Description

This was my first build, and thankfully it was almost entirely problem-free. The only issue I had was with a broken HDMI cable (which was previously working) leading me to think my board wasn't posting - silly me. Several calls to the supplier later and a tear-down and rebuild, and finally it was figured out... And I was embarrassed.

It took many hours of research and deliberation for me to settle on the parts. I chose my parts based on best bang for buck being a poor uni student. My intention for the computer was for it to be adequate to play recent games easily, while also being capable of more CPU intensive tasks such as 3D CAD work and engineering computations for my studies. Most importantly, it must be be reliable enough to use as my daily computer and Facebook timewaster. It has fullfilled all criteria better than expected.

I didn't originally intend on overclocking the CPU, as I expected 4Ghz would be more than enough (which to be fair it is) but Asus' built-in overclocking tool was too simple (and tempting), so I setup a 10% overclock which has proven reliable even under an intense stress test on a warm day. I put this down to the watercooler doing its thing. I know the auto overclocker is not ideal but I'm not yet confident in setting up a manual overclock. It's something I'll play with in the future.

This computer should last me a while as I can't see myself requiring anything more powerful in the near future, however I do look forward to my next bigger and better build!

Let me know what you would do differently or any recommendations for my next build.

Cheers

Edit 13th June 2016: Successfully hackintoshed my build with almost everything working as it would on a Mac except for Messages and App Store. Dual booting alongside Windows 10. Why? Because why not? So for anyone thinking of hackintoshing, I can confirm my hardware is capable, however it takes a lot of time messing around to get it working right!

Edit 14th June 2016: Messages and App Store now working with an easy fix. Also my wifi card arrived today and worked natively as soon as I booted into El Capitan, but I had to download drivers for windows. How ironic. Also discovered my USB3.0 headers are not functional, so will have to try to fix that at some point (they work in WIndows).

Part Reviews

CPU

Very happy with my purchase of this. Easily overclocked to +10%. Very powerful, eats everything I throw at it.

CPU Cooler

Works at keeping my mildly overclocked i7-6700k nice and cool even under loads. The adjustable colours on the pump are a nice touch. The CAM software makes fan control and colours easily tuneable.

Motherboard

This MB has been super reliable, even when I downgraded BIOS to an old version to allow me to hackintosh my build. Never had an issue with it, would recommend this as one of the best MBs for this price bracket.

Memory

Good reliable RAM, much cheaper than when I bought it though! I would probably recommend going faster ram since prices are coming down. But still does its job perfectly! Doesn't seem to hinder my system in any way.

Storage

Super fast SSD, waiting to find a discount to buy another one or two of these for my laptop and to reinstall my hackintosh install on a SSD rather than an old HDD.

Storage

As expected, does its job well. Reliable and cheap, and good for storage of movies, games or backups.

Video Card

More powerful than I had expected, really good card but obviously not the best. More than enough for what I need, and I doubt I'll need an upgrade anytime soon! It would have benefited from a backing plate, as the card itself is a bit flimsy. Its not too bad once installed, just needs a gentle touch. Hasn't impacted its performance.

Case

Nice looking case, generally well built. My only issue is with the power button which feels quite cheap - it wiggles side to side in its hole, but I've started not to notice it now. Otherwise top quality case, especially for the price! Also to anyone buying this and planning to use the Kraken X61, it fits but is really tight and you need to be careful when installing the kraken to not damage the case's USB header/audio jacks/power button which sit directly above where the kraken fits. I would still recommend.

Power Supply

This PSU has been very reliable, powerful enough for my build. The modular setup is very handy for cable management. It would have been a mess of cables if I didn't have a modular PSU! Would recommend.

Wireless Network Adapter

This was a later addition to my build, so far seems good - although it did randomly drop out once in Windows 10 not long after install but hasn't happened recently.

Funnily enough, it worked natively in my El Capitan hackintosh install, however it needed me to download the drivers from manufacturer website in Windows 10. Quite ironic. Regardless, it has better wifi reception than my Macbook Pro. Would recommend.

Comments

  • 42 months ago
  • 3 points

Just want to say. I LOVE the racing set up. For that alone I commend you on your work haha. Other wise. Great build! How do you like that mobo? Thought about picking it up myself.

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha thanks! The racing setup is a lot of fun with a good racing sim. My opinion on the motherboard is its an excellent bang for buck board, with all the features I needed and from a reliable manufacturer. Two things I've noticed though - it could do with more USB3.0 (luckily I have 2 added headers), and the colour normally looks black but under camera flash or sunlight, it actually looks brown - you can see it in the photos.

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

WHOA DUDE!!! That is the definition of a clean build. How good is the airflow with the stock fans? (no that I have anything against them, I am just curious)

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I haven't had any experience with other fans since this is my first build so its hard to compare. They seem to move air pretty well, albeit I think they're slightly noisier than average (but not enough to be irritating). No complaints from me for a AUD$100 case.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Have fun with that beast with that pc!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point
It looks great! I like the parts and it leaves you plenty of room for future upgrades. +1
  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

looks solid, but thats an s340 i believe

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Yep that's an S340, not the H440 in the part list.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep that's my mistake, you're both correct. Thanks!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

This is the most practical build i've seen in weeks. Just why are temps higher than average? What is your room temperature?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

What do you mean his temps are great!!!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

My understanding is that my temps are within range. The idle temps were from last night, a cool 18Deg C. From memory the load temps were during a 25Deg C day. Why do you say my temps are higher than average J. Sammour?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I really don't know i misunderstood 67 for 85. Your temps are great. Much lower than i had expected. Sorry for the incovenience

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

That's okay! Just had me slightly concerned.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Speaking of temperatures. I play on a 5 years old laptop that is overclocked, and my temps reach 90C on hot summer days. Been searching for a while to see whether i get a laptop or a pc for my university, because i need the power, but portability is really what i need. Poor me, i can never have a stationnary pc