As most of you know, Blast Away has always been primarily a console gaming review site. We do reviews on PS3, PS4, X-box One and Nintendo Switch. We have enjoyed the life of console gaming, but after my first trip to Quakecon in 2014, I decided I had to one day build a gaming PC in order to expand our range of gaming and to be able to say I did it.
I have never built a PC in my life, let alone a gaming rig. I would droll over the amazing rigs in the BYOC. All of them had something to make them special. I have seen everything from a Ghost Buster Proton Pack to a life size Nick Valentine. That level of build is well above my talent levels, but I still had to give it a whirl.
I have sat back for the last 6 months trying to decide what I wanted that was affordable, would meet the needs of Blast Away and look good. We ended up building our PC and naming her Scarlet. It was an amazing experience and the satisfaction of knowing we built it makes it all the better. I sat down and went over the parts with my counterpart and we cussed and discussed what we needed. In the end, I just opened up my bank account and ordered what I thought would do the job.
The case was an important part of it for me. I have looked at all the PC’s in the BYOC and I had to have a clear sided case so I could light it up. I ended up going with the Thermaltake View 31 RGB with the tempered glass sides. I really like the looks of this case and the ease of cable management with it. My only complaint is the thumb screws that hold the side panels on. They can be a pain to get to thread at times.
For the motherboard I picked the MSI Z270 Gaming M7. I’m running 16GB of Corsair DDR4 Vengeance RAM. I went with the Intel I7-7700 Kaby Lake 3.6 GHZ quad core processor. With us overclocking the processor I knew we would need to keep it cooled down. I had originally wanted to water cool the system but ended up going with the Cooler Master V8 GTS system instead. It was a little tricky getting everything bolted together, but I couldn’t be happier with the performance. We’ve loaded the system as hard as we can and the temps have stayed lower than 60 °C.
For the GPU I went with the MSI Nvidia GeForce 1060 GTX 6GB Game Ready Plus series. It will run everything were doing right now at 100 FPS or higher and it’s only got hot enough once to kick on both fans. The graphics are smooth and clean. They look great on the 25” HP Omen monitor I’m using. I know to go 4K that this is too small, but I can always get a second one.
I went with dual hard drives. I have a 525GB Crucial SSD and the slave drive is a 2 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM hard disk drive. The Windows 10 OS and any game we are reviewing goes on the SSD and everything else on the other. Since we needed to power all this I got a Corsair 850-watt power supply.
Motherboard: MSI Z270 M7 Game Ready Plus
GPU: MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Game Ready Plus
CPU: Intel I7-7700K 3.6GHz OCed to 4.2GHz
Cooling Unit: Cooler Master GTS V8
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB
HDD/SDs: 525GB Crucial SSD | Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM HDD
Case: Thermal V31 RGB Limited Edition Tempered Glass
It was an adventure putting the system together since we had never done it before. There was a lot of YouTube time and several texts to our pal Clay of Nvidia. Once it was together though we had a real feel of accomplishment. I spent an hour just trying to make sure the cable management was right. Eventually we’ll probably do more work to dress out the system but for now we’re happy with the turn out. All the lights in the system were red – thus the name Scarlet for our new addition to the Blast Away’s gaming systems.
About the Writer:
David Murphy is B.A.T.G.R.’s behind the scenes man who helps get things up and going as well as keeping things in order. Don’t be surprised to know that the old man contributes rather heavily to editing, news, and information he digs up so that editorials as well as articles are done properly. He also likes Fallout… A lot. We’re not sure he’s not secretly the Vault Boy in disguise.