I call it “Smashed 8700k Build” because the processor box arrived crushed in the mail. I ordered it from WalMart’s website when it was on sale for $319, but sadly, it shipped only in a padded envelope, and not one of the nice blue boxes they advertise on TV. This being my first “nice” build, I was concerned the processor would be ruined.
This is a true multi-purpose machine: Video games, mining, Blu-Ray ripping and Handbrake encoding, Plex server, benchmarks, Streaming/recording, etc.
This was also my first build, and thanks to the awesome community here on PCPartPicker and HardForum, I didn’t really have any serious issues.
The 2 most noticeable improvements from my previous i7-3770 machine were: Solid state drive, and GSYNC monitor
I seemed to have lost the silicon lottery with my particular 8700k. I settled on a very conservative OC with 4.5Ghz @ 1.215 volts. I didn’t want to go too aggressive with my OC, as I run large batches of encoding jobs, sometimes lasting a couple days in length. But it is a beast. It hovers around mid 60’s when gaming and serious multitasking has never been easier.
In regards to CPU cooling, I started with the DeepCool Gammaxx GT basic air cooler, since I hadn’t quite settled on what I wanted to do. I quickly realized it wasn’t sufficient to keep the inferno/8700k reasonably cool even at stock speeds.
So I purchased the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML240L RGB water cooler which was basically the best value for a 240 AIO, looked pretty nice, worked with Asus AURA Sync, and didn’t use the sometimes troublesome CAM software from NZXT. However, my one complaint is the stock fans which I soon replaced them with the BeQuiet SilentWings 3 fans. The stock CoolerMaster fans were ridiculously loud, in my opinion and also had a terrible habit of switching on and off every few seconds with a super loud “whoosh”. No matter what custom fan curve I set, I couldn’t get them to be less irritating. The BeQuiet fans are inaudible. You can't hear them at all and they also dropped my CPU temps a couple degrees.
In regards to airflow- I chose the DeepCool RF140 fans because they don’t require a proprietary fan controller or use garbage LED control software. They work great with the ASUS Aura sync system. These fans don’t get nearly enough attention. They are quiet, move a lot of air, and look pretty good. I used 2 of the intake in front, and 1 for the exhaust in the back.
I am also super proud of the tiny 92mm Artic fan. I squeezed this under the GPU to function as an additional exhaust fan, to help remove some of the hot air that would otherwise recirculate back into the case. It dropped my GPU temps 3-5 degrees. For some reason, fans for this purpose aren’t really used very often.
My wife saw the Dell S276DG monitor on sale for $399, so that really made the decision easy. The addition of a G-Sync monitor was one of the biggest upgrades from my previous machine. For anyone questioning the value of it, I’d highly recommend it. I ended up receiving one of the new A09 revisions of the Dell monitor which supposedly is supposed to have less color banding issues than some of the other variants.
Thanks for reading and leave comments or questions!
A massive upgrade from my previous i7-3770. It handles serious multi-tasking without breaking a sweat. It generates a lot amount of heat, so don’t underestimate the cooling requirements: a basic air-cooler won’t be sufficient. Perfect for productivity and a great gaming chip.
Great value for a 240mm AIO cooler. Easy to install. Fans seem very loud, so I swapped for BeQuiet SilentWings 3 fans. Looks sharp and RGB works with Asus Aura Sync.
Looks sharp, has lots of fan and RGB headers and great BIOS. Probably a bit overpriced, and there are better boards to overclock with. But this is an awesome mid-range motherboard.
Fast, expensive and beautiful. Runs at 3200MHz using the XMP profile. Samsung B-die, so Im sure it overclocks very well. Works with Asus Aura Sync- plug and play.
Blazing fast. Easy install. Great value for a fast NVME drive. Makes my machine ridiculously fast.
Runs like like all other SATA SSDs. Very good value. Perfect for an OS drive or great for Steam storage to make your games load quickly. Also: I chose this solely because of the beautiful hummingbird sticker that displays prominently in my case.
Cheapest 4TB I could find. Not loud. The 5,400RPM speed isn't an issue if you are just using this for video/picture storage. Make sure you get this one (ST4000DM004) and not the older, less reliable and slightly cheaper ST4000DM005.
Incredible performance. Runs really cool. Fans are quiet until you manually crank them up past about 70%. Then they get really, really loud. During normal gaming use, it stays about 65 degrees. Has a nice backplate and the white LEDs look nice.
Amazing case. Easy to work with and looks very nice. Has a 5.25 slot if you need it. Huge: much bigger than it looks in pictures. Plenty of room to mount all sorts of fans, radiators, pumps, etc. Tempered glass is fancy and you can't beat the price. Very good airflow.
One of the best power supplies in this price range. Very quiet. It is a bit shorter, so if you have a cutout in your case, you may see the ends of the cords. It does have nice braided cords, but the EVGA ones are nicer, in my opinion. The packaging is not as premium as some other brands, but you don’t buy this product for the packaging. Awesome value- highly recommended.
Reads and writes Blu-Rays and DVDs. Great for backing up your movies to Plex.
Squeezed this in the back of my case, under the GPU for an additional exhaust fan. Dropped the temps on my GPU by 5 degrees. Silent- you can’t hear it running.
Just as good as everyone says. These are literally inaudible when they are running at 100% in a case. I used them to replace the stock fans the came with the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid 240L AIO cooler and they are much quieter and dropped the temps of my CPU a few degrees. The mounting clip/corner things are weird.
These are a true hidden-gem fan: they don't get nearly enough attention. They look awesome and no separate proprietary RGB controller required, no garbage LED control software required, works with Asus Aura Sync. Moves a lot of air and are nice and quiet. I have 2 for my intake, 1 for my exhaust. I can’t recommend these enough.
Great mid-range gaming monitor. I received the A09 revision and I don't have the color banding issues that earlier revisions have had. G-Sync is totally worth it, along with the high refresh rate. Makes games appear butter-smooth. I was hesitant to switch from an IPS 60Hz monitor, but the colors look almost as good as my previous IPS monitor. The stand is great and the on screen menu display are easy to work with.
Looks great, software is easy to use and the Cherry MX Red keys are a dream to type on.
Very responsive, nice weight and feels great in the hand. All the buttons are good for an MMO-type game, or to map all sorts of functions to.