Primarily I build this to support my work, some excels, graphics editing and of course gaming. At first I was planning to just build something around 1000$ but then on May I found out that the pascal is coming. Then I changed a lot from my very first plan. I started my plan from January, and at the time the build looks really nice all around. But after Pascal announcement I got carried away and end up around 1700$ Rig.
Update (October 4, 2016): Replaced the HDD (failed). Added an adapter for the M.2-2280 SSD. Total price increased from original. I leave the original price in above description, since it was the price at the time when I first built this.
The best price to performance ratio when it comes to gaming in my opinion. Overclock like a champ, very stable temperature, never encountered thermal throttling so far. Will be using this for a long time before upgrading it to something better.
It's a great cooler alright, does the job done. My CPU under constant load never hit 70C, at idle my CPU is at 35C but bear in mind that I live in a hot area, so the ambient temp is already high enough it'll never hit sub 30C, like most of the water cooler do. The important thing is when under heavy load, it manages to maintain the temperature. But looking at some other result using certain air cooler, it might be better off using them, the price much lower and they manage to do similar result. Oh yeah the radiator fan is quite subtle at idle, under heavy load it sounded like a leaf blower.
Pretty cheap for a Z170A motherboard, has everything you will ever need when building a gaming rig. Color neutral (all black), so you could have fun pimping your rig however you like it without worrying it would ruin your preferred ambient color. Downside is there are only 2 full PCI e slot, so no 3 way SLI or crossfire possible. Well I never like the idea of SLI or crossfire, so it doesn't bother me in any way.
Great Sticks, a bit pricier but really worth it. Using default configuration the UEFI will run the RAM at 2133 MHz, using XMP will ramp it to 3200 MHz but the CPU will be locked at 3.9 GHz, so preferable scenario is to tweak each configuration on its own. OC the CPU to 4.4 GHz and the RAM at 3200 MHz.
Everyone know how this one performs...
Didn't notice my board doesn't support M.2 SATA SSD. It has an M.2 slot but only for the NVME. I thought at first I got this one DOA, got frustrated for some time and planned to have it replaced. Fortunately after some research I found about the restriction, and tried using an adapter and it works like a charm.
At the time I built this rig I didn't use this, I used a Seagate HDD 2TB 7200rpm. And only for about 3 days, the Seagate failed. Got it replaced and not even 2 months it died again. Doesn't want to take any chances, I turned to WD blue. Really hope this one live long.
A beast of a Card. Twin Frozr really do the trick. On idle there is absolutely no sound (the Fan doesn't spin), starting from 60C it'll spin to maintain the heat. To really utilize the real capability of this card, some tweaking is needed. Doesn't mean out of the box this card is sucks, on the contrary it'll eat any 1080p games like it was nothing, no tweaking whatsoever required. When it comes to 1440p using stock, you might not hit that Ultra everything at 60 FPS. Tinkering with the settings, modifying the fan curve and ramping those clocks (RAM and core), you'll get that glorious ultra at average 60 FPS or even more in 1440p, everything on a single GPU.
Not really your mainstream form factor. So it's not for everyone. Quite spacious, but bear in mind that if you use a very huge VGA like ZOTAC amp edition, you will not be able to install a radiator. The clearance between the end of the VGA to the wall of the casing is way too narrow. I was planning to do a push/pull on my rad, but unfortunately the gap between the MSI 1070 and the radiator is too narrow to fit additional fans. So in the end I did a pull configuration with fans attached to the other side of the wall (inside the front panel). 2 Hot swap HDD slots in the right side of the front panel, 2 more slots inside the casing under the motherboard at the left corner and 2 5.25" bay for DVD or blue ray in the left side of the front panel. Cable management proved to be quite tricky since you will need to hide the cable under the motherboard panel. And the only clearance to do that are from the sides having the side panels removed.
It's a power supply and 80+ Gold rated. Not much to say here. Oh some might say it's not enough Juice for my set up. But believe me, it's way more than enough. Skylake and Pascal is very power efficient, it just boggled my mind.
It's an operating system you might need to run your games, whether it's steam, origin, uplay, or whatever. Heck if you want it, use Linux instead, lots of games run well on Linux now. Oh, why the price is so low? Well there are some legitimate websites selling OEM keys at a ridiculous low price. How's that? Don't ask me, it works and activated just fine, that's the point.
Quite a popular monitor, unfortunately it's a 1080p monitor with 60 Hz. I have a plan to upgrade it with something like XL2730Z, but later on that. This one (RL2455HM) is actually able to go as high as 1440p at 75 Hz just fine. Just override the native resolution using the NVDIA control panel, and there you have it 2K resolution on a 1080p monitor. And it's not DSR mind you, it's a full 2K resolution, and all of my game run well on it. There is a downside though, a slight of input delay, but not really a turn off, at least for me. I'm not really into competitive FPS games, so I don't really mind. Hopefully once I get that XL2730Z all the problem gone, but not that I urgently need it now.
A normal keyboard, even though they dub it as gaming. It's a normal keyboard really, not a fancy mechanical thingy.
Great mouse for sub $50. Super smooth transition, and very precise. Light and very simple straight forward design. It's ambidextrous too. Really recommend it to any budget builder.