This is an effort to update my previous build. I had two GTX 670's in SLI, and many of the same parts, in a Zalman Z9 Plus case replete with 8 blue LED case fans. Well, after the cards started acting funny on me I decided it was time to trade out the 670's for a brand new GTX 970. Along the way I also decided it was time to ditch the old case and the ridiculously bright LED fans for something a little more subtle.
As soon as I saw the NZXT S340, I knew it was the case for my build. However, it seems like everyone has one these days so I decided to make mine a little more unique. The idea was to create a retro-futuristic color scheme reminiscent of the the dayglo 80's. For inspiration, I looked to the marketing materials for games such as Far Cry: Blood Dragon and Cyberpunk 2077. I eventually settled on spray painting the GPU backplate, SSD's and cable management bar in a fade from green to blue to pink using fluorescent paints. Then I used pin-striping tape to mask off a circuit type design and sprayed purple over all of it. Then I topped it off with some UV reactive orange paint and PSU extensions and a couple of UV cold cathodes.
It took me one day to paint everything and transfer my build between the cases. If I had been more patient, I could have done a much better job with the paint. The orange UV paint in particular is very granular, and it would take many applications to look even. I'm very pleased with the way the GPU backplate came out. You can't see it in the pictures I took, but each little cutout dot and letter in the backlplate has a small outline of the neon color underneath the purple paint, and the effect is very cool under the UV light.
I apologize for the picture quality; I don't have a decent camera and I'm no photographer. I may add some pictures of the PC at night to really show the UV effect.
This is obviously an old part. It's from a couple of generations back, but it is still rock solid. I have it overclocked to 4.4 GHz with no voltage increase. Needless to say, I'm pleased.
Another old part, I've had this on my the i5 for its entire life. I can't compare its performance to anything else, but I assume it's pretty average. in this new case the CPU idles around the mid 30's and operates around 50 degrees on a gaming load. Good enough. It has been running for almost four years now, and the only downside is that the pump can sometimes be a bit noisy.
This has been a great motherboard for me. It is extremely easy for me to overclock the CPU, and it has been 100% stable for years. The GUI is adequate. I got it to support SLI, though after my previous experience I may stick to more powerful single cards for now.
This is an upgrade from 8GB of the old Kingston HyperX. I like that I don't have to overclock it to get its advertised specifications. I trust Kingston RAM and I expect this set to do well for years to come.
When I built this PC originally about 4 years ago, SSD's were much more expensive than they are now. I settled on this one to save some money. The only thing installed on it is Windows 10. My system boots in about 8 seconds, which I'm happy with, but as you can see, SSD's are now available with twice the storage and speed for the same price.
This is a pretty decent SSD for the price. It has good performance, and enough storage for a few games. Looking at other's builds, I wonder if I should have gone with the ubiquitous Samsung EVO. However, it works well for what it is.
I'm very glad I bought this card. This was the centerpiece of my PC remodel, and it reinvigorated my build. It is quiet and fast, most of the time. With the fans at 80%, you will certainly know that it's there. I have been playing The Witcher 3 at 1080p with Ultra settings, and it hasn't even hiccuped. In the future I may get another one for SLI, or I may try to switch to a single GTX 980 Ti.
What can I say that we don't already know? This case looks great. It has a simple and elegant design that has caught a lot of attention. It is almost effortless to create a build with a clean and tidy main compartment, free of excess cables and clutter. However, if you are like me and don't have a modular power supply, be prepared to really stuff the bottom compartment full of cables.
I've had this PSU for a long time, and it has never given me any troubles. It works. If I had it to do over, I would have bought a modular power supply for a few dollars more. This thing looks like a dead electronic octopus, and it makes cable management a chore, even in a case like the S340.
Wireless Network Adapter
This came free with my motherboard. Honestly, it is sometimes a bit iffy. It used to work perfectly, but I think many would agree that a wired Ethernet connection is preferable in most cases.
I got these for this price on Performance-pcs.com. I put electrical tape over the LEDs to dim and color them a bit. Used as intake fans on the front, you can really feel them sucking in air. However, I was only able to connect them via molex and at full speed they are fairly loud. I was hoping this new build would be much more quiet than my previous one seeing that it used eight fans total. Unfortunately, it is about the same.
This is a great monitor for the price, but if you spend a little bit more you can can something really nice. I think LG makes a 34" super widescreen monitor for around $200. I might check that out as my next upgrade, but for now this is fine. It has a very good picture. The only cons are that it has a little bit of light washing out the edges of the screen, and mine came with one dead pixel.
As far as gaming keyboards go, you're either going to splurge on a fancy mechanical keyboard or be stingy and get something functional but cheap. Since this one sells for just a bit less than the price of entry level mechanical keyboards, I would recommend getting something cheaper like a Saitek if you're on a budget, or just going for the next level up. However, this is still a solid keyboard with excellent feeling key response, lighting and build quality.
I really dig this mouse. It is simple, but very functional. The rubberized finish feels good in the hand and the buttons all have a solid quality to them. I also like the "breathing" effect and the pixel design on the front.
At $40 I have no complaints about this headset. The audio quality is very decent and the mic works well. I have heard others saying that they are easy to break, but mine are going strong. The only thing I don't really like about them is that the fuzzy material on the padding really soaks up dust and dirt and is not that easy to clean.