good stuff.

CASE FANS The reasons I chose these is simply brand loyalty due to Corsair's other great products. Also, the fact that NOCTUA fans are a disgusting color. I had a color theme I was sticking to. Very quiet, no issues.

FAN CONTROLLER I never bothered to install this so I can't comment on it. I don't see the real need for one of these if you can control your fans via software.

MONITOR I purchased this monitor at Fry's. It was a floor display but it was one of the last things I purchased but now I know quite a bit more about monitors. Looking forward to upgrading to a higher resolution in a future build. That said, this monitor is still working just fine.

Keyboard I picked this keyboard mainly because it had positive hype. It was pricey and in retro-spec I could have saved on this part. It has this odd quirk that when I shutdown my PC it stays lit and I'm not sure why it does this.

MOUSE I believe FUNC was just purchased and isn't really a company anymore? Anyway, this mouse never really worked. They sent me a replacement that also did not work. Bad product.

HEADPHONES Wanted a good headphone that was comfortable for movies and games. These are great. That being said, in this price range there are comparable SONY headphones. SENNHEISER does seem to make their products need replacement earcups and cords after a few years and I'm not sure if this is true of all headphones.

UPS Something like this is a must to protect your investment in my opinion. It doesn't happen very often but when there is a power surge or outage this thing saves my PC from being shutdown. Well worth it and a must in my opinion. Good brand with no issues.

Part Reviews

CPU

This has preformed admirably. Managed to achieve a decent overclock to extend it's usefulness versus newer CPU's. No complaints.

CPU Cooler

More than capable AIO liquid cooler. It's worth noting that the 'i' in the title of Corsair PSU's and coolers means it has software integration. You're able to change the color of the logo while the data cable is attached, later you can detach it. It has three settings, 'quite', 'balanced' and 'performance'. I'd suggest that if you have windowed case and sit fairly close to it to use use 'balanced' w/ an OC.

Thermal Compound

I noticed in several different benchmarks that this stuff did fairly well. Applied easy and I feel probably made a noticeable impact on temps. Getting ready to reapply it as it's been a few years. I would have preferred to buy a smaller tube but at the time w/ shipping this size was cheaper.

Motherboard

Navigating the BIOS was fairly simple. A lot of options to explore for overclocking. I particularly like the 'adaptive' power option. Nice color scheme and impressive integrated sound. ASUS makes great gaming motherboards in general.

Memory

These are great if not slightly overkill for gaming and basic tasks. I'd tell first-time builders to consider 8GB and upgrade later if they notice any random stuttering in-game. That said, these sticks still have very relevant performance and I have no plans to upgrade until I build a completely new PC.

Storage

Great. The magician software is actually fairly slick and has nice options, like being able to prioritize applications or background processes. Noticed some degradation overtime but this is more the fault of the type of hardware an SSD is. I've written over 4TB to this little drive and it's still working. I'd suggest people opt for a 500GB SSD nowadays as 250GB is kind of snug.

Video Card

This card is still giving me relevant performance at 1080p. Although this card may not be enough for 1440p or VR, it's still runs new games like a champ. It's arguably one of the best looking cards in it's generation as well. If you can find this second-hand it's a great card and has performance a little below something like an RX 470.

Case

This case was a dream to build in. Still the best looking case out there in my opinion. The click the front cover makes when it opens just makes me happy.

Power Supply

This thing is an absolute beast. I'm able to monitor the power draw and temps and at desktop the fan doesn't run. It's one of the quietest parts in my build.

Operating System

Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 as of right now are essentially spyware. Even with all relevant settings turned off it's still collecting and sending data to Microsoft. I'd urge you to switch to something like Linux Mint or Debian simply on principle.

"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." -Edward Snowden

Sound Card

The software that comes with this is fairly ugly but it all preforms great. I'd suggest prioritizing all other parts of your build before spending much on sound. It's very subjective how good something sounds.

Wireless Network Adapter

It works great. The stand itself is magnetic so you can put it on the side of your case if you want. Software has options you can tweak to get a better signal or monitor where the best spot is for the antennas.

Monitor

This is a beautiful monitor with a red accent and clear stand. I bought this from Fry's and it was a display model. Still runs without issue. A fairly decent monitor but 27' 1080p is so ubiquitous that it's difficult to justify buying this model at it's current price. At this price I'd suggest opting for a similar 1080p monitor with 100 hz+.

Mouse

Bought a faulty product with a scroll wheel issue. Received a replacement and the new mouse didn't work at all. I'd personally avoid Func as a company.

Headphones

Comfortable, premium looking, well-built, sound good and are fairly affordable.

Comments

  • 69 months ago
  • 3 points

Have you had problems with your sound card and 8.1? I know there is not an official driver for it. I would suggest an external DAC, anyways.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

No, the soundcard plugged in and worked with no real problems. I do have to go into a ugly and dated ASUS program to switch between my speakers and headphones though.

As far as a external DAC? I'd prefer to keep the soundcard and use that as my DAC and just have a external headphone AMP. If only to have a easier time switching between headphones ect.

If I do spend any more money on the build, it would be to upgrade my videocard. The audio from the soundcard isn't 1:1 but it is punchy with explosions in games and it has no audible buzz when I record my voice.

Also, I do not think I'd get my moneys worth out of studio monitors, as I only use headphones and in-ear. My computer is in my living room and I don't want to disturb my neighbors with speakers, as we live adjacent to one another.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

So you're a youtuber? What's your channel? Great micro-ATX build, by the way.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't make Youtube videos, although I'd like to. I just haven't found anything that I think would be worth while. Also, thank you for the compliment on the build.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Then why the fancy mic? Singing? Just an audiophile?

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

I decided I didn't want a headset and so I went with headphones instead. Being that I have headphones, they don't have an included mic. I wanted a good mic that would last a long time and I intended to primarily use it for Skype and voice chat in online games.

I don't use the mic for singing and I'm not an audiophile. That being said, all too often mics have preformed poorly for me. So I intended to end this trend. Thankfully it has performed great and even looks and feels nice. I'm happy with it and I would recommend it as an option to anyone looking for a desk mic. Just make sure to buy a good metal stand for it, as the stand it comes packaged with is a cheap and flimsy plastic one.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

May contain awesome Newegg shipping boxes should say, "may entice thieves". Good thing you got it all in one piece.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

How did you get the ssd on the back like that?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

It came with an adhesive strip that I stuck to the back. SSDs aren't particularly temperamental it seems. I'd be comfortable putting it just about anywhere in the case.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Please do not use link shorteners on our site.

  • 65 months ago
  • 0 points

How do you like thos case fans. Do they look "cool"?

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I'm very happy with how they look.