This is my second full pc build and my first build in 7 years. My first build was a beast at the time but began to show its age on my 120hz ultrawide so I decided it was time for an upgrade.
the 970 is carried over from the old build, I plan to upgrade to a 1080ti in the near future but I figured I'll see if prices continue to drop. The 970 is still a fantastic card and gives me a balance of high settings and high framerates in games like Overwatch, Fortnite, and Doom.
I spent a lot of time planning this build, reading comments and watching reviews. My criteria for selecting parts was that I want to game on my AW3418DW at 1440p, 21:9, 120hz and I want to do a white/RGB theme.
CPU - I went with the 8700k for maximum future-proofing and to ensure I will not be CPU bound when I get a 1080ti. I chose intel over ryzen because my main use will be gaming, music production, and Adobe Suite applications, which all benefit most from single core performance.
Cooling - I chose the Deepcool Captain because it is one of the only AIOs with a white block and I watched a positive review from ScienceStudio, probably my favorite/most trusted Tech-tuber on Youtube.
Case - The white S340 elite was an obvious choice for a white build. While there are several similar cases on the market, the s340 is unqiue in that the internals of the case are white as well as the outside.
PSU - I went with the white PSU (although it is hidden behind the shroud) because it came with white sleeved cables so I didn't have to buy them separately from CableMod. Also if I change cases somewhere down the line I won't have to worry about my PSU clashing.
Mobo - I really wanted to find the whitest z370 board I could but for some reason the NZXT n7 seems to be the only one. After reading reviews of the n7 I decided that purchase would sacrifice to much function for aesthetic and instead went for the Z370-E which has nice silver/RGB accents and delivers in all other areas.
RAM - I was planning on Corsair Vengeance White RGB but on the day I ordered the parts newegg put the Team Night Hawk RGB on sale which saved me about $40 for a product with almost identical specs and comparable appearance.
Storage - I went with the crucial MX500 because I wanted to upgrade to an m.2 format SSD to eliminate cables and avoid the moving parts of the HDD/SSD combo I had in my last build. 500gb is more than enough storage for me and I have room to add another if I need it in the future.
Fans - Believe it or not the fans were one of the most researched and pondered aspects of this build. I wanted to avoid RGB Strips in the case for aesthetic reasons, so I knew the fans would be doing the heavy lifting of the lighting. After watching plenty of reviews, it's clear that the corsair LL's are the most stunning fans on the market. Incredibly bright, quiet, powerful, and the opaque material combined with addressable RGB LEDs in the center and outer ring of the fan just make for a beautiful display (if you can get the software to work correctly...) One reservation I had with these was the two extra pieces of hardware I needed to mount into my case and extra cables needed to run these things but they were still manageable.
This build went very smoothly, I did a ridiculous amount of research since I have a lot of downtime at workdon'ttellmyboss. By the time the parts arrived I had watched installation videos for every separate part and read the motherboard manual lol. One issue I ran into was installing the M.2 SSD, I didn't install the standoff at first and I was wondering why the drive was bending but after a quick google I realized my error and got it secured.
I knew I wanted to do a thorough job with cable management as it's something that I neglected in my last build so I watched several guides on YouTube and allowed myself plenty of time to spend zip tying, routing, and re-ziptying cables in the optimum path. Although it was my first time I think it went really well and I'm pleased with the result.
This build powered on perfectly with the first push of the power button which was a great relief and a proud accomplishment.
I'm very happy with this build, it's already a powerhouse so I can't imagine how it will perform once I get that 1080ti, maybe I'll come back and update when I do. Visually it is stunning and I love the ability to change the RGBs to match my mood or the game I'm playing, but the ability to turn them off or set them to white and have a clean and professional look is a huge plus.