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High End Overclocked Z370-E 8086K / 1080Ti Gaming PC, First Build

by CorneyTom


I started with a 3 year old gaming laptop, a Logitech G502 mouse and a gleam in my eye. After 10 years of laptop and console gaming, I finally snapped. I wanted more! Cue this slightly excessive build.

Monitor: I'd really bought into the attractive Asus suite and after comparing Acer and Asus monitor for some time decided I preferred the Asus monitors finish enough to justify the price increase. My final internal struggle was IPS vs TN. After reviewing my build, I decided performance has always been primary and aesthetics secondary, so I went for the ROG SWIFT PG278QR. I decided I would prefer 1440P with high FPS over 4K 60FPS.

Keyboard: I decided to get a logitech keyboard as I've had the mouse several years and it's been great. The G910 keyboard I purchased broken from ebay for £39. The switch under the D key was broken. I ordered a Romer G switch from Ebay, a couple of pounds from China. Then following some youtube videos and doing my first ever solder, voila, working RGB keyboard for nice and cheap.

Case: I think this is the component I changed the most. After looking into good cases for a first build, I ended up looking at some of corsairs offerings, along with phanteks and Fractal. After ruling out the corsairs I liked the look of, seeing people have some trouble with phanteks airflow, I ended up with the Meshify C. The Tempered glass edition looked a bit nicer to me so went for that one! I chose dark TG as looking at finished builds I like the way RGB components shine through and you can see the components but not in full detail. Very happy with the finished look, although it's kind of hard to take good photos of in the dark! The case was roomy and a pleasure to build and cable manage in! I regret connecting the front IO to the motherboard after the CPU cooler though, that was a chore.

Motherboard: I like the look of the Asus Auto overclocking features, as I have never overclocked before. Plan is to overclock with this and then gradually move to manual overclock as I learn more. A question to the pcpartpicker forums left me comfortable that the Z370-E meets my requirements. I'm very happy with my choice so far, it's been excellent for overclocking and quite user friendly as my first build

Processor: I was originally going with an 8700K but some last minute extra cash I wasn't expecting allowed the jump up to the 8086K. I have this overclocked to a stable 5GHZ using the Asus auto tune profile for intel 8th gen processors. Tested using Intels processor testing tool as well as fur mark, passes all tests and benchmarks very well. No issues in games after overclocking.

Cooling: I switched cooler over 5 times whilst deciding on parts. I started off convinced an AIO is the way forward. Doing some extra research led me to believe that noctua make some really fantastic products, and I ended up settling on the NH-D15S to provide powerful cooling whilst ensuring compatability. I purchased the 3 pack of coolermaster fans to fit to the front of the case as intake, which should also look good with Aura Sync RGB. Then, the remaining 3 noctuas for case fans. The plan is 2 intakes on top of the case and one exhaust at the rear. The D15S will be rotated to maintain this direction of airflow so hopefully everything will be nicely cooled.

SSD: - Currently only use about 500GB on my laptop hard drive. Figured 1TB should do me for a while and wanted something fast to complement . Will probably add a cheaper less fast SATA SSD to move media files to if the 970 Evo 1TB starts getting full. UPDATE:- After a week on my PC only 200GB left, additional storage will be required soon. I like buying games.

Graphics Card: As the main component running the games I wanted to go really all out, and doing a little research left me choosing betweein the ROG Strix 1080TI OC and non OC versions. After the choices I've already made it seemed silly not to get the OC. (A slippery slope I know.). After attempting to manually overclock this further, I had some crashing in games so settled for the prebuilt OC profile on the Asus AI tweaker program. This is a very mild overclock but eliminated the crashing.

RAM: I wanted RGB Aura sync to go with the motherbooard and GPU. Looking through the list of fully compatible RAM, Trident G.Skill seemed like my preferred option. Went for DDR4 4000Mhz as it's the best speed my motherboard can support. 16GB should be plenty to start with. Maybe upgrade to up to 32GB further down the line if it seems worth it, can't see myself needing it for now. Overclocking it using XMP profile didn't work, so manually upped the overclock and settled on 3700Mhz as the best speed I can get whilst maintaining stability.

PSU: This beast needs to be well powered so I opted for a platinum rated EVGA Supernova P2 650W. This leaves me a little headroom should I need it in the future and is a nicely efficient fully modular power supply. Was a joy, every cable under the sun included in one sexy package.

OS: Bought Windows 10 pro because I want all the features.

NOTES POST BUILD: The 3rd front intake 120mm fan would only fit by removing the shroud cover at the end of the case, which unfortunately has exposed some wires.

The ROG Strix Z370-E only has 2 x RGB headers so I had to use the controller that came with the fans and have to set their colour independently of the motherboard. It also has a total of 6 fan headers including the CPU header, so I wasn't able to connect my 3rd

So far it runs witcher 3 and destiny 2 max graphics at 165Hz, the lowest it has dipped on either is 120Hz, completely unnoticeable thanks to Gsync.

1TB is not big enough for first gaming PC. Enthusiasm dictates many games must be bought immediately. Do not be Naive!

As my first build this was actually surprisingly easy and fun to complete. (Did have sweaty palms clipping the processor in though, argh). Any questions / suggestions hit me up!

Comments Sorted by:

dixonerfais 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

Hoping they continue on in The Witcher universe with some Ciri stories or something...


CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Agreed, I completed Witcher 3 on xbox and am now playing through on PC with fantastically better graphics on the hardest difficulty, I love that game so much!

+1 to you too! Cheers.

rocketracer111 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Nice build mate! Clean and really good planning, at least it sounds alike.

CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Thank you kind sir! Yeah, I read so many different things all sorts of forums, checked out completed builds, read too many guides. I don't think I've ever been that prepared for anything in my life. Glad you like it.

rocketracer111 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

:D Glad to hear your joy with your build! I can relate to that feeling soooo good. Always do your research. It let me find some really good deals for components which made me even happier than just planning and building everything. Even by having a proper machine the itch of research won't scratched soon...

CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

Thanks, I do love it so much, high five for loving our PCs! Yeah I know what you mean, I've poured everything into this project and kind of feel like I need another project of similar depth and scope! That costs a lot less, preferably haha.

rocketracer111 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Hell yeah! :D high five!

XD damn! "I'll get the better gpu. Oops. Now we have a 4k screen. Better swap the gpu to something better. Damn I want to play without that hiccups on high, no need of ultra settings. Oh boi I just bought a 1080Ti. Now I am happ. :D" 2 Days passed. "That cpu is starting to age..." facepalm

You won't run out of this feeling :S I now have all the good parts lying around...but now my case...I now want to change that and custom watercool everything...maybe I should look again on the costs of the machine and enjoy the current perfomance XD

I need to agree on your two last sentences way too much :D

CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

Haha, there is no escape!

Let me know if you find another project. Currently I'm keeping myself busy finding good games at discounted prices and playing them all. But, now my 1TB SSD is full, and I have the problem of needing a new drive! Curses.

PC upgrades forever ;).

rocketracer111 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Way less cost intensive will be you making your friends upgrade their systems and you just helping them out xD I've done this twice now in the past weeks and we are all happy :D One of this build will be uploaded here soon.

CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

Hell yes! Funny you should say that, already my girlfriend and best mate have seen my PC and asked for help looking into building a PC! The project continues, haha!

CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Update:- Replaced the CPU cooler Fan with a Chromax equivalent to complement my black and red theme.

Chromax Add-on added to the heat spreader on the CPU cooler.

Also got a gaming chair to go with the game cave. Set-up complete! Check the last photo for the full set-up.

bobninjasub1 -2 points 8 months ago

Quick and straight forward devils advocate rundown here. Its gonna sound rude, I made similar mistakes on my first build. To give you an idea, I made a similar performing PC, minus about 2-4% performance, for $1850, $2000~ with tax. This is assuming you want performance over aesthetic and you are avoiding ego boosting by having an over the top CPU.

An i5-8400 would have done the same job with maybe 5 fps less, I am assuming that you only game with it though and consistently playing with a high resolution. Games benefit from higher single threaded performance, additionally 6 cores is more than enough for any title today, frankly 4 is all you need. Windows 10 is also free on Microsoft website, it just wont be genuine. Anything past DDR4-3000 with CL of 16 is diminishing returns. There is a $450 monitor that is just as good by dell I believe, once u manually adjust the color, although it doesn't have g-sync. With the i5-8400 you would only need a hyper 212 EVO saving another $60 or so. Most games dont benefit much from an SSD or M.2 anyways unless its something like battlefield or an MMORPG, so I woulda stuck to about 250gb for the M.2 and gotten a 7200 RPM hardrive. Extra fans are for aesthetic I presume, as they dont actually help at all in cooling. RTX 2080ti just released and its bound to be far faster. With the money saved from these tips, you could get it for less money than your current build. Lastly, coffee lake-s is realeasing in october so the i5-9400 or i5-9500, whatever its called, would be a worthy upgrade of the i5-8400. Since these are locked CPU (cant overclock), you can get a cheaper motherboard with the same side benefits minus overclocking features. In terms of power supply, gold certification is all you need ,platinum is used for servers. My build here is basically the rundown for the comparison. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/XXDkGf

CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

Silence, oh unreasonably reasonable one. Don't worry, it's not rude, I do agree with some of your points!

It started of as a high spec gaming PC, and ended as the most awesome PC I can make for £3000 as that was my budget. Got a bit carried away but I'm happy with my decisions. Originally I was only interested in performance but got a little caught up in the current when things started co-incidentally looking good, I just rolled with it.

To be honest, I was originally looking into an i5, but all reason went out the window when I decided on the GPU. At least it should be extremely future proof eh. Same with the monitor, I had a lot of Asus ROG going on and thought **** it, that monitor looks extremely sexy. It is great as well, just the feeling of sitting at my awesome game station was worth the extra money for me. That might be less important for you.

Having read through the 20XX release details from NVidia to be honest I probably would have gone for the 1080Ti anyway. It will certainly serve my purposes for many years. I had been planning this build for many months, and the funds and completion of the plan all came together last week, no way in hell was I waiting for new releases! My excitement could not be contained!

I'm not sure why you think extra fans don't help with cooling, can you elaborate? I'm reasonably sure that they do ;). The 3 coolermaster front RGB fans are for aesthetics and air intake, and the rear 2 Noctua fans are for exhausting air from the case. Airflow is created in the front, and out of the back and rear. This moving air is cooler, allowing more efficient cooling of the components.

My temperatures have been nice and low so far on CPU and GPU, and both are overclocked, so it certainly seems they are working!

Sure, I didn't really NEED such high specs or to spend so much. When it comes down to it I didn't NEED a gaming PC at all. But I wanted it so much, and I wanted it to be so awesome, and has fulfilled all my expectations so I wouldn't do anything differently!

I wanted to overclock for fun as it seemed interesting, and I have quite enjoyed the process. So stand by the motherboard and K processor choices.

I have always wanted to get the most out of everything I have / do, and I know if I had downsized it to save some pounds I would only end up regretting it / shelling out for upgrades further down the line.

At the end of the day, It was all within budget, and I absolutely love it, so no regrets here!

Appreciate the feedback though. And I concede it's a little ridiculous.

I've almost filled the M.2 so any comments on a good 7200 RPM for extra storage?

BeardedKobold 5 points 8 months ago

I have no idea why that person thinks they need to tell you how to do your build. I like it, and am jealous, and I hope it works the best for you! I highly recommend a WD Black or a Seagate IronWolf for HDD storage. And for gaming, more storage the better. I have a 2tb WD Black that is almost full and a 1tb WD Blue that is almost full just of games. SSDs do help with games, as they help with load times and speeds. So I don't know where that guy got his info from. Great build, and best of luck to you! Now you have no limitations and don't have to worry about upgrading for years to come! (except storage...always need more games!)

bobninjasub1 -1 points 8 months ago

For the airflow part I would reference this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLX54ounENY For hard drive storage I would stick to Western Digital, pretty much any product from them is good, make sure not to buy there server variations though, they can get more pricey similar to a platinum power supply versus gold.

Reference this link for cable mangement/ cooling as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDCMMf-_ASE

But yeah I can relate to that excitement, felt it with my first pc as well lol, but I too got carried away, hence my two cents. Be Careful with overclocking though, it does shorten the life of your components even if cooling is fine as the increase in voltage simply deteriorates the component at a much faster rate since the chips are not necessarily designed for those speeds/ voltage. My GTX 580 died within 4 years because of OC, woulda lasted me far longer if I hadn't based on other users experiences who hadn't overclocked. Plus the extra fps you get out of it is like maybe 10 max. but hey you do you. Your PC will certainly last you a while, most importantly you want to be proud of it and have no regrets, which you seem to have both so good on ya.

CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Interesting you say that about overclocking, I was getting some bugs / crashing in games and after dialling CPU back to 4.7Ghz the crashing stopped, and RAM back to 3200Mhz the bugs and juddering stopped. So hopefully with these more conservative overclocks they will last longer! GPU is barely OCd at all.

FPS has changed as you say by, at most 10. Still stable 120 + in everything.

Will look into Western Digital for an upgraded SSD then, thanks both.

I think he may have some regrets on how much money was spent on his blowout built which is fair enough, am happy with my spend though!

bobninjasub1 2 points 8 months ago

For SSDs I would I only go with Samsung, for HDD I would go with Western Digital. The reason for Samsung is because they actually give you at minimum there advertised read and write speeds not to mention the best reliability. More often then not they give you more than those speeds.

CorneyTom submitter 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Sweet, thanks man!

Yeah my Samsung SSD is testing faster than the advertised speeds and boot / load times are absolutely phenomenal on it! Definitely agree with your recommendation there.

May have to get a fast HDD rather than SSD for the second drive due to price I think!

rocketracer111 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

I am running an i7-3960X @4,5Ghz with 158pts in single core r15 bench. The i5-8400 ist rated ~170pts. Als 1080Ti for 4k gaming... the 3960X is working fine for now. I must agree: For gaming only an i5 would have been enough and it produces less heat than my cpu xD

I will be switching next month anyway. Why? Rendering perfomance for music and video projects, also thermals. :S That is another story...

bobninjasub1 0 points 8 months ago

If you render videos, perform research, solidworks, programming, etc. then more cores are better, in which case I would probably go with AMD for the better bang for buck in that sector. But seeing as price is not an issue here, you should be good on the CPU since you are not only gaming.

rocketracer111 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

No I am not changing my CPU to an i5 xD

Since these projects aren't too heavy I think I will be okay with the 8700k I managed to purchase for 250€/~290$. Last thing missing is ram... But first I need to sell my old components. I do not have a money spawner in my cellar xD

I am not making my living with this machine and it never really needed years to render things. AMD is in the leading position bang-for-buck-wise for multicore applications. I have to agree. Gaming - music - photo edit - SolidWork - video rendering | The tasks I want this machine to do in that particular order. The need of multicore perfomance is 50/50 to single core perfomance (If the time of usage is taken into account). If I had to buy a new cpu AMDs 2700X would have been my choice.