This build has been in the making since April of this year and it has finally come together. The main spark for the new build started with the Pascal cards and their announcement. This along with me wanting to play at a higher resolution gave me an itch to build up a new computer. I also want to apologize ahead of time for the pictures. I couldn't get my hands on a camera, so I used my phone's camera instead.
This is my second time building a computer so I've learned quite a few things from my previous build as well as things I would like to change this second time around. My previous computer that I built around mid-2014 used a GTX 770 and an i7-3770k. I know I could have used that computer a while longer for 1080p, but I figured selling it and putting the money towards this build would be the best route. The two goals I wanted to meet this time were silence, or something close, and to be able to game comfortably on high-ultra settings in 1440p.
With those two constraints in mind, I started to construct a silent, all black, monster of a machine and I loved every minute of it. Ever since I set foot in my local Micro Center to actually assembling the PC has been energizing. I ran into zero issues and the machine booted up on its first try.
I truly want to thank the PCPP community and staff for making this site the helpful database that it is! It made my life a lot easier to create draft builds and to be able to talk with others about certain parts or ideas. I don't think I could have been able to make the best version of my build without you guys!
Parts that weren't reviewed:
I got some white LED strips because the smoked window made it somewhat hard to see inside the case. I also threw in a Corsair MM300 mouse mat since my old smaller mat was getting frayed and worn out. Finally, when I purchased my GTX 1080 card, Nvidia's promotional deal got me a free copy of Gears of War 4.
Post Build Occurences! 11/25/2016
In response to thermal issues being found with EVGAs GPUs, I contacted them to send me their thermal mod kit along with their new Powerlink cable.
Today I took apart the graphics card (a little scary) and completed all the tasks. I used my own Noctua thermal compound instead of the cruddy paste in a bag that they sent. After the card was reassembled I also attached the Powerlink cable onto the card and tried booting up my computer to see if I messed up anything. The computer started up fine and the temperatures look fine as well. My mind is a bit more at ease knowing that my GPU shouldn't be having any thermal events anytime soon.
Update as of 4/13/2018
I purchased the Creative Labs Blaser Audigy Rx sound card along with a Sennheiser HD 598 SE headphone from Amazon today. Both items were on sale at the time of purchase and are arriving within the next week. I'm very excited to try them out together! Once I have them up and running on my PC, I will write proper reviews for them in the list below.
Update as of 4/26/2019
PC is still running as strong as ever. I did have an issue recently with the LED strips though. I opened up my case to find that the plastic on the LED strips had melted away and created a small sticky mess near the panel it was attached to. I have since removed all LED strips from my build.
Easily the first CPU that came to mind when having a slightly more flexible budget than normal. I could have went for the i5-6600k with minimal to zero losses when it comes to gaming, but overall I've been an i7 kind of guy coming from an i7-3770k. It handles any and all tasks that I throw at it.
I just have to make a comment about how truly MASSIVE this cooler really is! When I removed it from the box I was just completely floored by its size. It is sleek, beefy, and whisper quiet which suits my needs perfectly! I was thinking about an AIO liquid cooler for my CPU, but with this air cooler I don't have to ever worry about a water leakage in my system. The idle temps were very solid and when running Cinebench at full load, my 6700k only peaked at about 45 celsius at 100% continuous load.
I've heard some great things about this thermal paste, but I guess paste is paste in the end. I thought I might as well get some really good paste since I won't be re-applying it too often to my CPU.
I've seen this motherboard lineup time and time again in people's builds so I started researching about it. It comes with plenty of features and programs, lots of PWM fan headers, extremely friendly bios etc. Overall, its just a really solid motherboard and I had no troubles overclocking.
Great DDR4 high speed memory. The 16GB should be more than enough for playing games and doing the occasional stream. Not much else to say besides it is low profile and fast. Had no troubles using XMP to reach the desired 3200 speed.
The Samsung 850 EVO is extremely fast and I am already familiar with its speed since I used it in my previous build.
The Western digital drive also works great and is substantial enough to store all my files in.
The muscles of the system! I've had my eye on this GPU for a long time and from what I can tell it handles itself well for gaming at 1440p. The card's metal look, beefy cooler, as well as being an EVGA product made it a primary contender for me. The card seems to automatically boost its clockspeed depending on the load. When running during a heavier load in Heaven and other benchmarks, the temperature didn't go above 60 celsius with an aggressive fan curve.
I spent a lot of time looking for the right case since that is the first thing people notice when looking at a computer. I wanted something that was robust, looked badass, and had a side window to show off the inner goods. Right when I saw this case I loved it. I slapped on a custom gray smoked window and it was all set to go! My room gets pretty dusty so I have to clean out my PC every now and then so the extra dust filters on the case are also much appreciated. Besides that, the case has nice handles to carry, feels sturdy, and has tons of room and tie down points for parts and cable management. Had to dock a star though because the default window that came with the case was not great at all.
Originally I was going to go for the NEX as it was cheaper, but I've seen people recommend the G2 time and time again. I've heard nothing but great things about this PSU and how reliable it is. So far it has been doing its job well!
Noisy DVD drive, but it got the job done with installing Windows so I can't really complain.
It's a fine operating system, I just hate having the drop the 100 bucks for it though.
This is an absolutely brilliant sound card. I downloaded the most recent stable drivers from Daniel_K's blogspot and performed a full installation. My speakers were up and running in no time and I was shown a full range of programs, including a coherent sound equalizer, speaker setup, MIDI sound-font program, and a program that handles EAX. The user interface is very friendly and allowed me to tune the sound precisely to my liking.
Now, I cannot praise this card enough for its sound. I thought the onboard audio was great with the Asus Maximus VII Hero, but it does not even compare to this sound card. It added much needed depth and clarity to my 5.1 speaker setup, while also balancing the lows, mids, and highs, even at extreme levels of volume. My rear two speakers sounded extremely muddy and had degraded sound quality with my previous onboard audio setup, but now the Audigy Rx makes them shine. You can hear the smallest details of intricate instruments in them now. I can also say that the subwoofer packs a much heavier punch as well.
This card also drives my Sennheiser headphones with ease and really brings them to life. Overall, I am very satisfied with this purchase and would definitely recommend it to anyone trying to get more out of their speaker/headphone setup.
Reliable and silent fans! Can't ask for much more.
Another reliable and silent fan. I chose these black fans since the window on my chasis allows people to view them from the outside. Much better than people seeing the brown Noctua fans.
As of yesterday, October 24, I went to Microcenter and purchased the Acer x34 monitor. I was extremely uneasy about the price, but now that it is hooked up and I have all my games working for it, IT IS PHENOMENAL. The one I received has very minimal backlight bleed and IPS glow with zero dead pixels. Since I had a dual monitor setup before, I really wanted something with a lot of screen space. This left me with two options: Go dual 1440p monitors OR go a single ultrawide monitor. I am soooo glad I went with ultrawide since I can utilize the full screen space when I am web browsing AND for full-screen gaming. With the dual monitor setup I would only be using the single screen for gaming and wasting the second monitor. Overall, the price was steep but it was completely worth it. With this final piece I can happily bask in the final version of this build!
First things first, holy cow these headphones are quality! For the price, there are few options that can even compete with these cans. It is also my first open-backed headphone and I must say that the sound is incredibly spacious and clear, with nothing being over-accentuated. The bass is tight and does pack some punch after playing around with the equalizer. Even when listening at extreme volumes, I did not experience any listening fatigue. Vocals, guitars, strings, synthesizers, etc all come in very clear to deliver an immersive and enjoyable experience. They work extremely well in games too with positional audio being accurate and distinct, allowing advantages in fps titles.
I was lucky enough to purchase them at a heavy discount on Amazon which then drove me to purchase a sound card for my PC to go with it. These headphones are very easy to drive and can even be used with your smartphone. They are light and comfortable, to which I have worn them for hours on end and haven't noticed any irritation on my ears. The only negative aspect about these headphones is that they do not fold up, nor do they come with a headphone case so it is not convenient to take with you on the go. Then again, they are open-backed so listening to them in public would be a bit disruptive since they leak sound. This con really doesn't pertain to me since I solely use them at home with my desktop computer and keyboard.
It is also worth mentioning that these came with a 6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter so that I could either use the headphones with my Digital Keyboard or my computer/smartphone. It also included two cables, one long and one short.