Description

After many years with my Ivy Bridge 3770K PC, I've decided to hand down the ol' PC to a friend and start a new build. I've built many PCs over the years, but I've never really given care to how the PC looks inside or outside as long as it served its purpose. This time around, I've decided to keep aesthetics in mind when I was choosing the parts for my build. Tried my best to find as many red parts to offset the black of the case and motherboard.

I mainly use my PC to program software applications and play video games. Depending on what type of software I'm coding, I need to boot into macOS (to use Xcode) or into Ubuntu (my choice OS for developing web apps). Due to this need, I had to make sure all of my parts were compatible with a macOS installation. I used the monthly buyer's guide found on tonymacx86.com to verify that my parts will work. The only problematic part was the GTX 1070 as a Pascal driver hasn't been released for macOS yet. I didn't want to buy a GTX 980 Ti instead so I picked the Z170X-Designare motherboard as it had two display outputs to use with the Skylake iGPU for when I need to use macOS.

Thankfully, I didn't really have any trouble with the build. All of the parts just worked and I didn't have to deal with any defective parts. The only thing that bothers me is that the Intel HD 530 iGPU is a bit glitchy in macOS. The top left of the screen flickers every few seconds. I've decided to just deal with it until Nvidia releases a Pascal driver for macOS.

I was able to attain a stable overclock at 4.5ghz at 1.24v. I feel that I can go a bit lower, but I've wasted so much time stability and stress testing that I don't want to go through the trouble. I might go at it again at a later time. I've decided on 4.5GHz so that I can use the computer reliably for at least the next 5 years or so. Passed stability testing using Prime95 28.9 and 26.6, IBT, OCCT, and x264 encoding overnight.

http://valid.x86.fr/mw0h9k

Part Reviews

CPU

Great CPU, was able to overclock to a stable 4.5ghz easily. Multiplier on 45, vCore at 1.24v, LLC on high, everything else on auto.

CPU Cooler

Honestly, the Noctua NH-D15 in my other computer seems to get better temps than this H115i, but it looks a heck of a lot better. I was initially going to install the CoolIT based H110i that many people on the Corsair forums seem to prefer, but the one I received came with a lot of bent fins and it looked a bit dated compared to the Asetek based H115i.

I highly recommend this cooler if you want to go the CLC route. The only thing you miss out on going for the Asetek based H115i over the CoolIT based H110i is the couple extra LED lighting modes, hoses that are more bendable, and a fan controller that can report two fan speeds. But what you gain is a more rigid hose and a more modern looking radiator and CPU block.

The stock fans are actually quiet by default. They only get really loud when you switch the profile to performance mode or raise the RPMs yourself.

Thermal Compound

This thermal paste is a bit dated but a friend gave me the tube for free. Cant beat free! If I had a choice, I would have gone with some Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or Noctua NT-H1. Really hate that Artic Silver 5 needs to cure before getting the best temps out of it.

Motherboard

I went with this particular motherboard because it was on Tonymacx86.com's buyers guide for hackintoshes. I went with this variant over the more popular ones as it seems to have mostly Intel components and have two display outputs for use with the Intel HD 530 iGPU. Since I cant utilize macOS with my GTX 1070, I purchased this motherboard to use the iGPU when in macOS.

Overclocks well, lights up everywhere, has an RGB lighting header, has Thunderbolt 3 support, and U.2 ports.

The only complaint I have are the blue accents on the motherboard and it's non standard, weird fan headers. The only true PWM header is the CPU fan header, and the SYS2 fan header works with PWM as long as you have separate dedicated power source. I used a SATA powered Swiftech PWM hub to connect to the SYS2 fan header to control all case fans.

Memory

Just wanted to max out the memory capacity so I went with this kit. Went with the G.Skill TridentZ over the Corsair Dominator Platinums as they came in red, and looked a lot nicer. Performs well at it's rated specs on the XMP profile.

Storage

The one part I brought over from my old PC. My trusty 4GB storage drive. I've had it for about 3 years now and it's still going strong.

Video Card

I settled for the GTX 1070 when I saw that the GTX 1080 prices were so inflated. The MSI card looks great, is quiet, has no coil whine, and performs well. I can play Overwatch at a stable 165fps on high settings at 1440p. Will probably need to get a 1080 to play on Ultra and Epic at 165fps.

Case

After browsing through the corsair website, it was either this case or the 400C. I wish I went with the 400C instead as I didn't expect the 750D to be so ginormous. It still looks good though and I have plenty of room for upgrades or a custom water cooling loop if I ever decide to go that route.

The side windowed panel doesn't close particularly well on my case, I have to screw the top case screw really hard so that the door stays shut.

Power Supply

Went with this overkill of a power supply. It's Titanium rated and charts from reviews showed that it had a 90% efficiency at even really low loads so I went with this one to futureproof myself for the next decade.

Since I only use about 230watts most of the time, the fan never powers on and the PSU stays cool. When I'm gaming, the efficiency hovers around 92-94%. On idle it hovers between 89-91%.

Wireless Network Adapter

Compatible Wi-Fi card for macOS and is plug and play with Linux as well. Had to download drivers from TP-Link website for Windows though.

Case Fan

These fans are actually really loud at max speed. I have them set at a fixed speed of 1200RPM so that I don't hear them. The fans look really good with the LEDs on and adjusting the PWM doesn't affect the LED brightness at all.

I have 3 of these mounted as case fans, and 2 of them on the H115i.

Monitor

This display is absolutely beautiful. I got lucky with the panel lottery and got a good one from Amazon on my first order. Gaming at 165hz with G-Sync on is amazing, I cant go back to playing on a 60hz monitor anymore.

The only complaint I have is that there is a glitch where a slice of the middle of the screen moves over to the right or left of the screen randomly. The only way to get rid of it is to turn the monitor off and on again. ASUS says its a firmware issue that can be remedied by sending the monitor back to them to get it reflashed, but I'm wary of sending it to them as I'm afraid I'll receive a defective refurb back. It's a damn shame because otherwise the monitor is absolutely perfect.

Monitor

Saw a deal on eBay for this monitor so I purchased it. Absolutely beautiful LG IPS 4K display. The color reproduction is accurate and it has 1 DP and 2 HDMI 2.0 inputs. I thought 4K at 27" would be too much but it's actually nice.

The only complaint I have is that you cant really turn off the power saving mode when the monitor goes to sleep. The OS detects the monitor disconnecting and it shuffles my desktop layout around all the time.

Keyboard

Replaced a Logitech G710+ that I love using. Decided to get a keyboard with a chassis that looks less gamer-ish. The RGB lighting is pretty damn cool. Have it set to all white to get that office look, then turn on teh rainbowz for when you game!

Went with MX Brown as I loved using it on the G710+. I find that the MX blues are a bit more fatiguing over the browns when used for long hours.

Mouse

I've used Logitech mice for the past 20 years and I've never been disappointed with them. Love how this particular model fits in my hand and the RGB lighting matches the K70 keyboard really well.

Custom

Bought these cheap LED strips off Amazon to plug into the RGB header on the Gigabyte motherboard. Works really well, powered on the entire length of the strip really bright. I ended up using only a third of the strip. FYI, the adhesive sucks and the white has a blue tinge to it. Wont get better whites unless you get an RGBW strip.

Custom

I've had this webcam for ages. I think I bough it for like $35 on eBay many years ago. Not sure why the price has gone up for these. Must be the whole streaming trend going on these days. Webcams went so.. unused.. for many years.

Fully compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux!

Custom

Bought this as I ran out of USB 2.0 headers to connect the AX1500i PSU for Corsair Link. Recommended by a Corsair rep on their forums. I got the rev 1.1 model which have reviews on Amazon saying that it caused their motherboards to fry and cables to melt. Took the risk anyway.. seems to be working great for me. I'd much rather have the rev 2.0 model for peace of mind but it seems to be working fine.

Custom

The sleeving on these aren't that great in my opinion. If I had to rebuild my PC, I'd probably go with Cablemods stuff or cables from some other manufacturer.

Custom

These flex and bend a lot better than the SATA cables the Gigabyte motherboard provided me with.

Custom

To use PWM for all of my ML140 fans, I had to purchase this so that I can have them all controlled by one mobo fan header. I like that it's powered by a SATA connector instead of a bulky molex connector.

Have it connected to the SYS2 fan header on the mobo which is designed for water pumps.

Custom

Works with Airdrop and plug and play in macOS.

Custom

I wish I didn't need this but my audio interface is unfortunately a firewire one.

Custom

Mainly have this to protect all of my expensive components. Outputs a pure sine wave on a power outage and regulates voltages.

Comments

  • 38 months ago
  • 9 points

+1 for gaming dog

  • 38 months ago
  • 4 points

+1 for rig, +1 to comment for the fat *** STI in your profile pic. Beautiful!

  • 36 months ago
  • -3 points

if only it was his :/

  • 38 months ago
  • 7 points

Are you revealing that you are certainly a dog on the internet? +1 because on the internet no one knows your a dog

  • 38 months ago
  • 6 points

Dog specs?

  • 38 months ago
  • 6 points

Stock clock of 3.8ghz currently running integrated graphics plan to upgrade soon. I almost forgot the Ram I currently have 675834573857gb of DDR4- 1874438mhz ram. I get a solid 2 fps on minecraft

  • 38 months ago
  • 5 points

THE DOG IS SO CUTE

  • 38 months ago
  • 3 points

That's a pretty snazzy build and +1 for Hanzo dog. lol

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

You missed a perfect opportunity to have a dog play Watchdogs. +1

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

I couldnt help but corious. What is the box next to your rig?

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

It's a battery backup, UPS.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for hackintosh

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for sharing this Jinetix. I'm in a similar situation as you were, wanting to use a mac for dev, but also wanting PC for gaming (2013 MBP just scrapes in as usable), and am looking to do a Hackintosh build similar to yours.

Do you know if the thunderbolt is working properly under mac? I'd be hoping to keep this future-proof by using thunderbolt for display etc. Also, have there been any fixes for the onboard graphics issue you have?

I'm having trouble weighing up whether to go for a) a 1070 w/ Mac using the integrated graphics until (hopefully) some support for the 1070. b) a 980 / 980 ti to work on both (can't find anything cheaper than the 1070 in Aus w/out going used) c) a Radeon RX470 to work on both, with the possibility of upgrading in a year or so if there's support for the 10xx

Any thoughts ?

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Thunderbolt works properly for Mac, but support for the 10XX series is still not existent. Not sure if it'll ever happen.. Nvidia doesn't really have an obligation to support it on macOS. I'm hopeful however. The integrated graphics works but it's annoying having two sets of monitor cables.. I only boot into it if I need to use Xcode.

I'm doing most of my development work on Linux these days and Windows using the new Linux Subsystem feature in Windows. Surprisingly, the Bash on Windows feature works really well, at least on the Windows Insider builds.. which is due to be finalized Spring 2017. I'm able to develop with Node.js, Rails, and PHP with no issues using Bash on Windows. I'm on the slow ring for Insider builds, and it's been pretty smooth on build 14986. If you have no need for Xcode, developing on Windows is pretty sufficient right now.

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey that's a pretty slick setup you got, man! But how in the heck did you score a Samsung 850 Evo 1TB ssd for only $215 bucks!??? You gotta spill the beans, man! I thought that I got a pretty decent deal on mine for $280, but now I'm starting to doubt that.

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha, I look for deals on eBay. I use Gixen.com and snipe items at the last few seconds. What I do is I find a bunch of auctions and put it in a list on gixen, and gixen does the work for me. It'll try to snipe every auction at a certain price, and once it wins one it stops.

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

??? Do you hook those beautiful Yamaha monitors direct to the computer? I want those sooooo BADDDDDD

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

No, they're connected to an audio interface. The one I'm currently using is a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP.

They're not the best sounding studio monitors for listening to music, but very good for mixing and analyzing your sound. I have a set of cheap Mackie monitors I like to use to listen to music over the much more expensive Yamahas.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

Pic # 3 and 4

Is that a Hanzo main??

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

What breed of dog is that? It is the cutest thing I've ever seen!

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Probably a toy american eskimo.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build and great work on matching all the colors up everything up!

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

+100000000 for dat dog. :) Woof

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Even though that power supply is more than overkill, I really like the build overall. Very similar to mine in a lot of respects. Stuck with the same case, motherboard, and even the graphics card. Originally had a 850 EVO myself, but it was a defect and ended up having a complete read and write failure after 6 months of use.

Bit of an overkill on the RAM too, but I can't complain. Sweet radiator, never done much for watercooling myself, but looks really nice! Plus, I REALLY WANT THAT MONITOR!!! It's stupid expensive, but I really hope you're getting your enjoyment out of it!

Also, bonus props for the pups :)

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I love your gaming pup!

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks great, but you could have gone with a way better GPU if you didn't waste money on the overkill power supply. cute pupper btw

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

4th pic just made my day :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

IS THAT A HANZO MAIN??????

That dog is adorable...

But It's playing Hanzo...

I don't know how to feel!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

+1

:}

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

You're a really enthusiastic builder! Love your build and thanks for providing all the details. Corsair 400C looks better in my opinion.

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

Beautiful looking machine man, excellent build.

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

10 points for the happy dog

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

Awesome build cute dog nice job man

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

"Honey What are you doing with the dog?" "Shut up it will look cool on the internet!"

But seriously great build and cute doggo.

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

+1 for the gaming bowwow.

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

Your dog looked super happy to be playing Overwatch, so I therefore claim it a gaming dog. Overdog, perhaps? Dogwatch?

Nice build, looks amazing, lots of detail in the post. Omega good job.

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

Last pic is epic!

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

Whoever is downvoting every comment in the comments section, STOP.

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

my two favorite things in this build: computters and wooftons

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

+1 for doggo

  • 38 months ago
  • 0 points

Very nice setup! How well OS X is working? Shopping for a build at the moment and looking for same cpu//gpu. I currently triple boot all my mac at home, using mac for the comfort of the os for more than 10 year, windows for CAD design and Ubuntu for web development . The problem I have is that I run multiple monitor and I think the 10XX series will not be supported in mac environment, so it must use intel graphics. I'm not doing hard task on video in Mac but I'm used to run with 3 display... Would you recommend similar setup for somebody expecting an experience on Mac like if it was purchased from Apple? (For the moment I still run El Capitan, had issue in Sierra with few soft...)

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

I have macOS Sierra running perfectly, except for the display portion of it. It is somewhat bearable, performance on the Intel HD 530, but as I've mentioned, the glitch/flickering on the top left of the screen does get annoying. I don't know if any Z170 board can support up to three displays though.

I would wait until the 10XX series drivers become available or wait for the Intel HD530 issues to be ironed out in an OS update. It may work well in El Capitan, as from what I've read in hackintosh forums is that the issue is related to Sierra only.

One option is to connect an older NVIDIA card (6, 7, 8, or 9-series) to the first PCI-E slot and use the 10XX series card in the second PCI-E slot. This will limit the bandwidth of both lanes to 8X, but from what I've researched, the performance hit is negligible. It's also somewhat messy as you'll need two sets of cables running to your three monitors.. but it'll work.

If you use an older card such as a 980 Ti, you'll have an experience like as if it was purchased from Apple. The 10XX series card is the only thing holding my setup back from being the perfect hackintosh machine.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for your reply, Not sure if my source what good, but I think either 10XX series will not be available or take a long time before it will for Mac user... For price value I still prefer to get a 1070 even if in few case a 980ti could perform slightly better.

I also thought to pick a older card as second card like you suggested, saw few 950 used a fair price. I needed to read a little bit more about it if I was possible to physically have both card plugged in at the same time, one at 16x and the other one simply disabled while booting windows and vice versa. For cable management, my monitors all got dual hdmi input, so it would not be that bad once everything plugged in.

About macOS sierra, I didn't had a bad overall experience, it just that few third party app was not performing well on it compare to their el capitan version and the fact that I really don't have a use for all the new functionality of it, I prefer to keep el capitan where all my apps are working fine.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, good point. There may be some app compatibility issues. I haven't ran into any personally as I mainly use Sierra for Xcode and some web development. If you do find a way to disable a card and have it run at 16x do let me know. I have a GTX 680 laying around that works perfectly with OS X, I just don't want to sacrifice any of the performance of the 1070 for when I game in Windows, however minimal the performance hit will be.

I also feel as though the 10-series cards wont get a driver for macOS anytime soon. It's not a priority for Nvidia nor are they really required to release one as no official Apple device uses a Pascal-based graphics card. I'm just hoping that they release a web driver like they did with the 9-series Maxwell cards.

I'd hold off if possible, since Kaby Lake is scheduled to release Q1 and prices on the 10-series cards may possibly drop if the rumored 1080 Ti is announced.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

That was what I've planned to do, purchase all parts except graphic card around Christmas, looking daily for good deal, I could still have a fully running computer on intel Iris, then when the 1080ti will be announce or available for sale, look if there's a few price drop on regular 10series.

The main app that I got issue was Duet display (it allow to use an Ipad as external display over lightning cable). When I'm not home I can run my mbp 13" with an Ipad pro, so I get to almost identical size monitor on the go. Because duet use your cpu to generate the image on the iPad, you should only use it when your plugged on your power supply, but in Sierra everything is laggy and make thing not really useable compare to el capitan.

About disabling a video card, I didn't had time to search if it was possible, make over ten years I didn't own a desktop computer except an Imac, so I'm not up to date about that....

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