Description

This is my first PC build and I am very happy with the results. I was aiming for a relatively quite and powerful HTPC to use with my 4k TV, upgrading form a PS4. I've now switched to a desk setup with a monitor and am very glad to be sitting at a desk! The higher refresh rate of a good monitor and the ergonomics of a desk make this my preference.

I began envisioning this build with the case and chose components around it. This case is really the heart of the build. I am completely happy with it, although cable management took a lot of effort and I found out that I needed come extras (a fan extension cable and splitter) to do what I wanted. Thermals aren't the absolute best, but nevertheless the system is relatively quiet under a gaming load.

I wanted to build this system with a water cooled GTX 1070ti or 1080ti, because the case is built for water cooling. I opted to get a 1060 3gb as a stopgap when GPU prices were really high. That card was already much more powerful than my PS4, more than I expected. It can handle 1080p gaming like a champ and stays quiet. But I upgraded my GPU to a 1070ti when they went on sale to $350. I would have liked to go water cooled, but a blower card at a good price just made more sense. I opted for a non k processor and 450 watt psu, after all. I'm still quite happy with the upgrade and I get something around 50% better frame rates.

For the CPU and motherboard, I went with a mid-range combo: the i5-8400 and Asus B360-I. The Asus motherboard is the best looking itx B360 or H370 board, and I really wanted the better audio components and optical audio output.

I water cooled the CPU with the updated Corsair H60. The new pump housing and LED look really nice and my pump is very quiet. I would have paid a little more for rgb, though. I like a little RGB, and so I went with 2666 G.Skill Trident Z rgb RAM.

I can recommend the AZZA Hurricane RGB fans, but this part of the build was complicated: I had to buy one Hurricane (4pin PMW) and one Huricane Lite w/ Remote (3pin) in order to get the RGB to work, since the RGB header on the motherboard is addressable (3pin, 5v) and the fans take standard RGB (4pin, 12v). You have to get the 3 pack of the Hurricane (4pin) in order to get the LUMI control hub, but a single Lite fan comes with a basic RGB controller and a remote. I only wanted two fans, so I daisy chained the RGB of the Hurricane Lite and the Hurricane together. The fans look awesome, though, and the design is perfect because the fans look the same even when one is facing in for exhaust and the other is facing out for intake.

The final result is awesome, and I will be sure to post an update if I can manage to upgrade to a water cooled GPU.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

The new pump housing looks very good and the pump is quiet for me.

Motherboard

Very happy with this motherboard. It looks great, has 2 M.2 slots, good audio (including Optical Audio out) and even usb-c. The only complaint is that I wish it had three fan headers instead of just two.

Case

A little challenging to build in but it looks great and has great design and build quality. The thermals are fine, but not amazing.

Case Fan

These work as advertised. They are quiet and look amazing, even when mounted backwards. Note that these are 3 pin whereas the standard version is 4 pin PMW.

Monitor

Very impressed with this monitor, especially since the g-sync driver update that allows adaptive sync to be used with Nvidia cards. I have had good results using g-sync on this monitor. I haven't noticed any real issues, and tearing is reduced. I think this is a fantastic value monitor. I have always liked VA panels over IPS and TN.

Mouse

The battery holds a charge well, and the latency is unnoticeable. I only wish the middle button would be a little easier to press and the scroll steps were more distinct.

Comments

  • 17 months ago
  • 3 points

This looks great. It sounds like you made deliberate choices for your parts, and the build came together nicely, so +1! I guess I have a couple comments though. First, good choice on the 1060 as an interim card; its powerful, but you won't feel bad leaving it for an 11 Series once they drop. Next, 60fps in 4k is fairly hard to achieve on max settings even with beefier CPUs and GPUs, I would just keep that in mind if you decide to turn up your graphics settings. If you're looking into M.2s, look no further than the new wave that just came out: Western Digital Black NVMe and Samsung 970 series. Both are amazing price/performance and price/Gb right now. Also, nice use of the Azzas, they're a low-key brand that delivered a slam-dunk product.

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

I love this... "It is already much more powerful than my PS4, more than I expected.". I also have a 1060-3gb hooked up to a 4k tv in my living room. Games like a champ compared to ANY console. I was pretty surprised by how much as well.

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice case and setup! +1

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Does the Corsair water cooler come with thermal paste pre-installed?

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep! It's very easy to install

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, I wanted to ask you about the AZZA case fans, and how have they held up since you've built this PC. Would you recommend them for an RGB build, or a build in general?

Nice PC btw +1

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

I like them very much, and they haven't had any issues whatsoever. I would recommend them for an RGB build. If the look isn't your priority, there are probably better fans out there. But these ones look sweet and perform well too.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for your reply! I think I'll definitely use these on a future build then if I can come up on some extra money

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Had a question about the monitor. You said you were using the g-sync overide and it has reduced tearing. I was thinking of picking this up and pairing it with my 980ti so I won’t be able to use the override so will this produce a lot of screen tearing what was your experience before the override?

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Not bad at all, I used it for a few months before the Nvidia drivers were released. Using G sync made my overall experience about 5% better overall I would say- I don't think it is a huge deal at higher frame rates