Description

Long story short; this computer was initially an ebay purchase that a friend of mine made a couple of years ago. It came with a Biostar TA970 board, some sort of Gigabyte GPU (I'll find out which one eventually), and an AMD FX-6300 3.5 Ghz CPU. There were some other bits as well, but the wad of cable was the most notable feature of this creature. Although there was a back panel to store cable on this case, the original builder made no attempt to utilize it. I should also mention that the case is actually an NZXT Guardian 921. I believe it's the original version, but there are current models under a different name. I just used the Tempest as a price point reference. The first major upgrade this computer received was the GTX 980 ti. All went smooth during install until we realized that the power supply was insufficient. I replaced it with a Shark 1000W PSU, which will be mentioned later. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to rewire it in a proper manor so giant cable mess remained. I know, I know. This is terrible for ventilation, but that's all I could do at the time. Fast forward a few months and the CPU is starting to show weakness under the strain of The Witcher 3 on ultra settings and a 4k resolution. It's time to beef it up a bit. She ordered an i7 6700K combo from Newegg and it seemed more than adequate for this application. At this point the computer is in my house so I can finally dismantle this beast and rebuild it from the ground up. I stripped everything down to the case shell and found a few more unusual things that the original builder did along the way. After a good detail cleaning, all the new parts fit very nicely, albeit snuggly, back into their spots. The computer passed POST very quickly and installing Windows 10 was a breeze with the exception of a partition goof. After waiting for a kabillion years for the Nvidia driver downloads I played a few rounds of CS:GO on ultra. All was well until I heard a strange whining noise from the PSU. She said it would be fine as it had made that sound a few times before so I shipped it back to her. Surprise; the PSU failed a little while after booting up at her house. facepalm She sent it back and ordered the EVGA 1300W. That PSU is easy to install, thankfully, and now everything is good and the whole rig benched in the 93rd percentile on 3dmark. Woohoo. May it never sit on my desk again!

Part Reviews

CPU

We all know what this is. Nothing needs to be said.

CPU Cooler

Yes. Absolutely yes. If you have the room in your case, this is the one for you. Fans can be a bit tricky to pop on and off, but this setup is quiet, efficient, and very cool.

Thermal Compound

Still good. Always has been.

Motherboard

No problems with this board. I just wasn't fond of all of the SATA ports being turned 90 degrees away from the board. It hides the connectors, but is hard to work with sometimes.

Video Card

Even in light of the 1080 release, we all know that these are still competitive.

Power Supply

Easy install. Very quiet. Plenty of power for SLI configurations. Just be sure to account for the extended case of this one.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+ Video Card

Even in light of the 1080 release, we all know that these are still competitive.

True... :) But expect the

Why didnt you

you should have blah blah blah...

Nice build! +1

went overkill with the psu..

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. I think the PSU will be required for the future GTX 980s in SLI though.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

It all makes sense now

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build! Quality components all around!

Food for thought: Move the outside fan of your cooler to the other side so that the case fan can pick up more hot air. Otherwise you're blowing a portion (albeit a small one) of the hot air directly into your case.

Nonetheless +1.

Edit: I see that you have a RAM dimm that's pretty close to your cooler. If I'm not mistaken you can adjust the fan up the cooler if needed.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. It's true that the Noctua fan on the outside will probably blow a small portion of air back into the case. I did, however, place another NZXT case fan above the heatsink to draw some air off the top. Oh, and I can't move the fans up an further. They're already bumped up against the case panel. I love that heatsink, but it's not compact in any sense of the word.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Well picked parts, albeit I can't get over the size of the cooler +1.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. It's epic and I hope to get more in the future.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Are the CPUs fans and exhaust fan pulling air in opposite directions?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think so. The CPU fans are pushing air towards the rear exhaust fan and then there's a case fan above the heatsink that's acting as another exhaust. There's just an intake fan in front of the hard drives. Otherwise, there's just that vent hole on the side panel that used to have a fan, but didn't seem to be very effective.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey dude. Great post man. hope you are enjoying your build. I'm considering this board for my new build. How is the board treating you?Any problems? How is the audio from the front and back panels? Im really stuck in deciding if i want this Gigabyte board or the Asus Z170-E :(

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, thanks. This build was for a friend of mine. I didn't get to spend too much time with it. I will say that the back panel audio has to be better than the front just because the case I used was about 10 years old at this point. Also, I'm always going to recommend Asus motherboards. I like the H971 Plus in particular; if you don't mind mini ITX that is. The UEFI is fairly direct in its layout too.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah i see . This is going to be a first build for me so im researching the crap out of everything. I just kind find much on the Asus Z170-E . If you wouldn't mind could you plz compare this gigabyte board and the asus board im talking about and give me your honest opinion plz. I really dont want to have buyers remorse XD

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok, just give me a few hours or maybe in the morning. What do you need in a board specifically?

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

well i need some over clocking potential(not gona be overclocking right now but perhaps in the future), good audio(with audio LED), SLI for future reference.usb 3.2 ofc. and m.2 and just a board which is purely stable and good build quality and a good bios that if something goes wrong it can be fixed . these 2 boards are the only 2 available to me right now where i live and in my price range unfortunately. yeah no problem mate. im only going to order my stuff in like 8-12 hours from now. basically if i can find a video or pics of this asus board with the audio led on etc etc il have my answer

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

This might be the one. Check out the specs on an ASUS Z170-A. I think it has everything with the exception of an audio LED. You may be able to find a case with that on the front panel though. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132566

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

How's the fitting for the cooler and the RAM? I was thinking of getting a slightly similar ram (only faster) and the D15 and I'm worried that the cooler might not fit with the RAM. I also read that the max height for the cooler is at 32mm while the RAM is like 36 so it wouldn't fit right? So how did you fit yours?

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Noctua, being smart, made a significant notch on one side of the heatsink for the RAM. Some RAM may be too high though. Here, check out the diagram and see what you think. Newegg Diagram

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I just checked it but the RAM was still too high so I'll just grab the D15S instead which has clearance for 65 mm of RAM (mine's only 43 though, still high compared to the 33 mm limit of the D15).

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice. I love that they make something for everyone.

[comment deleted]
  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I still have hope for the Pascal line. The scaled down transistors are piled on by the billions. It's crazy, but I'm sure there will be some driver problems on release day.

[comment deleted]
  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I'm going to be critical of the Guardian 921 for two things in particular. First, only the hard drive bay can be removed. This was frustrating as I wanted to move the hard drive bay up to where the floppy drive bay is so that it would have a better flow-through ventilation. Second, although the LED panel on top looks nice, it's fairly gimmicky in the sense that the 3 temperature probes will won't give you an accurate reading. I find that this case is aesthetically pleasing though and there's a newer version called the NZXT Crated Series 921. Some of the connectors look different, but I doubt they changed much in the internal structure. I have an older Phantom case and I would say that it's better in every way except it doesn't have any case lighting installed. I hope this helps.

[comment deleted]