Description

Upgrading from from a 5 year old rig with a i5-2500K and GTX560Ti, swapped to a GTX970 nearly a year ago. I didn't really build it myself, as I was waffling about in my inexperience while my dad helped clean up after my mess. Since then I've done a bit more research and earned my own money, so no help this time.

I wanted to go for something a little more high end as my last build was <$700 at the time( but ended up being more because I literally replaced everything except the CPU and case). However, being as cheap as I am, my goal was to build a high end rig as cheaply as possible. A very paradoxical goal and I admit I have clearly failed in keeping the cost down as much as I originally intended, but I definitely have skimped on the aesthetic portion of the build in favor of raw power and less burden on my college kid wallet.

CPU - After getting fed up with crappy laptop CPU's in college and feeling the age of my trust old Sandy Bridge I decided to go with a step above an i5 and go with an i7-6700K. Works great for games and render work loads, but not quite as friendly on the budget. However, this was something I was already dead set on getting. Overclocked to 4.6 GHz, ran solid after 12 hours of both AIDA64 and Prime95. Cinebench R15 Scores went from 900 to almost 1000 after OC. Haven't tried to push it further, and for now I don't intend to since it would probably result in minimal real performance gains

CPU Cooler- Cooler is the CM 212 EVO. Used it in the past, was cheap and did its job. It can be a bit tricky to install your first time around but afterwards its pretty easy. I originally wanted to go for an AIO cooler, but this was much cheaper. Runs cool enough for me on an overclock, although some people definitely prefer lower temps. Probably the ugliest thing in my build as the color doesn't match the black and red going on.

MOBO - Went with a motherboard I've never really seen anyone here use just because I saw it on sale for a pretty good price and has a lot of the features I was looking for. It has 3 m.2 slots, enough I/O, and I could overclock on it. My previous motherboard was an Asrock Z77 Pro-4, so I figured I could stick with Asrock again and go for a slightly nicer motherboard. Aesthetic isn't bad either.

RAM - Went with 32GB of RAM because some of my workloads could use a little bit more than 16GB(I blame my 50 tabs of Chrome I'm too lazy to close). I went with 2x16GB for future upgrades in case I ever needed more RAM. Really wanted to get some fast and shiny RAM but that wasn't very cost-friendly, especially for 16GB DIMMs and higher frequency. Dominator Platinums and TridentZ definitely look great but for the same config I could get double the amount of RAM at a lower frequency. I don't expect to really need the extra speed, so it shouldn't matter too much. Luckily DDR4 is cheap nowadays, and you can find deals pretty much every other day. Corsair Vengeance LPX just happened to pop up on sale when I was looking for RAM. Fit my motherboard's color, was slightly higher than base DDR4 frequencies, and was low profile. Good enough for me.

Storage - Current storage config is a myDigitalSSD Bulletproof 5 Eco 512GB SATA m.2 and 3TB Toshiba P300 7200 RPM HDD. Really like how m.2 saves on cables and space, but it is definitely a bit more expensive than regular 2.5" SSDs. I stuck with SATA-based m.2 because I would probably never notice the difference between it and NVMe, and NVMe would cost 3x as much. I went with the BP5e because it was the cheapest option for m.2 2280. As for hard drive storage, I originally had a Seagate Barracuda 3TB, but it was DOA. Luckily I found another sale on the 3TB Toshiba P300 for about the same price. HDD storage is dirt cheap if you don't use WD drives, and I was looking for plenty of storage. Planning to add more SSD storage later but that can take its time as I wait for the right price or my drives to fill up, whichever one happens first.

GPU - The graphics card was the last thing I got, and was a complete impulse buy as I originally intended to reuse my GTX 970. One day I just thought it would be pretty crazy if I got a 1080 for my new rig. Then 3 days of camping the 1080 trackers later I luckily managed to snag an Asus Strix off of Newegg. Unfortunately it's not the factory OC model but I'm just happy I got anything at all, because it sure felt like a paper launch. Was afraid that I might run into some of the QC issues that seemed to plague the first batch, but I guess they got it sorted before I got mine. Runs like a beast, boosts up to mid-1800MHz without touching any settings before it hits power limit. Definitely left a hole in my pocket, but I don't regret it. Probably could have saved a bit of money getting this later, but I guess this is what they call an early adopter's tax. Only had it for a day so I haven't had much time to play with it. So far ran Witcher 3 fully maxed settings, AA on and Hairworks set to Geralt only at 90-110 fps at 1080p, dipping to 80 occasionally. It did all of this at 67C and <50% fan speed. At the speed the fans were running, the RGB was more distracting than the fan noise.

PSU - I originally planned on going with a 600W 80+ Certified cheapo power supply that was only $30, but I decided that was a bit too sketchy for my build. Decided to go with a EVGA 550W 80+Gold because it would make a difference here in California as far as energy bill is concerned, and I am definitely not going to bother with the headache that is SLI. Also it was fully modular whereas the cheapo PSU was not. Kind of regret buying it, as 2 weeks later Amazon had the 650W model for $5 more. Just goes to show patience can save you a bit of money. A 550W PSU is more than enough, but I would probably be operating a bit more efficiently on the 650W. I was looking into getting custom sleeved cables but over $100 for a set is a bit steep for me.

Case - Not too crazy about the S340. I do think it's a good case, but it doesn't do it for me personally, besides the fact that it was cheap. Having used a $30 case (Thermaltake V3) in my previous build I can tell you the S340 is much better value for the money, but I wouldn't use it again. I'm not really a fan of the super boxy look, and the glossy finish on the front and sides is a major turn off as it attracts fingerprints like no other. It also scratches pretty easily. I think next time I'll go for a Define R5

Listed prices are for the tower only and are what I paid trying to pinch every single penny I could. The 1080 alone was almost half of the cost after factoring in tax and shipping. Nearly everything was bought over the course of ~2 weeks. All of the software/peripherals were leftovers from my previous build. Plan on eventually getting a nicer monitor, but right now you can't really get 4K + high refresh rates + G-sync, and nice monitors are damn expensive

TL;DR Tried to be cheap. Tossed that out the window with a 1080. Went as cheap as I could without being ghetto,so hopefully nothing will go wrong.

Edit: Bought a 27" QHD 144Hz G-Sync TN Panel Dell monitor. Would have liked 4K or IPS, but I cant really justify the extra several hundred dollars or potential QC issues that seem to be prevalent among high refresh rate IPS panels. Hopefully it gets here soon!

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Comments

  • 47 months ago
  • 4 points

Looks at graphics card.

Soon, soon my baby.

Touches screen

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

So jealous you were able to get your hands on the Strix edition. Imo it has the best LED setup. Great build as well. +1

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Same he's so lucky

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

For the CPU cooler, you can always remove those two tags, won't look as bad as you have said. Beautiful build regardless though!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I was referring more to the silver color of the metal not really meshing that well with the rest of the build. Something like a Dark Rock 3 or Cryorig H7 would look a bit better in my opinion but those cost twice as much as the 212. Also, I was going to remove the tags, but completely forgot, thanks for reminding me!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build +1 what temps do you get normal and load with that 212 evo?

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Listed on the side. Idle temps vary based on time of day. It was 32C last night, and 27C this morning. Load temps are between 67 and 70C. The Strix is more or less the same

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

What monitor are you using?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Need more pics of the Strix!

Awesome build tho!! +1

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 please tell me you didn't put your mobo on the floor

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd like to think that I know better than that! Mobo never touched the floor, only its box. What concerned me more than the carpet was how it was a difficult fit trying to set the mobo properly in the tray, what with the pre-installed fans and PSU shroud severely limiting maneuverability. More or less had to drag the thing into place because of the high profile accents on the rear I/O to get all the screw holes to line up. It was probably the most stressful part of the build

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

550 watts is plenty for your build and will be more efficient than the 650 so don't fret over it. Everything in your build is power efficient. The reality is that we need more lower wattage PSUs. TDP is getting lower and lower yet we have very little choice in the 400 watt range which is still more than enough for this build.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I have this exact case but it's matte, not glossy. Did they change something in the matrix? Anyone having Deja vu?

Very nice build btw :D

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Please upgrade the monitor. 1080 GPU is overkill for 60hz monitor.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

He doesn't game on that monitor probably

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

At least I hope not

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey how is that gpu?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 Very nice build! You can buy custom sleeved cables cheaper than $100. Cablemod sells small kits that include the main cables like the 24 pin mobo power cable, cpu power cable, GPU power cables, etc. for like $30 which is what I'm planning on getting.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! Would you take the NZXT S340 of the Zalman Z9 Neo? I am stuck between these two, but can't decide. My current case is a POS.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

The Zalman case actually looks pretty good! The only cases I really researched were the NZXT S340, H440, and Fractal Design Define R5, but I definitely dig the look of the Zalman, and it seems to offer a bit more than the S340. I suppose the only reason to go with the S340 is if you need support for super big radiators, but at that point I think you would probably be looking at a nicer case. The S340 also only comes with 2 fans pre-installed, and neither are PWM. Having to deal with molex on the Zalman fans seems like a bit of a let down, but otherwise it looks pretty solid for the price.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Built the same build as you. Just waiting for 1080s to be in stock.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

The GTX 1080 is WAY overkill for 1080p at 60 Hz. Don't cheap out on the monitor if you are going to go big on the GPU!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

What?

The 1080 is the perfect graphics card for 1080p. Duhh, it's in the name you know.

=P

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Doh! GTX 1080 and 1080p...I totally missed it lol

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

:)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks like he purchased a new monitor...good for him!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful Build, Good Job Obtaining The STRIX Edition.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Good monitor choice to support your GTX 1080. You finally have my +1

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

+1. Your build is eerily similar to mine, but looks great!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Please add some more pictures. So we can see how it looks finished.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Was wondering if you could give me some insight...I have a very similar build, same mobo but corsair ram is Vengeance LPX DDR4 3600 2x8GB.

I have no problem using the sticks in slot 2 and 4. using the sticks in slot 1 and 3 i get an occasional windows 10 BSOD and sometimes it fails to post if i use my cases reset button. The Debug LED just cycles through about 7 or 8 numbers, and stays at a black screen when it fails post in slots 1 and 3.

The MOBO booklet says with 2 sticks i can use 2 & 4 or 1 & 3 if i have 2 identical sticks. i ran memtest86 from USB boot and tested each stick individually in slot 2, no errors. I noticed that the motherboard doesnt officially support my ram clocks, but there are literall no errors on each ram stick when tested alone in slot 2 or together in slots 2 and 4. Ive tried everything short of adjusting voltages or timings on the ram. (cleared cmos, reinsert cmos battery, bios upgrade, tested bios 1.6 and 1.5 with toggle switch, secured ram seats, set xmp to auto and 2.0)

Do you think it would be worth it to RMA the board? This is my first custom build in years but i have tinkered around with computers forever...just nothing with unlocked bioses.

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