My overall goal for this build was to put together a moderately powerful gaming PC that could run most games at 1080p with near 60 fps while also being able to keep up with my school workload, all without sacrificing aesthetics. The computer you are viewing now is far greater than what I originally planned to build, and is rather a product of fortunate timing and pure luck. A year ago I put this build together as a wishlist on newegg with the exception of a few changes. Knowing I couldn't afford it didn't stop me from wanting it though, and if you told me last year that I would own it in twelve months I wouldn't believe you. Here's the story of how this PC came to be.
You saw the title and might be wondering where Kyle and Paul from Bitwit and Paul's Hardware (respectively) come into play. In early December they did a joint giveaway of a $1000 first place prize and a $500 second place prize. Like most giveaways I find out about I enter knowing the chances of me winning are negligible, but hey, it can't hurt to enter anyway. I completely forgot I entered because I have never won anything nor expect to win so I forgot when they were announcing the winners. A day or two after they announced the winners I stumbled across an email with the subject "YOU WON THE GIVEAWAY" and immediately looked over it because it sounded like a textbook identifier of spam. Then I realized it was legit and from one of my favorite YouTubers. I ended up winning the $500 cash prize and used the money to buy my motherboard, CPU, ram, HUE+, and had $25 leftover to go towards my OCZ SSD. I got the CPU and motherboard as a combo deal from Micro Center and the motherboard was open box, so I ended up getting a steal only spending $330 for both of them. This allowed me to stretch the winnings out to get more parts. After dreaming of building this rig for so long I was finally able to begin manifesting it and start getting the parts together. I already had a little money saved to start this build that I was now able to put towards other components since the giveaway covered the core of my computer. Without the giveaway kick-starting this build for me I would not have been able to afford everything and it probably wouldn't have happened, at least not to this extent. I can't thank Paul and Kyle enough for giving me the opportunity to build this amazing computer.
Let's bring up the elephant in the virtual room you and I are sharing as you read this. This combination of case, motherboard, and cooler have been used a lot recently. At first I was bummed out a little that my choice of parts has been used before I could do it. I've been planning on building this white system around the motherboard for over a year and wasn't going to let it deter me from building it. Once I finally built it and booted it up for the first time I knew I made the right decision with every single part and had zero regrets. I love this computer and the way it looks. Knowing that other people feel the same joy I do from a combination of parts similar to mine makes me actually think the opposite of my original feelings. I look at this computer every day, nobody else has to. So if I like the way it looks why should I care if someone has a computer resembling mine? I never see similar builds unless I look for them, so an over-saturation of common parts doesn't personally affect me. I know how good it looks all tied together and am happy other people share the same tastes. That's the whole reason I got into PC building; sharing a common interest and satisfaction in our computers. Every time I look at this computer I can't help but to smile because of how grateful I am to have a computer this powerful and good looking on my college budget.
Overall I couldn't be more happy with my computer. I hope you guys like it. Let me know any thoughts or suggestions you may have. Although constructive criticism is welcomed, please don't blindly criticize without understanding the logic behind my decisions. Sorry for the poor quality iPhone pics and lighting. My name on social media and steam are the same as the one here so follow/friend me if you want.
Below is a breakdown of the reasoning behind choosing each component the name, followed by what upgrades and changes I would like to make in the near future:
-CPU & GPU: What you see is what you get here, folks. It's not a surprise to you that an Intel i5 6600k paired with a GTX 1080 go together like peanut butter and jelly. This computer will never be used for content creation so an i7 would have been more than I needed, but I still needed strong reliable processing power for my school workload and gaming. The i5 6600k was a no brainer. Now I know what your thinking, my logic on processor choice was not to go overkill, but yet I bought a GTX 1080 which is definitely overkill for a 1080p monitor. I originally followed that school of thought and paired my i5 with an rx 480 (4gb) which was capable of max settings floating around 50-60fps for most games. I will include pictures of the system with both graphics cards for kicks and giggles. Recently though I've been playing a lot of competitive games and itching to get a monitor with a higher refresh rate at 1440p. I'm aware 1440p isn't going to benefit me in competitive games, but it would nice to have for my other games that have great looking graphics. In addition to that I really want to get into VR, which the rx 480 would not be able to handle competently nor would it keep up with a high refresh rate at 1440p, so I pulled the trigger on the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW. With that being said; my next big purchase is going to be a enthusiast grade 1440p, 144hz, IPS monitor, and hopefully with G-sync. I want to wait a little to get a VR set to see what advances they come out with and wireless alternatives. VR is still in it's infancy and has so much potential to improve, so it's worth waiting knowing the 1080 will be more than capable for the near distant future.
-MOBO, RAM, Case, and CPU Cooler: Now that I've rambled on about my choice for the brains and muscle of my computer; everything else pretty much comes down to aesthetics. It started when I saw the white pcb of the ASUS sabertooth motherboard and immediately made my decision that I wanted to do an all white build around the motherboard with it being the focal point.
-RAM: RAM is RAM. Not much differentiates RAM other than looks. The Dominator Platinum's I thought would tie in really nice with the grey/silver accents on the board, and is some of the nicest looking ram out right now imo.
-Case & CPU Cooler: I started planning the foundation of this build about a year ago (1/16) with my original intention to have a white NZXT H440 house the system. Then the white S340 elite came out with the tempered glass side panel and I knew that it would look too good with the motherboard to resist. My choice in CPU cooler follows the same trend. I wanted to overclock the 6600k a decent amount so I knew I wanted AIO water cooling. Right when I was deciding on an AIO, NZXT released the Kraken x62 and it promised to have better performance than it's predecessor while achieving quieter cooling. The look of the infinity mirror CPU block/pump had me hooked, and then with the promised performance and RGB capabilities paired with the HUE+, NZXT sunk their hooks in me deep. This system looks like an NZXT sponsored build and I don't mind it one bit.
-PSU & SSD's: The samsung SSD was left over from my old build and I got the OCZ one on sale. Both of which matched the systems color scheme (or lack thereof) requiring little thought to include them. Power supply was also recycled from previous build and since it is hidden under psu shroud I felt no obligation to get a new one as it wouldn't affect the aesthetics while yielding enough power with 80+ gold efficiency.
-Name: I don't know if I'm fully convinced on sticking with 'The Yeti' as the name for this rig. I originally picked it because obviously Yeti's are like the arctic bigfoot, a large powerful snow-colored monster, and metaphorically compared to my computer. The only issue is I am definitely not the first person to make this clever correlation. One of the deciding factors for me to commit to it is a favorite song of mine by the band Clutch is called 'The Yeti'. I have been a long time fan of the band and grew up listening to them with the influence of my Dad. So like a corny tattoo, the name holds some sentimental value to me making it feel more personally unique.
-RGB: This probably isn't necessary to cover, but it is a very opinionated subject and everybody feels differently about it. I look at them similarly to a spoiler/wing on a car. It offers no performance benefits despite everybody putting them in computers, and looks tacky being obnoxiously excessive in most instances. When tastefully used in moderation though, it can be a defining feature in your build. In my situation the HUE+ and Kraken x62 coexist beautifully together without being overbearing. They complement the build rather than being a gaudy accessory. I mainly keep the HUE+ static white to showcase the components, but the versatility offered by NZXT's CAM software is second to none.
Intended upgrades and improvements:
- -more RAM: 2x4gb for 16gb total
- -hard drive for more storage/backup
- -cable combs to straighten out my cables
- -maybe new cable extensions that look more uniform and include some grey/black color
- -clean up the RGB and CPU block wires towards the top left somehow
- -a monitor that can utilize all the performance my 1080 can put down
Thanks for reading if you made it to this point. I don't know how you did it. This went on WAY longer than I anticipated. I just wanted to be as detailed as possible. Let me know what you think!