Description

As the title suggests, this was my first build ever. I was skeptical at first, but after watching some videos and reading troubleshooting threads, it didn't seem incredibly hard Building a PC is something I have wanted to do for over ten years now and I finally had the resources (and confidence) to do so. I'm graduating with my Masters in May of this year so I treated this expense as a graduation present for myself.

Overall, I would say I had more fun picking out the parts than actually installing them. I pretty much knew where everything had to go but some of those connections (especially the 24 pin) were rather challenging to make. I felt at times I was going to bend and subsequently break the motherboard pulling out some of the PSU cables but that never happened.

I am very pleased with performance this build offers along with the 1440P / 144 Hz GSync Monitor. I enjoy playing PUBG and I've been able to maintain 120-144 FPS on mostly Ultra settings with the newest NVIDIA drivers. Witcher 3 hovers around 80 FPS at max settings in 1440P. I haven't played too many other games so far but I will update this when I do.

Temperatures were my main concern before I started building and fortunately I have not had any issues. The highest temperature I saw for my CPU was around 70 Celsius and my GPU around 75 Celsius and that was after playing Witcher 3 for several hours. Everything normally idles in the upper 20s to low 30s which is about 10 degrees warmer than my ambient temperatures.

All in all, I am just really happy that everything worked out. It was quite an investment, even with the case and OS being free. But after seeing that POST for the first time, it was all worth it.

Part Reviews

CPU

I knew that I wouldn't have much interest in overclocking but I still wanted a hyperthreaded Coffee Lake processor which left me with only one real choice. The 8700 is basically an 8700K at stock settings except my cores only reach 4.6 GHz as opposed to 4.7 GHz on the 8700K. Installation was super easy and it has absolutely met my expectations so far.

My only recommendation for anyone interested in this chip is to buy an aftermarket cooler! Even though its locked, the turbo frequencies can still warm things up quite a bit and the stock cooler is pretty ugly!

CPU Cooler

I wanted something that was going to (a) fit inside my case (b) be more effective than the Intel fan and (c) look/sound better than the Intel fan. I have heard nothing but good things about the H7 and it was even recommended to people doing light overclocking.

I think this probably one of the hardest parts for me to install but I expected that to be the case. I think installing this after I attached the motherboard to the case would have made things much easier but overall I think it was my lack of experience had the most effect.

Looks (5/5): I think the cooler fits in well with the rest of my build and is one of the main factors that drew me to it.

Cooling (5/5): Although my pictures don't indicate anything, I have put the CPU through several hours of PUBG / Witcher 3 and never broke 70 Celsius. I'm sure if I ran a stress test I could push the limits but I haven't gotten around to that yet.

Noise (5/5): There is definitely a noise but it's subtle in my opinion. I also use my computer with headphones 90% of the time so I may be a bit biased in that regard

In general, I think this is an awesome cooler for $30 and makes a great replacement for the crappy stock fans.

Memory

I was a bit skeptical buying this RAM because I wasn't really familiar with the brand and also because it wasn't on my motherboards QVL list. Fortunately, I had no issues at all. The only thing I needed to do was activate an XMP profile so I could achieve the 3000 Mhz speed.

Storage

This was the very first piece I bought and while I wish I went with a TB, I have no gripes with this drive at all. It even came with the latest firmware installed.

Storage

This is probably the loudest component of machine and I was reluctant to buy it but ended up doing so for the extra storage space. It has the obvious HDD buzz whenever it's working but I expected that to happen. I will most likely end up taking this out to make an external drive in the future.

Power Supply

I really didn't want to skimp out on the PSU so I decided to go all out on this G3. I realize 750W is probably a bit overkill but I did wanna leave some room for upgrades in the future. As for the product itself, I don't doubt the quality of it however I did have some troubles with the cables.

I think because they are new cables, everything was still really stiff which made things difficult for me. This coupled with my anxiety over breaking something probably made the process harder than it actually was.

The G3 comes with a 10 year warranty so as long as this keeps my machine running for that long, I have no complaints.

Operating System

I was able to receive a free copy of Windows 10 Education since I am a student. A bit of advice for anyone thinking about building though, make sure you have a flash drive that is at least 5GB or more (if you are looking to install Windows 10). The largest drives I had at my house were 4GB so I ended up needing to install Windows 8 and then upgrading to Windows 10. Not a big deal, but something to consider.

Comments

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm glad you had fun building your 1st pc! i wonder why you chose the 8700 over the 8700K! how did you find the ASRock Mobo? is it easy to work with?

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

I started reviewing some of the parts and explained my reasoning behind the 8700. As for the motherboard, I will definitely add a review however I will say that it is an awesome board. So many features (8x SATA, RGB, 2x M.2) and I was able to grab one around Black Friday so it was a great deal!

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build and congratulations on your graduation!

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, one more class to go!

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you =)

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

It says 8700 at 4.6 how on earth did you overclock

  • 16 months ago
  • 3 points

Probably turbo boost.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

He just looked at it, and it obeyed.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes this is referring to the turbo boost. I added some HWMonitor pictures to show what I mean. It seems like 5 cores are working at 4.6 GHz and one core is working at 4.5 GHz.

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

set bclk to 102.3 and make sure you are not limit the power. It can reach all core 4.7GHz. I am using ASRock z370m mobo. However the problem it uses 120-130W powers at 4.7GHz, which means a lot of heat. I limit mine to 95W to keep it cool

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