Much of this build was taken from my old i7 2700k that I'd had for a number of years but was starting to creak with feeding my GPU. I'd already added SSDs and extra drives since I'd first bought the machine as well as upgrading to an MSI R9 295x2 and the PSU to feed it.
I was also getting a bit sick of the black Coolermaster HAF+ tower, so wanted a little more variety on the look front.
So I finally decided to upgrade some of the other core pieces. Specifically:
- Case (Corsair Carbide Air 540)
- Motherboard (Asus Sabertooth Z170 S)
- CPU (Skylake 6700k)
- Cooler (Corsair H100i AiO cooler)
- Memory (32 Gb (2x16Gb) Corsair Vengeance 2666Mhz DDR4)
I also decided to throw in a HUE+ unit for a bit of lighting.
The case is wonderful at trying to go for as clean a build as possible, particularly with the large open case window, most of the wire clutter is in the passive side - I've still tried, where at all possible to keep the wires together and tied down though. You can see through the pictures, where after the motherboard and drives were in, but not the GPU (4th and 5th pictures), I did a lot of cleanup on the wiring.
At the time of the build I also took the opportunity to clean the radiator and VRM fans on my 295x2 before taking it over.
After I'd completed the initial work on the build, a lightning deal from Amazon for the 960Gb SSD came up, and I decided to go for it, nothing ventured, nothing gained of course (this meant that my DVD-RW drive was eve more redundant than before, though I've yet to actually take it out of the case)
The only other major post-build purchase is the Logitech G633 headset, which so far has been a revelation, for a gamer most accustomed to 2.0 small speakers.
I'll add some more day time pictures along with some of the other bits I bought since the main build was completed.
All in all in terms of the parts to do the upgrade, it came to about £1100 with the 960Gb SSD and another £100 for the post build bits.
Upgraded this from my i7 2700k, my motherboard will easy Overclock to 4.6Ghz, but I like to keep it at stock at the moment and keep my cooler on Quiet or Balanced profiles for the time being. Handles everything I throw at it, and glad to see stuttering on a number of games has been reduced.
Can get a bit noisy, but keeps the CPU at a good temp so can't massively complain. Main problem is the software, I'd like more options on alerts, so I want to have the fans automatically switch profile from Quiet to Balanced to Performance and bad at a set of certain temperatures.
Allows me to decide where in my case the CPU heat will come out, which I think is a huge and often overlooked bonus of AiO. It currently pushes over the rad and out the top, on my previous machine with a standard intel air cooler, I always disliked that the CPU heat was right in front of my R9 295x2 cooler, so never really felt I was getting top performance out of the GPU cooling setup.
Wonderful motherboard, lots of fan headers and places to connect your own temperature sensors - the software allows you to customise your fan profiles dependent upon any of these sensors and bias them accordingly so that say CPU is a more important factor than some of your other areas for one fan, but another might ramp up more dependent on RAM heat, for example. Digital Camo styling is very nice for a white build and is a welcome difference from the propensity of black and red gaming motherboards. Only issue is the automatic turn off of the iGPU outputs when a graphics card is inserted - I'd like to be able to connect my 21:9 monitor to the motherboards display port and have my 4k only running of my R9 295x2 - haven't figured out how to get this combination working yet.
Bought the 2666Mhz over anything higher because this combination/product number was on the Qualified Vendor list for memory for the motherboard . Got them in white to match the rest of the build, and still got two slots left - great for using virtualbox, and no need to have any virtual memory now. Had no issues with XMP profile.
Prebought Bought this about 18 months to 2 years ago as a boot drive and reinstalled Windows 8.1 on it. Never let me down, although with bigger apps coming out on Windows Store, it could get a bit tight space wise (looking at you Forza Apex, and UWP apps seemingly incapable of being run through a Windows Junction to another drive).
Run Visual Studio and Office, amongst other things, from this drive.
Run most of my heavily modded games from here: Skyrim Fallout New Vegas Fallout 3 Fallout 4
Second Drive runs a couple of MMOs, Elder Scrolls Online, The Secret World and Witcher 3
Got this for £139.99 on an Amazon Lightning Deal - now just to fill it with games
A couple of old 1tb OEM drives from older machines, considering replacing them both with 6TB drives out of some Seagate Backup Plus Drives from Argos (http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/4139836.htm). Have served me well thus far, but run out of space far too often and have to rearrange things and use junctions.
Amazing card when you don't have to deal with the vagaries of Crossfire. Still, two years on, the single slot card to beat (even though it is Dual GPU), bought it for a touch over £500 in May 2015, after finding out the 980Ti's were retailing for around £800. Can play pretty much any game at 4k and Ultra (for the most part) and if not a quick dial down to 1440p is all it needs. Have considered getting a 290x to run it in tri-fire but that would necessitate a 1200w PSU at least.
Wonderful case, separated out so that your hot components get the air they need across them from the front case fans without them being obstructed by drive bays. The passive side that has no fans in, holds the 4 SSDs and the now inert 5.25 in bay, and hides a lot of the wiring clutter, currently I've got all my drive bays full so fitted the 2.5in HUE+ unit to the grill on the back of the passive cooling side. Between being able to tweak fan profiles and temperature monitoring on the motherboard and both my GPU and CPU being cooled by liquid, the airflow off the two 140mm fans get straight across the two hard drives in the bottom and over the rest of the motherboard nicely ready to go out across the GPU cooler and the radiators of the H100i, so I think I've managed to organise the heat areas of the build pretty well.
This case is absolutely designed to get the best out of your airflow, even if it is a bit wider than most. The icing on the cake is the large passive area that allows a lot of hiding of wiring, allowing for a very clean build, although I can still see areas in need of improvement in my own wiring.
Works great, got it at same time I got my R9 295x2, checked that it worked on the beQuiet website, and other than the socket hook for the main motherboard lead getting broken it's been 100% fine, currently run the r9 295x2 off two separate two headed GPU leads so that it's not pulling all the juice from a single output on the PSU, just to be safe.
Fabulous monitor, love the aspect ratio particularly in RPGs, was originally looking to get this as the centrepiece in a 6400x1080 Eyefinity display, but moving rooms and having to get a smaller desk scuppered that idea, and opted for the 4k monitor instead. I have thought about getting the bigger 34in 3440x1440 monitors but they're still a little too pricy. Lots of inputs, including Displayport Passthrough. Small but serviceable speakers on the monitor, fair amount of weight to the whole unit and the stand isn't the most adjustable, but all in all, a great purchase.
Good monitor, love the clarity of the resolution, stand is a bit lacking in stability and the adjustment of the monitor is difficult to prove that it exists at all. No speakers on this monitor, which is unfortunate really, meaning you'll either have to have some more bespoke solution (I got a couple of cheap HP PC speakers into my Speaker out) or jack a 3.5mm lead into a speaker and then into the headphone socket on the monitor. PIP and PBP work really well,
Utterly love this little device, easy enough to setup profiles, its of customisability. Sometimes the program detection goes a bit awry but in the main it's a great bit of kit, again another Amazon Lightning Deal where I think I got it for about £60. Fraps, MSI Afterburner and Network utilisation integration all adds to it's usefulness, particularly the Afterburner stats
Only got this a few days ago, but I've been very surprised by it. I'm not a huge fan of mic'ing up in my online games, but I like the headset and the 7.1 simulation is great. Has definitely added something to my gaming irrespective of it being online or not.