I ran a few upgrades (GPU and PSU) in my previous gaming system which was pre-built for me, but it still wasn't quite enough for the games/ settings I was running. So I decided to take the plunge and pretty much build from scratch only using the two upgrades I'd already installed and the HDD.

I spent about 2 weeks watching reviews to narrow down the parts I wanted to use and going through YouTube tutorials on how to stick it all together. Surprisingly enough after a few hours of trying to build in the smallest kitchen known to man (everywhere else is carpeted), it was alive. Sort of. I had a couple of errors pop up on the motherboard display (RAM not seated right and water pump in the wrong header) but other than this it was fine. I'd only ever installed the PSU and GPU before so mucking around with the CPU and motherboard was a bit daunting, but fairly straight forward. I've also managed to keep the cables pretty tidy but would like to put in some sort of shroud over the PSU and HDD bays. Would also have liked to have installed the fans above the radiator to show off the Corsair branding along the side of it, but it's a massive pain in the arse with 2 fans and 8 screw holes to line up.

So far my whole weekend has been running updates and going from Windows 7 to 10 so haven't done a great deal of gaming. GTA looks miles better than it did previously, FPS isn't amazing (between 40-50) but it's consistent and I've got everything maxed out.

I'm not sure whether it's an ASUS isolated problem or what, but swapping from Windows 7 to 10 deleted my ethernet drivers, bit annoying.. Didn't have a way round this, so had to swap back to 7, download the exe driver file and reinstall 10, then install the driver manually.

I've also ran the ASUS Ai Suite 3 which put my CPU up to 4.4Ghz, was hoping for a little more but it's enough. GPU slightly OC'd and set up a custom fan profile to keep them running at a low % at all times. MSI's default one keeps them off completely, but can barely hear the system running with them on.

Going forwards I'm planning on installing some case lighting (NZXT Hue+) and maybe looking at 980Ti to swap in for the 390x, but I'm in no rush. Most likely will get hold of a 1440p monitor at some point. Overall pretty happy that it didn't explode on powering up for the first time, so no major gripes!

Edit - I've swapped monitors over to Acer's XF270HU and it's amazing! Such a step up with 1440p/ Freesync. FPS on games doesn't seem to have dropped at all either. I've also removed MSI Afterburner from my system and it seems to have also made an improvement with smoothness in games. I tested Fallout 4 at ultra and low settings, with Afterburner, the game was awful to run. I uninstalled, rebooted and launched the game at ultra settings and it's perfect.

I've also stuck in some Lego as a support for the card to avoid any sag in future. Also through in Batman/ Superman for the hell of it..

Part Reviews


No issues with it, adjusted some of the BIOS settings and managed to run it at 4.6Ghz at 1.39v. Temps are also very cool on it.

CPU Cooler

Awesome cooler. Used the Link software to set up a custom profile keeping the fans at minimum RPM for when I'm not gaming. CPU remains cool and system is quiet overall. When gaming I use the 'Quiet' profile and it tends to only hit 50deg or so, so nothing to worry about. The stock fans to tend to be a bit noisy though on this profile.


Does the job, gets a good overclock and simple to use.


Runs at 3000Mhz once set up, all good.


My first SSD, can never go back to booting from a standard HD.


Takes an age to boot from so have only ever done this twice since I set the system up. Typical HD, no issues.

Video Card

Great card, got it for £325 on sale from Overclockers so was a fair bit cheaper than a GTX980. I've currently got it running at 1160MHz with the occasional artifact flashing up, but only for a split second. No performance drop between 1080 and 1440 monitors. Tends to run around 50deg idle but only because of MSI's fan profiling. Can get up to 80deg on GTA 5 with 95% fan speed.


Huge case, easy to work in, window looks great. Wish it came with a PSU shroud though to clean up the aesthetics around the bottom of the case. I've seen a company doing custom ones, so could invest in future.

Power Supply

Everything turns on and I don't have random restarts like I did on my old system! Used to have a lower model Corsair 450w which would cut out during intensive GPU load.

Optical Drive

Used it to install Windows once I set the computer up and now it's redundant. Can't be bothered to remove it.

Operating System

Meh, it's ok I suppose?


Awesome monitor, looks amazing and love Freesync, can never go back! Hard to find many reviews on it but took the plunge and have no regrets. Approx £150 more expensive than the TN version, but has the adjustable stand as well, so worth every penny. The stand also works as a great way to group all the cables together on my desk.


Much prefer having a short keyboard like this one, my last one used to over run on to the mouse mat. Keys feel great and love the RGB. Currently only run it with a green lights to match it with the mouse.


Perfect basic gaming mouse, enough buttons and good range with DPI. Will swap it out in future for a Corsair RGB model to match the keyboard.


Hurt like hell the first night or so I used them. Between my abnormally large head and the clamping force on these, they weren't comfortable to use. Stretched them out over night on the box and now they're fine, could maybe use an extra notch to adjust these to though.

Sound wise they're good. 7.1 works well in games but it wasn't the big step up I was expecting.

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  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm curious. What is your core voltage at? It is so easy to overclock yourself I would just do it myself. I have the same cpu and mobo so if you need help let me know. I hit 4.9ghz with A lot of effort but you should be able to get 4.7 fairly easily by only raising your vcore.

Anyway can you get us more pictures?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I've run another test on it tonight with the core voltage at 1.4, trying both 4.5 and 4.6Ghz in the bios. I've run Prime95 to test but it keeps crashing or failing on the second core. At 1.39v 4.4Ghz it runs fine, had this going for about half hour and temps never went above 60. Any advice would be much appreciated.

I'll try and get some more pics tomorrow with it up on the desk and unplugged. Glare from the LEDs on the MOBO and cooler makes it hard to get a decent pic when plugged in. Also the case goes back quite a bit further than my desk does, so it's got to live on the carpet for the time being. Didn't quite realize just how big the case was till I saw it next to my old Zalman Z3.

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh that is strange. Make sure you have HWinfo or HwMonitor so you can monitor the temps, voltage etc. while stress testing.

At 1.4v you should absolutely be able to get higher than that.

In the Bios you have it set to 1.4v? What is it while running the stress test. If your voltage is way off from where you're setting it(It probably is). In the Bios OC section go to external digi+ power control(I believe thats what it is called) and go to load line calibration and change it to about level 5. This will get your voltage consistent to what you're setting it to in the bios. Before I did this I would set it to 1.34 in bios and be getting closer to 1.38 in HWinfo monitor. Now I'm basically identical.

Mine I can run under 1.3v at 4.6ghz. I think you should easily hit 4.6 at 1.4v so something is up. Hopefully you didn't just get really unlucky with the card you got. It's always possible and really sucks when it happens.

What version of Prime95 are you using? I recommend finding ver 26.6.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the advice, I've set it to level 5 and left it on Prime95 at 4.5Ghz. I've had it going for about half hour so far, no core failures. Voltage is hovering around 1.3v, max hit 1.367v. Temps are around 55, maxed out once at 69.

Might try going to 4.6Ghz and dropping the voltage a tint bit and see how it goes. Thanks again!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you have any cool whine or noise from PSU either in moderate or high loads?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, sorry, just seen your message. Nope, never heard anything out of my PSU, can't fault it. Do you get any from yours?

I tend to run my GPU and case fans on 'performance' when gaming. They make a fair bit of noise but haven't heard any other noises coming out of the case.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

are you able to run xmp an get the memory to 3000mhz or are you keeping it to 2133? i have the 3200 mgz and i can't run xmp on the maxims hero.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I've just checked mine and it's running at 3000Mhz according to ROG-CPU-Z. I'm not that experienced in the BIOS settings/ OC'ing so I just followed Youtube videos on what to change there.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello from the future!

Idk if this was a thing on my birthday last year but you could have gotten an ISO from Microsoft's website and just used your product key...

Anyway, nice build +1