I'm getting the bug to build a new gaming computer. I will use it 75% for work and 25% to game. I have a budget of $1200.00 and have a Asus 1070 8 GB OC card I can use to get started.
Built: June 2017
All right, let's get rolling! Over the course of about four weeks, we worked through a totally custom build for Joe, as detailed in his extensive forum thread. As Joe mentioned, he started out with a $1,200 budget, but already had a high-end video card he could re-use. So that meant he was looking at building the equivalent of a $1,600 PC, which would suggest he could start with TBG's $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Buyer's Guide. Well, when you've got the bug, you've got the bug, and he ended up aiming far higher!
So, without further ado, here's Joe's complete build list:
- CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K
- Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270E Gaming
- RAM: 2x Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz C16 White
- Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix 8GB (waiting on second for SLI)
- Solid-State Drive #1: Samsung 960 Pro 512GB M.2 PCIe
- Solid-State Drive #2: Plextor M8Pe 512GB M.2 PCIe
- Case: SilverStone Technology PM01W-RGB ATX Tower Case With RGB Tempered Glass White
- Upgraded Rear Case Fan: Corsair ML140 Pro LED, White, 140mm Magnetic Levitation Fan
- Upgraded Cooler and Roof Case Fans: 3x Corsair ML120 Pro LED, White, 120mm Magnetic Levitation Fan
- RGB Light Strips: SilverStone LS02
- Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G3
- Upgraded Power Supply Cables: EVGA White G2/P2/T2 Power Supply Cable Set
- CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H100i v2
- Operating System: Windows 10 Flash Drive
What Joe built was essentially the $2,000 Premium Gaming PC Build, but with several major performance upgrades, a huge number of cosmetic upgrades, and just one piece missing: a second GTX 1070 for true 4K action. Unfortunately, his building process coincided with the most insane cryptocurrency mining craze in history, which meant that about a week before his build was complete, every single GTX 1070 was swept off the market by coin miners. Ah well.... hopefully Nvidia won't throw in the towel on these great GPUs and stock will return later this summer!
As it turns out, Joe was really interested in using a tempered glass case, but he also wanted a white case. Well, there's only one such case on the market, and luckily for Joe, it arrived just in time for him to start building. We're talking of course about the sweet-looking SilverStone PM01 RGB that's the star of this show. SilverStone didn't anticipate how popular this case would be, and when it launched in the U.S. in May 2017, only a handful were made available. Joe actually grabbed the very last one on virtual store shelves, and it took weeks for stock to return, by which time Joe's build was already done. When you see something you really like, sometimes it pays to just pull the trigger!
Trust us, folks, having used plenty of steel- and acrylic-paneled cases over the past decade, we know that we've entered the glass age, and there's no turning back. A glass-paneled case is just so much better looking, and more durable too, as it's almost impossible to scratch. Joe provided a whole lot of great photos that really show off this case, but in addition, illustrate how it serves as a great showcase for what's inside as well. We're going to let his pictures do the talking:
First up, some wweet, sweet, Corsair gear. Joe's got a full setup here, including a Corsair H100i v2 liquid cooler, white LED Corsair radiator fans, white LED Corsair exhaust fans, and the component that put Corsair on the map, Corsair Vengeance RAM... in white, of course! We particularly like the look of the Corsair ML fans transluscent fan blades, all the better for diffusing the white LEDs they're equipped with. And keep in mind that these are the finest PC fans on the market, thanks to the magnetic levitation bearings they utilize. Also visible here is the Strix-branded heatsink on the Asus ROG 270E motheboard, one of the very best boards you can get for an Intel Kaby Lake-based processor (a Core i7-7700K is hidden away under that big Corsair cooling block). The only thing missing from the Corsair lineup is a Corsair-branded power supply, but that's because Corsair has some very serious competition in that market, which we'll get to in just a moment...
Here we get a close up view of the massive triple-fan cooler on the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1070, but also catch a glimpse of the fully-utilized dual M.2 slots on the Asus motherboard. Joe didn't skimp here, going with a Samsung 960 Pro 512GB PCIe for his OS drive along with a Plextor M8Pe 512GB PCIe for his data drive. And hiding behind the SilverStone shroud is the awesome EVGA Supernova 850W power supply, spec'd with optional EVGA white cables. They may cost nearly as much as the PSU, but they make this system look seriously custom!
To bring it all the lighting together, Joe used the SilverStone PM01's built-in RGB controller in tandem with the Asus Z270E's Aura RGB header. We're still in the early days of fully-customizable RGB lighting, so there just aren't that many combinations of cases and motherboards that will work as well as this pair. Note that the Corsair's fans used here are not RGB-equipped, and the Corsair fans that do offer RGB lighting use a proprietary controller, which would not work with either the SilverStone case or the Asus motherboard. We don't believe that kind of approach, which plenty of other manufacturers have taken, is doing consumers any good. We love that Asus pushed hard with its Aura standard, and we also love that SilverStone has been eager to partner with Asus and just about every other motherboard manufacturer to establish a universal standard for motherboard-controlled lighting. The SilverStone PM01-RGB case has built-in RGB fan grilles and RGB accent lighting that are all compatible with Aura, and the optional SilverStone LS02 light strips are as well. Seriously, as far as we know, there is no other case and fan manufacturer that's so completely embraced the standard, although Phanteks may be a close second. While Corsair, Thermaltake, and NZXT have huge lineups of RGB-equipped cases, they're all based on proprietary standards, which was fine in 2016, but it's time to move on. That's why we're glad to see SilverStone making a push where some of the other big guns haven't been willing to.
We're pretty sure that this system could convince anyone that RGB lighting is definitely worth the effort if you want to give your PC a unique look. Again, you can learn all about the process of picking out these components in Joe's extensive forum thread here on TBG.