It's been a little over a year since I built my first computer inside a Xion Xon 560. Since then, I've kept an eye on different parts going on sale and getting them. I wish I'd thought of getting used stuff the first time round. Would've saved me a decent amount of money.

Anyways, as it stands I'm currently rocking a 4670k (ebay for $174) and an EVGA 980 ti hybrid (Amazon used $599). I was originally turned on to the AIO GPU solution when I put a Kraken g10 on my 290 reference (which for those of you reading this is the single best thing you can do for a reference AMD card). Originally had a Hyper 212 evo but couldn't really get a crazy enough OC on my CPU so once I sold my old 290, I went out and got an H100i v2 and so far it has been good.

Going from 1080 to 1440 was pretty much night and day and I can honestly say, I'm not going 4k any time soon. Partly because of price and there's no single GPU that can do a solid 60 fps with max-ish settings (spring 2016) and partly because I really can't see the pixels on my monitor (I could at 1080).

Part Reviews


Got this chip used on amazon purely because I couldn't pass up the price. Unfortunately I have yet to dial in a solid overclock on it (due to lack of time and experience). After installing the h100i, I ran OCCT for about 1.5 hours and temps peaked at 85 (1.248v @ 4.6ghz). Which I'm pretty happy with since with a hyper 212 evo at the same volts/speed, the temps went up to 95 the second I hit "start"

CPU Cooler

Not the quietest thing in the world. Maybe noctua fans would help

Made a pretty significant difference over my old 212 evo. As far as $/performance, the 212 evo was better but it didn't allow me to achieve the OC I wanted so my experience yields the following:

  1. If you just want to run your CPU stock but cooler, or maybe a small OC get a 212 evo
  2. If you really want to push your CPU, get an AIO with a 240+ radiator or do a custom loop

Thermal Compound

No issues, temps are perfectly acceptable


My review may be a little biased here because I practically stole the motherboard. It was on sale for $90ish and then there was a $30 rebate on it. Before that brief window of opportunity I was considering an h81 and the like. The only complaint I have about this board is that my GPU (Gigabyte r9 280 windforce) blocks the PCI x1 slot which I would've liked to have been able to use. Other than that it has all the features I could ever need from a board.

Looks GREAT w/the thermal armor painted to match your case


At the time of my purchasing this item, it was cheaper than a Samsung 850 or 840 which I'd prefer but when I saw this go on sale for $50 I couldn't pass it up. I've got my OS and some games on it, all of which run amazingly well. Computer boots up in a matter of seconds.

Video Card

1440p AAA titles, maxed settings (i keep AA low because at 1440p it's really not that necessary) super quiet. Most I can OC mine is 100-120 mhz which was disappointing but overall it's a really cool card

Could be quieter


For the price I can't complain too much. Since getting this I don't think I'll ever get a case w/o a PSU basement or some sort of enclosure to hide it. I think PCs look so much better when the PSU is completely hidden.

No sound deadening Filters are great Have had trouble getting GPUs to line up with the screw holes in the slots on the back.

Case Fan

Got these because they were blue and cheap. The only thing I don't like about them (this may be true for all LED fans but idk bc these are the only ones I have) is that the LED brightness is directly related to the fan speed i.e. at system idle there's no light. If i'd known that i would've just gotten some stand alone LEDs and Noctua fans


Best monitor I could find for the money. Specs were exactly what I needed. However the monitor itself is not a thing of beauty. On the top/sides there's no differentiation between the bezel and the screen so powered off, the screen looks bigger than it actually is.


great for the price. Not sure how accurate the colors are. It's definitely warmer than my AOC I2269VW. The photos I've edited on it do look the same when printed (on good paper with a really good printer) so I can safely say that for the hobby photographer (me) it's fine.

Games look great


Battery life could be better. I'm not a competitive gamer and generally avoid any online PVP stuff cause I usually suck IE i don't care/notice any latency issues.

Color customization is great. I love the illuminated base. Super comfy. Really like the adjustable click force.

Going from my g502 to this the only things I miss are the removable weights and the hyper scroll wheel. I got so used to just flicking the wheel and letting it spin that I don't really like going back to the traditional scroll wheel

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  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Great job. Don't care for the case or cable management (or lack there-of).

The price for the total setup is really good considering you got a monitor, mouse, and keyboard included with an SSD to boot!

You should consider re-routing your cables, with a tight enclosure like that, and little cable mang't options, keeping the cables tidy and out of the way will help increase airflow in your system

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. It was a joy to research and build. I re did some cables today and threw up a new pic. Still thinking about what I can do about the twist tied clump on the bottom.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello, how is the PSU handling your GPU? I have the same PSU with a gtx 660, but i am considering upgrading to a r9 290. Do you get any blue screens?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

In the system I have it seems to handle everything fine. There's some power left over to OC the 290 in my system (1090 clock 1390 memory) but I don't think there's room to spare for cpu AND gpu OC.

Never had a blue screen though.

Few other tips on the 290: It seems to be old enough where there are some good prices on used ones. I got mine used on amazon for $195 so hunt around if you can. Also the reference cooler is really loud. My previous windforce 280 was quiet enough to not wear headphones but not so with a 290 reference, especially if you change the fan curve from stock (in order to keep it under 90 Celsius)

Idk what your budget is but NCIX has a good deal on a 750 watt from evga (I got myself one a few days ago just because I wanted more OC headroom for now, future SLI headroom and the price was right)

Let me know if you have other questions

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Just wanted to know if your PSU was causing you any trouble. I decided to get a gtx 960 4gb instead since it uses less power. According to R9 290 specifications, it needs a 750w psu.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I never had any blue screens. However, on two instances after leaving my pc on overnight, the screen was black in the morning and not responsive to keyboard or mouse inputs. Put my GPU in the second PCIE slot on my board and it worked fine after reinstalling the drivers. This happened again after running folding at home overnight and after restarting the computer got a beeping error code which translated to the board not detecting a GPU.

I assumed this was a mobo issue rather than a gpu or psu issue and sent the board back to Asus and I'm currently waiting for them to send it back to me. Also, i tried to boot with a 280 windforce and got the same result. PC booted fine w/no gpu installed. Some people on toms hardware and linus tech tips who suggested that the PSU might not have been adequate.

WHen I get the board back from Asus I'll see what happens.

If you can budget for a 750w then i'd get it because a 500w leaves you almost no room for OCing and isn't very "future proof"

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice that case.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

on the mouse, how long is the battery life cuz i want to use it in a future build. good build! +1

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

nvm i found the answer

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Why 4 SSDs? Just curious

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

When I first built this, I could only afford a small ssd. As time went on, I saw some more on sale for a good price and got them.