The Corsair Carbide 88r finally landed in NZ so I headed into the workshop first thing Monday morning (a public holiday in New Zealand) and made the mini VR Ready GTX 970 build I've been wanting to make since I first saw the case online :)
The case itself is oh so so good especially for the price, the cable management space really shines with a lot more space just behind the HDD bays compared to the Cooler Master 352 I just made another rig in, and the chassis are very very close in size. I think the 352 will allow for better cooling though with the front door that just lets air pass right through but anyway - onto the build.
This time around I opted for a slightly bigger motherboard with more ram slots so I could double up to 16GB later without issue, I also put a larger 600w power supply in so I could upgrade to a larger graphics card at the same time.
The build turned out great and I've started a FPS test playlist for it here = https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtxHocGsjK_Nq27wvbMsImO8QH2WqyjKA
VR ready indeed! I thought this was the goto CPU but it turned out the i5-6400 also passed the Oculas test when paired with the GTX 970 so if you're looking to save a few $ you have that option.
I was tempted to use my usual H110m-Sh2 again for this build but opted to make the rig a lot more upgradable than my others and with the additional ram slots I've got room to get another 2x4GB kit while still keeping my existing 2x4GB sticks in play :)
This ram is great, I'm still curous about if it's the best 2133MHz kit available now?
HyperX HX421C14FBK2/8 is a kit of two 512M x 64-bit (4GB) DDR4-2133 CL14 SDRAM Synchronous DRAM) 1Rx8, memory module, based on eight 512M x 8-bit FBGA components per module. Each module kit supports Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (Intel® XMP) 2.0. Total kit capacity is 8GB. Each module has been tested to run at DDR4-2133 at a low latency timing of 14-14-14 at 1.2V
OK, that last part is the interesting bit for me :)
Normally I would have gone with http://www.gskill.com/en/product/f4-2133c15d-8gvr in black for this (and everything, I'm a G.Skill fanboy) but the tested latency is 15-15-15-35-2N
Does that make the Kingston kit slightly better?
My goto drive for all builds, so reliable and pretty quick!
This card is a massive powerhouse that's super cool and very quiet. There are a few key points that make this my top pick for the GTX 970 series.
Firstly - a single 8Pin power connection. Unlike when you attach a 6pin with the 2pin folded up or tucked around itself the 8pin just makes a build so much cleaner.
Secondly - It overclocks like a beast. Don't let that single 8-pin fool you, this card can OC like a champion and it's a great way to give yourself that 60fps stable bump in some games while you're using the V-Sync option.
Thirdly - The cooler. Asus make a big deal about it being quiet which is great, but this thing is also really cool. 67 degrees while doing some heavy gaming in a room thats 27 degrees base temp - and that's in the 88r which doesn't have the best airflow - noise wise the front fan in the chassis is louder than the GPU.
Finally - Looks. With the backplate and chrome piping it's certainly the center of attention when anyone looks in through the window.
I do use other cards in my builds, but whenever possible I'll use this one )
Better in person than it looked online - and it looked pretty good! Very impressed with this case in both looks and value for $.
2 quick things
You case only comes with 1x 120mm fan, so add 2x more 120mm in the front at least or things will get toasty.
Install your DVD drive with the front of the case on, it will not fit over if the drive is in already.
The PSU I actually used was the ZM-600-GV but I couldn't find on PCPartPicker and it's possibly only available in NZ - for internationals I recommend the Cooler Master V550 as it's a great power supply (sadly so good it's always sold out in NZ!)
Yep a DVD drive, I just can't stop myself. This ones my favourite because the version we have here has black branding on it making things look pretty slick.
Wireless Network Adapter
A great cheap wireless kit. If you want bluetooth as well please use should use the Gigabyte WB867D-I kits instead :)