Description

OK, so I left the desktop scene in 2011 in favour of a gaming laptop, due to my constant travels and thought a laptop could replace a desktop, it performed well but soon was not able to handle newer games due to its inferior mobile gaming video card. Long story short I have been planning this desktop build for a while now (this build started out its life as a haswell build) and I finally decided to pull the trigger.

I'm going all out for this build and going to keep I green and black in line with the razer theme. I have have tried to select parts that kept in line with the theme, however I didn't want to sacrifice performance for the sake of aesthetics, when possible. Unfortunately most parts available seem to be red and black themed, so I have to do a lot of painting and modding to get the theme right.

I'm hoping to get this rig over clocked and water cooled in the coming months.

I started out buying the case and power supply first, because I wanted to get a feel for the size of the case and see what I could fit in it. I chose the ax1200i because I wanted a modular psu to keep the build clean plus the monitoring functions it provides, I also picked the 1200i over the ax860i because I have read online that people had issues when overclocking due to lack of power, so it's good to keep an overhead of watts.

The NZXT H440 by razer is a sick case, I initially was going to use a corsair 350d and paint it, i never liked the drive bays though because i never planned to use them. then i thought i would use the NZXT S340, but after calculating the room I would need to water cooling components I decided to move up to the h440. I painted the interior of the h440 because I think it gives the bill character and allows the interior to be showcased better.

I reassembled the case after painting, then assembled the components in the case to test. At the time of writing I am waiting on the RAM to arrive then stage 2 of this build will be complete. Once it's up and running I will migrate my data and OS from my laptop to the new 950 m.2 ssd, to be used as the boot drive. I will not be using any other drives, although I might move my ssd form the laptop as a back up due to my laptop being out of service.

Phase 3 of this build will be the custom water cooling loop, I will most likely use all EKWB products and rigid acrylic or PETG tubing. I'm still debating what what rads to use, which will dictate what reservoir and pump the system will fit. When I invisioned this build I wanted to make it as compact as possible, so I really I want just enough space for components and no more. The h440 can fit a 360 rad in front, which is what I will do. The top of the case also fits a 360 rad. Problem is the won't fit in there together, depending on the thickness of the rads. Due to clearance from motherboard I need a slim rad up top, I'm not sure if I will get a 280 or 360 or 240 rad. Initially I wanted the thickest ekwb rad I could get (60cm), but the thicker the rad the more it covers up the third fan/rad slot up top. I'm going to use the ek vardar fans and acetal waterblocks, I think I'll paint the ek circle logos on the blocks green. I might use green coolant for visuals initially, but will switch to distilled water for long term use later on.

Once all that is sorted, phase 4 will be overclocking and benchmarking.

Phase 5 will be custom cabling. I have decided to use lutro0 green cable sleeving, MDPC is back in business but I don't like the colour of there green sleeving. I might use some black sleeving for secondary cables like fan cables etc.

Then the build should be finished. I'll update as things progress going forward. I hope you enjoy the build as much as I am while constructing it. Please feel free to ask me any questions about anything and I will do my best to help you other builders out there.

Note: I'm planning to add another 980ti in future to run in sli.

Peace.

Part Reviews

Motherboard

Although I haven't used the software yet, the hardware is top of the line. I'm not a fan of the black and red styling, although it's what's expected of msi. It was easy to mod the board colours to black, which was helpful. The red ddr4 trace lines printed on the board look cool but are red :( So until I figure out how to colour or remove them I'm stuck. The inclusion of an on board sound card and the wireless capability really sold this board for me, not to mention the other numerous functions like the easy overclock dial and the great software. The mobo armour on the back is a big plus too.

Storage

This thing is tiny! Never had a m.2 before, but the fact that it sits on the board and doesn't need a bay drive or needs to be placed somewhere on the case Is great, not to mention the speed of this thing. Has the same capacity as my previous samsung evo ssd. Cant wait to use this as my boot drive. No more internal sata cables for me!

Case

Great case, well built from steel as such it's very sturdy and heavy. I like the exclusion of the bay drives as I don't use optical disks. This case does allocate a lot of space for hdd drives, so I had to mod the case to remove that panel. It comes with a fan hub on the back but it's not PWM so will be replacing it. A lot of great accent lights with this case and illuminated razer logos.

Comments

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

I suggest picking up some sleeved cables to match your build, lovin' the green though!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

thank you for the comment :) I'm hoping to pick up some green lutro0 sleeving and sleeve the cables myself. but I'm worried it might be too much green for the interior. will see how it turns out!

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  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

its gotta be done! :D

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

That mobo price tag tho :o +1 very clean and organized build

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

One of the cleanest builds if ever seen. +1 from me.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

thank you!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

One question: Why the AX1200i? I don't see you needing more than 800W in the future... I suppose just for the sake of troll logic! =D

  • 46 months ago
  • 0 points

I originally planned to use a ax860i but total power power for the system is 710 with sli. Not counting the water cooling loop, but I don't expect it to make that much of a difference.

I read that it's good to have extra power for overhead especially when overclocking, and read on forums that people had issues with lack of power, plus I didnt like the idea of ruing the psu close to its maximum rating. I also wanted an axi series due to its digital monitoring capabilities so the next step was the ax1200i. I did consider the evga 1000 watt but went with this one just so I know the rig will have no power issues.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, good old Corsair Link. I forgot about that lol despite installing it on my buddy's AX1500i

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

xD

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I am a razer fan so I like what I see

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

$450 mother board made for overclocking, $3 stock cooler

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you like that monitor? I'm hoping to get one and was wondering if it was good.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm curious about your motherboard (picked up the M7, never heard about the M9 and really want to upgrade)... What are your opinions on the AC wifi (looks like it works without a separate card?), the liquid cooler, and backplate?

Again my own build has the M7 and I'm looking at those above features in particular and wondering if it's worth the $200 upgrade. I'm getting a new AC router to replace my current router, the liquid cooler is a bit of an eye catcher since I'm uber concerned about keeping my system cool, and the backplate not only because it looks cool but to protect against at least some damage. Could easily trade in my M7 but $200, I'm not opposed to future proofing but that is a bit of a nose wrinkler since I wanted to and actually have kept my whole build below the 2k line.

Really need to post my review for my own build, it's been 7 months but urrrg, my first self build desktop and I'm just all speechless lol..

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

If you want liquid cooling for the VRM/mosfet EK sells a whole board block for the MSI M7, you would have to do a custom loop anyways with the M9 if you wanted to use the built into liquid cooler for the VRM/mosfet.

The Backplate really isn't going to protect against anything since the board has standoffs separating it from the case nd a heavy HSF has never has never done damage to any board provided you install in properly and same for a GPU. It really is marketing and looks, it serves no practical purpose.

So the only real advantage the M9 has is built in wifi which imo wouldn't wifi spending that much more on.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

What are your cpu temps im curious.

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  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

thank for the comment, your right its for completed builds not build logs i didn't think of that. maybe ill leave this up as a log then take it down and re post once its finished

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