The build history

Hello, that's my first build published here and also my first build after 5 years with an Asus ROG G51 JX notebook (or heavy book hehe). When my Asus GPU died I start to sell some parts and get a super cheap I5 2500 build to work and started preparing this build.

Parts from that build was purchased in Brazil (yes, I'm Brazilian) and other parts in US because I have few friends that travel between US and Brazil from time to times. Brazil has a horrible 60% import tax so we can't really buy anything without someone bringing it in travels and hardware parts here is really expensive out of promotions.

So, this build started 4 months before 2015 Black Friday. I was needing a better workstation for work (I'm software developer) but also wanted a gaming machine. At time I was with a I5 2500 CPU on cheap Asus MB. Already had one of Samsung SSDs, the mouse, the Ozone keyboard and had purchased the 29" Ultra Wide monitor.

I had few months to research for best parts and first one was the Thermaltake Core V21 case. After that I get the MSI MB on a promotion in Brazil. Black Friday arrived and was time to purchase the FTW+ Video Card, I7 4790 CPU, Phanteks CPU Cooler and another SSD, this one to use with Windows (the first was running only Linux). Few weeks later the Prolimatech fans arrived and I started to build the machine.

In this time the Case was send to RMA, I get the Vengeance Pro 16G from a guy, imported the Code Keyboard (it is awesome to work with) and because RMA toke some time all stuff was being used over the table (I was expecting a fast RMA with Thermaltake).

Recently the new Case arrived and I purchased the PSU, the two Noctua fans (they are really expensive in Brazil) and some white extensions for my cables.

The photos that you see are from this last build that isn't 100% finished yet. I want to have a cover to hide the bottom compartment of the case and it's cables and change the memory to HyperX Savage 2x16G 1866mhz.

The objective of the build

The intention of this build is to be powerful for when I need power for work or for gaming but still quiet as possible because it will live at 1 meter of me at max. After lot of research I achieved that and I just do not hear the fans while working. I barely hear the CPU Fans when compiling some stuff. GPU fans runs very quiet too and sometime it even doesn't run at all, but when gaming I see some noise, with is ok and expected.

I also needed a fast machine and don't need lot's of storage because I have a BACKUP Server based on Fractal Node 304 case (with 4 disks now) and also I'm getting a NUC and a 3TB HD to store music and videos. Two SSDs with 250G should more than enough and if I need more space I can just plug the external HD in USB 3 port or use it through my gigabit network.

The final target was to occupy less space as possible in my small office. Cube cases are awesome in this situations and I almost had built an ITX computer, but I also wanted to have space to expand in future. Micro-ATX was way to go.

The parts

Case: Thermaltake Core V21

This case is just awesome. I wanted some case beautiful, that offer a good view of the build and small. Certainly the case isn't small as Fractal Node 304 or Cooler Master Elite 110, but it fit in my space better than tower cases and has space to future expansions (USB Type C card or SLI).

It also has horizontal motherboard support with means that I won't stress my MB with the heavy Phanteks CPU Cooler in vertical or with the GPU. Another big plus is the front-panel that I can put at any side of the case but mostly, I can use it at the right side of case and this is important because I have easy access to it.

Motherboard: MSI Z97M Micro-ATX

I wanted a awesome board and almost purchased Asus Maximus VII Gene, but this MSI MB come into a promotion here and since my USD was limited and I was keeping it to 2015 Black Friday I purchased the MSI. It is an awesome board and except by e-sata ports I have no cons.

I also thinked a lot to build a Skylake system, but everything for Skylake was to expensive at the time and the Z97 system was more than enought to me.

Processor: Intel Core I7-4790

Many people when building gaming machines with LGA 1150 goes for I7-4790K, but I don't want to overclock (I don't have patience for that) and I7-4790 was way cheaper than I7-4790K in Brazil. I was able to buy it in US but wanted to save my USD for the best GPU I could buy so I get it here. I also needed a strong processor because I'm developer and needed 8 threads, I7-4790 was the choice.

CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK

Strong CPU means strong CPU Cooler. I did not wanted a Water Cooler because it's pump noise and because the best Water Coolers was too expensive. The Noctua DH15 was my target, but in reviews I saw that Phanteks was close to it in performance, cheaper and way more beautiful. It keep my I7 really cool and with no audible noise.

Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro and HyperX Savage

The memory planned for this build always was the HyperX Savage 2x8G 1866 mhz, but the 1600 mhz to 1866 mhz won't make a huge difference for me and I found that used Vengeance Pro Kit very cheap here so I get it. My next upgrade will be the Savage memory. 16GB was the minimum to work with because eventually I need to run few VMs.

Storage: 2x Samsung SSDs

Hard disks are old stuff, I keep it in my BACKUP Server but for my RIG I wanted speed. I already had one Samsung 850 Evo that used in my old Asus notebook. Later I purchased another to run Windows for gaming, but a Samsung 840 Evo this time. 850 runs the main system, the Linux. 840 runs the Windows. In photos you will see a third SSD, one Sandisk 120G that was used in another notebook that died. I'll use it in my NUC soon.

VGA: EVGA GTX 1060 6gb Supercloked

I wanted the Asus GTX 970 Strix, but I'm not in US and support in Brazil by Asus was horrible. EVGA doesn't has the beautifull VGAs but has 3 years warranty and international RMA that really works. After that the choice was easy: the best GTX 970 VGA from EVGA at time. The VGA it self is awesome. With two noctuas putting air over the VGA I almost doesn't see the fans running on Linux. They start only after 35C and VGA usually has 25C to 30C. When fans are needed they are really efficient.

Updated GTX 970 to GTX 1060. Small but very nice update. Not so beautiful however :P

Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX

Again, awesome RMA in world plus 10 years warranty from EVGA and a huge amount of good reviews. I almost got the EVGA 630 P2, but the difference between 80 plus gold and 80 plus platinum wasn't that big for a computer that isn't 24 hours turned on and with 750W I can put another GPU in SLI. I can't hear the PSU too.

Case fans

  • Prolimatech PRO-USV14-WH 98.0 CFM 140mm: I have few prolimatechs, they are awesome case fans because move a huge amount of air with almost no noise. The ones in this rig are at back putting air out and one at bottom pushing air to PSU chamber. I also have one at my NAS and are selling 3 or 4 hehe.

  • Noctua NF-S12B redux-1200 PWM 59.1 CFM 120mm: The prolimatechs are awesome but doesn't have static pressure and it doesn't fitted whell in rails of the Core V21 because it has 120mm roles wit 140mm diameter. Noctuas has awesome static pressure and even at 1000 RPM I can't hear it. These two 120mm fans are sending air to my GPU directly.

There is also a 200mm fan from thermaltake at front of the case that move around 100 CFM of air.

Monitor: LG 29UM67P 29.0" 60Hz

I loved the idea of ultra wide movies and games, also the ultra wide is awesome to development. This is the cheapest 29" ultra wide monitor at Brazil. It is awesome.

Mouse: Logitech Performance Wireless Laser

This is my old friend. I have using this model since 2010. It is confortable and fast enough for my ocasional gaming. Also is wireless and work in almost any surface. Logitech also offers 3 year warranty for this mouse which is awesome for a mouse that I use almost 15 hours every day.


  • Ozone Strike Battle - Cherry MX Brown: I'm a developer and type a lot. This is the cheapest TKL keyboard with backlits in Brazil. Not an awesome construction but good enought to work and to gaming (but I really love the Code Keyboard)

  • Code Keyboard TKL - Cherry MX Clear: Once I had money I purchased the Code Keyboard. The Code was a huge improvement in build quality over Ozone and Chery MX Clears was a huge improvement in confort to type for me, but it isn't so good for gaming. I usually keep Code Keyboard at work and Ozone at home.

The results

So this build isn't big, is beautifull, is quiet and have awesome temperatures. I'm in Brazil, here is hot even in winter and at noon my computer temperatures don't go over 35C at normal use. In same situation I needed to use a extra cooler to keep my Asus ROG working at ~80C temperatures.

Fans usually runs between 500 and 800 RPM and when compiling CPU Fan goes to 1200 RPM keeping maximum temperatures at 50C for CPU, but still quiet enought to not bother me with it's sound.

Next steps with this build is: A cover to hide the wires in PSU chamber. The Savage memory * Magnetic led strip (Bitfenix or Xigmatek ones probably)

If folks have suggestions, please comment in :).

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  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Why did you buy a z97 board and a good aftermarket cooler but buy a 4790? I understand it was black Friday but it seems like a waste

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I7-4790: I do not plan to overclock. MSI Z97: Good quality, cheap price in promotion (same as few H97) Phanteks: it can cool more and quieter on winter and will cool well also on summer. One detail is that in São Paulo/Brazil we have temperatures of 35C at night in summer, real trolling over 40C in closed rooms I still want a cool and quieter machine in summer when working from home with software compilation and heavy databases tests.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for explaining and nice build!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

You are welcome :).

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh unfortunately answering you on my smartphone didn't keep formatting and used some wrong words. Sry :).

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello, in my country the i7 4790k is expensive, should i go i7 4790 ($300) or i7 4790k($370)? and i would barely oc only mainly for gaming and some editing (i don't know if oc is necessary) Btw nice build :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

4790 if you're not OC'ing , save some money. But I'd suggest the i7 6700 , it's newer gen

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, with I7-4790 you will not play with OC, but to be honest I7 4790 already is an awesome processor.

Now I make @AwesomeBuilderXE1901 my words, think in go with Skylake if you doesn't have parts for Z97 platform yet and if price is good enough. Skylake has highter clock, consume less power and Z170 have more PCI lanes than Z97, has DDR4 support (higher clock for memory), PCI 3.0 and other stuff.

I didn't go with Skylake because prices was really high for me in Brazil and US (Skylake was just launched at time I purchased processor). Certainly Haswell can meet your needs but if I start a build today I would target Skylake because new stuff and possibility of expansion.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, and thx :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I already got a z97 motherboard and parts for this gen not skylake :( but thank you :) i guess ill go with i7 4790

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point