The last PC I owned was an off-the-shelf Acer, that did the job, but didn't have much in the way of personality. So when it came time to think about upgrading, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and build one exactly how I wanted it.
I found the Lian Li V359 case in silver, and the bonus for me was it's horizontal layout, which made me less nervy about sticking a huge air cooler in there. I know I could have gone the AIO route, but I just prefer the look of a whacking great heat-sink.
I'd originally planned on using a top-down cooler, such as the Noctua NH-C14S, but after seeing Jeff0078's quikslvr build (which uses the same Lian Li case as my build), I decided to go for the Noctua NH-D14 instead.
The graphics card is a transplant from my old PC, so I may upgrade or even SLI at some point in the future (one reason for going down the Asus Gene route). But for now, it's fine for what I need.
I saw somebody else use the Thermaltake Riing fans in their Lian Li build (ninjabrad), and thought it looked great, so I stole the idea for mine.
I also installed a slimline blu-ray drive for media playback.
All-in-all, it went together quite nicely. With the case and PSU being modular, it made fitting everything in a whole lot easier.
I've not tried overclocking it yet, but that is the next thing on my to-do list.
I had a spare Noctua NF-P14r redux-1500 PWM fan from a previously planned build, so I decided to use it to replace the NF-P14 FLX fan that came with the NH-D14 cooler. This was because I preferred having a PWM fan, and the redux fan also has a higher max RPM (1200 to 1500). I may end up replacing the front fan of the D14 with a PWM variant at some stage too.
I've now overclocked to 4.2GHz, and am getting an idle temp of 24° C. Running the Small FFTs torture test in Prime95 (maximum heat), I get a max temp of 59° C (although it generally sits at 57 - 58° C). I'm pretty pleased with the temps, so will leave the settings as they are for the time being.
I've also purchased a Noctua NF-F12 Industrial PPC-2000 PWM fan for the exhaust. I was using the standard fan that came with the case, but felt that due to my current side-fan configuration (all low-speed intake), I really needed to upgrade it. I will fit it fairly soon and update my temps (if they change)
After fitting the new Noctua NF-F12 Industrial PPC-2000 PWM exhaust fan, I re-ran the Small FFTs torture test in Prime95. It seems to have scrubbed 1 - 2° C off, as now the max is 58° C, and it's generally sitting at 56° C. So not a huge difference so far, but you can definitely feel a stronger draught out the back. My guess is if I use the Asus Fan Xpert 3 software and go into turbo mode, that is where this fan will really improve over the previous one, what with its higher RPM.
Well I finally got around to upgrading the GPU. I decided on a GTX 1070, so then went about figuring out which card would best suit. After weighing up the pros and cons of pretty much all the 1070 cards out there, I decided on the Zotac Mini.
It may not have the overclock or RGB lighting of some of the bigger cards, but I really don't mind too much about that. At the end of the day its plenty quick, has more than adequate cooling, looks really good, and is a nice manageable size.
Next up is to get 2 more of the Noctua NF-F12 Industrial PPC-2000 PWM fans for the CPU cooler. As much for the aesthetics as performance. Will update when I have installed.
I've now fitted the Noctua NF-F12 Industrial PPC-2000 PWM fans to the D14. I also got the chromax.black anti-vibration pads to keep it clean looking. Not messed around with them too much yet, but I will have go in Q-Fan to try and get a sweet spot between better temps and quietness.
As practically EVERYONE says... this thing is HUGE! So make sure it will fit in your proposed build. The Noctua website has a compatibility checker for RAM and motherboards, so make sure to look at that. I used it on an Asus Gene VIII mATX board, and it has about 2-3mm clearance between the heatsink and the back of the graphics card (if I use the first PCI slot). So I did have to bend the fan retaining clips back a bit so they were flush with the side of the heatsink on that side.
As far as fitting goes, it's really simple. It comes with easy to follow instructions, and the Noctua website has a really helpful video to watch if you're still not sure.
So far I'm getting really good temps, and have plenty of headroom to overclock.
One other thing that will strike you, other than the size, is the quality of the thing. You can just tell it's made to last (hence the 6 year warranty)
The one downside to this cooler, for me, is that the fans supplied are not 4-pin PWM. That would have really rounded off an otherwise quality piece of kit.
All-in-all it seems like a really good board. It's packed with features, and the BIOS is really easy to navigate. The bundled Windows software is a bit hit-and-miss, and if you use the 5 stage tuning feature in AI Suite, it seems to ignore your settings (e.g. if you tell it to tune all cores the same, it still tunes them individually, and they all have different clock speeds). I tried using it for a while, and then gave up and returned to the BIOS.
I also had an issue with the Thermaltake Riing fans using this board. They wouldn't remember the colour and speed settings, and after digging/asking around, I determined that the fan headers didn't supply enough power to allow the Thermaltake controller to remember its settings. So I ended up buying a molex to fan adapter, and going straight into the PSU.
On a side note, I was a little disappointed with the condition of the boards when they arrived. I ended up sending 2 back due to them having noticeable scuffs on the heat-sinks, and the chrome bits had what looked like splatter marks on. They were purchased from totally different vendors too, so it seems to me like there's an issue either with QC at the factory, or transporting the goods to the UK?
If you want a top performing 1070 GTX, and aren't too bothered about having a huge cooler and RGB lighting, then look no further. You may think the 2 fan cooler is a bit on the small side, but even after bumping the core and memory clocks by 300 Mhz each, the temp remains at 71°C under load using the auto fan mode. The fans are spinning at about 1300RPM when under maximum load, but are very quiet. As soon as you stop stressing the GPU, the fans will totally stop, making it silent. Added to the fact that this comes with a 5 year warranty, and has one of the lowest prices for an after market 1070, this was a no brainer for me. Would definitely recommend.
For anyone wanting to build a PC that is functional AND great to look at, you can't go far wrong with this case!
With it being horizontal layout, it allows you to mount a huge air cooler and graphics card(s) without sweating as much about the strain on the motherboard. And because it's an mATX case, it helps keep the overall size down. The fully transparent acrylic top panel gives you a great view of all the components, as does the good sized viewing window on the front.
It's fully modular, so can also be broken right down when building. All the side panels just slide in and out, so you can get really good access as the build comes together.
The overall build quality of the thing is top drawer (as you'd expect from Lian Li), and it comes with all the screws and fittings you may need.
Really pleased with my purchase, and for the money (£135), I don't think I could have asked for more.
A Tier 1 PSU (80 Plus Gold rated) with a good enough capacity for most high end builds. Extremely cheap for what it is.
Bought to replace the standard exhaust fan that came in my case. Can instantly feel a stronger draught coming out the back of the PC, and no noticeable increase in noise. Decided to go for this over the 3000 RPM model, as some said that can be too noisy at full speed. When I use Asus Fan Xpert to go into turbo mode, there is a veritable gale blowing out of the back of the PC. As always, the quality is top drawer, and the colour scheme blends in a little better with the rest of the build.
Looks wise, these things are fantastic. One of the fans in the set does seem a little noisier than the rest, but I have them on the low speed setting, so its less noticeable. I did have issues with the included controller unit not remembering its settings when plugged into a fan header on the MB (Asus Gene VIII) , but after searching around on various forums, this seemed to point to the fan header on my MB not supplying enough power to the controller unit. So I bought a fan to molex adapter, and plugged the controller unit directly into the PSU. Now the controller is remembering its settings, but the fans are no longer controlled by the MB, and always run at a set speed. This is fine for now, but not ideal.