Description

For Christmas my wife handed me a small package and said, “This is the best Christmas present ever!” I was a little skeptical considering the box was obviously too small to contain anything that could possibly be considered the best Christmas present ever. I opened it up and inside was a small piece of paper that said, “ a new computer”. Below the piece of paper was a rather large stack of $100 bills. She was right it was the best Christmas present ever!

My wife has always been supportive of my hobby as a PC gamer. She knows I love playing PC games and even more that I love building the PC to play them on. My last build was in 2011 and even though that system is still more than capable it is beginning to show its age. I have been considering doing a new build and was not looking forward to trying to justify to her the need for the expense of a new build. She obviously knows me well and her unsolicited preemptive Christmas present blew me away.

My 2011 build was an i5 2500k with a GTX 570. I used to normally do a new build every 2-3 years but my wife had quit her job to raise our son, so finances were tighter and I had to stretch this build longer than normal. I breathed new life into it by adding a Samsung 850 Evo 512mb SSD and upgrading the video card with a GTX 970. I normally always went with that middle-high class of parts since I was always in a pretty quick upgrade cycle. I believe this new 2017 build will also need to be stretched out 6 or 7 years, so I've decided to go with an i7, GTX 1080 to make it viable for as long as possible.

The first decision I made was to make this new build completely from scratch without using any parts from my previous system. I wanted to keep my older computer functional so that my son could use it to play co-op games with me.

My next decision was that I wanted to use part of the budget to give my battle station a makeover. I wanted a new desk and a layout that didn't feel as cramped as my last.

The decision that was hardest for me to make was to abandon my 3+1 triple screen surround setup. I've been a triple screen gamer for quite some time achieving it through the SoftTH software before Nvidia added single card Surround support with the 600 series of video cards. I've been a strong advocate for triple screen gaming, however the disadvantages were starting to wear me down. Although more and more games are starting to natively support triple screen, very few of them implement it correctly. UI elements on either side of a triple screen setup can make your neck sore. A few good games put all of the UI elements on the center screen. Even fewer truly great games let you customize the UI positioning. The other issue was that since not all games support triple screen, I would periodically have to switch to my +1 monitor to do single 1080p gaming. Using the +1 was a lot easier than dropping the surround configuration on the bottom 3 monitors all the time.

So after some research I decided a 21:9 ultra wide was the way to go for me. I could still get the immersion of a wider viewport and have the simplicity of a single monitor. It looked like my best two choices were the Acer Predator X34 and the Asus ROG Swift PG348Q. First of all these guys are expensive at $1000-$1200. Second it is my opinion that both of these monitors are aesthetically unappealing to me. They both appear to be marketed towards some “gamer” stereotype I've never seemed to find myself belonging to.

Luckily, I discovered the Microboard M340CLZ. It does 3440x1440 at 100MHz using a Samsung VA panel. Unfortunately it is a free-sync monitor and does not support g-sync. It was only $699 but I had to take a risk and purchase it off eBay and have it shipped from South Korea. I am glad I took that risk. It is an amazing monitor and I'm glad I got it. I only hope the quality holds and it lasts many years.

I've included a picture of my old setup to illustrate the improvement of my battle station makeover. I'm not actually a big fan of flowers however those 4k videos were some of the best content I could find to showcase the monitor. This monitor photographs better than any monitor I've seen. It was almost like taking a picture of a picture.

Comments

  • 35 months ago
  • 7 points

Best Christas Present Ever? More like best wife ever! Congrats on the awesome build!!!

  • 35 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks a lot. She is the best and I try to tell her that as often as I can!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

PICS! :D

  • 35 months ago
  • 5 points

Very nice story, and great pictures! Enough is enough, +1

  • 35 months ago
  • 3 points

My goals, both for a wife and for a PC. Love the build man and merry Christmas to you lucky man. No complaints on the build at all.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I do consider myself very lucky.

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

My wife has always been supportive of my hobby as a PC gamer

Your are a very lucky person...

my wife had quit her job to raise our son

...and have a blessed family too!

Very nice build and set up. +1

Can you please share your thoughts on the 21:9, ultrawide 1440p monitor experience? Just from the specification prospective, not the specific monitor you have purchased.

My apologies for the use of the English above. Not my native language

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the kind words.

I've only been doing the 21:9 experience for a few days now but I've been using a surround setup for many years.

The benefit you would get from 21:9 1440p depends on what you are using now. If you're currently using a single 1080p monitor then you would get a good boost in horizontal and vertical pixels. If your currently using a 16:9 1440p monitor then you would only get an increase horizontally. In my opinion having the extra horizontal pixels greatly increases immersion in a game. You have a much wider view in 1st and 3rd person games. The screen actually extends out to your peripheral vision and you can see more game content than you would with a 16:9 monitor. In strategy and isometric ARPG type games it means you can see a lot more of the game map at once.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so much for the reply!

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome setup! +1

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I love that monitor, it's great to see people's impressions on it. Setup looks great!

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you going to overclock the I7? I'm curious at what speeds it can go to with a medium range air cooler.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I have not yet but do plan to do some testing in the near future to find a stable OC. I tend to OC as needed as opposed to maintaining an OC all the time.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Clean build +1

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Neat Story. Great Build.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you have any issue with installing the mobo inside that case?

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

No problems, it fit just fine.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for a great description/detail and story and for one hell of a clean set up and build all around. So fresh and so clean.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Great Build, Great Photos, and a Great Christmas Present :) +1

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

NOOOOO WAYYYY. HIS OLD SETUP (DESK) IS THE SAME ONE I HAVE RIGHT NOW!! Haha I bought it alittle less than 6 months ago. Much better than nothing, but I am quite sad that the surface scratches are visible underneath my lamp light. Sorry, this comment is not related to the original post. I just really wanted to mention it. :P

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I had that desk for over 5 years. It is a good desk, just got cramped for me with a triple monitor setup. I couldn't even use it in a corner as it was intended with my monitors. For a single or double monitor setup it is perfect. I do miss the built in keyboard tray that desk had. I may have to get an aftermarket one.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

U made me jealous **** u! xD

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, I am building something very similar. I was already going for the white color scheme but saw this case and I like it a lot better than the original Corsair Vengeance C70 I was going to get. Here is my list https://pcpartpicker.com/list/8snJTH

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Very good looking build in my country that case was never available so i decided the Corsair 400c. And still happy..watch out for the temps on the VRM of you GPU.that FTW model has issues.

Cheers

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the heads up!

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Beastro Monitor

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Your wife is AWESOME! The build is great and I love the setup. I only have 1 question as I have been looking at monitor upgrades as well. Would you honestly recommend the Microboard? I was looking at a HP Omen but I love the curve of that monitor.

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

I would recommend the Microboard but with one caveat. You have to remember that you would be buying it from a 3rd party seller in South Korea so if you have issues with the monitor it might be difficult to exchange/ refund or get service. I just got it myself so I can't honestly vouch for its long term durability. Also depending on where you live you may have to pay additional customs fees for the Microboard.

If your willing to take the risk its a really good deal for what your paying. I also considered waiting for the HP Omen X but that monitor costs $1299. That's almost twice the cost of the Microboard. If I had the money to burn I'd probably go with the HP Omen, but even though my monitor was a part of my Christmas present it still came out of my "wallet" so I had to compromise.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah the current HP Omen is 32" 2560 x 1440p 75hz with Freesync. Honestly I'm thinking I might roll with that for a while until I see some 1440p Freesync 2 monitors pushing 120+hz

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, you meant the current Omen. I thought you meant the upcoming 3440x1440 100MHz G-sync one that is being released next week.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I wish the freesync one was 100hz. G-sync is overpriced as is all Nvidia stuff.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I wish I had someone who loved me enough to let me do this. :((((

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

How is the Mobo working out for you in general. I have a gigabyte Z170 that I was going to use but I look at it now and I'm a fan of the colors but not with the all black case I'm using....A bit over the whole red, black and white theme. Is it a solid board I guess is what I'm asking

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

It's a great mobo. I have a high preference towards Asus mobos though. Its pretty simple to OC and very stable. One thing I like about it is that it has on board bluetooth. You generally only get that on ITX or extremely high end ATX boards. I have tons of bluetooth devices I use and always seem to have issues with the usb bluetooth adapters.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool pc But, You couldn't take at least ONE picture of the actual pc without the damn glass? :/

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

great pics

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

un monitor 4k con FREE sync cuando puedes tener un monitor 4k con G-sync y aprovechar tu 1080 ftw

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Good job. +1

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice Cable Managment, I love the build thinking about getting something similar.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Is the motherboard as best as it could be? And is a water cooler required for over-clocking?

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

I absolutely love your setup it looks amazing.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Not gonna lie, the story kinda lost it's "feels" for me when you're talking about stretching budgets and then dropping nearly $1500 alone on the monitor and GPU.

BUT - My goodness is that an absolutely gorgeous build along with the entire desk setup! It's inspiring to myself and I imagine many others to do more with our setups! Well done sir!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

You have an amazing setup! Where did you find that desk though? I've been looking for one similar to it and have had no luck.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice! If only someone actually cared about me that much in this world. Lmao. But the case looks kinda boring imo, congrats anyway.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi markwparrish;

My build is very similar to yours; I am also using the H5 cooler with the z270 strix MOBO

I was just wondering; how did you connect all your case fans to the mobo? which headers did you use? I am wondering if i need to use the two CHA_FAN headers and use 2 Y splitters.

I'm not sure which headers to use, any help would be great thanks!!

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

How are the temps while gaming?

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

I see you have a star trek phone on the first photo ;P also wicked build!

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Your setup is close to what I want to build minus a few things. Quick question.....does the H5 hang over DIMM1 on the ASUS? I want to run 32 GB of RAM. That and a cube case are our differences.

Great build!

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the added touch of the Star Trek Original Series Communicator! I wasn't around during the Original Series, after learning that a distant cousin on my Mother's side was the one who wrote and created Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry) I decided to watch whatever reruns of all the Star Trek series I could find. Now, Star Trek Discovery is out and Gene Roddenberry's son, Eugene Roddenberry is the brains behind it. Gotta stay... That Communicator piqued my interest here. :)

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