With the release of Coffee Lake, I decided that it was time to upgrade a little from my i5-6500. Some of the parts used were salvaged from my last build, so the only major purchases I made were the case, motherboard, and of course the CPU.
I fell in love with the black/gunmetal-gray theme ASRock had going on with their Z370 chipset boards. Since I care about build aesthetics, I had to keep with the color scheme. If you look closely, you'll see that the Corsair RAM sticks, originally white, I spray painted a dark, metallic gray to match the board. I could have done a better job than what I ended up with, but I figured that minor mistakes wouldn't be all that noticeable. On the same note, I invested in CableMod's Carbon basic cable extension kit, and I think they compliment the build quite nicely. The removable, decorative rings on the Corsair fans pushing at my CPU radiator started out as white, but were spray painted gunmetal gray like the RAM sticks.
You may be wondering what the heck is going on with my graphics card, and you are correct in thinking that it no longer has it's original cooler. After seeing a certain YouTube video, I decided to get a Raijintek Morpheus II
cooler heat sink, along with two same-brand slim fans to attach to it. The new thermals are nothing to brag too much about, but they remain well under control while gaming. If this purchase wasn't for practical reasons, then it was for aesthetic ones. ...Actually, it was mostly aesthetics reasons. I was definitely not a fan of the stock cooler.
At the end of the day, I wanted a powerful machine that wasn't bad to look at. I deem Battle Cruiser Operational a wonderful build that is a healthy amount of overkill for me.
I'd be happy to answer any questions!
Multi-tasking is a breeze and if I ever need to do more CPU-intensive work like Photoshop, or processing video/audio, it handles it with no problem. I'm sitting at a cozy 4.7 GHz over clock but there's no indication I couldn't go higher in the future.
in reply to Regarno:
It's really not bad at all. I found that the included fans, while effective, can get pretty loud. I adjusted the fan curve in the BIOS, so I can't complain about that, now.
As for leaks, no sign of that yet. I owned a Deepcool Captain EX 120mm prior to this and that didn't have any problems either. I suppose, like anything, that's going to be (bad) luck of the draw.
I've never seen temps above the upper 70's with my 4.7 GHz over clock. Ideally I would de-lid, but I don't quite feel comfortable with that, yet. Lol.
Yes, I would recommend.
It's a sharp-looking, high-performance board. My only complaint is the lack of bluetooth/wifi, but I knew what I was getting myself into when I bought it.
I really like the gunmetal theme that Z370 boards seem to have adopted -- in fact, it was the color that inspired the rest of this build!
Also, the reviews aren't lying: this board really does have some primo on-board audio. By no means am I an audiophile, but it undeniably produces better sound than any platform I've used in the past.
I used these sticks in my previous build and they are working as well as the day I put that one together.
Now that I had a theme to go along with, I had to spray paint them gunmetal gray. Admittedly I did not do a lot of research prior, but the Rust-Oleum Hammered-texture spray paint really did the trick, as far as I'm concerned.
There haven't been any shorts, and while I don't have the wherewithal to test temperatures, the performance doesn't seem to have degraded at all.
Blazing fast. Boot and load times are phenomenal. Not a HUGE difference from when my SanDisk was being used as the boot drive, but there IS a difference.
More than capable of meeting my needs. I have it benched at 530.3MB/s Read and 378.2MB/s Write.
Like any SSD, be mindful of where it's located in your build. I have mine installed behind my mother board and the lack of airflow means that it does get kind of toasty sometimes, especially while gaming. The highest I've seen it get to is 64C. Yikes.
Been holding my files for the better half of a year now and hasn't crapped out yet. Load times were good, when it held some of my games.
Games very well at 1080p, including 2560x1080, which is what I'm currently using. Not the best over-clocker, though. Could I have a better means of controlling temps? Of course, but I feel that my over-clocking headroom should be a bit better than what it is using an after-market cooler on it. Such are the hazards of using a now out-dated technology, though.
When this first came out, I fell in love. I knew I had to have it. The aesthetics were exactly what I was looking for, and the fact that airflow is a main focus sold me.
The main thing to be wary of: Although it's an ATX mid-tower, it definitely is more compact than I thought it would be. Yes, I can comfortably fit everything in the main chamber, but there's a reason why I'm leaving out my cable-management job in the rear. I have a hard time keeping everything tidy back there, especially with cable extensions.
As long as you don't mind shoving your cables into every nook and cranny under the PSU shroud like you're over-stuffing a laundry machine, it's a wonderful little case.
These came as a bundle deal when I bought the Deepcool CAPTAIN 240EX RGB AIO, which I was pretty excited about.
Pro: The appearance of these fans doesn't feel cheap at all. Transitioning light effects are very smooth are not 'choppy'. I would say that at around $50, the price-to-performance ratio on these fans make them a top contender on the market right now.
Cons: They get loud at higher RsPM. Fortunately, since they are all installed as my front intake, they don't need to spin up too much. But when they do, it's pretty noticeable. If I'm being super-picky, two of mine have stickers on the front that are slightly off-center, so it gives off the dreaded 'wobble-effect'. Again, that's just being picky, though.
Good: These speakers sound great for the price. I'm definitely not an audiophile, but I know they sound better than a pair of USB-powered speakers. Bass is great, too.
Meh: No optical input. AUX is fine, though.
Bad: Fake tweeters. Saw someone on Reddit post a picture of their computers speakers with the 'tweeters' removed. Did the same surgery on my own to find out that they are, indeed, a lie. I can't stand lying companies, even if it is to simply enhance aesthetics, so 3 stars it is.
I'm so glad that CableMod offers these. I thought that finding extensions to match my gunmetal gray theme would be tricky if I didn't just go with black-colored cables.
They have a slight sheen to them as if they are actually metallic, which just looks so nice when they catch light. As for durability, I can't complain. In this compact case, I sometimes have to be a little rough with them, but they have handled it like champs so far.
I highly recommend.