Description

This is my first build in over a decade, so be kind.

I researched extensively before picking each and every part and built this system from the ground up to maximize performance per dollar spent.

My biggest splurge by far was the Acer Predator x34. But it was worth every cent and more! WOW!!! is all I have to say. I had been using an old Dell 27" ultrasharp for the last 10+ years and was desperately in need of a monitor upgrade. I often keep things like keyboards and monitors when I switch out systems so I didn't mind splurging on those items.

The Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B CPU Cooler which I personally think looks amazing served as my original stylistic inspiration for the build as well as the infinitely customizable Razer Blackwidow Chroma keyboard.

The Samsung 950 PRO 512 GB PCI-E SSD is the muscle I built the entire system around. Reading about this drive was what made up my mind to build a new system, and every choice I made afterwards was to maximize it's performance. I was totally mesmerized by it's potential 2500/1500 + read write speeds, and 3500/3000 + read write speeds in Raid 0.

I picked the MSI Z170A Xpower Gaming Titanium Motherboard mainly because it had two ultra M.2 slots and secondly because I loved the sleek minimalist silver color scheme it has. I picked the Fractal Design Define S case with a window for it's minimal design and superior cooling, sound and cable management.

I wanted to see if I could make a top of the line overclocked system that stayed cool and quite using air only that had the ability to raid 0 two ultra m.2's since I wanted to use m.2 exclusively. I figured with all the new generation parts running cooler these days and fewer moving parts (no optical or traditional drives) that air alone would be sufficient.

I know nearly everyone here seems to be obsessed with water cooled systems, but I just have an aversion to mixing water with electronics and honestly didn't think water would be necessary to cool a new system like I was building. In my opinion if you want a tube of bubbling water inside your case, buy a lava lamp and set it in there :)

I have this system moderately overclocked to 4.5 GHz and the CPU idles around 28-29 F and only goes up to the low 60's when stressed. The system rocks the benchmark charts, often outperforming systems with far better cards than the GTX 970 that I am using.

I built this system just prior to the geforce 1080 and 1070 cards being released, and am seriously considering ebaying my 970 and switching over to one of those two (probably the 1070) and paying the difference which once the price goes down to where it should be will raise the total cost of the system by $150 or so . I also have had a few issues with XMP settings and memory that have forced me to under clock the memory to 2,800 or so. But I have 4 sticks of DDR4 3000 CORSAIR Dominator Platinum on the way that New Egg just put on sale that I hope might solve the XMP issue.

Hope you enjoy the pics!

Comments

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Is it a positive pressure set-up? Also, with all that airflow and a cpu cooler which I have not seen before, what are your temps? Missed that paragraph in your description...

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

No, it's a push pull. I played around with several different configurations but the rear fan blowing onto the CPU fan while the three in front blow out the front seemed to keep things the coolest. I have had no issues with heat at all. And it's quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Warm air out the front? Interesting.

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

yeah, I thought so too. I tried it the other way but it ran 4-5 degrees warmer.

I suspect the added airflow directly over the Zalman helps it cool down further.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

This particular case had an unusual amount of venting in the front vs the back. The front plate sticks out about an inch or so and is vented completely on both sides and the bottom. Besides the optional venting you can open up on top if you wish there is no more effective way to vent out of this case than out the front.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Many people would have probably opened the optional vents on top and placed the three fans there. But I kind of liked the effect the LED's made as they shined through the venting on the front cover more than the polkadotted pattern made when placing the 3 exhaust fans on top.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I would like to note the fans look AMAZING. Those NZXT fans have clear blades that catch the light off my case leds and it blends with the fan leds and makes the fans look iridescent. I originally had Corsair quite edition led fans in the system, but the Corsair fans are sort of an opaque clearish blade that sort of looks dull when it's spinning, plus they put their stickers on poorly centered and when spinning the whole fan looks like it's wobbling.

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  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

such a nice rig

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

OH MY that's a beautiful screen! Your case looks gorgeous lit up. Congrats!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I absolutely love this system. A great choice of parts and love the LEDs too. You deserve a +1.

For the future, it might be worthwhile noting that an R9 390 would've been a better choice over a GTX 970 because it outperforms it and the extra VRAM would've worked very nicely with that 4K monitor.

Again, an awesome build. Have a good day! :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

how are you liking the Acer Predator been debating on getting one but so many mixed reviews online.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

It's amazing.

It alone was over 1/3 of the cost of my entire system, and it was worth every cent. It only took a minute or two to overclock it to 100 MHz. The witcher 3 on high settings looks and plays amazing on it.

My guess is most people complaining dont know that IPS monitors always have the lighting effect in the corners at certain viewing angles and assume there is something wrong with the monitor.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

yup those were all the complaint. will probaly be getting one when i start building my new rig

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Very Nice build! I am actually buying parts for a similar build.

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  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Fine, I only needed it because I have a wireless only printer.

I have a wired connection to dsl

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Usually $8-15

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