I have always had gaming laptops, having to share accommodation I never really had space for a desktop. I'm thrilled now that I've settled down I could finally build my PC.
I've been playing about on this site for a good 6 months having fun building uber pcs and I thought screw it I'm building one for real.
I bought the parts over a period of 3 or 4 months the parts came mainly from amazon and novatech. I cannot recommend novatech enough. They may be a tad more expensive than others but the service you get is fantastic and they only charge £10 for next day delivery and considering I got the cpu, mobo, gpu, psu, cpu cooler, WiFi card and led kit in one delivery they don't take weight into account :)
The case, memory, hard drives and thermal compound came from amazon, Amazon actually sent me two sets of 16gb memory by mistake so I have 32 now :).
So, starting the build.
First things first, the case. The NZXT h440 is a beautiful case. Comes in a variety of colours to suit your build. Has no external mounts though so optical drives, fan controllers etc are a no no. Really solid build steel throughout with plastic top and front covers. And comes with 4 of their new 140mm fans. And can mount up to 7 in total, these have been wired into an included hub meaning you only need one wire to plug all of them in. The hub also includes white leds that light up your AO port and the pci ports (these can be turned off by a button on the case). Come with huge selection of hard drive mounts you can fit upto 11 in there. Cable management is fantastic. Comes with loads of zipties and screws etc and a nice little case sticker. For £100 it's a fantastic case.
The build itself was relatively simple. I did make a mistake installing the cooler and did it after the mobo was in not realising I had to put the cooler mount on the backside of the mobo.
So mentioning the mobo may as well move onto that. I've got no issues with the mobo but I wish I had bought the hero alpha as it came with Bluetooth and WiFi for about 30 quid extra. But hey ho. The hero is still fantastic mobo. For a start it looks bad ***. Matt black, red and grey with all the compatability you'd ever want. Has 6 pci lanes 3x1 and then a 16x1 an 8x1 and a 4x1. 4 dram slots supporting upto 64gb.
The AO has a load of connectivity has usb 3 usb 2 and usb 3.1 also includes the usual on board audio/visual connections. Also supports digital sound. It's made by asus and endorsed by the Republic of gamers so it comes with a load of software. Management suites kapersky and daemon pro to name a few.
Box comes with sata cables cpu installation tool and an sli bridge.
So mentioning sli next is the graphics card. This thing is a beast. It's massive and hugeish and scary. I didn't want to pay 600 quid for a graphics card and just as it happens novatech popped up on my feed about the new AMD RX 480 chipsets. I opted for the msi gaming x chipset. It's 8gb ddr5 utilises their twin frozr fan system. And looks like it could kill you If you looked at it funny. However it's massive and hugeish and scary. So you need to make sure it will fit. It's just under 30cm long and takes up two pci lanes. It's also VR ready.
Putting it all together was simple the only bit I found difficult was wiring in the leds as it's quite a finicky job and if you have big hands it's quite difficult to manage.
The cooler is simple, comes with paste pre applied so didn't need the Arctic in the end. Nice and simple just screw the fans to the radiator. Radiator to the case. I went to the top as I didn't want to move any fans. Couldn't be arsed. Then pop the cooler onto the cpu using the supplied magnet and screw the cooler down. Keeps the cpu in the high 20s even under ultra gaming loads.
Once it was all in it was just a case of installing the psu.
The Evga psu comes with LOADS of wires and they're all bound in a nice sleek black sleeve that keeps everything looking nice and tidy. You only have to use the wires you need which is great. Of course these are more expensive than non modular psus.
So plugged it all in. Moment of truth. Cue slight trepidation expecting the universe to implode on boot. But yay no warnings no angry beeps loaded into bios. The bios is an overc lockers paradise. Allows customisation of pretty much everything. As well as saving custom profiles. Management of fans etc. The only downside is that the hub for the fans aren't picked up by the mobo so you only get to see what the cpu fans are doing. You can get round this by bypassing the hub and plugging the chassis fans into the relevant mobo slots.
Installed windows. Got an upgrade to pro as the shop couldn't send me home so happy days. Went about installing all the software and drivers. Most were done automatically but some you'll want as extras. AI suite is the similar to the bios but it's in windows. The MSI gaming app that allows you to manage fan/OC speeds for the GPU as well as customise the rgb on it. And the AMD Radeon app that keeps all your gpu software up to date as well as customises all games/videos etc based on what you want. Performance/Power etc.
So Gaming. I've only had this up an running for a week or two and only have two games installed so far. Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Both are played in ultra mode with every graphic option maxed out. They both run at 60+fps. Both games look stunning and run for hours with the cpu running at high 20s and the gpu running high 40s/low 50s.
Can highly recommend the GPS to anyone and it's more than half the price of the GTX 1080 chipsets but runs just as well on bench mark tests. The gtx is better but you could crossfire two of the msi gpus and still have 150 quid to spare if you bought the gtx.
Please feel free to ask questions
3 years on and this beast is still going strong. I have since upgraded all the stock fans with corsair 140mm ML Pro red LED fans and plain ML Pros for radiator.
I have recently acquired a second rx 480 GPU and Im now running them in crossfire. I managed to get a second one for less than £100.
Ive also started recycling old tivo boxes for the hard drives so ive ended up with quite alot of storage. The h440 has space for up to 11 hard drives.
The lapboard and mouse we a christmas present and can easily be used for both a desk and on the lap/bed. Comes with a very long cable and has its own usb ports. Also has app support for smartphones for creating custom profiles for programmes and mapping. Mouse is amazing has 20 programmable buttons and a dpi of up to 12000 also has programmble led functions for effects.
Hopefully now im upgrade proof for a loooong while but eventually CPU and mobo is next.