Alright, so this build is actually a continuation of my previous build. This isn't an entirely new PC; it's just been upgraded a metric butt-ton since my first time building it, so I figured I'd make an updated build - a refresh, if you will. If you'd like to see the backstory of how this entire PC came to be and what it used to be like before this upgrade, check out my first Completed Build.
Refresh Without the Refresh?
Alright, let's get rid of the elephant in the room now: no, I did not upgrade to a 2700X. $310+$140 (at least) for a board that's capable of pushing the chip only 250-350 MHz faster than my own is just reckless spending. I'll wait this one out and keep my 1700, which is more than enough for me. My games don't lag even when I'm recording/streaming, and video editing is smooth as butter. Maybe when Zen 2 (Ryzen 3?) is released and I see significantly higher clock speeds/IPC gains, I'll consider an upgrade. It's supposedly going to be on the 7nm process node so who knows?
Anyhow, getting that out of the way, let's move on to what I DID upgrade.
The Graphics Card
When I initially built my PC last year, I bought an AMD RX 480 from Sapphire for $180. Then Ethereum got popular. So uhhh, yeah, let's just say I sold it for a nice profit. I bought a GTX 1080 (refurbished) for $480, so I practically paid less than $80 for the card. You do the math ;).
Apparently, all my CPU and RAM needed was a BIOS update to run significantly faster. About 2 months ago I flashed my UEFI for the first time, and got amazing results. 3.95GHz on all 8 cores using 1.45v (no, I'm not destroying my chip. Degrading it, maybe, but it'll survive for at least a decade, so I really don't care). My RAM can also now run at 2800 MHz instead of just 2666. 3000 MHz is achievable, but the performance gains are little to none and my voltage+CAS goes way up, so I didn't go that route.
The Case/Them Sicc RGBs
I was using the DIYPC Illusion II BR as my case up until literally last week, and the fans that came with it were only red. I used that as my main source of lighting for the longest time. Now, I have an NZXT Hue+ and the HURRICANE fans that came with my new case - the AZZA Inferno 310. Definitely a nice upgrade. Everything is synced up, including my Razer peripherals.
I used the stock cooler for the longest time with the 1700 (with lower clocks, of course). Then I upgraded to the be quiet! Dark Rock 3 cooler. My old CPU temps during the warmer months of the year were hitting nearly 95 degrees C at maximum load, the GPU hitting 79 degrees C, mostly because my last case didn't have great airflow nor ventilation. Nowadays, the CPU during AIDA64's stability stress test for half an hour will hit 67 degrees C, and the GPU hit 62 degrees C during a Furmark stress test.
The Entire Setup
I caved in and bought a proper desk. The one from Walmart worked, but my monitors on the side would overhang the desk at the corners, and I just didn't like having all 3 monitors in front of me at all times. It was a strain on my eyes. I moved my two secondary monitors to the top, and kept my main monitor right in front of me. And when it comes to the actual desk space, I actually have room for my keyboard and entire mousepad to fit on the desk, plus room for food besides (and cup holders!). I also bought a scissor stand for my mic for whenever I'm recording/streaming. It's really a gamer's dream. Love, love, looove the new setup, desk and all!
My Future Plans
As I said before, once the Zen 2 architecture is mainstream, I'll more than likely upgrade by then. I see no reason to upgrade my cooler or graphics card for a long time, and RAM is too expensive for me to upgrade at the moment. The only thing I really plan to upgrade in the foreseeable future is my storage setup and my main monitor to a higher resolution/refresh rate that supports G-Sync, which is going to really empty my pockets. But, that's for me to worry about later.
Anywho, with that being said, uh, that's everything! Thanks for checking out my build! Let me know what you think in the comments, and don't be afraid to ask me any questions! :)
The 1080 itself is very nice, and the cooling is pretty great. Even with a hefty overclock of 2,025 MHz on all CUDA cores, this GPU holds up at just 62 degrees! No stars docked here.
Case is amazing. Airflow really is awesome. Stock fans that come with it are about as good as my NZXT Aero 120 fans, so I kept them in. Docking 1 star because instructions were awful, and I had to figure out how to get the fans & front panel RGB LEDs powered and working.
Probably not worth the money, but they're still pretty decent overall. :)
No words need to be said. Google Assistant in this tiny little package is so convenient to me. Love it.