Description

I am a fan of RGB lighting, this is mostly because I am indecisive and like the option of being able to change my colour scheme as often as I like. My goal was to build an enthusiast-ish level PC for under £1,000. I did not achieve my goal. I initially spent about £830 on parts with peripherals taking me up to £1,000 and a bit. That was V1 of my build and I was initially happy with it. However, I kept browsing the site and saw what could be achieved with an amazing paint job, so I decided to give my build the paint job it deserved.

Core Parts

  • Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor: Looking through a lot of websites this seemed to be a popular choice for first time builders. Especially those looking for a mid-range CPU with the ability to overclock in the future.

  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler: I wanted a CPU Cooler with a narrower heatsink than the Arctic I had previously. I also wanted a cooler I could put my new 120mm Thermaltake Riings on. The Hyper 212 Evo was a popular choice that had these options. If you are building with this, put the fans on after you screw the cooler into the board. Otherwise, you won't be able to get to the screws.

  • Gigabyte GA-Z97P-D3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard: I decided on an ATX Mobo to make the build as spacious as I could. I saw this board which wasn't too expensive. The lack of SLI support didn't bother me as I don't plan on upgrading to two cards anytime soon. It has a couple of USB 2.0 headers and a 3.0 header. It supports up to 32GB of RAM which is plenty for me.

  • Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory: I felt that 8GB was a nice balance for me as the most RAM intensive game I play recommends 8GB with a min of 4GB. I decided to run dual-channel as in my research it looked like two sticks tend to perform better than one.

  • Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive: Cheap and 1TB from a well-known brand.

  • Asus Strix GeForce GTX 960 2GB Video Card: I had a leaning towards Nvidia as I had experience of their cards most. I gave myself a budget of £200 and the GTX 960 seemed to be the highest performing Nvidia card at this price tier.

  • Corsair 760T Black ATX Full Tower Case: I knew I wanted a case with a window right off the bat, but I didn't want a small "porthole" window. I came across this case and fell in love. Reading up on it, it looked like a great choice for cable management which is something I wanted to focus on. The ability to take off and open the side panels was also a big plus for me. The hardest part was choosing black and white. I went for black in the end but I now wish I'd gone for the white as I ended up painting some of it white.

  • Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply: I wanted a modular or, at least, semi-modular power supply to keep the cable management clean. I knew the name Corsair going in and the price here was right. After reading more into Corsair's PSUs, I might look at changing this, as some sources claim these can be unreliable.

Misc Parts

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM (64-bit): I like Windows 10.

  • TP-Link TL-WN781ND 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter: Salvaged from my old Novatech pre-build.

  • Thermaltake CL-F042-PL12SW-A 40.6 CFM 120mm Fans: They're fans, they have LEDs and they are RGB. That was about as much as a decision that went into these.

  • NZXT Hue+ LED Controller: I had the original Hue in V1 of my build and loved it. I was on the fence as to whether to put this into V2 but couldn't resist the possibility of having crazy rainbow colours to match my keyboard.

  • CableMod Basic Cable​ Extension​ Kit - 6+6​ Pin Serie​s - BLACK ​/ WHITE: I had seen Silverstone's extension kit on Overclockers and liked the idea as I didn't feel confident enough to braid the cables myself. Along with the fact that I only have a semi-modular PSU and a budget that won't extend to CableMod's full set of braided cables. I looked but couldn't find a black/white combo of the Silverstone set. In the end, I found this CableMod kit which looked like Silverstone's but was available in black/white.

Peripherals

  • AOC I2369V​M 23" IPS ​Monitor: This monitor is one that I have had experience with from work. I was surprised at the quality and size of it for the price. Looking at other options, it did look like it held it's own against much more expensive monitors in the market too. (This is the same monitor as I had in V1, I just put it in wrong then).

  • Corsair K65 RGB Wired Gaming Keyboard: I started off looking at the Razer Blackwidow Chroma and the Corsair K70 RGB as these looked like the "best" RGB keyboards on the market. I read a lot of reviews comparing the two, and the majority said that the Corsair had better build quality, but the software was more difficult. As the idea of learning the software didn't put me off particularly, I started looking closer at the K70. Later on, I found that there was a tenkeyless version which was perfect for me as I have always used a keyboard without a num pad. Getting a tenkeyless version would save me precious space and cash.

  • ROCCAT Kone XTD Wired Laser Mouse: I considered the Razer Deathadder Chroma and the Corsair M65 RGB for a while but could never get over how little of the mouse was actually lit up. When I kept looking I found the Roccat Kone XTD which I thought looked much nicer.

  • Harman Kardon SoundSticks III 40W 2.1ch Speakers: I remember being drawn to these in Currys/PC World because they looked amazing. Then I tried out the sound. A lot of speakers I have tried out are bass heavy. What I like about these is that not only was the bass clear but so were the trebles. You can also adjust the amount of bass you want to come out of the speakers, which is a nice addition. Luckily for me, I didn't have to worry about the price as I was gifted these for my 21st Birthday.

Painting

  • Plastidip Black
  • Plastidip White
  • PlastiKote Radiator Paint White
  • ScotchBlue Painter's Tape
  • Insulation Tape
  • Plastidip is so expensive in the UK! The cans I got were retailing for at least £10 online (for reference, they are $6–$10/£4–£7 on Amazon.com at the time of writing), luckily I had some Xmas money to spend. If you're looking for it in the UK the cheapest I found is at UKDip (Which is still not cheap ): ). Plastidip was used for painting all the parts except the motherboard heatsinks which were painted with PlastiKote Radiator Paint.

Other

Benchmarks

Cinebench R15

  • OpenGL: 71.51 fps
  • CPU: 353cb

Fire Strike:

  • Overall Score: 5391
  • Graphics Score: 6506, 28.55 fps
  • Physics Score: 4940, 15.68 fps
  • Combined Score: 2510, 11.68 fps

Comments

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

BEAUTIFUL!! Awsome job sir!

I do have one issue though, YOU PUT ON WAY WAY WAY TOO MUCH thermal paste. All you need is a (little bigger than) rice sized drop of thermal paste.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

*Ma'am (; Thanks! Yeah I put on more than I intended. I'm not aware of any issues with putting too much paste on (apart from wasting it obviously), are there any? If so I'll do a reapplication as I'm looking into overclocking the CPU soon and want the connection to be tip top.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Higher temps both when idling and under load. I wouldn't use the software you have shown to benchmark and stress test your system. Everyone uses Prime95 for the CPU, Furmark for the GPU and HWMonitor to closely monitor temps.

Also TechyinAZ's suggestion about the rice sized drop of thermal paste depends on the viscosity. I would just follow the manufacturers suggestion. Arctic Silver 5, for instance, calls for a vertical line if running a quad core CPU like yours.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the information, do you know why it gets higher temps? I'll check the suggestions and reapply it.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

COLORFUL!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

That PSU will work as long as you don't put any stress on it.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah it's been OK. Going to look at replacing it with something fully modular for V3, any recommendations?

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Well written

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much, I appreciate it!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks so pretty. That CX PSU is definitely not the best option for a machine at this price point, though. With all the hardware you're piling onto it, you do run the risk of stressing it and shortening its lifespan.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. Yeah I didn't research into PSUs as much as I should have initially in regards to quality. I figured a wattage was a wattage. Do you have any recommendations? It is something I'm going to look at replacing for V3.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

An EVGA SuperNOVA G2 series is a good option.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I'll look into it, any particular reason you suggested that one?

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Fully modular, excellent stability and ripple control, and high quality components. You really can't go wrong with one of those.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I am a fan of RGB lighting,

Really? I couldn't tell! ;P +1

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol, I thought I should let people know, it is quite subtle (; thanks!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

nice idea with the paint but it looks like you spray painted it too much...hints the bubbles and uneveness....looks cool af but maybe try some airbrushing next time ;)

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I could tell I'd done too much afterwards. One of the reasons I picked plasti dip was, as I'm a painting beginner, I could try again if I messed up. So watch this space!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Only thing I probably would have done differently is use white on white to do the paint modding. The black base coat makes it harder for the white to only show.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I did read somewhere that Plastidip recommended you spray a black base coat for all their paint. Except the Blaze series, which should be white. I am going to try repainting it at some point in the future though, so I might do that.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

"I am a fan of RGB lighting."

I can tell ;)

+1

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

****** dope af m8

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

ahhhhhh! love love love your build n.n I was on the fence as to wheter i would get the tt rgb fans as i thought they might clash with my hue+ but it looks great!! awesome build well done =D

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

oh also we have the same screen saver lmao

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much! (: I find that if I have the Hue+ on rainbow and the fans on white or them both matching colours is a good bet so that they won't clash