This is following a build I completed in 2015. That machine was built for gaming/VR. Though very capable through the preceding 4 years, it was time for new blood.
This new build had to game at 1440p or 4K @60 FPS minimum. It also had to handle VR duties with both the current gen HTC Vive, as well as next gen headsets. From the outset, this was going to be expensive and complex.
My partner also wanted to go full water cooled and RGB. Something I wasn’t too crazy about at first, but warmed to the idea over the course of planning the build.
With a full hard line water cooled solution, the build was going to go over budget by $500 - $600, so we scaled back to an AIO solution for the cpu for the time being. At some point in the future, we will upgrade the build to full water cooling, with both cpu and gpu water blocks.
The most difficult part of this build was the wiring and cable management. A task that the Lian-Li case made easier with it’s split configuration for PSU, drives section. The 9 RGB Thermaltake fans further complicated things, but it was well worth it for the final result.
For storage, I used an M.2 nvME SSD & 2 drives from my previous build, A samsung 850 pro (SATA) SSD as an intermediate drive and a Hitachi 2tb physical drive for backups, etc.
Well built, all in one water cooler. This was pretty easy to setup. Cooling is excellent, even on an i9 9900k, which tends to run hot at the highest clock speeds. The aesthetic of the RGB ring in the cpu block is classy and the CAM software is pretty comprehensive. There is an option to disable the rgb NZXT logo on the cpu water block as well. I noticed when setting an RGB pattern in the software, that it coordinated my motherboard and RAM RGB colors to match. Nice touch.
This board is state of the art. The build & individual component quality is outstanding. The setup was fairly straightforward for a board of this complexity. Layout of the various connectors is arranged in such a way as to aid the PC builder with cable management as you avoid cables crossing over the board unnecessarily. This helps when the board will be featured in a transparent case with tons of RGB. Pay attention to those extra cables and parts included in the box. Some of them really help with management of cables and connectors.
Fast performing and sharp looking without going overboard. The RGB Fusion compatibility is great as I don't need additional software aside from what is included with my Gigabyte motherboard. One thing to note is that out of the box, these will not run at full speed. You will have to enable the XMP memory profile in the bios.
What can I say? I mean, aside from - this is currently the absolute pinnacle of gaming graphics, period. Yes, it's expensive, but this (and other RTX 2080ti cards) will give you top notch performance in all the latest games at full graphics settings for years to come. Triple digit framerates with all settings maxed out. Superb!
Excellent case for a water cooling setup. Ample room for 3 radiators, 9 fans, 2 PSUs (yes two!) & 5 or more drives. The split cavity design made for more organized cable management. I was able to separate motherboard specific cabling from drive/RGB/front panel cables. This resulted in a build with a clean, well organized aesthetic.
I was a little worried when the plan was to include 9 of these fans in my new build. I was prepared for the possibility that the machine would sound like a jet taking off. It didn't. In fact it's very quiet at normal speeds. Even when gaming and the temps start to rise, the fan noise never rises to such a db level as to become annoying. Part of this is due to the bearing design, as well as the noise dampening rubber surrounding the mounting holes on all corners. The semi opaque white plastic surrounding the fan blades serves to diffuse some of the light from the LEDs, softening the appearance and creating the effect of the LEDs appearing as one continuous ring of light. Very impressive! I think the accompanying software to control the RGB effects could use a bit of user experience polish, but there are some great lighting profiles and probably more control over these fans than one would ever need...