Spotter's Feedback:

The Force has been built! ...was freaking out when ordering parts for the high end build. First time making a PC especially with no skill on howto. You guys have really helped me through this process. Literally stayed up all night building this. It was so worth it... my brain is so fried.

The Finished System

Built: January 2016

This awesome-looking PC comes from one of our Twitter followers, Spotter71. He used our $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Buyer's Guide as published in December 2015 to build a seriously-powerful gaming system that also packed in a huge helping of style!

Below is the parts list for Spotter's PC, followed by the impressive box shot prior to assembly:

  1. CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K
  2. Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 5
  3. Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 390X 8GB Tri-X
  4. Memory: Patriot 2x4GB DDR3-2133
  5. SSD: Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
  6. Hard Drive: Toshiba 2TB
  7. Case: NZXT Phantom 410
  8. CPU Cooler: Thermalright True Spirit 140 BW Rev. A
  9. Power Supply: EVGA Supernova 650 G2
  10. Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224FB 24x DVD Burner
  11. Operating System: Windows 10

The Parts

Spotter wasn't kidding around here - he went all in with his first self-built PC. He picked up the ultra-fast Core i7-4790K quad-core processor, which has an extra four virtual cores to help boost performance in the newest games, along with a fire-breathing Radeon R9 390X 8GB, the best value in ultra-high-end video cards on the market today. But of course what really makes his system special is the awesome "Force" styling (or would that be Stormtrooper styling?) of his NZXT Phantom 410 case, along with the built-in LED lighting. The other great thing about the Phantom 410 is that it packs in serious cooling potential, including front and rear 120mm fans, plus a big 140mm exhaust fan up top, all the better to draw out the heat from the power-hungry 390X video card!

The other quality component that might not get as much attention here is the EVGA Supernova G2 power supply. It goes about its business in a powerful yet quiet manner (silent in fact, until it's really pushed!), and hits an astounding 90% efficiency when in its 300-400W sweet spot. With this particular system, it will be putting out around 400W at full load due to the high power draw of the 390X video card, which is offset by the fantastic efficiency of the Core i7-4790K processor. Note in the photo below that the power supply is oriented with its intake fan face down. This is perfect for keeping the hot air from the case out of the power supply, but take note: if you placed this system on carpeting, the PSU would likely have its fresh air intake cut off, so all PC builders should take that into account when choosing the orientation (both upward- and downward-facing are possible in most cases).

Install

Powered By

Also note the orientation of the Thermalright heatsink in the interior case shot. In most situations, you actually want the heatsink oriented from front to back, with air being pulled in through the heatsink and exhausted out the rear of the case. Spotter has his heatink turned 90 degrees, which will probably increase CPU temperatures, but will decrease GPU temperatures, as heat is drawn away from the video card and exhausted out the top of the case.

We'll leave you with one last shot showing off a few of Spotter's case badges, two for his Gigabyte G1 Gaming Series motherboard, and one each for his Intel processor, Sapphire video card, and Patriot memory. Nowadays, just about all high-end gear comes with badges just like these, so don't forget to look in the package for your prize. It's kind of like opening a box of Cracker Jacks!