Description

Ever since I entered college, it was my dream to build my own PC from parts that I wanted. We have a home PC with an i7-2600 processor and a decent Zotac GTX 750 Ti, but I relinquished it to my brother who needs it for his CAD drawings. I needed to build my own PC to avoid conflicts with usage, as I myself love using the computer for my daily routines. Fast forward, I've graduated college and took up a Masters degree. Currently, I'm on my graduating year and this build is a reward for myself for all the struggles I've passed by.

The plan: I planned to have a white/blue color scheme for my build as the red/black ones are so common here. Since it was my first build, I was a noob for this sort of thing and I kindly asked the store technicians to assemble the rig with me, to teach me basic cable management, and to experience all those wonderful assembling thingies without creating accidents that might kill my build. This is by far the largest spending I did for myself. 3 days later after it was built, I had it reformatted due to a disk read error coming from the SSD. It turned out I messed up some disk management stuff I shouldn't have tinkered with. After that incident, everything was fine.

The parts: CPU: I opted for the unlocked 4790 because my Masters thesis would include simulating some engineering stuff in Solidworks. My professor suggested I get an unlocked i7 if ever I'd need extra juice in computing, and this CPU was the cheapest I could get for a simulation machine.

CPU cooler: I invested in water cooling just to quickly bring down the CPU's temps after a computing-intensive task. Though it's a cheap one. I will upgrade if it works unsatisfactorily. But to date, it does work well.

Motherboard: I was looking for a competitive and inexpensive gaming mobo. The store owner told me that MSI has good gaming ones and good RMA policies. The MSI's Z97 Krait Edition was perfect for my white and blue themed rig, but I was disappointed after reading a review about its performance. The next logical step was to look for another MSI board. The Z97 Gaming 5 then got my attention, and though it destroyed the color theme I wanted, I had no choice as ASUS was way too pricey here and Gigabyte has some RMA issuesat-least-in-our-country.

Memory : RAM wasn't my biggest concerns. As long as it didn't break my color scheme and had a good CAS latency, I wouldn't mind. Ended up buying the Vengeance Pro. Many people looking at the store often mistook it for a Corsair Dominator due to its heat spreader color.

GPU : I've been itching to buy Gigabyte's G1 Gaming version of the GTX 970. I'm a fan of 3-fans, wait, what? It also has good overclocking potential

PC Case : My very first choices were the NZXT Phantom 530 and Thermaltake ARMOR REVO. However, the ARMOR Revo was unavailable and the 530 ran out of stock. Luckily, the store owner told me that a new NZXT case showed up this year and asked me to check it up. I fell in love with it at first sight. It comes pre-installed with three (3) 120mm fans and one (1) exhaust 140mm fan, which to me is a great bargain. It saved me time looking and researching case fans for my build. It also had an integrated PWM hub at the back and the glowing NZXT logo (PSU shroud) and underside blue LED is a good eye-candy

Monitor : I bought the VX239H for its borderless design and has a speaker of its own, good for casual gaming and web watching.

Gaming Bundle : SteelSeries PH was running a pro gaming discounted bundle for 4 items namely, the APEX keyboard (my first keyboard choice for its price and multi-colored illuminated lighting), Kana mouse (my first choice was the Razer Chroma), Siberia V2 headphones and Qck mini mousepad. It was a great deal as I shaved off at most $120 for my build. Keyboard is good although it had laptop-like buttons so close to each other. After 2~3 days of using it, my fingers got accustomed to it. Mouse is fine and had a CPI switch, which I frequently used for games involving fast, non-precise clicking.

Wireless Network Adapter : Wiring has been very problematic at our home. The wifi router was located at the second floor while home PC and mine are at the ground floor. Instead of worrying about the wiring layout, I bought the wireless adapter. It's cute and can be hidden where I want to place it. Problem solved.

Case Fans : The store technician had 2 spare NZXT FN fans (discontinued as we speak), that was only used for 2 weeks (after the store technician sold his rig to some rich fella who liked his build) so I took it to be placed at the extra top exhaust of the Noctis, and the other one to be paired with the Seidon 120M for push-pull configuration.

Sleeved Extensions : After seeing some of the PSU's multi-colored wirings (some are exposed at the connector end), I decided to buy a bundled custom sleeved cables to remove those unsightly stuff. It was expensive, but nothing was wasted.

Pictures are scarce because I am getting lazy due to Witcher 3 (free from GTX 900 series video cards).

Part Reviews

CPU

It's so fast that sometimes I forget overclocking it. Never mind, 4.0 GHz is overkill for very simple tasks. But for intensive things to do, this one is a beast for its price without so much heat.

CPU Cooler

For an entry-level AIO cooler, it worked perfectly for my rig. Quickly brings down my CPU temp and you can barely hear it unless it kicks to 75~100% RPM.

Motherboard

Since I'm quite an audiophile, the on-board chip for the Sound Blaster Cinema 2 is much appreciated. OC Genie is also very easy to use whether you're a beginner or already a pro. Dedicated USB ports for keyboards and mice added to its value, though I haven't felt much 'faster response' for my keyboard.

Storage

Had a disk read error 3 days after I had my PC. But it's due to a disk management stuff I did. For the most part, it's an inexpensive SSD for that fast boot and shutdown routines.

Video Card

The best 970 that won my GTX 970 checklist for most headroom for overclock, cooling and that sexy back plate. The Windforce blue LED logo was also a plus for my blue/white themed PC.

Case

Though a little pricy, it was well worth it having 4 fans pre-installed, a PWM hub (works via voltage regulation), LED lights underneath, glowing NZXT logo for the PSU bay, and much space for radiators above. The casing also features a sleek design that many straight-line-loving individuals would like.

Wireless Network Adapter

Cute little fella. Its long wire allows it to be placed a meter away from where it is plugged into.

Monitor

Borderless design is cool. Built-in speakers are also a plus. Though the buttons underneath are so sensitive, sometimes it gets on your nerves.

Keyboard

Perfect for its numerous macro keys. At the right are extra keys for sound control and playback capabilities. I haven't tried disabling the Windows button thru its SteelSeries key. The alphabet keys are a little bunched up making it look and feel like laptop keypads.

Mouse

The button 4 and 5, left and right side respectively, are a plus for some games. The CPI switch is an added feature for those looking to up their mouse movements.

Headphones

Great for gaming and multimedia. The mic is also good and the overall build is solid.

Comments

  • 55 months ago
  • 3 points

I've never heard of a store helping customers assemble their computer. That has got to be the best customer service ever. That case is stunning

  • 55 months ago
  • 3 points

A real beaut! +1

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Your comment gets an up one because of your profile picture of Mac lol

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

:D If I knew what the emoticon for thumbs up is, I'd respond with that.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the blue lighting under the case, really gives a cool effect. Solid build all around man +1

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Really thought this was gonna be a brilliant name for a hackintosh.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha :) I thought so too. I was gonna mod the case for more eye-candy, but I'm seriously lacking tools.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

It's an expensive case, but my god is it worth it. You've done a good job on the cable management too, there's tons of the things.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you sir. The technicians were really helpful. They let me do the cable management while offering lots of tips where to place this and that. In the end, it was worth doing even though I got shaky hands.

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build!

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

What do you mean the Krait Edition has bad performance? That mobo would have been perfect. Great care, awesome cables +1

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

I read it in a review about its performance and the legacy PCI ports. It was on overclock3D.net if I remember correctly. Anyway, I am currently enjoying the Gaming 5's performance. I really love the Sound Blaster Cinema 2 that comes with it.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

I noticed your monitor is only 60hz so anything above 60fps will be downgraded to 60. Is that working out alright or...?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

It's alright. I blame it on the availability of hardware here in our country. I was considering buying 144Hz monitor when the GTX 980 Ti came out. But then, finding an importer is hard.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahh makes sense. Here in my country it's pretty available. I didn't relize the difference

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

nice build!! +1 im from Philippines too! we are the same, dreaming to build a pc, btw im only 13 yr old but i already know how to build a pc! i love your cable management! did u try to play GTA V? hows the FPS?

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice ka! Yes I've played GTA V for many hours now. I don't know how many FPS I get. I didn't bother to get an FPS counter. But I have settings on very high without a problem. I have reached 3.2-3.3 Gb of video card memory and the GPU is still quiet (or it's just because I play with very high speaker on?) I even played with cheats full of explosions and smoke and the card had no problems whatsoever. Concerning FPS numbers, I don't have it tho :(

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice kuya hahaha :) I'll wait for the windows 10 and build a rig!!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

The case says it has only 305mm for graphics cards when the gigabyte g1 windforce 970 is 310 mm, how did it fit or did you take the drives out?looking to do the same build but amd and on a smaller budget

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes. The drive bays are removable. I removed all the unused drive bays and maintained just one, up above where the 970 hits it.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

"3 days later after it was built, I had it reformatted due to a disk read error coming from the SSD. It turned out I messed up some disk management stuff I shouldn't have tinkered with. After that incident, everything was fine."

I'm about to purchase (if Lord is willing lol) that same SSD as you and am worried I might make the same mistake. What did you do? (So I can avoid doing it too! :P) and also how well does it run?

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

HAHAHA. I did this thing on Disk Management where I accidentally allocated the SSD's system reserve partition. Then hours later something was written on it. I didn't know that it was that volatile of a reserve. The technician told me not to mess with it AND don't allocate anything on it. Words like "Let it be that way" was his last words.

4 months and counting, I haven't encountered any problem at all. Also, I never defragmented my SSD, people say it's bad for SSD's

How well does it run? It runs very fine. My normal boot time never exceeds 15 seconds. Most core programs I use open up lightning fast. I haven't tried the motherboard's Fast Boot option though.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful build!

+1

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

do the case LED which is down still work?

and do the window have many scratches?

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes they still work. No problems there. The window has no issues, but when looking at it in some angles that reflects light, I do see some scratches.

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