Once I had the opportunity to see the LG 34UM95 34" display first hand, I knew that would be the beginning of my dream gaming/media build. MicroCenter had one set up with a demo loop of BF4, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. The width, the FOV....dat 3440x1400 resolution...truly a sight to behold (and sold out everywhere).
Thus began my month long research and build. I'm a huge fan of spaceship-anything in gaming and film, and after seeing the concept of NASA's IXS Enterprise, I wanted the rig to resemble its white/black paint scheme.
At first, things went very smoothly. 4790K, H105, ASUS z-97 -AR mobo, Corsair Dominator Platinum RAM, and of course NVIDIA 780 TI SLI's right?
Wrong. As I was diving deep into researching the 34UM95 display, it occurred to me that this resolution is just 30% less pixels than 4K. At 4K, it has shown across several benchmarks that 3GB of VRAM and 256-bit bus cause these cards to throttle at higher than 2560x1440 resolution.
This was discouraging seeing as I absolutely wanted to own the 34UM95- trust me, you'd understand why one you stood in front of one.
Enter the R9 295x2. I'm not going to lie- when I heard about this card I was skeptical, being that it was an AMD. But when I researched further and found it performs nearly 3x better than 780 TI's in SLI at higher resolution, and BETTER than the Titan Z- I was thoroughly impressed. And since I was going 3K, I had to have a card that delivered. And oh boy does it...
Lucky for me, the day of my build six 34UM95 displays were in stock at MicroCenter. I'd looked the entire month of July and Newegg, Amazon, TigerDirect, ect were ALL sold out- and those smaller vendors that did have them were selling them for nearly $500 over list price!
I came home that afternoon and began building, and at first it was a breeze. H105 radiator, 295x2 radiator (GPU has a built in watercooler) all fit perfectly- with a few available slots for cooling. That cooling however, would prove FAR too little for the amount of heat the 295x2 puts off.
Don't get me wrong here- the 295x2 actually runs cooler than the 780 TI's in SLI. However if any of you are familiar with the H440, it's TERRIBLE at ventilation. As I booted up ARMA 3 a few times with a light 4.3GHz overclock- my system restarted within minutes, everytime. That's when I decided to check thermals and OH my...WAY too hot.
That's when I knew it was time for some ingenuity. See, I really love the aethetics of the H440- so much so I was not willing to buy another case. Instead, I made a few tweaks to lower the temps:
1) Purchased Two Noctua NF-S12B FLX intake fans- each moving 100 CFM at a silent 1200 RPM.
2) Replaced all three stock radiator fans with Noctua NF-F12 PWM's (Two for H105; one for GPU rad)
3) Removed the back 140mm exhaust fan and moved the GPU radiator to the rear of the case
4) Took the removed 140mm exhaust fan and placed it at the front of the case (pictured) to move 65 CFM of air across the GPU, pulling in the cold air from the three intakes
After these changes- my ambient temps alone dropped nearly 20C. My CPU and GPU both idled 15C lower, and even with a 600MHz overclock- operates cooler.
Needless to say I'm a happy man now- with a PC that will satisfy my UHD itch while providing a whole new gameplay experience with the wide FOV.
Do yourselves a favor, don't see this monitor out in the wild. You too might get bitten by the upgrade bug.