Description

I call it “Smashed 8700k Build” because the processor box arrived crushed in the mail. I ordered it from WalMart’s website when it was on sale for $319, but sadly, it shipped only in a padded envelope, and not one of the nice blue boxes they advertise on TV. This being my first “nice” build, I was concerned the processor would be ruined.

This is a true multi-purpose machine: Video games, mining, Blu-Ray ripping and Handbrake encoding, Plex server, benchmarks, Streaming/recording, etc.

This was also my first build, and thanks to the awesome community here on PCPartPicker and HardForum, I didn’t really have any serious issues.

The 2 most noticeable improvements from my previous i7-3770 machine were: Solid state drive, and GSYNC monitor

I seemed to have lost the silicon lottery with my particular 8700k. I settled on a very conservative OC with 4.5Ghz @ 1.215 volts. I didn’t want to go too aggressive with my OC, as I run large batches of encoding jobs, sometimes lasting a couple days in length. But it is a beast. It hovers around mid 60’s when gaming and serious multitasking has never been easier.

In regards to CPU cooling, I started with the DeepCool Gammaxx GT basic air cooler, since I hadn’t quite settled on what I wanted to do. I quickly realized it wasn’t sufficient to keep the inferno/8700k reasonably cool even at stock speeds.

So I purchased the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML240L RGB water cooler which was basically the best value for a 240 AIO, looked pretty nice, worked with Asus AURA Sync, and didn’t use the sometimes troublesome CAM software from NZXT. However, my one complaint is the stock fans which I soon replaced them with the BeQuiet SilentWings 3 fans. The stock CoolerMaster fans were ridiculously loud, in my opinion and also had a terrible habit of switching on and off every few seconds with a super loud “whoosh”. No matter what custom fan curve I set, I couldn’t get them to be less irritating. The BeQuiet fans are inaudible. You can't hear them at all and they also dropped my CPU temps a couple degrees.

In regards to airflow- I chose the DeepCool RF140 fans because they don’t require a proprietary fan controller or use garbage LED control software. They work great with the ASUS Aura sync system. These fans don’t get nearly enough attention. They are quiet, move a lot of air, and look pretty good. I used 2 of the intake in front, and 1 for the exhaust in the back.

I am also super proud of the tiny 92mm Artic fan. I squeezed this under the GPU to function as an additional exhaust fan, to help remove some of the hot air that would otherwise recirculate back into the case. It dropped my GPU temps 3-5 degrees. For some reason, fans for this purpose aren’t really used very often.

My wife saw the Dell S276DG monitor on sale for $399, so that really made the decision easy. The addition of a G-Sync monitor was one of the biggest upgrades from my previous machine. For anyone questioning the value of it, I’d highly recommend it. I ended up receiving one of the new A09 revisions of the Dell monitor which supposedly is supposed to have less color banding issues than some of the other variants.

Thanks for reading and leave comments or questions!

Part Reviews

CPU

A massive upgrade from my previous i7-3770. It handles serious multi-tasking without breaking a sweat. It generates a lot amount of heat, so don’t underestimate the cooling requirements: a basic air-cooler won’t be sufficient. Perfect for productivity and a great gaming chip.

CPU Cooler

Great value for a 240mm AIO cooler. Easy to install. Fans seem very loud, so I swapped for BeQuiet SilentWings 3 fans. Looks sharp and RGB works with Asus Aura Sync.

Motherboard

Looks sharp, has lots of fan and RGB headers and great BIOS. Probably a bit overpriced, and there are better boards to overclock with. But this is an awesome mid-range motherboard.

Memory

Fast, expensive and beautiful. Runs at 3200MHz using the XMP profile. Samsung B-die, so Im sure it overclocks very well. Works with Asus Aura Sync- plug and play.

Storage

Blazing fast. Easy install. Great value for a fast NVME drive. Makes my machine ridiculously fast.

Storage

Runs like like all other SATA SSDs. Very good value. Perfect for an OS drive or great for Steam storage to make your games load quickly. Also: I chose this solely because of the beautiful hummingbird sticker that displays prominently in my case.

Storage

Cheapest 4TB I could find. Not loud. The 5,400RPM speed isn't an issue if you are just using this for video/picture storage. Make sure you get this one (ST4000DM004) and not the older, less reliable and slightly cheaper ST4000DM005.

Video Card

Incredible performance. Runs really cool. Fans are quiet until you manually crank them up past about 70%. Then they get really, really loud. During normal gaming use, it stays about 65 degrees. Has a nice backplate and the white LEDs look nice.

Case

Amazing case. Easy to work with and looks very nice. Has a 5.25 slot if you need it. Huge: much bigger than it looks in pictures. Plenty of room to mount all sorts of fans, radiators, pumps, etc. Tempered glass is fancy and you can't beat the price. Very good airflow.

Power Supply

One of the best power supplies in this price range. Very quiet. It is a bit shorter, so if you have a cutout in your case, you may see the ends of the cords. It does have nice braided cords, but the EVGA ones are nicer, in my opinion. The packaging is not as premium as some other brands, but you don’t buy this product for the packaging. Awesome value- highly recommended.

Optical Drive

Reads and writes Blu-Rays and DVDs. Great for backing up your movies to Plex.

Case Fan

Squeezed this in the back of my case, under the GPU for an additional exhaust fan. Dropped the temps on my GPU by 5 degrees. Silent- you can’t hear it running.

Case Fan

Just as good as everyone says. These are literally inaudible when they are running at 100% in a case. I used them to replace the stock fans the came with the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid 240L AIO cooler and they are much quieter and dropped the temps of my CPU a few degrees. The mounting clip/corner things are weird.

Case Fan

These are a true hidden-gem fan: they don't get nearly enough attention. They look awesome and no separate proprietary RGB controller required, no garbage LED control software required, works with Asus Aura Sync. Moves a lot of air and are nice and quiet. I have 2 for my intake, 1 for my exhaust. I can’t recommend these enough.

Monitor

Great mid-range gaming monitor. I received the A09 revision and I don't have the color banding issues that earlier revisions have had. G-Sync is totally worth it, along with the high refresh rate. Makes games appear butter-smooth. I was hesitant to switch from an IPS 60Hz monitor, but the colors look almost as good as my previous IPS monitor. The stand is great and the on screen menu display are easy to work with.

Keyboard

Looks great, software is easy to use and the Cherry MX Red keys are a dream to type on.

Mouse

Very responsive, nice weight and feels great in the hand. All the buttons are good for an MMO-type game, or to map all sorts of functions to.

Comments

  • 18 months ago
  • 4 points

+1 for Cat

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks. His name is Ed. There are 2 more cats and 1 dog scattered through the pictures.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Picture 12/35 Is that a gun in the background?

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

If it were, it was a Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm. Since lost it in a boating accident :(

  • 18 months ago
  • 4 points

+1 for the animals

  • 18 months ago
  • 4 points

This build really is...

...the cat's meow!

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

how do you get your reset button to light up like that? :O

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

i have the same case btw

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Sadly, that is simply the LED control button for any Phanteks add on LEDs inside the case and the light is "disk activity" light. Not the reset button :(

Edit- I see we have the same case. Is yours a reset button? Also- nice keyboard.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

No if you wire that button to the reset switch on the motherboard, easy ily done some you just connect the front panel io in the correct manner it asks as a reset switch. Anyways how do you get the hard drive led to light up, I have a main SSD drive and one secondary hdd and the light stays dark, I'm pretty sure my front io is hooked up right...

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

make sure the positive is on right, as it is fairly unlikely that the led is dead, and even less likely that your motherboard is messed up.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

I just hooked the disk activity wire from the case to the disk activity jumper on the motherboard.

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

This is literally the same build i want to exact same parts, I love all the cats and dog i especially like the black and white one in pic #7 he is so cute i also love the cat in the 1st pic his fur looks so cool almost like a jaguar over all great build, and i guess u learned not to order from Walmart again haha. overall great build it looks amazing love the colors +1 for RGB +1 for having great taste in parts +3 for 3 cute kitty's +1 for cute doggo

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the feedback! Also thanks for the points breakdown: it will help improve future builds :)

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

Nice build! Don't let the cats take any threads away, lol, We are cat lovers too. Will keep these components in mind for my next build.

  • 17 months ago
  • 3 points

Nice build. Love the cats too. I'm sure mine will be all over my new PC when it's done!

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

2+For the cuteness. Very cool build. I am surprised you were able to find an optical drive seeing how they are being paused out :(

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much. Optical Drive almost didn't get included as finding a decent looking case was very difficult... but as a Plex machine, it pretty much is a necessity.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice!

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

love your little zoo!

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Wait so since you got the be quiet! fans for your Cooler Master RGB does it lose the RGB?

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

The new fans are not RGB, correct, but they are mounted on the top inside of the case, so they are not particularly visible anyways. But the water block on the CPU still lights up nicely.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

When I saw that little fan under your GPU, I was confused because I have the Pro M ordered and I saw that it only has one fan for the rear. After reading your write up, do you just have the little guy sitting there chilling (pun intended) or is it attached to the case? I have the same mobo and a EVGA GTX 1070 TI coming and thought I may do something similar to get better airflow. Sorry if this is a dumb question, this is my first ever build I'm prepping for.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

It's wedged under the GPU. Fits like a glove. "Chilling" I guess. Against conventional wisdom, it decreased my GPU temps by 5c. The easiest, cheapest and best "upgrade" in my build by far. If you do a Google search, I did a little writeup on HardForum and there are a couple threads on Reddit about this. Not sure if linking is okay... but I can send you them in a PM if you want.

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

Does the ram run at full speed on the motherboard? (3200mhz)

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Absolutely! Simply enable the XMP profile in BIOS. I haven't tried to overclock, but I imagine it would perform quite well.

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks just ordered the parts for my next pc!

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

The cat is a natural born model lol. Great build dude it's a beast.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

The animals are hard to keep out of the pictures, so I just decided to embrace it, and go all in :D

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

What animals?

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

I have same issue with my Cooler Master Liquid Lite 240, I plan on swapping my fans with more Silent Wings 3 Fans from be quiet!

Thumbs up!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Good luck! Sorry to hear your similar issue, but the Silent Wings fans are a really good product.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Any chance could I get a confirmation of the part number on those fans. The sticker is on the middle part of the blade hub. Gonna order 2 this week.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

BL066- I confirmed this earlier for a guy on another forum. Best wishes!

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

10/10 for cat on the pc

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Sweet build!!

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