Switching back over from MAC I was completely out of touch with what was out there and what would run a number of my investments that I had made in external drives eg. G-RAID Studio and other various Thunderbolt Devices. I thought I would switch back and forth between my mac book pro and this machine but I have been spending less and less time on the macbook pro. After my first build "Greysoul" started having heating issues and the fact I was unable to run those devices reliably, I decided that I would put together a new build taking a few items from my Greysoul configuration. What I came up with is very similar to marnirelli's Excellent Gaming build guide but I used a few premium parts where he went budget
Case & Aesthetics I was lucky enough to find an NZXT S340 elite as there seems to be limited supply out there. I figured I would use that as the base for the new system, It's got a ton of room and just looks badass. My goal for this system was to work with Black, Silver, and Blue colors so you'll see that through out the build you'll see some splashes of white in there but that's just to add a little contrast.
The case was a dream to build in. The cable management channel and the multiple tie down points made cable management a dream. I'm not that good at it but I was able to get a majority of the cables channeled behind the cable management channel and organized through the plastic clips that are provided.
Motherboard I was split between the MSI Z170 Gaming Pro Carbon, The ASUS Z170-PRO, and the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming Aura. I narrowed it down to the two ASUS I'm going to be honest, I was on the fence about the ASUS Pro Gaming Aura Board as it had that horrible decal on the south bridge heat sink, until i stumbled upon a video from Paul's Hardware where he heat gunned it off. I rather have that plain black heat sink instead of that horrible decal. I wanted to go with that motherboard because it had a ton of USB ports and the ASUS Aura connection which would allowed me not to have a separate device (NZXT Hue+) installed, to control in clase lighting. It wasn't until I started putting everything together did I realize that the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming Aura board didn't have the Thunderbolt head that I desperately needed. That was an easy decision to make as i needed that thunderbolt connection more than i needed onboard lighting :) So it was back to microcenter to swap out the board. I wan't a huge fan of the huge white shield on the motherboard so I removed it. You can easily do this by turning the board over and removing two screws, then gently pushing the white tabs through the PCB. I honstely did this to add a little room near the rear fan and rear fan header.
System Drive There was not question that I would anything other than a m.2 drive for my main system drive. Less cables = huge win in my book. In the past I wasn't a huge fan of OCZ, but I have read a ton of reviews on the new stuff from Toshiba and it's supposed to be killer. One thing that I noticed was that m.2 drive runs really hot. I'm currently looking into whether or not this is normal but I thought I would give you guys a heads up.
Graphics Card The GTX 1070 is a great card. I yanked this one from the Greysoul build as it allows me to run pretty much all of the games I play on high detail without any major drop in frame rate. Those harbor around 60-90fps depending on the game. Using the NZXT CAM Software I've tweaked it so my card harbors around 77C at full load. I think I've got blower running at 75%. The graphics card currently Idles around 31C-34C.
System Memory Nothing special, just 16GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory running at 3200mhz
CPU & Cooler I feel like i joined a cult, I went with the Intel 6600k and a NZXT Kraken x61. I'm not overclocking now but who knows down the line as I try to extend the life of this build. Right now the CPU Idle is at 22C and the load temp is around 62C.
Other As I mentioned before, for case lighting I went with a NZXT Hue+. I spent a little time configuring the lights to make the colors of the room and desktop wallpaper.
I decided to add a 120mm NZXT white LED fan in the rear to accent the northbridge heatsinks.
This board did not have wireless so I had to pick up an Intel AC7260 Dual Band Wireless AC and Bluetooth card for the PC. I could have hooked this thing up to a dedicated wireless bridge but I wanted/needed a bluetooth card for the machine so I decided to add this card in.
I added the NZXT USB expansion port in the case. I needed something for the AIO pump, the headers on the ThunderboltEX3 card, and the NZXT Hue+. This is currently mounted in the hard drive cage under the PSU Shroud.
Thanks for taking a look at my build. I hope you guys can use it as inspiration.