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Silent But Deadly Antec P160 Born Again 1080 GTX Gaming Rig

by ericdawg

Description

I've always loved my Antec P160 aluminum case since I built in about 15 years ago with an AMD Athlon 64/FX 939 and an eVGA GeForce 680 GT 256MB. After rocking Doom, Half Life 2, Far Cry and a few others I discovered Battlefield 1942 online and my life was changed forever. Oh the long nights of battles, team killers, and jeeps filled with explosives.

When my build started getting old I bought an ASUS ROG Gaming laptop thinking I'd game wherever I wanted to, but it was a huge disappointment. The proprietary graphics drivers seemed to make running any Battlefield games after BF2 problematic. So after 5 or so years playing BF42 on the ASUS I heard the rumor of Battlefield 1 and decided to see if I could bring my beloved blue/green Antec case back to life.

My main concern was noise. My old eVGA GeForce sounded like an airplane taking off. I was intrigued by the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X with the TORX fans that only come on when needed. Once I found that my build was on.

Newegg: Motherboard, graphics card, PSU, CPU Cooler, RAM.

Amazon: The rest.

Newegg had a trial subscription call PRIME that offered expedited shipping and returns. I signed up and they were kind enough to remind me that I had 3 days to cancel it before I had to pay $50. Sorry I didn't need it anymore so I cancelled, but they were really great with their shipping and return of the bad ram.

Amazon also super. How cool is it to order a new part and get it the next day. Even better get a ****** monitor from Asus and be able to return it for free. No hassles.

First of all - a magnetic screw driver is a life saver. I can't imagine how many screws I would've dropped into my case without it. Having a big piece of cardboard to slide the case around worked great.

I love my Enermax fan controller. The front and back case fan are hooked up to it, and when I step away for a break I crank them up. Otherwise the fans are very low and the temps are as well. The extra blue/green lights are cool.

I replaced the old 3.5" floppy with a 4 port usb drive that is connected to a fast charge connection on the motherboard. Ipad, Iphone charge quickly.

The aluminum Antec case really keeps things cool. After gutting it the removable motherboard tray was nice. The front panel pulls off and has blue led's over the top of the mesh case fan cover. The optical drive cover posed a challenge since it didn't line up with the button on the ASUS drive I originally bought, so I had find a drive with a bigger button. Samsung to the rescue.

My old Creative Labs 7.1 sound system is rocking again. The old creative cables that went from the subwoofer to the then old sound card only had 3 connections on the sound card side - they were mixed in to work with the Creative Soundblaster I had. Luckily a search found that old manual and told me to just get 4 separate 3.5 cables. Amazon'd them and it works again. Woo hoo!

I went all out and bought the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q 27" 2560x1440 IPS 165Hz 4ms G-SYNC Eye Care Gaming Monitor on Amazon. I was super stoked when I turned it on. Then I gamed and was like WTF.... 4 dead pixels right next to my cross hair. Super stupid annoying. The black light bleed was pretty bad with dark scenes as well. Luckily Amazon took it back. I found 27" to be too big for non-gaming use. I was always sizing web browsers and moving the mouse way left and right. Mostly I didn't want to risk another ****** ASUS monitor so after some research on HardOCP I found this:

Dell Gaming S2417DG YNY1D 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor with G-SYNC

Not one dead pixel! Hurray for quality control. It's a beautiful screen after you adjust the colors. Out of the box the colors are really faded, but lucky for me some nice gent on the HardOcp posted the perfect color settings. I really like the 24" size for gaming and non-gaming use. Dell monitor fan for life.

I'm super happy with this build. It's the quietest PC I've ever had and it runs Battlefield 1 maxed out. The Dell monitor with Gsync is just awesome.

Just picked up these: Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum RGB 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

Very nice.

Last thing to do - crawl under the desk and organize the cables.

Part Reviews

CPU

Easy choice. Rock soild and great price.

CPU Cooler

Super quiet, fits perfectly, and easy to install.

Motherboard

MSI Z170A Gaming M7

HardOCP Review- MSI Z170A

After choosing the MSI Graphics card, doing research on HardOCP led me to an MSI Motherboard that sounded legit. I liked the idea of the SSD M2 slot being away from the graphics card slot. The BIOS Screens are good. I replaced my old 3.5 inch floppy drive with a 4 port USB drive and connected it to a Fast charge USB connector on the motherboard that allows devices to be charged faster. It seems to work good.

The Realtek 7.1 sound works great with my Creative labs 7.1 speaker system. The software is great and allows customization.

The Killer NIC lan connection is solid.

All in all a fine board and the red color scheme matches my memory sticks and the graphics card.

Memory

After flipping the switch my build wouldn't boot. After a few minutes of grief and a little research I pulled one of the sticks out and thank God it booted up. One bad stick. I traded the sticks in the motherboard slots to test if it was the motherboard but it was the one stick.

Newegg was great in taking it back, and while the 2nd pair booted up just fine, the latency detected by the motherboard was a little higher than advertised. I haven't messed with voltage or anything as it's fine, but still a bit of a headache.

The red color matches perfectly with the rest of the build.

Storage

Well originally I chose the Western Digital Cavier and this was another headache... literally. My build was depressingly making a loud humming noise that at first I thought was the graphics card. After some sleuthing, and since I had my OS on the SSD I unplugged the hard drive and thank God again the noise went away.

I bought the Seagate on Amazon and day later it was prrrfect. Doens't make any noise at all.

Video Card

WONDERFUL. Can't ever hear it. Fans don't kick in unless hard core gaming, so when just surfing the web they're not even on. When they do come on I can't hear them. LOVE IT.

HardOCP Review: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/09/26/msi_geforce_gtx_1080_gaming_x_8g_video_card_review/11#.WA7hTsgrIUE

Power Supply

Found this on HardOCP:

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/07/21/seasonic_flagship_prime_750w_power_supply_review/#.WA7gksgrIUE

Same as the other components - the fan only comes on when it has to, and when it does I can't hear it. Really like it. Came in cool fancy velvet case with a nice looking case badge. Had all the modular cables I needed. Documentation was good and just felt like a solid product.

Optical Drive

Bought the ASUS drive originally, but one thing I didn't take into consideration was the front panel that covers the drive - it has a door that flips open and shuts again when the drive opens and shuts. My old LiteOn drive had a button that lined up perfectly with the cases button. The ASUS drive button didn't line up so it was always getting pushed - hence it wouldn't shut.

I did some searching online and noticed this Samsung had a large round button - it lines up perfectly. Whew.

Operating System

I really like Windows 10.

Case Fan

Works great. Hooked it up to my Enermax fan controller and it works just fine.

Monitor

AWESOME. Not one bad pixel. Gsync and 165hz is killer. Out of the box the colors are really washed out, but after you adjust them it's a really nice screen. Viewing angles are just fine. No back light issues like the IPS panels. Dell monitor quality is unbeatable.

Keyboard

Meh. It's ok. I liked the idea of not having a key pad. I wish there were more like that. I think it's stupid that so many gaming keyboards have a num pad which forces you to have your mouse further over. I'm not a big fan of the key spacing or keys so I'll probably keep looking. It's a rock solid keyboard thought. I couldn't even break it over my knee like my beloved Saitek. Doh.

Mouse

Meh. It's ok. The sensor changing doesn't always work and the side buttons aren't super comfortable.

Comments Sorted by:

boofheadfred 1 Build 3 points 30 months ago

Check out reddit.com/r/mechanicalkeyboards if you're looking for a new 'board!

pegotico 2 Builds 3 points 30 months ago

Very nice build!

I've always loved my Antec P160 aluminum case since I built in about 15 years ago

Looks in good condition after all those years.. :)

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

Thanks! Yep lots of good memories attached to that case. :-)

pegotico 2 Builds 2 points 30 months ago

:)

PowerPunch360 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

+1 for getting back into PC building and gaming!

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Yeah I learned a ton research parts. Pcpartpicker is a gem, as is HardOCP and all the folks that take the time to share their experience. Now if I could just stop getting my *** kicked in BF1. Sigh.

Maxxoz 2 points 30 months ago

+1 for the PSU. Love that you used it!

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Yeah I think SeaSonic actually makes PSU's for other companies? I recall reading that somewhere I thought. The packaging was really cool and the case badge was a nice touch.

Maxxoz 1 point 30 months ago

Yep, they're an OEM of lots of PSU brands. This PSU might be the one of the best PSU ever made, and it's extremely efficient! You can expect this PSU to last for 10 years and more! This review was made be jonnyguru.com, one of the most trusted PSU reviewers in the whole internet. He has over 10 years of reviewing experience, and almost never gave a perfect score, the 10/10. Well, this unit was the best one he ever tested and of course got a 10/10, for performance, functionality, value and build quality.

RhettRO55 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

Love seeing builds with older cases! +1 for everything!

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

Thanks! I miss researching parts already. :-(

RhettRO55 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

You can always research parts! I took a ridiculous route the other day (Just for S&Gs) to find a case with an absurd number of 5.25 bays so I could use a 5.25 adapter that holds 6x2.5" SSDs at 2TB each just to see how much it could cost to have a full tower running a 192 TB SSD storage situation, with space to grow.

tomtomj2 9 Builds 2 points 30 months ago

I love it, that Antec case was reborn again into a new era!

Nice rebuild, +1. :)

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Thanks. Has a lot of good memories attached to it, and I still like the silver and blue light look.

will2135 2 points 30 months ago

Nice parts but the case Ew

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Lol. You wanted another black case ? I love the silver with blue lights. Has a lot of good memories attached to it I guess.

kainsword 2 points 30 months ago

Cute kitty!

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Meow. He's the boss. I think there's a cat hair behind one of the case badges.

PlentyOfPancakes 2 points 29 months ago

How is it gaming on that 24" 2k monitor? Compared to a 24" 1080p monitor, does it make everything smaller or does it keep (or atleast relatively) the same size as a 24" 1080p would and just make everything more detailed? That is if you've ever gamed on a 24" 1080p monitor. I guess the better question to ask is if everything seems smaller than it should be. +1 btw :P

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

It doesn't appear smaller. Definitely more detailed. I made a few changes to windows I think to make fonts a little bigger but I don't really notice anything being small. Gaming definitely not.

MiraMinx 1 point 30 months ago

About those Memory Sticks, did you turn on Intel XMP in the BIOS? If you didn't that would explain why you aren't getting the values as advertised.

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Yeah used XMP.

MiraMinx 2 points 30 months ago

Well now that is definitely odd. G.skill is usually spot on on those.

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Yeah I don't recall what the difference was - the latency was slightly higher than advertised. When I had the one bad stick and was using just the one 16 gb stick the latency using XMP was as advertised. Then when I got the new set it was a tad higher. I thought about returning it but I guess it wasn't high enough to care. Honestly I don't think I'll notice. But still kinda odd.

I used Corsair before but it was kind of hard finding sets that were approved for the motherboard based of the MSI website. The fact that they were red like all the other parts (although what isn't these days) kinda made it seem like it was meant to be. But yeah... I've heard good things about G Skill.

dorofingers 1 point 29 months ago

thanks for the review! do you mind linking me with the hardocp color setting suggestions you mentioned for the monitor?

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 3 points 28 months ago

Sorry for the late reply.

https://hardforum.com/threads/dell-s2417dg.1910213/

Out of the box the display looks very washed out....but with these adjustments, man this thing is beautiful....totally the best TN panel I have ever used, and the motion clarity @ max FPS is sublime :)

Nvidia Control Panel>Adjust desktop color settings: Brightness-50% Contrast-50% Gamma-0.75% Digital vibrance-70% Hue-0 CLICK APPLY

DELL Monitor settings: Brightness-40% Contrast-75% Color>Custom Color: R-97% G-99% B-96%

manquake 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

Ericdawg could you link those color settings from HardOCP for the monitor? I have mine coming and want to be ready to adjust! Thanks!!

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 3 points 28 months ago

https://hardforum.com/threads/dell-s2417dg.1910213/

Out of the box the display looks very washed out....but with these adjustments, man this thing is beautiful....totally the best TN panel I have ever used, and the motion clarity @ max FPS is sublime :)

Nvidia Control Panel>Adjust desktop color settings: Brightness-50% Contrast-50% Gamma-0.75% Digital vibrance-70% Hue-0 CLICK APPLY

DELL Monitor settings: Brightness-40% Contrast-75% Color>Custom Color: R-97% G-99% B-96%

manquake 1 Build 2 points 28 months ago

Thanks so much mine is coming in today I cant wait to set it up!!

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 2 points 28 months ago

What do you think?

manquake 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

Man it is great I love this monitor!! Thanks so much for the settings I tried tweaking them a bit more but kept coming back to the settings you gave me they work perfect!!! Im now thinking about getting a second one.

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 2 points 28 months ago

Ha nice! Yeah that's funny I did the same thing. I told whoever shared that the same thing. They really dialed it in. I'm so glad I found that monitor. Second one.... hmm..... I have been pretty good this year unfortunately.

SiranKari 1 point 28 months ago

So over time have you found that the pixel density in the 24in has payed off? Also, about how far are you typically sitting from your monitor? I'm trying to decide between an ROG Swift (27in 144hz 1440p GSync) and a 24 inch with the same.

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 2 points 28 months ago

Yes the pixel density really makes the images smooth. I definitely notice the difference.

I sit about 2-3 feet:

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/mQjcCJ

I had the ROG Swift at first. Had 4 dead pixels right in the middle, and the backlight bleeding in the corners was pretty lame for the price. Definitely buy it somewhere that has a lenient return police like Amazon or Fry's.

Minky7 3 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

So this is an old build but I was curious as to if the seagate drive has maintained it's silence and stability? I'm wanting to buy one due to their incredible value but am skeptical as to their quality.

ericdawg submitter 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

Hi. Yeah it's been perfect so far. I don't notice it at all. No problems.

Minky7 3 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Thanks!

[comment deleted by staff]
manirelli staff 8 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

The sale of those keys violate Microsoft ToS, and the keys may be unexpectedly disabled. Recommending, suggesting, advising, encouraging, hinting, or in any way implying these keys as a solution or option is not allowed on this site.

crookz_n_castlez 6 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

Well then my bad.It certainly wasn't intentional as I was just joking.

[comment deleted]
ericdawg submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Meow. That's Mr. Felix. He's the boss.

[comment deleted by staff]
ericdawg submitter 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

He he a little divine intervention never hurts. The chair warmer was free, but the daily treat costs keep rising. But it's worth it. Meow.

pegotico 2 Builds 2 points 30 months ago

Just dont let it get baptized.

Not to worry.. when the antec P160 gets the scuba gear that will be possible.