Nothing about this build screams necessity.
When I showed a friend the list for this build she told me I was pulling a Terry Crews, to which I thought to myself, you're right! I don't "need" an i7. I don't "need" a GTX 1080. The most I would ever "need" is an i5 6500 and an RX 480 with 16 GB of ram @ 2400 MHz and a much less expensive motherboard.
But you know what? I don't care. I've worked over the course of 8 months to save for this monster. Now it's mine to enjoy, and I now have a build that rivals the performance of two of my friends' builds, one of which has a 6700 and an original TITAN (his dad built it for him and lacked some knowledge) and the other has a 4790K and a Strix R9 Fury.
Some would say I have bad timing when considering the fact that AMD is about to release Ryzen. Before making any comment relating to AMD, please look at the build date.
Planning and Hiccups
Originally this build was going to be black and red, then for a majority of its list lifespan it was going to be black and blue, then it was going to be primarily black with a few white accents, then it became the primarily white with plenty of black accents like you see here. I like the white because it just looks great with whatever color LEDs.
On the subject of LEDs, I had a slight hiccup in my realization that the motherboard has no AURA headers to connect cablemod LEDs to it after I purchased both. Since cablemod’s packaging is the kind of stuff that you have to rip open and destroy to get the LEDs out of, I noticed that I couldn’t return them, and that instead I would use them as desk lighting when I get my hands on a kit that uses the remote instead. I picked up a HUE+ to make up for the lack of case lighting. I don’t really mind because the HUE+ gives you more lighting controls anyway.
Throughout the planning stages of the build I went back and forth between Z170 and X99. This machine is primary meant for gaming, but also with a little multithreaded work on the side, so I went with the 6700K.
Another more major hiccup I had happened when I wanted to install Windows 7 onto an NVMe drive and forgot that I needed drivers from Intel’s website to use it as a boot drive. As I saw in Ronsanut’s very helpful video I needed SATA connections on both the optical drive and driver storage. No issue with the optical drive; I had one lying around doing nothing in my old PC. However I didn’t have any SATA drives that were sitting around doing nothing. I ended up picking the cheapest SSD I could find at Staples to use to store the driver.
NZXT’s AER Fans are pretty damn beautiful, though unfortunately I may have to RMA my Hue+ unit as they are not detected as fans and can only do single color modes (no spectrum cycling or audio modes :c,) and no matter how many times I try to download the new firmware, it just prompts me again, and when checking the Hue+’s firmware (under “About CAM”) it still says it’s on the old, pre-AER fan version.
I must say that once you see/own a 144/165Hz monitor, you cannot, emphasis on CANNOT, go back to 60Hz and ever be satisfied again. Everything is so much smoother, even moving the cursor and scrolling feels so much nicer on a high refresh rate monitor. It was worth every penny.
TL;DR: This build was a blast to build, even if I had a few hiccups regarding lighting and using an NVMe boot drive. I’m very pleased with the result.
Already mentioned I like clock speed. Fast is what this CPU is about (but I didn’t feel like putting on an OC until I bumped up to 1440p because I was getting 300+ FPS in every game at 1080p anyway.)
Keeps the CPU cool so I could reach 4.5 GHz. This’ll do me plenty good until I build that custom loop.
This is one of the things that I wish I had changed. I was originally going to build an X99 system, so I was comfortable with buying a very expensive motherboard. However, now I’m here wishing that I went with a Z170 S instead, as it was a whole $200 cheaper, had a white PCB, and had a monoblock available for it. A tad too expensive for my tastes, but still a great board.
TridentZs were rather well-priced when I got them, don’t plan on getting RGB version until next build.
I got the 750 drive because of it was a bargain at Microcenter, but I guess now that bargain isn’t worth anything now that the 960 EVO is out
It’s big, beautiful, matches my color scheme, and is the perfect companion for my display! What more could I ask for?
This was originally going to be the Enthoo EVOLV ATX, but I went with the H440 simply because it’s up to $80 cheaper depending on the price of the EVOLV and has sound-dampening foam. I really hope an H440 Elite comes out in this coming year, because I need my TG and custom watercooling support at the same time, NZXT!
The most you’ll ever need is 850 watts with 80+ Gold. The premium for Platinum and Titanium isn’t worth it for the extra efficiency. 90% is good enough for me.
I like Windows 7. I don't like Windows 10. Sucks I'll have to use Win10 when I do my next build which will likely have an AM4 CPU.
Beautiful! Lights up the top part of my case that was previously left uncovered by the Hue+'s LED Strips.
Good little controller with lots of nice lights but I have to remove one star for a firmware installation issue that requires that I RMA the sucker just to use any lighting modes on the fans that aren't simply static colors as well as me being unable to access the custom settings.
Okay budget monitor from my old build. Served me well, but might find itself being replaced by two more PG279Qs.
CANNOT GO BACK, 60Hz HERTZ TO LOOK AT.
A great keyboard. I love the clear switch housings and the MX Speeds are a very good switch. The media keys are great and CUE isn't actually that bad.
No matter what other mouse I try in a store, I always find that this one fits me the best. Please Razer, make a Mamba with an optical sensor!
Really damn amazing pair of cans. I really love them, and hope that the HD 599s get a price drop to where these are now so more people can listen to a slightly better version of these.