Description

This build has been about two years in the making. It started off as a humble Core i5 + GT 740 2GB build in a Thermaltake case. The part list can be found here- http://pcpartpicker.com/list/Q7j27h. Through the years it has gone through many iterations, adding SSD's and hard drives, a graphics card upgrade to a GTX 960, and a new case, new power supply, more RAM, different motherboard after UPS snapped mine in half when I sent it in for repairs, and of course, a full on custom watercooling loop.

I originally sold my GTX 960 back in April in hopes of saving up for a GTX 1070. After the release, I realized that I might as well go all in and spring for a custom loop. Almost everything in the loop, with the exception of the EK radiator and the tubing, was bought used off of /r/hardwareswap. This let me keep everything within a small budget to do a double rad custom loop. When I first completed my loop in June, I still didn't have a graphics card, and I had just spent all my money that I had saved up for one on a custom loop. I realized that a 1070, plus a waterblock and backplate, was going to be a little out of reach. So I again scoured the interwebs for a 980 Ti, which I had seen was getting about the same performance as a 1070. I was able to find one that had a waterblock already with it for $400, which was a steal at that price. So I completely drained the loop and started over again with new tubing runs.

The first time I was putting together my loop I really wanted to mount the reservoir horizontal across the top of the "basement" in the H440. According to the manual that came with the EK res, the top port is only to be used for filling. Oops. It's currently working just fine, though filling and bleeding the system is a complete hassle, requiring me to tip the case on it's front to fill the red through one of the grommets in the back of the case (These were useful for once).

The second time I put the loop together after adding my GPU was an experience. You realize with watercooling that, if you didn't have a loop, you could pop your fancy new GPU in in 15 minutes and be playing games in another 10 minutes. With a loop, though, you are forced to drain the whole thing, take it apart, and start again. 4 hours later, I was finally able to fill it and get started playing some games with it. Figuring out how to get the water from the GPU back down to the res was a challenge. I originally wanted to have the water come out the bottom of the GPU and go to the res, but the clearance was too tight and there were some bad kinks in the tubing. EK saved me with their "Any port can be used as an inlet/outlet port". I think it looks much better, there is a small compression in the tubing going back to the res, but it isn't restricting flow that noticeably, and I'm still sitting at 28 degrees C at idle.

I had heard things about watercooling making PC's almost silent. With the Corsair stock case fans I was running on my top rad, it sounded like a jet engine. Time to get rid of those. I bought some Noctua NF-P12's off of /r/hardwareswap (where else?) and the difference is insane. Now I see where the silence comes from. I can't hear anything over the clack of my MX Brown keyboard. Speaking of keyboard, this is my fourth mechanical one that I have traded for. I originally bought a CODE Keyboard Full-Size with Clears for $80, traded that for a K65 RGB with Reds and a M65 mouse that I still have, didn't like the reds so I traded that for a Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate with Blues, didn't like the blank keycaps so I traded that for this Cooler Master Quickfire Stealth with Browns that I'm loving. The front printed keycaps look great and the browns feel great.

Overall, I'm completely happy with this build. The performance is everything I hoped for, I think it looks great even with the over-used black/red color scheme, and I'm glad I went for the custom loop. It is certainly a challenge for a first time watercooler, but it's a learning experience. A lot of the things listed I got for cheaper using good old eBay and Reddit, such as the monitor, headphones, mic, fans, and motherboard. Shows that you can have an extremely high performance computer without the high price if you're smart enough to know when to buy and when to pass.

By the way, Peruvian is named after an area within one of my favorite ski resorts, Snowbird in Utah. :)

Part Reviews

CPU

Great chip for gaming and even some light video editing. I currently have no use for hyperthreads and gaming workloads don't really take advantage of them, so I'm fine with the 4 core- 4 thread right now

Motherboard

Great motherboard, awesome features, although there are some that aren't very useful and really are just for show. Great overclocking abilities and extremely stable. Looks great as well

Storage

Extremely fast, especially if you RAM cache with the Samsung Magician Software. Also matches my build, even though you don't see it. Could use a little more space, it fill up quickly and it is very expensive.

Case

Amazing. Looks great, you could do cable management with your eyes closed. Surprisingly good watercooling support as well, though you may have to get creative mounting your res and pump. The lack of 5.25" bays doesn't bother me, but now I can't play my Lightscribe DVDs. :)

Power Supply

Good, clean power, with great looking cables as well. The 8-pin EPS has another 8 pin EPS attached to it, I find it annoying, couldn't they have done two different cables? I'm also not a big fan of the PCI-E cables, and how they're paired up as well.

Case Fan

Sooo quiet. I'll never go back to those god-awful Corsair case fans. Expensive though.

Monitor

Just great. 1440p is a great stepping stone if you don't want to pay for the power to drive 4K. Also has great colors and good accuracy for Photoshop and Premiere. The height adjust and pivot and swivel stand is amazing as well, although the bezels are a little thick. I think that 27 inch 1080p is too grainy, so this is perfect, and the 980 Ti can drive it well.

Keyboard

Love the front printed "stealth" keycaps, the Browns are amazing. Baclighting would've been nice, but it's not a deal-breaker for me.

Mouse

Very comfortable, the RGB effects work well, but the "sniper" button isn't very useful and just kinda gets in the way. Also not a big fan of the Corsair Gaming love-bat thing.

Headphones

Great entry-level audiophile headphones that don't break the bank. No amp required to drive these, my iPhone even does pretty well with these. I added some white velour earpad from Massdrop, which makes them extremely comfortable, even when wearing them for long periods of time.

Comments

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Why isn't this called "Red beast?"

Jk dude, nice build, +1

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