The Storm is a gaming pc that I built for myself. It is also the first pc that I've built from scratch.
Previously I owned a pc from a custom system integrator. It's specs were:
►Intel Core i5-6500
►8GB DDR4 2133MHz
►ASRock H170m Pro4
►Zotac GTX 970
►NZXT S340 Black
I felt that at the time when I got it, it was decent. Over the years, I've upgraded components bit by bit, starting with additional case fans for better ventilation, followed by a jump to 32GB of RAM. A year after that upgrade, I changed my boot drive from a 120GB Sata III SSD to a 1 TB 970 Evo Plus, as well as using a Cooler Master 212X, replacing my old intel stock cooler.
Before I built this pc, I changed my graphics card to a 1080Ti, the Aorus 1080Ti, non-extreme edition. It's triple fan cooler made so much difference compared to my old GTX 970 blower style cooler. I was able to play games at ultra resolution with ease, as I was using a 1080p monitor. Soon after, I made a switch to an ultrawide monitor. It was capable of 200Hz refresh rate, at a 2560x1080 resolution. When I got the 1080Ti, I could feel that sometimes I was not getting as much fps as I could with the GPU, due to being bottlenecked by my cpu. Also, why I didn't replace my cpu earlier on was because I had to change the motherboard as well. And decided that when I changed the cpu, I would replace the entire system(Case, Mobo, CPU, PSU).
December 2019, I saw on a platform similar to eBay(I live in Singapore, we use this platform called Carousell), an Intel Core i7-5930k & Asus Rampage V Extreme for sale for SGD400(USD295). I jumped the gun and bought it. I must admit, it was an impulse purchase. As I arranged to collect the product 2 days later, I took the time to research the other components I wanted to buy. I wanted a case that could fit the E-ATX Rampage V Extreme, my old S340 wasn't going to cut it. I was deciding between the Fractal Design R6 TG and the Lian-Li PC-O11D. In the end, I felt the Lian-Li looked better.
Then, I saw the O11 Air. I wanted to get it, but was told that it was out of stock. A blessing in disguise. I was thinking, if I wanted to go all out, might as well spend a bit more on the case. Sure, the 1000D from Corsair was probably a dream for many, but I could not find space in my budget for it. So, I saw the O11D XL. I also liked that the PSU area is moved to the back, making the case shorter, which would be more comfortable for me. So I decided to get the Dynamic XL.
Now, I needed a PSU, and I don't think my 212x can keep up as, I want to overclock the 5930k. I didn't want to spend so much on a cooler, so I though the ID-Cooling Auraflow 360 at SGD105(USD77) would be very competitive in pricing. But in the end, I went for a brand that I trusted more, Corsair. I got the H150i Pro, a 360mm AIO with their new ML fans. As the cooler was more than double the price of the Auraflow[SGD239(USD176)], my budget got a lot tighter. I didn't want to cheap out on PSU, a mistake commonly made when cutting budget. So, I turned to used components.
Carousell, an eBay equivalent in Singapore, I saw a seller selling his HX850, that came back from RMA recently. The price was competitive at SGD90(USD66). Sure, it doesn't come with the original box, but everything else was intact. For comparision sake, an equivalent psu from Cooler Master, which is rated 80+ Bronze, was a SGD110(USD80).
Now that I've decided on almost all the parts, it was time to make the purchase. I knew that I needed about SGD1100 for the things that I was about to purchase. Strictly speaking, I needed about SGD1000, but I left some room to buy accessories. So, I got my CPU + Mobo, PSU. I just needed to get the Case and cooler. After getting them, I had budget left, and decided to use them on fans. I had 2 choices in mind, the Slientwings 3 or the ML120. In the end, the lower price tag and Maglev bearing appealed to me.
All that's left now is to build the system. As this was my first time actually building a pc from scratch, it was a little scary. At one point I didn't know where the screws were, forgetting that they usually leave it in the 3.5" drive bays. At first, I was a little lazy and wanted to get it up and running ASAP, so the cable management were as good as none. But at that time I only had fans on the bottom, top and rear. The side was covered up by the ssd mounts.
I recently got another 3 ML120 fans and decided that if I wanted to put fans on the side, I needed to make sure no cables would get in the way. Hence, I decided to redo the cable management. Using a pc builder's best friend for cable management, cable ties. I managed to make the cable runs a lot straighter and neater, as well as optimizing cable runs to ensure if I wanted to add more cables, I have space for it.
Now, I have 3 fans on the bottom and 3 on the side as intake. 1 rear exhaust fan and the aio at the top serves as exhaust as well. Overall, leaning more towards the positive air pressure. A tip for those building a new pc. More intake does not mean better performance, you need to balance the airflow to ensure that you can exhaust the heat fast enough. My first build of this pc, I had the top aio as intake and bottom intake and 1 exhaust. This caused a lot of heat being trapped, as I was concentrating the heat in the middle. I thought that having the aio as intake would give better temps, but the heat was being thrown at the gpu. My rear exhaust air was almost always warm.
Reddit users saw the pictures of the build and told me to flip the aio to exhaust. I did that and temps were better than ever. So, hey I learnt something new today.
All that is left now, is for my RGB strip to come in, though, I will most likely leave the led as white color. Overall, very satisfied with the look of the O11D XL. My next upgrade won't be so soon, it'll most likely be the RAM?? My current ram are those budget ones without the heatspreader, plus they're a mix and match of speeds, 2400 and 2133. I've managed to push them to 2666MHz. For now, I'll upload pictures without the side intake, since I took the before I got the fans. I will update the pictures once I get my led strips in.
December 26, 2019 RGB Strips came in and updated photos
January 3, 2020 I've sold the Aorus 1080 Ti as the fans were very noisy and the card runs a bit hot at times. I got the MSI 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio for the same price, and upon using it, it was much cooler and quieter. Also, RGB