I finally decided to upgrade from my old Dell XPS L501X. Was aiming for a mid to high performance gaming rig to push the latest and upcoming AAA titles to 60fps at 1080p with max to near max settings. What started as a 4690K/970 build turned into a 6600K/390 build with a white, black, and red theme. Took a month to gather all the parts.
CPU: The 6700K wasn’t worth the extra money for me. A big upgrade from the Clarksfield i7 in my laptop. Was able to get 4.6GHz stable, though I’m currently running a 4.5GHz OC at cool temps.
CPU Cooler: The 212 EVO didn’t have the aesthetics I wanted. The Phanteks came standard with a push/pull configuration and nice colour selection. Looks great in the case.
NOTE: Phanteks switched their fans for 2015 it seems like. These ones come with PH-F120MP pwm fans instead of the PH-H120HP pwm fans. I sent them an email and they replied: “The PH-TC12DX fans have been updated to use the MP blades. The fans are still HP because the white frame and colored blades”. Different design = different performance. Its false advertising.
Motherboard: Perfect colour scheme for my build. The audio, rear, and debug LED lights and strip look great and provide a nice amount of ambient lighting in the dark when combined with the MSI LED on the 390. Gigabyte BIOS could be better however.
Ram: DDR4 at Canadian retail price is expensive. I will picking up another 8GB to future proof it, though I’ve yet to max out 8GB while gaming so far. Runs at the rated 2800MHz without problems.
GPU: 970 vs 390. It really came down to future proofing. “4GB” VRAM and partial DX12 support vs. 8GB VRAM and full DX12 support. Runs hot under load, but MSI’s Twin Frozr V cooling does wonders to keep it within safe temps. Destroys anything at 1080p. Never have to worry about VRAM. Running a custom fan curve (10% fan speed at idle) so idle temps are 30-36C depending on ambient temps and gpu activity. Mild OC so far. (1120/1575)
Case: Love the simple, minimalist style of the white S340 over the usual black cases. The clean interior layout and cable management gives the case considerable airflow despite its smaller size.
PSU: It’s listed as a Tier 2 PSU and had good reviews so I picked it up along with some white Silverstone cable sleeve extensions to hide the multi-coloured wires.
Network Adapter: Laptop Wi-Fi lacked AC and dual band capability so I was looking forward to up-to-date Wi-Fi tech. This D-link adapter matched my routers specs and has been working well so far.
Case Fans: Tried to make use of the clean interior and fan options available in the S340. Not the highest performing fans, but they were cheap, quiet at full speed, and matched the S340 colour scheme.
Monitor: Just a standard 1080p 60Hz IPS monitor. Chose this one specifically because of its bezel-less design and stand. Very little wobble. No defects. 768p TN to 1080p IPS is an upgrade to me.
Keyboard/Mouse: Quickly got used to the combined arrow key/ten key design of the Quick Fire TK. Like the extra mouse room. The M45 optical mouse is smooth and light. The matching black plastic/red leds look great.
Really got to thank PCPartPicker. The forum was helpful and the building tool made the whole process a lot easier. Leave your thoughts and advice.
*UPDATE (Feb/2016): Threw in another 8GB Ram. Overclocked and running at 15-15-15-35 @ 3000Mhz. Overclocked the monitor to 75hz. After some thinking I decided to reapply the TIM on the 390. As you can see from the pics, the stock paste MSI used is applied poorly. Using Phantenks thermal paste I was able to drop roughly 5-8C in load temps. I was able to push the OC to 1150/1600. Well worth the small risk. Also threw in the extra 120mm fan from the S340 under the 390 to push the exhaust air up and improve circulation, though I'm not sure it actually improved temps by much.