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Build

Icebox Aurora

by joshsmith91

20
25 Comments

Details

Date Published

June 16, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.632 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8 GHz

Description

So I've been wanting to build an excellent PC for a really long time. I've only ever had laptops, and as we all know they have a ton of drawbacks: Reduced performance graphics, massive heat issues, annoying drivers, tiny & loud fans, and they have a short lifespan due to their lack of being upgraded to name a few.

Finally, I can get something good. When selecting parts I wanted something that beat my old laptop in every way. It had to be; quiet, powerful, quality and up-gradable. I think I've found a nice compromise and I'm looking forward to having this build for at least the next 5 years.

To start off, I'm very satisfied with the Phanteks P400S. It sacrifices having front panel media expansion for some really great sound insulation on the front and sides. There's dust protection on all the intakes (Front and Bottom) and on the top with magnetic covers. I really like the clean looks of the case, and the easy installation of the magnetic 1m RGB strip is fantastic.

I already had a lot of peripherals that were connected to my laptop on my desk and I have included those in the build list as I will be using them on the new build.

After a few days of use and optimising the fans speeds I am extremely satisfied! The overall noise is really low, the only thing you can hear on idle is the water cooler and even that is very quiet. I've never had anything with an SSD before and the speed of boot up, installation of windows and general operation really surprised me. It's a really neat case and routing the cables was relatively easy too. I've replaced the stock fans with noctua industrial ones, they're running at ~10% at idle and are practically silent.

Please leave any comments or feedback, I'm very interested to hear what you think.

I need to upload some juicy new pics with the gpu and noctua fans installed. I'm so satisfied with the final result. The only thing I will replace is the bitfenix fan, the clicking drives me a little crazy. otherwise this build is super quiet.

Part Reviews

Memory

Great looking memory for starters! At this price point it has a great ratio of frequency to CAS timing.

Storage

You can't go wrong with a Samsung SSD, epic boot times and loading speeds. I'm just going to add a second drive for more space later for all those game backups and media.

Video Card

This card is of amazing construction, and it's performance is astounding! Unless you want the very, very best, get one of these. The first game I got to put this card through it's basics is Rise of the Tomb Raider, and it looks gorgeous. Doom can be cranked into it's ultra and nightmare settings too with this beautiful beast.

Make sure you get NVidia GeForce Experience for driver updates, and go to the Asus support page to download GPU Tweak II to get the overclocking, 0DB fan control, and the Aura module to control the RGB lighting

Case

For its price point, this case excels in value, it is beautiful and is actually a great case for people who are new to building (like me)

Pros: + Roomy enough for full size video cards + Cable management is easy with Velcro ties, lots of tie points and space for routing as well as tidy rubberised holes + Phanteks RGB strips are easy to plug in and display 10 different colours + Sound insulation on front and side panels + Easy to take panels off and put on (the screws don't fall off) + Drives are easy to move and have rubberised mounts to reduce noise

Cons: - No disk drive bays - Mildly restricted air flow on the front - Smaller size means no crazy huge radiators on the ceiling - Stock fans are below par in quality

Power Supply

Amazing value for the price! It's fully modular to start off with so no annoying cables to squash into the case. All the cables come sleeved and are made to last. It is silent most of the time with Eco mode on. Oh, and the packaging was rally nice too and it came with a full manual.

I cannot ask for more in a power supply. If I could give it 6/5 I would!

Operating System

Best windows to date, updates frequently unlike older versions. Microsoft is listening to it's user-base and often make changes to windows 10 based on user feedback, if you're thinking about upgrading do it.

Case Fan

A great fan all round, quiet, massive air flow and high CFM. The fan blades are very rigid, the styling is tasteful and the build quality feels quite solid. Much cheaper than Noctuas and mildly better looking, this fan is a great performer for the price

There are some really nice touches too, you can either use the provided screws and rubber washers or the easy to pop in rubber things (I used screws as they mount flatter)

My only issues with installing this was that there was no flow direction indicator (as with most fans it flows towards the plastic housing) and the holes aren't already threaded for screws so you end up with a bit plastic dust entering the case :(

After a couple of months of use, i'm a little disappointed with the quality, it has developed a clicking noise which i originally thought was my liquid cooler, due to their proximity. its super silent most of the time... until the clicking begins

Case Fan

Practically silent and idle on PWM mode at ~10% speed, they're super powerful at moving air into the case to the motherboard. Yeah they're pricey but if you want near silence these are the ruling monarch.

Beautiful design, black colour and replaceable rubber pads (i bought white ones for the theme), these are beastly fans.

Comments Sorted by:

FACUNDO 13 Builds 4 points 34 months ago

+1 for showing off people the new Skylake sticker :D

joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

So shiny and square!

bobby567 2 points 34 months ago

Noice case and component choices. 1+

Which GPU are you getting? :)

joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 3 points 34 months ago

Thank you :D

I think I'll either get the Asus Strix GTX 1070 depending on the pricing when It finally arrives in Australia, the 1080 looks like it'll be way too pricey for me.

brendon12321 3 points 34 months ago

Looking at MSY (cheapest tech) its a bit under $800. Still pricy for Australians :( Can you add more photos of that sexy PC when you get your GPU? Other then that great choice of parts 1+

joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 2 points 34 months ago

Us poor Aussies get a bit ripped off :(

Thanks for the interest, I'll definitely be adding more pictures later on (I'll see if I can borrow an SLR to get some better stuff than the photos from my phone).

It took me about 9 months to pick out all the parts I wanted, and I ended up changing my mind about one thing or another every month!

brendon12321 2 points 34 months ago

If i may ask, which state do you live in? I live in NSW and the Phanteks P400s was one of the case I considered but then decided not to get it because only PCCG had the case and it costed $40 shipping :(.

joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

I'm living in the ACT, and yeah shipping was crazy high!

Phanteks cases are really hard to get a hold of here, but the build quality and design decisions make them an interesting choice I think. I just wish there were more outlets that stocked them (Darn you MSY and your poor range).

bobby567 2 points 34 months ago

Noice

LiamTheHuman 1 Build 2 points 34 months ago

Add more pics?

joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

I will do, just gotta get a better camera :D

LiamTheHuman 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

The first few pics seem fine, whats wrong with current one?

joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

I guess I just want them to be extra crispy, thanks though. Maybe I should take them and re-upload when I have better ones?

LiamTheHuman 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

or are you going for feature?

LiamTheHuman 1 Build 2 points 34 months ago

Wow, looking at how the build looks now, its actually pretty similar to what I'm thinking of doing! nice job m8 and thanks for extra pics

JonMalonee 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Nice! I'm planning on doing a similar first time build?

How hard was the installation of the cooler?

joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

I'd definitely recommend having a buddy hold the cooler together as you bolt it to the case, it can be a bit fiddly. I was definitely grateful for them.

Atranox 1 point 31 months ago

How are your noise levels under load? I'm kinda curious how the sound dampening with the P400S compares to the Fractal Define cases.

Azel3D 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Cool! Phanteks cases are nice!

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LiamTheHuman 1 Build 2 points 34 months ago

RX 480 will probs come out as the best option

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joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

Wow, thanks! Yeah the 1060 from the very little news I've seen looks like a 970 killer. If it really is that good when it gets released I think I'll definitely choose it as my GPU. I'm feeling pretty impatient waiting for the news cards to get released.

Aussies unite! :D

butterfingersman 2 points 34 months ago

The RX 470 had leaked benchmarks suggesting that it was 5% slower than a 970, and it's likely to be really cheap. The RX 480 is suspected to be around 980 performance, and it'll also be real cheap, so definitely look into AMD's offerings right now if you're interested in the price/performance ratio they're offering. I'm not sure about the AU prices, but you should totally look into it when they are released.

joshsmith91 submitter 1 Build 2 points 34 months ago

Yeah, I'll definitely keep my options open, especially with AMDs new aggressive price point on their GPUs in the states. Hopefully we see similar price points in AU where AMD could get a big win in the budget video card market.

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