Description

This is my official dream machine for the time being, until I eventually save up enough money, time and dedicate the effort to doing a custom liquid loop.

This was a pretty big evolution. I had a build on here (just now deleted) with almost all of these parts but it's been totally redone, thus the v2.0. It was in the Phanteks EVOLV and had a Cooler Master MasterLiquid AIO. It was terrible. Temperatures were mediocre on the CPU, the 1070 Dual was getting up to the low 80's and the case, while great looking, was over half the issue (the AIO being a bit cheap and meh was the rest).

So here I am with the great looking and still functionally competent Corsair Air240 and the tried and true Corsair H60. Temps are good, aesthetics are good and functionality improved ten fold. It also helps that I decided to upgrade to a 1080 in the box. Otherwise this is the previous build with some more power, more PSU headroom and a whole hell of a lot more airflow in the form of more fans as well as more airflow for those fans to take advantage of.

It's now my main rig, taking the place of my precious first build (which was funny how tough it was to put aside as the HTPC/casual TV gaming). I couldn't be happier with the results of both the main upgrades, being the case and the GPU. I heard some mixed things about Zotac and have always bought ASUS, but it's working like a charm for me thus far and temperature, my main worry, is more than great (aided by two hefty Corsair intakes right below it).

Thanks for taking a look! I'll have some nitpicky comments about the case in the review below, but it's mostly golden.

Part Reviews

CPU

This thing is pretty incredible. If you're solely gaming, go for sheer speed, if you're doing anything else even remotely productive or even simply just doing just a whole lot of different things at once, this is the sweet spot, I believe. I'll be completely blunt: I just wanted to support AMD in the CPU race. I don't do anything at the moment aside from slight photoshopping and some very minor video editing, but nothing that would actually justify this purchase. What did justify this purchase was putting Intel on the ropes (for as much as I love them and still support them) to put some activity back in the CPU competition instead of it stagnating in a sea of Intel CPUs.

CPU Cooler

I've used three of these things now and they're still the best bang for the buck if you're using any kind of rig that is limited in size (or even in a full ATX build, but it's great for ITX or even SFF). I haven't had one fail, and I haven't been disappointed in the performance. It's liquid cooling and air cooling and it's all in one. Yes.

Motherboard

I'll write what I wrote primarily for the other completed build. If the B350 is available, get it. As far as I can tell, and I'd love someone to correct me because I've compared them numerous times, the X370 is exactly the same. I mean right down to the description on their official website regarding features and summary. The only difference is price. The only reason I got this...was the B350 and this had released mere hours before and the X370 was the only one available.

That said, it's really great. It's got an easy to use UEFI, the build quality is top notch, the WIFI is competent and the placements of the SATA power, data and other important ports are fairly easy to work with.

Memory

You can access your memories at the speed of 3200 with these puppies. That's pretty great.

Storage

The first time I've used any kind of drive that isn't Samsung or Seagate. The other S manufacturer pulls through as I've had no disappointments in speed or reliability with this one.

Storage

These things are amazing. They're noticeably faster than their fully mechanical counterpart (at least when it comes to gaming), the size helps out a bunch when working with ITX or SFF builds and the 2 TP capacity is even more great if you're limited in drive bays.

Video Card

I was skeptical when buying this, but I got it for an insanely good price during a flash sale ($380) and couldn't pass it up, especially since I was in the market already for an upgrade but also needed a smaller sized GPU. It's quiet, it's pretty darn cool and the performance is what you'd expect from a 1080.

Case

The first four star comes out of nowhere, especially for me, since I love this case so much. But there's a few very odd design decisions that went into this, one of them made me want to take whoever made the aforementioned design choice and rack him with a mallet. Prepare yourself for a novel. I will unleash my frustration out in a litany of literary lacerations.

I'll get right to it, and it sounds so measly and petty but holy hell does it make a difference when you've already got little room to work with. The GPU support "bracket" on the backside of the case. Look it up and you'll see immediately what I'm talking about. Now this may simply be my specific case got screwed on the quality, but the design in itself is faulty and illogical. They took a very simple, tried concept that worked and somehow tried to...I'm really not sure what they were going for. Something even simpler obviously, but it was marred. It's a flimsy little folding bracket that is supposed to hold your GPU in place. Instead of screwing down the GPU per norm, you fold this little twerp over the metal bracket on the back and it just sits there. There's no locking mechanism either, so if you move it at all, the GPU sags, the bracket pops out of place and you're left with a possibly horrific scenario created by something that is entirely screwed.

You can actually see it in the pics I took. See how the back end is popped out? You know what I did? I had the gall and nerve to take my side panel off. Now this may not seem like a huge issue, and thankfully with my Mini it's not, but when I had a heaping STRIX in there...it's a huge issue, especially if you move the rig around at all. That little folding part is a liability and something that seems so out of place and odd. Who'd take a sketchy, folding, hardly-in-place bracket over a screwed-down, totally secured GPU? The guy that designed this part of the case. What a jerk.

That probably came out rantier than I'd like but it really is a mind boggling design choice. The screwing down of the GPU is infallible. It's held in place fully and completely, it's easy and it's quick. I have no clue why they'd try to change that but they did and it failed.

The other two nit picks about the case are just that: nothing major (and while the aforementioned may seem minor, when you work with it with even a somehwat heavy GPU, you'll be pulling your hair out). The 3.5" drive bay totally covers one of the grommets for the 4/8 pin SATA power. This was very weird because...it's so obvious. I mean it literally covers the entirety of the grommet; you'll have to route the hefty cable over the removable box of bays, shove the bays back in and hope that there was enough room to man handle it between the half inch of room you're left to work in using a fairly traditionally lofty cable. It's very sketchy.

Lastly, and it's more of another odd design choice than anything is the limitation of the GPU height. I'll put it in perspective very quick: Unless you're using some custom cables that are very easily flexible, you're going to have trouble putting on the window side panel because of how little room you have. The SATA power will almost always be in the way. This seems so odd to me considering how wide the case is for an M-ITX/ATX case like this and how the airflow and all around design choices all point to this being great for a work heavy rig. 9 times out of 10, that work will be accompanied by a powerful GPU (otherwise all that great airflow is nearly for naught). That said, I'm using a Mini...the tiniest 1080 out there...and I still had to literally push on my side panel. You can see in the pics, there's no crazy big cables (and I molded the SATA power to conform to the positioning the best it could), the GPU is fully within the requirements of the case...and yet there's a "clearance issue" (which is a bit too hard of a term). But it's kind of ridiculous to have any issues at all with a Mini GPU in a case this big (again, relative to the use) that is very clearly designed to be used with a powerful rig inside of it.

That's all, otherwise it's fantastic and you'll love it for function, but there's a few manufacturing aspects that are just downright illogical. Especially when you consider how great the rest of the case is.

For clarification, I said eff that weird little cheap folding bracket and screwed in the GPU like it's traditionally done anyway. It's clearly not meant to be, I forced the screw in, but low and behold, my GPU no longer sags and when the bracket inevitably pops out of place the second I move it or take the side panel off, I don't have to worry about my $400 dollar investment being ruined by a stupid design choice.

Power Supply

I've only bought SeaSonic and EVGA PSUs, and this one reaffirms that decision. I got it on sale and it's supplying my power needs just fine.

Case Fan

Like a fart in the wind, except silent but deadly.

Also said fart isn't stinky and it cools your PC components great. So there's that.

I've had too much coffee.

Comments

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey where did you find the 1080 for 380? I've been watching that card and never saw that deal

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

A very random Ebay flash sale. I was browsing "dealsource.tech" and saw a 1080 deal, then under the "recommended/like this one" category I saw this sale, which wasn't the one listed on dealsource (the irony). It was up for a couple hours and was gone, rightfully so.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice. I may have to stalk ebay now lol. And that's the name of the store?

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Man thats a hell of a deal

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

muh vrm temps