Description

The time has finally come, everyone. No more having to depend on integrated graphics to play the most basic of games, and no more having to open a certain amount of tabs/applications before the system crashes.

What I will use this machine for: I mainly built this PC to handle heavy games without a problem -- hence the GPU I got. I'm a huge Starcraft fan, and I've never had the luxury of playing at any detail above 'low', so it really took me aback to see how well this thing performs. When it comes to productivity, I'm starting school soon this coming September, and I need a system to handle CPU taxing applications (especially Java/C++/C# IDEs for when I'm coding). When it came to buying the processor, there were no exceptions; I didn't want to cheap out and buy a less 'sturdy' CPU just out of impatience. I'll list the reasons why I bought each part down below.

Intel Core i7-7700k: I have never in my life used a system that can render and process between applications as quick as mine, thanks to this glorious processor. I knew that I'll need a hefty system for my career in computer science + other classes that demand many spreadsheets/documents, etc. And this gets the job done with ease. It's a habit for me to only have 2-3 active applications up at a time because but of how crappy my previous laptops were, but this processor allows me the freedom to multi-task without the worry of lag/freezing.

Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3: When I first started researching parts for an imminent PC build, I had the idea of using a majority of only black pieces. This sort of took a detour, seeing as though my GPU isn't black, but whatever. Since this is my first build, I was (and am still) intimidated by liquid cooling. I've read tons of reviews on this, and I decided it made the most practical sense, seeing its aesthetics and fantastic cooling performance. Headphones on or off, it's hard to hear this thing. After I bought this, I read articles saying that the successor cooler, the Dark Rock PRO 3 wouldn't fit in my case. I had a mini-heart attack as I thought I bought that one.. but rest assured, it was this one. I highly recommend someone assisting you with installing this beast. It's definitely doable with one person (I did it on my own), but it would be nice to have the luxury of someone holding the motherboard as you're fixing the screws onto the backplate.

Arctic MX4: Doing some research, I found that after-market thermal compound solutions perform much better than stock ones that come with your CPU cooler. I haven't compared the results of my temperatures with this thermal grease to the stock thermal grease that came with my cooler, but I haven't had issues with temperatures.

ASUS Maximus IX Hero ATX: No compromises on the motherboard either; for my first ever PC build, I wanted a sturdy motherboard with tons of features and some aesthetics. The bios is very user friendly, and the RGB lighting in the board is really cool. I'm comfortable in overclocking my CPU and GPU with this thing when the time comes.

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200: I needed some fast, good quality short term memory if I'm going to be programming a lot. I might eventually upgrade to 32GB or 64GB when I feel the need to.

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB: For my boot drive. Windows 10 launches extremely fast. I haven't timed anything yet, but usually when I turn on my crappy laptops, I could make a quick breakfast (orange juice included and maybe some napkins if I'm that ambitious) and come back to the system just before it fully loads. Love this thing.

Western Digital 1TB HDD: Great unit of storage with a good amount of space (for now!). I'll definitely be adding more storage units when the time comes.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Superclocked: That's a mouthful, ain't it? At first, I was actually thinking of getting an Asus STRIX 1060 6GB, but looked at the huge gap of frame rates and future-proof capabilities. Also, I turned 20 the day after I bought this because I wanted to treat myself for dealing with such low-end laptops for as long as I can remember. This GPU is amazing; it actively engages me with whatever game I'm playing, and I've never felt behind when it comes to playing with friends or just random people online.

NZXT S340 Elite (Black): I wanted a sleek, black case with a minimalistic design that doesn't protrude outwards. I love the design of this case so much. The tempered glass is amazing; I've had comments about family and friends who saw my finished PC saying that it belongs in a museum just for its presentation alone! Storing away PSU is a breeze with the space near the PSU itself. I highly recommend this case for any first-time builders who need the assurance of comfortability and lots of space to work with.

EVGA SUPERNOVA 650W 80+: It's all I ever needed in a power supply, honestly. I like the fully-modular concept of not having to deal with unneeded cables.

Corsair Air Series SP120 (x4) case fans: I needed some case fans without the unnecessary RGB lighting to effectively cool my system. I could have used 2 of the stock fans that came with my case, but I decided to go the extra mile and be more cautious about cooling solitons:

Post-build thoughts: It was hard to believe the rushed feeling I had after I put everything together, turned it on, and saw the display on the screen. Day and night, I would imagine my transformed room with a fresh, custom built PC that can handle games and applications without any issues. I couldn't have done it without PCPP and YouTube. I have browsed hundreds of completed builds on this site, and each one, in all their uniqueness, supported my decision of building a PC and gave me the confidence of knowing that it's possible. Thank you all, and your comments are appreciated greatly :)

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Comments

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

Congratulations on your first build. I'm doing my first build and, like you, I think this site is great for giving one the confidence to pick the parts that work together. I also picked up some nice bargains along the way!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

That's awesome :) the idea of building a computer was daunting to me at first, but this site helped because there are users just like you and me who are doing the exact same thing. I unfortunately didn't come across any bundle deals/packages like a motherboard +CPU combo, as there's no micro center near by :( but congrats! I'll keep a look out for your PC build and I'm sure it'll turn out great. Such a feeling of accomplishment

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

I love your, build. Very nice. I would like to note that; I too bought a an i7 7700k and the be quiet dark rock 3, and I have to say when I was installing it to the motherboard (earlier the day of writing this) it was a nightmare. I thought I knew what I was doing and I screwed on the nuts to the screws instead of to the heat sink brackets and I was trying to force the brackets down. This resulted in one of the nuts to fly off into the void of nothingness.

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you! And yeah, the CPU cooler can definitely play mind games for those who aren't too familiar with it. After the backplate was installed and I had the spacers for the socket, I kept trying to force the cooler onto the protruding screws from the backplate, but I figured that I had to tighten it from the backside (where two people would come in handy). Nonetheless, it's worth all the trouble because it's a great cooler. The positioning could be tricky when installing, but it's definitely doable.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you get a pic from a far back point of view? I want to see the entire setup.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Of course. I'll upload more pics as soon as I get home.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi Calebyg,

First of all, nice build, it looks great! I have a similar build with the Dark Rock 3 and the s340 elite black, but I'm having trouble fitting the window panel on the case :/ . Did you mess with the cooler mounting at all or tighten it a bunch to make it fit? Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey,

Thank you! Are you sure you have the Dark Rock 3 and not the bulkier Dark Rock 'PRO' 3? They are known to overlap a mere 2-3 cm of clearance for the S340 Elite. As far as my cooler goes, I didn't do anything special for it to have a snug fit. Just make sure after the backplate is installed, fasten the spacers in from the other side onto the socket completely. After you applied thermal paste and are ready to install the cooler, it will go over the protruding screws they stick out from the spacers. It won't seem like a natural fit, but you have to screw in the nuts from the backside so the cooler brings itself closer to the socket :) let me know how it goes.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually figured out my issue a couple hours after replying haha. I had mounted the fan of the Dark Rock 3 a couple notches higher than it was supposed to be, making it stick up above the flat surface of the main body of the cooler. Once I lowered it a couple notches, everything fit fine! Thanks for your help!