Description

I am a first time builder with a little modding experience on previous pre-built rigs. I would like to thank the internet forums for the multitude of tutorials and advice for noob enthusiasts like myself who dare to dream at building their own PC.

Let me start by saying that anyone can build their own PC if they do a little research. The money saved is a huge return on time spent looking in to creating the build within your budget and needs. Also, PC Part Picker helped me determine compatibility issues prior to buying.

I personally believe in "buy nice or buy twice", so I spared no expense on my motherboard, power supply unit and video card. I am sure there are opinions on my choices, but they worked for me and I could not be happier with the results.

I wrote a list of items that were important to me:

Speed: I want it to be fast! A solid state drive, wicked GPU and highly rated CPU combined with good RAM and a mild overclock comprised the components necessary for my need for speed! I am not a video editor, but I do illustration and some animation, so memory was needed.

Size: I have a cramped work space and a smaller footprint by the case was necessary since I wanted it on my desk rather than on my floor. My last rig was constantly full of dust so I wanted to take measures to counter this issue. The case had to have decent airflow and dust filters for keeping the internals clean.

Cooling: I wanted a rig that was relatively silent, but cooling was important to me for the longevity of the CPU and components. A cool rig runs efficiently and tends to have fewer long term-issues.

Aesthetic: I looked at multiple color schemes and black and red just seemed to work best for me. I know some are tired of this classic color combo- but hey, it looks cool and there are plenty of peripherals and components that match into that color category. The noise was not a huge issue since I wear headphones mostly for listening to music when I work and gaming, but my last rig was noisy, so any measures I could take towards a more quiet case seemed appropriate.

The NZXT H440 case fit the aforementioned criteria almost perfectly. It had that clean aesthetic, but room for the lights and color accents to make the rig look cool and run even cooler. The cooling configurations were numerous and I was happy with the cable management solutions in the back of the case. The PSU compartment made cable management look effortless and really helped feature the internal components aesthetics.

I went with EVGA on the PSU thanks to some reputable reviewers video tutorials on push/pull configs that worked well in this particular case.

In the end, I took my time planning, managed my cables, spent extra on the components that merited attention and built my rig. I had a 780 FTW GPU from my last rig and decided to use it for my PhysX needs when paired with the 980. I would like to go with 980SLI, but with the current performance- I probably do not need to.

I am running the rig at 4.4 Ghz and my temps stay 55-65 degrees. Ole Red plays just about everything on ultra and I am just so pleased with the results. I cant stop staring at it! I am very proud of this build and took as many pics as I could to help any others who might consider going a similar route.

CONS:

The case is limited in the back side for cable management. There is not a great deal of clearance, so take time to do tight cable management. I replaced the stock fans with my own choices and added a couple more for the push/pull configuration. These added fans made for a cable management challenge, but the motherboard supports up to 8 fans, so all worked perfectly. I had to wire two fans to mobo headers towards the back of the case routing them outside of the case near the IO shield. It is hardly noticeable, but I was kinda OCD about the two little wires on the exterior.

Stock fans are adequate- but invest in better fans. Also, if you go 2 140s on top vs 3 120s - there is a gap towards the front that could utilize one more fan- just sayin.

The air flow is not the highest rated. It is not terrible, but the airflow does leave a little to be desired.

No optical drive. I simply bought a slip external optical drive and set it on top.

Drive bays. Some have to be removed when adding a radiator to the front or installing a larger video card.

SSD mounts on back- they are peculiar in the sense that right angle SATA cables might not work. Make allowances for this.

The fan hub on the back. Great idea.It makes allowances for multiple fans however, you cannot control the voltages- so the fans run at full speed. Running all of the fans off of the hub plugged into a PWM on the motherboard is not an option, so the only thing I plugged into the hub was the radiator pump (which I do want running at full speed). All the fans are monitored and powered off individual of headers on the motherboard.

PROS:

Looks: Clean lines and understated aesthetic . Great window. This case looks good!

magnetic dust filters- great idea and easy to clean.

Love the IO panel LED light for its utility.

Metal construction- hardly any plastic. Even the drive trays are metal and very rigid.

Thumb screws stay in on this tooless case- love that

The case just looks damn good. I grew to appreciate more and more as I built it. NZXT got it right.

Part Reviews

Motherboard

It is pricey- but damn is it a beast! Great BIOS and too many features to list! It is the heart of your system- and deserves to be in your next rig. 8 fan headers! Easy tweaking settings in BIOS. Beautiful build quality. Armor on front and back. I am so pleased with the looks and performance of this board. The Maximus Here is a tier lower and also a great buy. I love ASUS an their products.

Case

This case totally rocks! I love it's simplicity, quality build characteristics and innovation.

Simple- clean lines. PSU cover with compartment for cable management and big window. Flat surfaces on front and side panels for clean aesthetic. Understated vents . Magnetic dust covers. Led light for IO panel. Metal drive trays. Sound dampening foam on inside of panels. pre-installed motherboard standoffs. If you are a novice builder- this is the case for you in terms of a professional and rewarding end-result visually. I just love looking at it.

Gripes: fan hub in back has no voltage regulator, so fans run at full blast unless connected to PWM headers on motherboard. Stock fans are kinda average. No optical drive bay.

Conclusion- Its got way more things going for it than most cases including a distinctive visual appeal, logical case layout and quality build characteristics. A smart buy for the money.

Case Fan

quiet, powerful and in updated colors for the typical Noctuas of the past. These fas are pricey- but you get what you pay for. Quality build and they have a distinctive quality unmatched by competitors. Excellent case fans for water-cooled radiator configs.

Monitor

The only thing I wish is if it were bigger! I am seriously wanting to get a 34" ultrawide. After converting to ultrawide- I will never go back. Gaming is on another level with the added peripheral space. It heightens immersion in gameplay substantially. The transition from 1080 to ultrawide made my jaw drop.

The fps max at 60 since it is 60hz and it has a 8ms response time. This might be an issue with the hardcore competition gamers, but I seriously have no issues in MMOs I have played. I know 144hz is the elite standard, but I also use this for multi-tasking.

Let me tell you that multitasking is an amazing thing with the Dell Display Manager. The software enables you to pick multiple screen window configurations for placing windows in whatever works best for you. Want to proof read a document while at the same time watching YouTube and shopping on Amazon- no problem. This is the best single monitor solution . I highly recommend this monitor for video editors who want those extra palettes and timeline real-estate during edits.

Love. Love. Love the picture. IPS looks beautiful at any angle and the colors are vibrant. There are multiple color settings for anything from gaming to multi-media. Great purchase and really happy with it.

Headphones

I purchased these headphones three years ago. I am tough on my headphones. I wrecked at least three pairs before splurging and buying something at a different price point albeit used. These headphones are perfect!

They rest on the head nicely. I can hear external sounds if the doorbell rings or someone calls me- yet still stay immersed in game-play. The mic and volume control are on opposite sides and are so logically designed. The mic can be activated and deactivated by simply pushing it down near the mouth or kicking it back up- I love it.

The earpieces are removable for cleaning and made of a velvet type material that is very comfortable on the ears. The price point is high- but think of never buying a head set again for a few years. Do yourself a favor and splurge a bit- on some used ones. You will not regret it.

Comments

  • 50 months ago
  • 3 points

Sparing no expense means quad titan x's...

=P jk, sweet build man sli that 980 dooooittttttt!!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I will still keep dreaming about quad Titans, LOL!

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Personally think that white leds inside would help highlight the red without just washing everything out, but cool rig all the same. What tablet is that? I assume cintiq of some kind but there are other makers

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!I wa s actually thinking that same thing. The light strips can be daisy chained so white woould definitely be an option. The tablet is a Wacom Cintiq.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah cool ok. Thanks, which one though?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Cintiq 21UX and I have the smaller Cintiq 13HD

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool, thanks.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

You have to video cards in there?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a 780 from my old rig . I am using it for Phys X until possibly doing 980 SLI.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

How would you set that up?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Patiently :)

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Seriously though, is there a way to set it as a card to be used specifically for physx in game?

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes. In the GPU control panel you can designate the card be utilized strictly for PhysX . Since there is no SLI Bridge, the card can still be used as an additional GPU for everyday use and a PhysX card during gaming. The 980 Matrix is a beast card and handles all of the games I play on Ultra. Shadow Of Mirror, War Thunder, and Skyrim all default to ultra settings during performance testing. Company Of Heroes 2 at 2560x1080 still averages 58 fps on Ultra. Plus, I can use my graphics tablet for illustration.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

When the mobo costs more than your whole PC... Now that I think about it even the case is more than my PC xD

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I saved until I could get what I wanted. My old rig was the 1366 I7 920. Hopefully, this rig will last several years.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Let me start by saying that anyone can build their own PC if they do a little research.

I agree with you there. The desire to learn, create, and work hard. :)

And this is a lovely build. I love black and red schemes so much! You have my up-vote.

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you kindly :)

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! It was fun too!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Why is the 780 in there? Compute?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I run my Wacom tablet off of it. I could attach it to the 980, but I had the 780 from my old rig so I can attach two tablets to it and dedicate the 980 to my monitors for gaming and TeamSpeak.

[comment deleted]
  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build but one recommendation I would put white LEDs instead of the red LEDs. Because it looks better in picture 33 with the red LEDs off Than in picture 34 with the red LEDs on. So if you had white LEDs it would make the red parts stand out better than with the red LEDs on and everything just blends into one colour. Well that's what I think

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Good point.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I never really understood these types of cases so maybe someone could explain to me why there are no OD bays and why every fan vent is covered by a solid panel. I know theres maybe an inch of clearance for airflow but doesnt that seem inadequate?

Lovely rig btw like the color scheme a lot

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

I watched some videos on this particular "silent case". The flat panels are there to hide sound dampening material within each panel. It feels a bit like a type of neoprene foam.....

Anyways, the side vents do constrict airflow as you mentioned, but a couple of vids online convinced me that airflow and temps were only marginally affected if at all. The Noctua fans help. I like the look of the case. Behind the panels are magnetic dust filters . It definitely does not look as dusty on the exterior. Also, even though there are eight fans, the rig is virtually silent.

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Also, Optical drives are becoming a component of the past. I still love having one and that was a con for me I weighed before the purchase. I have seen a good slim optical drive mod video where you cut a small section and place the drive under the top fan cover. Everyone else could just buy an external drive. Truthfully, I only installed my OS with the drive. Everything else was downloaded to the rig.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I like the build, but what model of potato did you take the pics with?

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

I spent all my money on the rig :P My phone takes horrible pics in the dark. Apologies.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

A bit overkill on the PhysX card but a damn beautiful build.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I have exact case... Im wodering why you put sp as intakes? As im looking for some corsair fans i want to know why use sp in the front instead of af Great build

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Check this video out. His series of vids is quite informative regarding case cooling and case pressure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP1hSH9ZwXk&index=1&list=LLiLCqIjTu5PTiNAyErkg_ww

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Did u put any LED strip for the red light in the case? One more, how about the NZXT logo that covering PSU, did it only light up in white color only?

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

The LED strip is just one Phobya 30 led light strip. Adhesive is terrible but there is a densely lit set of lights or one light strip. I might consider getting an additional strip- but Im too busy lately.

The NZXT LED is only white which is turned on or off with the IO panel light switch on the back .I have seen a green LED on the Razer edition H440 NZXT logo, so I am sure the light could prbably be swapped if you were really going for a certain aesthetic.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

to be honest you have to much fans and the top left and middle fan is preventing the graphic cards to cool down since the fans at the front of the case are pushing air in and the top fans are sucking them out, the graphic cards aren't getting much cooling even though you have only 1 fan at the back. If u are sacrificing better looks than better temperature for your graphic cards then i understand

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I respect your opinion, however, this configuration was bench tested with multiple fan size and placement configs specifically tailored to the H440 case - the results and tests statistics did not lie- this config provided , contrary to some opinions, the lowest temps with the Corsair H105 while at the same time sucking air over the top of the GPUs. At idle and under load, my Matrix 980 stays nice and cool.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Why is every single picture inexplicably out of focus, blurry, or washed out? I recommend going through your pictures before uploading them. Can't tell how nice i'm sure it actually looks.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

crappy camera. sorry

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

is there any problems with the 1080p display? Can you easily see pixels?

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  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

noted. Geez, I did not even think of that O.O

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!