I was previously running an extreme budget build for about the last year or so. It played games pretty well, and did everything else I needed alright, but it never exceeded any of my expectations, so to speak. So I set out to meticulously build a new PC that can do everything and more, and also look pretty cool while doing it. I have been building computers on and off for about the last 10 years now, but never really got into the overclocking business. I am currently doing a ton of research to get an idea of how to boost this build even further. First off I will start by saying that the iFixit 54 bit driver set is an absolute must have when going through the process of building a new PC. I ordered it from the iFixit website and it arrived promptly to the door a few days later at around 35$. A real steal for how useful this set is. Even though I didn't need to use it, it even comes with a rubber extension and a magnetic bit to grab anything that may have fallen in a crack or two.
I was browsing this site and noticed a few people on here spray painting some of the parts for a more aesthetic look. I took the time to do this as well, 50% because I wanted to (OCD) and 50% because I had the time to do it. I ordered the parts a few at a time, and over the course of about 3 weeks I was finished entirely. In fact, I just installed the corsair cabling kit this evening to put the final finishing touch on it. My cable combs didn't quite work out, so I may order a different set, but for now I am pretty happy with how clean the interior looks.
I wanted to build a 6th generation rig for gaming so that it would take a while to become outdated. Here is what I have and why I chose it.
I picked the Intel Core i5 6600K because from what I read it delivered exceptional performance for the money, and on top of that it seemed to be a popular choice among gamers alike. I have to say that thus far I am very pleased with this quad core processor. I used to run an AMD FX 6300 and I can feel the difference right out of the box. I had a choice to make like anyone else who was considering an i7 instead, and realized this was my best option as i don't need the hyper threading aspect of the i7. Aside from the fact that it didn't come with a stock heat sink, I would give it a 5/5, because who uses stock CPU coolers anyway?! At least not for overclocking.
The Phanteks CPU cooler was something I bought after having done some research and wanted a piece that would match my color scheme (Green, White, Black). This certainly doesn't disappoint. My temps are very low and everything has run perfectly right out of the box. The only real problem with this cooler that I ran into personally was that it doesn't play well with quad channel RAM kits. It is a bit bulky and for the fan on the side nearest the RAM slots, you would need to scoot it up a bit, so it would be closer to the case side door. In my pictures you can see I only have 3 of the 4 RAM pieces in the slots. For this reason, I am sending back my quad channel kit and going to simply buy a dual channel 16gb kit. Otherwise, it took the paint well and everything else went great.
I chose the ASUS Sabertooth z170 motherboard mostly because of the EZ mode overclocking as well as the thermal armor. The fans inside the thermal armor run pretty inaudibly, as does the rest of my rig. For having 6 case fans, an air cooled CPU, and the fans in the thermal armor I am really shocked by this. The board is very tough, not only looking, but feeling. The back plate on the board ensures that big graphics cards (like mine) don't sag. The GTX 980 superclocked is nearly a foot long and weighs about 4 pounds. No sag at all. Very pleased with this board thus far. The thermal armor was easy to take off and paint and the thermal armor fans were pretty painless to install, despite seeming like an after thought, as many others have stated.
The Dominator Platinum kit work as advertised. I have to send them back because of my CPU cooler but its no problem as far as the actual RAM goes. Even while only running 12gb of RAM, I have had no issues with lack of performance. I ordered two light bar kits from newegg for the Dominator kit and also need to send one of those back as I will only need one now. Otherwise that, the light bar kit are pretty painless to install. Its things like this which make the aforementioned iFixit driver kit a must have. As you can see I have the RAM accented with the green inserts, while the actual kits themselves only come with white/blue. I bought the green inserts from a company called MAINFRAME CUSTOMS. Search them online and I'm sure you will find the site no problem.
The Samsung solid state drive is a beauty. Boot to windows very quickly and starts my games at a seconds notice. I can definitely feel the difference between this and my WD Caviar 1TB drive. This was also easy to install with my case, and I also use the WD Caviar as a backup drive for storing junk on and whatnot. For the price of this drive, you absolutely cannot go wrong in my opinion. Highly recommend.
The EVGA GTX 980 Superclocked is the only part of this build that I really feel like I splurged on, and didn't technically "need", I guess you could say. That being said, this is one amazing card. Runs as quiet as can be, even under a heavy load. With or without headphones on, under full load, you would never be able to hear it, it is that quiet. I thought games like League of Legends, WoW, SC2, or even CS:GO couldn't possibly look much better than what I was used to. I was dead wrong. These games are so beautiful now, its a wonder I even survived with anything else. Not only is it amazing performance wise, but I got really lucky and scored a free copy of Tom Clancy's The Division from NVIDIA with this purchase, so roughly a $60 value. At the end of the day, this card only cost me around $475 (if you subtract the $60 game price). To me, that's a great price. If you have this card also, you know why. Wont be replacing it any time soon. The aesthetics are beautiful and the green 'GEFORCE GTX' LED is even changeable via software, even though I won't.
The Corsair 750D is by far my favorite piece of the build (aside from the GTX 980). It is a complete pleasure to not only work in, but to also spray paint. As you can see, I went a little crazy with the paint on the inside of the case. I painted the HD tray white/green, the clips that attach to the drive bays, and the back removable pieces as well as some other hardware, all from black. It was really quite easy, as long as you have the time and patience to do so. Keep in mind that if you want to paint anything that is currently black, you must prime it first with white, or the green will not take well at all. You need to lets things dry a day or two before you reinsert them back into the case or they will scratch easier as the paint hasn't settled all the way yet. Aside from the painting, the amount of room in this case to work is all you can ask for and more. There always seemed to be a place to strap cables down in the back, and cable management in this case is an absolute breeze. I wanted a case with a very clean and professional look, but also a side window to display the hard work of spray painting. This case is perfect. Would recommend and use again in a heartbeat. The one odd thing about it was it didn't come with a speaker. But that is by no means a deal breaker. Very sleek and abundant space, love it.
I went with the Corsair RM 750 80+ Gold rated power supply because I wanted plenty of power with fully modular capabilities. I also did quite a bit of spray painting on this and it came out wonderfully I thought. The white stripe at the bottom really brings out the rest of the green on this piece. I knowingly voided the warranty by opening it up, so I really hope it doesn't poop on me soon. This was necessary to paint the fan blade cover that you see on top in green. That part was the defining piece of the PSU aesthetics. I really am glad I did it for this reason. The only thing about using it this way is that your pins are upside down, but that really causes no issues. I don't plan to run SLI or buy another GTX anytime soon, as I don't need it. So this power supply worked perfect for me, as my system is only rated to need 420W (ironic with all the green, right?). I felt that a 1000W supply is just not needed.
The ASUS optical drive works flawlessly, as I wanted to be able to play Blu-ray DVDs but keep to my same black scheme. This drive is the ultimate all in one drive, and I also happen to be brand loyal to ASUS.
The NZXT fan controller and LED hue controller also worked well right out of the box. Simply arrange your fans in whatever order you want and you now have all the control you need without going into the BIOS or doing any extra work. For the 30$ each they cost me I would say it is well worth the money. The Corsair QC 140/120 MM fans were a breeze to work with and painting/changing the fan rings was really simple. Would recommend them to anyone looking to put in after market case fans. The one thing I will say is that the LED hue power connectors are a bit cheap feeling, so don't plug them in until you really are ready to leave them there. I plugged and unplugged about 4 times and I can tell its taking its toll, I wont be doing that again.
The Corsair cabling kit is beautiful and adds that little extra something to the build, not to mention makes cable management a breeze. We all know what the stock cables are like in any PSU. They're typically ugly, not maneuverable, and make running them through the slots of the 750D a pain. This was the one thing that took the longest to not only process, but also ship to my house. If you are thinking about buying this kit, by all means, do it, the cables are great, but its a slow process, so do it early. I had my PC built and running windows for 3 days before the cables finally showed up. A total of about 10 days is to be expected from the moment you press 'Confirm Purchase'. Needless to say, I am impatient, and didn't enjoy ripping out all the uglies to put in the beauties. But that's my fault, just order them far in advance. They are the cheapest from Corsair themselves, but you can find them elsewhere at about a 10-15% price increase, will likely ship faster from a retailer.
I really enjoyed building this and I am enjoying gaming on it even more. I am open to any and all questions/comments as well. I will try to respond as efficiently as possible. I wanted this build to have sort of an alien-ish theme, alongside the name, The X-File. I am a big fan of the series and it really just seemed to fit well. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you like this build. And remember, as Mulder once said, THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE. (: