Hello and welcome to my build! Thank you for taking the time to read my story of how it came together.
A little history about me:
This is my very first build. It took about 6 months to save up all the parts and plan the build theme. I carefully watched online stores for deals, and took advantage of several sales and discounts.
About my build: This build was created primarily for gaming. I have been playing on consoles for most of my life and I’ve finally grown tired of consoles enough to do something about it. Some of my favorites are American Truck Simulator/Euro Truck Simulator 2, Rocket League, WoWS, GTAV, and various major sports titles.
My theme: I experimented (on paper) with several different themes including black and blue, black and red, and all black. When I came across the NZXT Hue+ around Thanksgiving, white became my favorite.
About my mods: My build has a few mods. Not all of the credit for them goes to me. The front (NZXT) panel, the top (H440) panel, and the side window were partially done by Clockwerk Case Mods. Jim was an absolute pleasure to work with. He started work on my panels immediately upon receiving them, and kept me up to date almost daily with the progress. I even got to see pictures of the work as it went along. As you can see, he does a fantastic job. I would highly recommend contacting him if you would like some mods done for yourself. You can find him at www.clockwerk.industries/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ClockwerkCaseMods/. He did the cutouts. After the cut panels came back to me, I finished removing the foam residue and attached the white fabric covers for the lights to shine through.
In all, my mods are as follows:
- NZXT cutout panel (Front)
- Added fabric covers
- H440 cutout panel (Top)
- Added fabric covers
- Large window cutout
- Added foam, case badges, and SSD to front panel
- J-Channel added behind motherboard to conceal cables
- Painted (2) NZXT Hue+ white
- Painted MNPCTech GPU support white
- Drained Swiftech H220 X2 Prestige and refilled with Mayhems Pastel Extreme White
- Various added holes and cutouts for LED and cable routing
Cable Management: I wanted to keep my cables as clean as possible, but doing so meant routing my I/O cables around a longer route. It was because of this that made me need some extensions. The added extensions though meant more cables to manage. In the end, it was kind of a wash, but I like the extra extension cables because they are white, and they add that little extra to match the rest of the theme. With the addition of custom PSU cables from Joey at Ensourced.net, I was able to complete the look.
Custom Parts: The number of custom parts in my build is extensive. Most of them are extension cables. As explained earlier, my method of cable management made it impossible for the stock I/O cables to reach the motherboard, hence the extensions. Also included in there are things like my Corsair MM300 mouse mat, MNPCTech GPU support bracket, the NZXT Hue+ and extension kits, and the Mayhems Pastel nanofluid.
CPU Cooler: Since PCPartpicker has yet to include the new X2 lineup, I'll share my part review here. My first choice was the NZXT Kraken X61. The RGB CPU block was a nice touch and it matched some of my other parts. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t satisfied with the all black AIO since my theme was primarily white. I researched ways I could make parts of it white without voiding any warranties. There are a few users online that I saw try various methods. One guy wrapped his hoses in white tape. Another guy sprayed the hoses with Plasti-Dip. Another one cut white tubing lengthwise and placed it over the black tubing which made them appear really thick. I wasn’t really satisfied with the looks of any of those methods. While I wasn’t thrilled with my options, I didn’t want to invest in a custom loop either, so I kept the X61 on my list through Christmas. After CES, Swiftech debuted their new line of CPU coolers. (And just in time!) The Swiftech X2 lineup was exactly what I was looking for, as it came with clear tubes and coolant and a (somewhat) RGB capability. Even better, you have the ability to drain and refill the line with your own coolant. (Bonus!) So naturally, I opted for Mayhems Extreme Pastel White nanofluid in the H220 X2 Prestige.
In all, I am very happy with the finished product. It’s pleasing to the eye (at least my eye anyway) and it plays all of my favorite games at top settings. It was an absolute blast to dream, design, and shop for this computer. The mods and lighting were a real challenge sometimes, but that’s what made this build so much fun. I couldn’t be more proud of what I have created here. I want to thank you for taking the time to read through my ramblings. It was a lot to go over, but I’ll never forget this experience and I now have the itch to do it all over again. I’ve already begun planning to rebuild my store-bought computer that I use as an HTPC. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I want to thank PCPartpicker for this website. Without it, I don’t think I could have done this. This site is so much fun to play around on and it helped to make my dream of a custom computer a reality. Thanks again for reading!
I started with the i5-6600K for this build, but when I started streaming on Twitch I realized I would need more power. You can't do any better than the i7-6700K right now (for this socket), so I put it in my build. I am thrilled to put this thing to the test!
Update-March 2018: This thing is still going strong and hasn't missed a beat! I still stream (on Mixer now) and I can play games and stream with a dozen windows or apps running without an issue. Great investment.
This motherboard does everything I need it to, and it was a good price. My only wish is to have just one more USB 2.0 header. The PCB is a little flimsy, but once you get the motherboard installed it doesn't matter. The BIOS/UEFI is beautiful and easy to use. I'm a new fan of Asus.
There were some less than perfect reviews on this RAM, most of them referencing stability. I saw the same issues as other reviewers. The RAM just cannot hold an overclock. Once I enable the XMP profile, the POST starts to have issues and I end up having to pull the CMOS battery. The RAM works just fine at stock speeds so it's not too big of a deal. I purchased them more for their looks than their performance.
Update-March 2018: As mentioned before, this RAM won't remain stable while overclocking, so I've been running at stock speeds. That being said, zero issues, and I haven't had a need for more than the 16GB I installed from the start.
I got this SSD on Newegg's shell shocker deal just before the holidays. It looks great and it's really fast. I trust Intel for their processors so it made sense to trust them for my storage. I don't know how I lived without SSD's all these years.
Update-March 2018: I'm wishing I would have sprung for the 500GB one, but otherwise it's still performing well. Satisfied.
Another shell shocker deal. I don't have 3TB of stuff to store, but I feel better knowing I won't have to change or upgrade my hard drive for a while. It's a little noisy when writing, but nothing I can't ignore.
I was so excited when I found this GPU. I couldn't find one that fit my theme well at first. I had settled on the Gigabyte Extreme Gaming GPU for its RBG LED's, but the shroud was still black. I was about to get it and paint it white when I came across this Galax beauty. My only complaint it how heavy it is. Without a GPU support it looks like it's going to break the PCI-E slot right off the motherboard. Even with a GPU support it sags a little. This thing is a tank. Even still, it's fast and cool. Performance is awesome.
Update-March 2018: Still running fine with no issues. I am starting to notice a need for an upgrade soon though. Many of the newest games are approaching the point where the 970 is becoming the starting point for game specs. I'll probably be looking for whatever comes after the 10XX series cards.
I started out with some cheap Sentey case, then moved on to a Corsair C70, then a Phanteks Enthoo Pro. I eventually found the perfect case, the NZXT H440. I liked it so much I wanted it to light up my room.
Bought this PSU on another shell shocker. I didn't realize until after I bought it that it was my recommended PSU on Outervision. I wish it had at least one more GPU connector, but I made it work.
I was really reluctant to upgrade to Windows 10, but now that I've had it for a few months, I really like it much better than Windows 8.1.
I got these from Performance PC's. Not only are they white, but they also have a cool silver stripe on the blades which fits my theme perfectly. Even better, I got them on sale for 50% off! For a small fee, Performance PC's will also sleeve the cables in your color of choosing. These fans run smooth and quiet. Couldn't be happier.
Not a shell shocker, but it was on sale. I had been keeping my eye on it as it was one of the few keyboards that had all the features I was looking for. The keyboard itself is fantastic. It is my first mechanical keyboard, and it felt so strange to use at first. The sound and amount of travel was something to get used to. Now I don't know how lived without it. The software for it is still pretty terrible even after several updates. I think GSkill has given up on making it better. Oh well, once I got my LED's set the way I wanted, I don't need to use the software anymore anyway.
Update-March 2018: I haven't had any major issues with this keyboard, but as stated before, the software/interface is terrible. I ended up winning a Corsair K70 Lux in a contest, so I've been using that because it's easier to set up hotkeys, macros, and lighting profiles. The GSkill keyboard is great if all you need is a solid mechanical keyboard, but if you want the extra functions, look elsewhere. The software for it is terrible.
This was purchased as a refurbished unit. It came in the original packaging, and had no signs of use or wear. Got it for half price, and now I get mad when I get to work and have to use their crappy mouse at my desk. My favorite thing about it is how much bigger than a standard mouse it is. When I hold it, I can rest my palm on it and allow my fingers to just lie on the buttons naturally. So many other mice I have used were too small, forcing my fingers to be propped up on the mouse like a nasty little jumping spider. I hate those damn spiders, but I really love this mouse.
Update-March 2018: Man I wish I would have bought two of these at this price. I love this mouse for its extra buttons, but I love it even more for its size. It's a large mouse and it allows me to relax my hand on top of it without touching the desk. I'll never go back to a small mouse again.
I needed a headset with a good mic, and this one (although 2 years old) is still considered one of the best headsets out there. I could have gotten it online for a little less, but I found it at my local electronics store so I paid full price. Now if only I had invested the proper amount of cash in my piece of junk office chair.
Update-March 2018: Still loving this headset. I'm using a separate USB mic now on a boom arm, but the headset itself is still comfortable and performs well. HyperX is awesome.
These are speakers. What more do you want?