I built this to help with "productivity." Mmhmmm...

Used for productivity, 1080p240hz gaming, and 1080p240hz gaming with streaming. You can see performance of gaming with streaming (outside PCPP link).

The items listed at steep (or complete) discounts were either owned by me beforehand, purchased before I planned this full build, or gifts. The price reflected is about the price I paid. The cost of the parts even at discount is probably a few hundred dollars more, up to $2000. If you were to buy a similar spec'd machine prebuilt it would probably run you between $3000 and $3500.

Prime95 with i7-8700k @ 5.0 GHz 1.300 V; RAM @ 3200 MHz @ CL 16-19-19-39; Small FFTs: 1 hour, no errors, peak temperatures of 90 C, average of 75 C, deviation within 70 C to 80 C. Blend: 12 hours, no errors, peak temperatures of 85 C, average of 65 C, deviation within 60 C and 75 C.

Cinebench with i7-8700k @ 5.0 GHz 1.300 V; RAM @ 3200 MHz @ CL 16-19-19-39: 1606

Heaven UNIGINE Benchmarks at 1920x1080@Extreme with 1080 Ti @ 2012 MHz Core, 11800 MHz Memory: 4046

Userbenchmarks with i7-8700k @ 5.0 GHz 1.300 V; 1080 Ti @ 2012 MHz Core, 11800 MHz Memory; RAM @ 3200 MHz @ CL 16-19-19-39: Gaming 142%, Desktop 148%, Workstation 138%. PC at 78th %ile for same components. CPU: 125%, SC 158, MC 1247, 98th %ile. GPU: 166%, 550 fps 3D DX9, 369 fps 3D DX10, 65th %ile.

I am happy to talk about any specific part or any piece of the process of building this machine. It was fun to build during the times it wasn't not fun. It has always been fun after it wasn't fun last. The reviews below are a surface touch at each.

Part Reviews


Amazing performance. Opted out of delidding to maintain warranty and low costs, as it wasn't necessary for my needs.

I may have won the silicon lottery, but with air cooling I OC to 5.0 GHz on all cores at 1.300 V without issues. Pops up to 80 C at load, but stays there to a max of 90 C even in Prime95 Small FFTs, basically a worst case scenario. I have a 240 hz refresh rate monitor, so the single-core clock was a necessity to keep performance up. Incredibly satisfied.

Increasing voltages past 1.330 V shot the temps up to throttling in Prime95 Small FFTs. The difference between the 4.7 GHz overclock and the 5.0 GHz overclock was large, but the difference between 5.0 GHz and 5.1 GHz was minimal (1500, 1600, 1610 scores, respectively) so I've stuck with the 5.0 GHz clock lowered to 1.300 V to protect the CPU from higher temps and currents. I was able to stably overclock this CPU to 5.2 GHz @ 1.330 V with temps at normal loads well under 80 C, but Prime95 Small FFTs shot it instantly to 100 C throttles, so I dialed back given the lack of performance improvements.

Only issues I've had were boot issues, as the clock-to-voltage ratio I'm running supports the OC even in Prime95 Small FFTs, but for some reason likes to freeze on the Startup screen the first boot each day. I believe this is actually a Motherboard issue. Works fantastic otherwise.

CPU Cooler

I nearly literally couldn't have had a worse time with setting up this cooler. Yikes. There wasn't much good info online on how to mount it, certainly didn't help. But by far my biggest issue was just the incredibly awkward shape of the cooler. While there is a solid 0.5 inches of clearance from the CPU cooler on my MoBo to the RAM, there is a solid -0.25 inches of clearance from the back end of the cooler and the rear-mounted Corsair LL120 fan I had mounted there. I initially tried to install the CPU Cooler and thought the MoBo wasn't being installed properly, but it was. The CPU Cooler simply sits so far toward the back it was running into the exhaust fan. I turned the CPU cooler around in a pull config, but this covered up the coveted RGB RAM slots and forced a Pull/Pull config rather than a Push/Pull config with the CPU fan and the rear exhaust fan. I attempted again to mount the CPU Cooler appropriately, but it simply could not under any circumstance mount in its normal orientation with the rear exhaust fan in its original place. I ended up mounting the rear exhaust fan externally, and then finally installing the MoBo with CPU/CPU Cooler/RAM in place after much frustration. Much like this is by far the largest paragraph in this build description, this was by far the largest portion of the build itself in time, frustration, and effort. Quite truly spent hours making it work.

But boy, does it work. It performs incredibly. How could a single 140 mm fan outperform a Noctua NH-D15? Who knows, magic? Keeps my i7-8700k at an incredible 5.0 GHz@1.300V on all cores under 80 C at load. You cannot really ask for any more than that out of an air cooler. I ran Cinebench at higher OCs and the performance increment just wasn't worth it anyways.

To add to all this, the mounting brackets to get to this CPU Cooler's powerful, silent, pretty 140 mm fan are quite possibly the Devil himself. I get that making sure the CPU Cooler fan is mounted securely is important, but I'm pretty certain that it's well beyond any reasonable, necessary threshold. On my last mounting of the CPU Cooler fans, I ended up bending the mounting brackets with a needle nose pliers to a far more reasonable restriction, and still more secure than I could ever need.

My CPU Cooler also came with 4 bent heatsink fins, as seen in the photo within my build post.


Incredible. Best performing board. Best appearing board. Best VRM on the market. BIOS are fantastic. Software could definitely be better, but certainly aren't a major detriment.

The issues I've run into at all with this board were the pre-installed Optane memory, which had issues getting set up but currently flies through my 3 TB HDD, and some boot issues where I do not believe the board is providing sufficient voltage to the CPU, causing a stable OC to not be stable at the Windows Startup screen. Minor frustration with having to reboot, it's not the biggest problem.


Overclocked to 3200 MHz @ 16-18-18-36 without issue in my Intel build with a GA-Z370-Gaming 7. May push faster timings. Fast. Works. Perfect 5/7.

Gorgeous. Has limited compatibility with Gigabyte Fusion. Stickers come off easily, see photo in posted Completed Build.


Enough storage for my needs. Coming from a SSD it's still blazing fast, like woah. < 5 second boots, instant loads on basically everything. Significantly cheaper than any other comparable NVMe drive, right down to the fantastic warranty. My only regret was not picking up its 500GB counterpart for $100 the next week.


More than enough extra storage than I'll need. So very cheap at $20/TB. Cached by the 32 GB Optane drive included with my MoBo, which makes it blazing fast on basically anything I use more than once or isn't an absurd size. Supposedly very reliable and has the warranty to support that. Really isn't anything else you can ask out of a HDD.

Video Card

Best consumer chip on the market, enough said. Without tweaking the voltage I was able to get it to OC very stably at 2012 MHz Core Clock with an 11800 MHz Memory Clock and never get close to breaking 75 C. It also pushes higher OCs, but was borderline stable at much higher OCs. Blows through anything I send at it at 1080p, and crushes it right up to the 240 fps I need to cap out my monitor.

Lack of backplate was lame. I put a custom RGB backplate I made on there in its stead. That looks nice and was (mostly) fun to do, so that wasn't a bad thing. It sits right under my massive CPU Cooler, anyways, so it wouldn't have mattered either way.

The RGB on the actual Cooler is limited, too, as it's simply a lit up "GIGABYTE" logo. It's a budget 1080 Ti, but it's still a 1080 Ti, surprised they didn't go a little bit beyond that.


Prettiest case I ever did see.

Did have some mounting issues with my massive, oddly-shaped CPU Cooler as discussed above. Not sure if I should blame the case for having an indented rear exhaust fan mount or the CPU Cooler having the oddest shaped heatsink possible.

Cable management, as anyone would expect in a 4-panel Tempered Glass case, was complete ***. But it's doable and looks amazing afterward, even if it's tough to make sightly.

Otherwise, lots of space.

The included RGB SP120 fans are pretty, ended up putting them on my Corsair 400R instead of selling them because I liked them so much. Placed LL120s in all 120 mm fan slots. Much wow. Ventilates surprisingly well.

The case I received had a closed-off PSU shroud and a cutout in the PSU shroud so that you could route cables more easily. This is a significant improvement over the original Corsair 570x which oddly enough did not include these basic perks.

Very affordable if caught on sale with a rebate or with additional items. I've seen it as low as $140 with a $60 AIO as a gift. With a $60 pack of RGB fans on it. That's a $20 case. A top-end name brand 4-panel Tempered Glass case. Incredible deal.

Power Supply

Was a little hesitant to go with the Thermaltake PSU, especially for the RGB gimmick version of a PSU. But after digging around I actually found out this was a fantastic PSU with a solid warranty. Well above my wattage necessities. Ended up getting a fantastic deal assuming my Thermaltake Rebate goes through, which I really don't see being a problem.

Top-tier professional reviews, fully modular, 750 W, 80+ Gold, RGB RIING fan, 10-year warranty from a reputable brand, and all of that for just $65? Incredible.

Case Fan

Replaced the three SP120 fans on my Corsair 570x with these. They pull enough air in and push enough out to keep even the 4-panel tempered glass case, OC i7-8700k, and OC 1080 Ti build at ambient temperature. They are also without a doubt the most convenient, customizable, and prettiest fans on the market. But Corsair knows, and you pay for it.


The AW2518HF is the best monitor I've ever seen by miles and is backed by a great warranty. It was also surprisingly affordable, and even without G-sync I've never witnessed any tearing at its absurd 240hz refresh rate. Color reproduction for a TN panel is fantastic. There is some ghosting, which you should really expect at these refresh rates - the ghosting I see is minimal compared to other monitors I have seen.

The only issues I've ever read on this monitor were related to its stand. I really don't think its stand is that large, and it's an incredibly adjustable mount. It's even VESA compatible if it's that big of an issue for you.

Easy perfect rating.


Perfect MX Browns. Adjustable. Great software. RGB. Macro keys. USB passthrough. Comfy handrest. Long, strong, braided cord. Screams quality, just like its rating deserves. As with many Corsair products, its on the pricier side, but not unreasonable on sale if you put in a lot of time on your keyboard.


Rather small mouse. Could be a bit more ergonomically designed, as it's more of a "universal" build than a "fitted" build. But the sensor is fantastic, the RGB is tasteful, the cord is nice, and the price is reasonable.


Perfect sound reproduction. No noise reduction, but they're not supposed to have any. Ear pads went out, but were replaced with nice new soft aftermarket ones and the sound stays just as great. Have had them for years and these show basically no signs of age outside of the stickers I just took off. They're the standard for a reason.


Incredible speed. Slightly difficult to set up, which was really its biggest issue, especially prepackaged in the Z370 board I got them as. But this makes my 3 TB HDD basically a $60 3 TB SSD outside of massive file transfers or one-off file searching. It's a very niche product, but it does what you would expect. Even tested as a boot drive it beats out the fastest NVMes. Not necessarily worth it just for that, but it's neat.


Soft. Big. Padded. Doesn't move. Great mouse mat. Slightly smaller in both dimensions than advertised.

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  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

Very nice build, pity about the cpu cooler though. why didn't you just go with an AIO liquid cooler as you have the space and it might have made the build look a little cleaner.

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

Why not AIO:

  1. Cost. $80 AIOs are... not great. Getting this from Amazon, with Amazon Prime shipping were also benefits.

  2. Performance. Similar performing AIOs are of the highest quality, and certainly not in this price range. This is literally the best performing Air Cooler on the market that I know of, even beating the NH-D15 in all the benchmarks I have seen. Could add convenience. Even the 360mm AIOs that compete/beat it would be incredibly more expensive, and must be front mounted in the Corsair 570x, which wasn't my preference. The LL120s I had my eyes on are also not great radiator fans.

  3. Reliability. Pumps fail. I intend to keep this build 4-5 years without changing a single part. Pumps typically last 5 years, but that's no guarantee, and pushing the lifespan of a part isn't my idea of reliable.

  4. Safety. Don't need to worry about water when you don't have any water to be worried about. This goes with #3. More time with a build means more can go wrong and more likely something does as time goes on.

  5. Reusability. Pumps fail, heatsinks don't. A heatsink of the highest quality won't be replaced, and can be used in future builds. If I were to get another PC today with components 5 years in the future, I would keep this heatsink and not have a single concern.

  6. Aesthetics. The most subjective, but I actually like the large air coolers. They add meat to your build. Obviously, this has its drawbacks. Forcing me to ghetto mount my rear exhaust to the back where it doesn't even fit properly is super unfortunate. But it works, and looks surprisingly natural.

Mounting the CPU Cooler and getting it to fit appropriately was an absolute miserable disaster, but otherwise it's fantastic.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point


How is the Alienware monitor performance/reliability so far?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

The AW monitor is among if not the best on the market, in my opinion. As smooth as you get, perfect size/pixel ratio, and the colors are fantastic. No issues with bleeding or flickering or anything.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT is great! The main reason I upvoted this build.

It's the Gigabyte mainboard that is making the installation problematic. The CPU socket is shifted to the rear of the case, to give space for the built-in led strip near the RAM slots.

In short - it's a mainboard design issue. Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 has great VRMs, but bad CPU socked placement. Almost any other ATX board would have no hassle combining with Le Grand Macho RT.


  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree, it's definitely the motherboard's issue. But the heatsink is definitely oddly shaped, too. It's a pretty unfortunate combination, but I've made it work. The way I have it fitted now doesn't really bother me at all. It may make a little more noise, but honestly, this thing is quiet as a mouse relative to my other PC, so it doesn't bother me at all.

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 point

Ok, after further researching, I found the main reason for the lack of space between the cooler and the backside of the case - it's the case itself.

Corsair Crystal 570X RGB has a rear fan mounting position that has no depth between the fan nest and the back I/O panel. It is completely flat, on one plane with the mainboard's back I/O panel:

Most cases have a protruding rear fan mounting nest:

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 point

Seems about right. The external fan works fine, honestly. The temps are good and the actual paneling on the LL120s looks just fine. It also doesn't really present an issue while being moved. You do have to be careful not to stick your fingers in it while the fan is moving, but you really shouldn't have your fingers around it anyways. It was just an unfortunate discovering during the build. The case itself is the best looking I've ever seen, otherwise.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice and clean. Good to see that GeIL RAM getting some love, I've got 24GB of it myself

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Could be cleaner! I plan to make it even cleaner once I play with it a bit, as I got a bit frustrated of tinkering and being meticulous after the CPU Cooler issues and making my own RGB GPU Backplate. But I like how it is even as it is now.

Absolutely stunning case and components. The White GeIL RGB is, subjectively, the best looking RAM I've seen, once you remove the stickers. Seem like high quality sticks, too. Plug and play, work sparingly with Gigabyte Fusion, and they overclock surprisingly well. Similar "household name brand" RGB sticks were literally $50+ more expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the same exact stick in the heatsink, and these are gorgeous and perform excellent.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Yah, couldn't agree more; that RAM is sexxxy. As a member of the ASUS master race I don't know Fusion but Aura is working great on mine now

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Aura was the first to be compatible with the GeIL sticks, IIRC. And also works the best of all of them. Hopefully, GeIL continues to work with Gigabyte and gets them to be more individually addressable on Gigabyte Fusion. Right now it's sparingly compatible.

I was between the ASUS Z370-E, ASRock Z370 Taichi, and the GA-Z370-G7. All three boards hit $150-$160 when I was buying. I ended up picking up the G7 because of its unparalleled appearance and overclocking capability. Not going to lie, I was very tempted by both the ASUS and ASRock boards, especially with the perks like WiFi/Bluetooth that you randomly find very convenient. But the Z370-E has poor overclocking track record and the Taichi was just such a boring board. I was surprised the G7 doesn't have WiFi/BT, but it was my last concern. The included Optane with my G7 is also a pretty sweet thing I never even knew existed. I was going to sell it, but I'll probably end up keeping it.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

I've got a Z370-A (same as the Z370-E, just less RGB and no WiFi/BT) that handles an 8700K at 5.1GhZ

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Absolutely. Overclocker ratings are just that, ratings. Doesn't mean what you get performs better than another board in any specific situation.

Testament to that, the board I have is likely causing issues with the overclock I have. The G7 is considered one of, if not the best, overclocker boards on the market, yet I still found problems.

I was looking at the Asus Z370-A and Gigabyte Z370 Gaming WiFi (both around $100 at time of purchase), too. I'm sure they both work fine. My free Gigabyte from 2013 I got with my FX-8320 still sports a 4.0 GHz OC on that with a stock cooler, haha.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Extremely Nice Build, I just followed you on twitch :D


  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

is that a Stethoscope? clean build +1

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Sure is. Cardio III, I think. Don't use it, might as well put it to use as decoration ;)

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for the Summer Shandy and the build I guess haha

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

It made dealing with the Cooler far more tolerable!

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

How on earth did you get a 8700k for $200.00?

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Does your build run cool? Looking at the some of the same components and i'm afraid it will be too hot. Fantastic build!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Depends how you OC. At reasonable OCs (4.7-4.9 GHz @ 3.0-3.5 V) it runs up to 80 C under stress test load. If you go up to >4.9 GHz and >3.5 V it starts running >80 C on stress tests but maintains < 80 C under reasonable loads like games and streaming just fine. I was seeing barely any benefit after going above 5.0 GHz so I went with that and stable voltage and I don't see temps go above 80 C ever while gaming/streaming at 240 fps. The GPU has never been > 80 C even under max stable overclock and stress testing, even with CPU and GPU at 100%.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I ran into a similar problem with the massive CPU Cooler. Fixed it by installing a slim 120mm fan I found on aliexpress instead of the standard thickness ones.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I think that's a perfectly fine solution. The externally mounted fan hasn't given me any issues and it actually looks pretty nice so I don't mind it. I've never had an issue with temps so there's no issue there, either.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Nice power build - I have had positive experience from use of Optane paired to a 3TB Seagate Barracuda in my similar (albeit smaller) build. I noticed you are using it purely for secondary drive acceleration which I find it does reasonably well. I've seen from another source that fixing the Grand Macho can be a bit of a ball-ache so kind of glad now that I went with the Noctua NH-D15S in my space-efficient set-up. I haven't yet stretched my overclock to 5.0GHz although I possibly have capacity to squeeze the extra 4-5% out of the 8700K as I delidded mine and run a 4.8GHz overclock at 1.25-1.264V Anyway - pleased you've got it working and a BIG +1 from moi.