Why: Chicken… Egg… Cardinal… Fett…
I took a friend to a Fry's Electronics in the beginning of February so he could buy a GPU. That’s when I realized how bad the Crypto GPU problem truly was. In Fry's they have two very loooong aisles of cards and they were completely empty except for one MSI 1080 TI. Oddly this is when I decided I would build my first PC. For years and years, I would buy a prebuilt from Newegg or Best Buy and then swap out parts to make a better gaming machine. I was done with that. I was going to build my own rig from scratch, with everything I wanted and buy my Graphics card last in the hopes the demand would be down and in turn, so would the price.
I spent the next 3 months going over the parts I wanted. Even buying and returning my CPU twice (more on that later). My brother-in-law Michael changed my whole mind set when he once said "Looks like your making this rig Future Proof!". That’s when I decided I would do my best to actually make it future proof for at least a couple years and sought to buy every part I wanted and never settle, no matter how long it took me to do so. And thus, came the birth of "Cardinal Fett" (my brother-in-law being the mother, it’s a GOT thing).
I took my sweet time and did my homework. Due to my crazy busy schedule, I was able to spend my lunch and what little free time I had reading, watching, researching, everything I could. It helped that the Fantasy Football season was over and this filled the void nicely. Lots of research and help with questions, especially from JUKEFACTORY. This guy's build is more of a shrine and he was very helpful in answering a bunch of my questions that I had about our case, the Corsair Crystal 570X among other things. I knew I was going to get it but I wanted it to be last or second to last depending on the GPU situation. I needed to know a lot about it before I made certain decisions and purchases. Big shout out to him.
Quick note: I was taking pictures during the build and you'll find a link to that gallery at the end of this build description
The Build: We'll start from the End.
The GPU: How you can learn from your “Enemy”
This is actually pretty funny. I had gotten a slightly used EVGA 1080 FTW Gaming card early on (surprisingly). Put it in my old rig and it played great considering it was on an AMD A8 w/ 16g DDR3. I'd got such a deal on it during the crypto craze and before the Future Proof decision. Now I knew only a TI would suffice, so I sold the 1080 on offer up to a gamer to help out the community. Now I was searching OfferUp, Facebook, etc... Looking for the best deal on a 1080 TI unopened, in box, SEALED.
Not settling for anything less than the Asus 1080 TI 11GB STRIX GAMING OC Edition. I finally found one and talked the guy down from $1,100 to $900. This is in March/April and was a steal as the going rate was $1,399, IF, you could find one (The OC edition was a big-ticket item in the crytpo world and was snatched up at the beginning of the hype). I'm an IT Manager and was going to be working really late on the project we were on. He said no problem, he's currently working night shifts and could meet after midnight.
Midnight rolls by, I pull out the $900 but hear nothing from him. By 2am I'm pissed, I’m about to just buy one of the deals I'd been looking at for an hour on eBay, even though it will cost me more. He finally hits me up at 2:40 saying that something came up at work but he's free now if I'm still interested. Of course, I instantly decompress and we set to meet at a Wal-Mart at 3:00 am. Some 20-year-old kid in a Subaru is messing with a Pepsi machine and I'm wondering if this idiot is the guy, so I text the OfferUp guy named Wayne, that I'm here and in the only car in the actual parking lot. He says he'll be there in 10 min, in a white Tahoe. While I get this text, a cop shows up and I'm wondering if he's here to grab the Pepsi kid but he parks behind me blocking me, I get out with my phone to show him the app is why I’m here, got nothing to do with Pepsi Kid. He says "Hi, I'm Wayne on OfferUp with your video card, I just don’t tell people what I do haha" LOL.
Wayne The OfferUp Cop was also big on the crypto craze right before it hit and gave me some priceless insight into that world and why he was selling me and others, all his extra unopened cards that once had a plan. He told me about his Six, 10 Card a piece Rigs (and how incredibly hot his home is). I realized Nvidia, Asus, Evga, etc., probably thought this was a cash cow, until the warranty replacement orders started coming in. You see, all his crypto rigs run nonstop while overclocked to the limit within warranty and he can get a new one when it burns out. He said "I kid you not, Not ONE ASUS regular 1080 or TI has burnt out on me. Evga I've had only one go, but Zotac I've sent several back for new ones. BUT, the Zotac 1070’s are unstoppable" Good to know for anyone having trouble choosing which company to go with. Next time you talk to a crypto, ask him his preference.
The CPU: Patience is Power…. Fo real doe.
I purchased the i5-8600k under the premise that it was cheaper, could OC to match i7’s and that I would get the Kraken x52 and OC that chip FO-EVA. Then I read articles and watched a lot of videos with comparisons of the i7-8700k and took back the i5. Then decided I wanted it... then LOL, it was future proof time. i7-8700k is a nasty beast who wants to play hard. Especially when overclocked by even just 30%. I currently run 5ghz and play Far Cry 5 and PUBG with EVERYTHING on ultra and it is an ABSOLUTE beauty. I literally have had Far Cry 5 going, Alt Tab out to look up some maps on chrome that already has 13 tabs w/ lofi hip hop on YouTube playing and downloading another game I bought, and then a video conversion JUST to see if I could. I will then see 62c, but she likes it hot. I highly recommend creating your own custom profile in the CAM software to get better cooling results from the pump and rad. A friend asked me "Why are you putting the gaming part here with the CPU and not in the Graphics Cards section?" I explained, “You have to have an equally strong CPU to match your GPU.”
MOBO, Memory, and Fans: oh my! ….. and the wonder that is the m.2
I originally was determined to get the ROG STRIX Z370E until “Future Proof”, and the i7 was in motion. So, the ROG MAXIMUS X HERO (WiFi) was an easy purchase. The RAM, I was back and forth between Corsair's Vengeance RGB and G.Skill TridentZ RGB. Aesthetically I wanted to match some corsair together but in march they didn't have these new Vengeance RGB, they had the mostly covered version which I didn't like and G.Skill works with ASUS AURA which of course is my MOBO & GPU. Performance, I knew I was going with 32gb to have double what games require at max.. for now, (and I wanted all the slots filled on the board. Turns out, that's overkill).
When it came down to the fans, I knew the case provided great ventilation already and the CPU had the Kraken, so pressure and temp were no longer a concern. I looked at the Riing fans to go with the AURA as they are in my opinion the best AURA compatible RGB fans. However, The Corsair LL's series... GOOD GOD. When I was done building and turned the computer on for the first time... I probably had the same face when I was 10, opening my SNES w/ SFII. Just pure bliss. I actually have a video, maybe I'll put it on YouTube.
Speaking of YouTube. What I already do have on there is a video of the one problem with my rig. The LL Fans. After almost any boot from Sleep, restart, etc... They flicker Little Seizures style, like they are about to go out. It's bad. It's gotten a bit better in the sense that I have a copy of the install app on my HDD so when that happens I can open it and it has a repair option with the uninstall, and the repair works and doesn’t take too long. It’s really Corsairs only response that I have seen ANYWHERE. It's very inconvenient, yes. You get used to it, but you can't show the rig to someone off a fresh boot. Might be an emergency medical situation. Other than that, they are beautiful and sync great with my Corsair RGB Strafe. So much so that I almost bought the Corsair M65 but I am just ridiculously happy with the Logitech Proteus, which I had already purchased early on in the build.
I bought the Samsung 960 EVO 250gb when it was on sale. Then came “FutureProof” and I took it back. Shortly thereafter, PcPartPicker alerted me that the 500gb version was very much on sale. Good looking out! This thing is lightning fast. I have a lot of big apps and games on here but still have 255gb’s left thanks to the 500gb “Future Proof” and the alert. P.S. Still lightning quick, especially for DIVX conversions and other video editing ridiculousness.
Case, JMMODS, and Solid Rings:
I knew I wanted a case with a Glass side panel, maybe even with a quick release handle, but when I first saw the Corsair Crystal 570x, I was done. Literally, I never looked for a case for myself after that. It’s amazing looking, its presentation is what helps give the extra awe in people's face when they first see my rig. Jukefactory recommended the solid ring RGB's. They work perfectly with this case. It gives the impression that there is light coming from the PSU. The second is perfect for whatever you decide to showcase inside as there is plenty of room to do so. Last and certainly not least, he also introduced me to JMMODS. That is where I got my one of a kind custom RGB GPU Support Bracket. I'll be getting more as there is more work to be done (read below).
More Work: As mentioned above.
As much as I love "Cardinal Fett", alas, there is work to be done. I could absolutely do a better job on the cable management. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Yes, I dread hours, truly it will be hours, of getting it in better order, but it’s a part of the experience and its just damn necessary sir! I've mostly waited (or excused) the holdup because of the cable sleeves and I am also trying to thoroughly decide on the colors and who to go through. I'm pretty sure black and red will be the route, as it fits both the Cardinals Scheme and Boba Fett's. I just can’t stop really wanting red and white as I feel it would look much cleaner. I'll also be getting a GPU backplate from JMMODS when I come up with something unique that I'll love. Along with the cable management, there will be HDD Covers from JMMODS and a side shroud cover from Corsair (4 dollars for the shroud, yet 15 for shipping… really?).
For anyone interested in the Gallery for the step by step pictures I took during my build: https://imgur.com/a/j2fa7Pj
Check back later, might have made my mind up, installed, and added the pictures. The collection of pictures so far, is from the original build and a few improvements/completions I HAVE gotten to. I Hope this was insightful and helpful in any way to people as I know I used PcPartPicker religiously when researching/reading about and looking at other people's builds. Not to mention of course this list and making up my mind with specs, comparisons, price drop charts, Email alerts, etc... Thanks for checking it out & leave Feedback and Questions below!