This is actually a rebuild of a machine I already had put together, but wasn't really enthused about the looks. It's now risen from the ashes. A buddy of mine sent me down a rabbit hole after showing me some new computer cases. I got to looking and decided to scratch my original plan of this build that I had in a Parvum S2.5. I've had (and still am) a lot of fun putting this build together. Tried out sleeving wires for the first time, and I think it turned out pretty good. I sleeved everything I could without having to recrimp any wires. This is the result and I'm not sure it's entirely finished yet..
CPU: This is the fastest single core processor on the market currently until the 8th gen intel stuff comes out. I picked up Rockit Cool's Rockit 88 kit and decided to try my hand at delidding. Pretty straight forward after watching a few videos. Decided to use some thermal grizzly conductonaut on the die under the IHS and kryonaut in the normal spot after a bit of research. Temps are about 15 degrees cooler at load and about 10 at idle with a modest overclock of 5Ghz @ 1.340V. Max temps about 75C at load and 28C at idle with the radiator at the top as opposed to in the front which would be my preferred location. With the radiator in the front you can take an additional 5C off of these temps both at load and idle.
CPU Cooler: Performs well enough (for now). I actually swapped out an H105 for this guy in hopes to be able to fit in the front with the video card as it is a bit thinner, but that 1080ti is just too massive with its stock cooler. So up top it has to sit. If I don't go custom loop, I might pick up one of the new corsair coolers when they come out. It certainly would save some pressure on the wallet.
Motherboard: Good looks, decent BIOS, though the later firmwares don't seem to be as stable as the some of the older ones. I'd prefer the RGB on the chipset wasn't the only light on the board, as it is hidden by the video card. It would also be nicer if ASUS' software wasn't so close to being worthless. AURA software could be so much more powerful if it was properly done, but it just feels like some knucklehead in his garage is coding it. The implementation of how to set the lighting is backwards and doesn't allow you to save any profiles. The recent update has made it slightly more tolerable, but I've had to modify someone else's batch file tool to allow the use of profiles. Software just seems rushed. I had a bad customer experience with ASUS a while back and tend to stay away from their products. However this board was the only one at the time that had everything I was looking for, specifically the mATX form factor and the dual NVME ability. Its been rock solid and as long as I don't have to contact ASUS support, I like it.
Memory: Nice 'little' kit. RGB. Fast. I'm normally a Corsair brand whore, but I've not liked their implementation of products recently and when I got this RAM, the corsair RGB memory wasn't out yet. I think this set looks way better than Corsair's anyway. Though their new white ones look pretty sharp. Anyway these match the board and timings are good too. No issues so far, they look damn good, and support a bit more options in regards to lighting schemes.
Storage: 2 sets of RAID 0 SSDs? Yes please. NVME's are rocket fast nearly 3300 Mb/s read and 3100 Mb/s write speeds, which even make the 2.5s seem slow, which I didn't think was possible. I carried over the 2 850 pro's from a previous build and are still fast at 1100 Mb/s read and write. Moving files around on this build is ridiculously fast albeit a bit unnecessary with 2TB of usable space.
GPU: Its massive! Waited forever for this card. (And to post this build, as was still rocking my EVGA 980ti) Its fast, and surprisingly cool. Without the radiator in the front it gets fed plenty of cool air and with the core OC'd to 1775 MHz via EVGA's Precision X OC it will run at 120% and only 60C. Most games will run full speed on ultra settings @ 4K. ASUS' GPU tweak is a POS and I can't use it as it bugs out the entire OS unless I restart the DWM proccess. Its seems more focused on looks than actual function. GPU tweak is totally unusable for me.
Case: This is what kicked off the re-imaging of this build. Killed off the Frosted clear Parvum S2.5 nightmare of a case and gave rise to this. After a friend sent me a link to a few cases, I started to snowball and came across this case. Its amazing. Best build quality I've seen of a case, the design is nearly impeccable, though it does have a few short comings in regards to airflow and space. It is an mATX case though and those things were to be expected. The airflow out of the top is tough and heavily restricted. The front is also restricted but doesn't seem nearly as bad. The only gripe i have with the case is the thickness restriction of items i can fit in the front caused by the overall depth of the case as well as the PSU cable shroud. They could have left a little more room available if they would have cut the shroud just a little more towards the back. Can't even fit a fan with a halo on it without taking off the removable portion of the shroud. I cannot fit a radiator in the front with the 1080ti and its stock cooler either, the damn thing is massive. If the stock GPU cooler was replaced though a small radiator should fit albeit very tightly. Still just enough room for just about everything else and the SSD and PSU windows are fun. Though, with my cable management I would probably prefer a full glass panel on the back side too so i could show it off. I only wished I had gotten the grey case instead as it would have matched the board perfectly. An oversight on my part. After building in this case, I would highly recommend Phanteks products to everyone, as the quality is top notch.
PSU: Oldie but a goodie. 4th build using this same PSU, its still running strong. The Link features are decent without the link software as you get insight to PSU sensors via tools like HWinfo. I may replace it at some point but it still looks good and works just fine. Cables are the pre-sleeved set from corsair.
Fans: Switched out some old corsair SP120 for these, as I saw the Halos were coming out and the Phanteks MPs got decent reviews in a few of places. While I don't think they perform as well as the SP120s they are so much quieter and even at full speed their hum is barely noticeable. Where as the corsair fans were very loud at full speed. The white fans with the Phanteks halos just look amazing. Phanteks build quality here is again top notch. The fan housing, rubber feet, the extremely long sleeved cables, and even the sticker label on the back is all of high quality. The only thing that irritates me is the small gap that is created by the rubber that's highly noticeable when mounting the halos to these fans. I'd prefer not to see the Halos light leaking from the gap. I may find something to stick in there to compensate.
Overall this build was very addicting and I've spent a lot of time tweaking it over the past month or so and finally have it presentable. Most fun I've had putting together a computer ever... and I've built quite a few. I think there's room for more and might dip into the custom loop dept. I'm digging phanteks offerings in that area, as well just kind of waiting to see what comes of their R160 reservior and how i can wedge that in this case too. It will be my first attempt at a custom loop. And if your ever using any liquid metal paste, be careful. That shit gets everywhere. I've got some not so fun stories about that stuff getting into the all the wrong places.
Color(s): Black Silver
RGB Lighting? Yes
Cooling: AIO Cooling
Type: General Build
- 850 Pro
Form Factor: 2.5 Inch
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
Capacity: 512 GB
- 850 Pro
Form Factor: 2.5 Inch
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
Capacity: 512 GB
- AX760i (discontinued)
Form Factor: ATX
Efficiency: 80+ Platinum