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Build

Scorched Earth 3.1

by admiralnorman

17
11 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Jan. 26, 2016

Date Built

Jan. 22, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

4.6 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

61.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.2 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

50.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

80.0° C

Description

Computer functions: Maximum Graphics Quality in all games, amateur video and picture editing, home labbing VMs, general workstation use for Help Desk on-call, etc.

Goals: Dramatically increase performance and aesthetics.

  • Performance - With Witcher 3 and Fallout 4, my rig was really hurting. I didn't want to have a problem with Rise of the Tomb Raider next.
  • Aesthetics - The desk was recently moved to a very public location in our house. So it'll be looked at all the time (instead of lost in a corner somewhere that no one cared about)

Challenges:

  • Existing Mobo was bad at overclocking, didn't have an ideal layout for SLI, and the onboard audio stunk.
  • I ran out of space on my primary drive.
  • I needed more RAM.
  • 1440p gaming performance was sub-par.

Existing Parts to go away:

  • Mobo: eVGA Z97 FTW: Aside from the above listed challenges, it also had a very weirdly located PCI-E power connector coming straight out the bottom, which couldn't be used in my case. I also didn't care for the lack of USB headers. Overall, it was still a decent unit. Just not for me.
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866: I was originalyl just going to buy another set to match. But there was a killer deal on gold 2400 that I had to get.
  • CPU cooler: Intel stock: loud and terrible.
  • GPU: eVGA GTX 980 ftw: It couldn't handle 1440p to my satisfaction. I traded it away for service on my house.

Custom Part Reviews:

Optical Drive: My first BluRay drive, it's price shows its age. It still works great. I burn DVDs and CDs here and there, so it gets use.

Power LED: As you can see from the pics, I wish it had two seperate connectors, instead of one. I would have also ordered one with a longer cable for this case. However the LED color and brightness is absolutely perfect.

Case lighting: The 'controller' has on/off, three brightness levels, and mounts in a slot. I really like the color of the LEDs, and the quality of the cabling. It also came with a ton of sticky clips to mount it around the case. For the price, this was a hug aesthetic upgrade.

SLI Bridge: I mean just look at it. If you have a window in your case, and SLI, you should probably consider it. The Nvidia ones are alright too, but they only come in green.

Game Pad: Best game pad for windows for the price. Hands down. Yes the Dpad is aweful compared to the XBox One, and no it can't be used as a mouse like the steam controller. However it is so awesome at everything else and is so cheap! Even more so since I had two from when I actually used my Xbox360 for gaming (now its a cable box)

Other Thoughts:

  • Thanx for reading this wall of text! I really enjoy building computers and I hope this shows it.
  • Future stuff: I need to get a new UPS. So I'm price shopping that. I am also on the look out for headphones. Other than that. I think this build is perfect.

Pics here are okay. My build log in imgur is better: http://imgur.com/a/OuTzy

Part Reviews

CPU

What a great unit. I'm very happy with this product. Intel you crushed it. I got 4.6 stable on a low profile cpu cooler in an H81 mobo using just multiplier changes.

CPU Cooler

It was easy to install and looks great. I have not overclocked yet, but I expect great things.

Motherboard

I highly prefer the appearance and layout of this board over the eVGA. Research suggests that this board will have similar OC ability to their higher end units, so I'm looking forward to messing with it. Onboard audio is great for my entry level studio headphones.

Memory

Does anyone really need DDR3-2400? Probably not. But it was priced well. The XMP profile worked well and set the clock correctly. No issues with voltage or anything. And the 32GB is going to get me the much needed headroom I'm looking for.

Storage

So I have two 256gb in Raid 0. It benched around 690mbs, just for the lulz, but nothing I do really needs that speed. I just wanted the storage set size and 0ms seek times. Man, do I wish I bought that 1TB Sandisk for $200 on Black Friday. (and yes, important data is always backed up)

Storage

Despite the hate for Seagate around here, this has been performing admirably for multiple years.

Video Card

Yes I have two GTX 980ti's. Who wants to touch me? I said, 'WHO WANTS TO ****ING TOUCH ME.' No seriously. They're awesome. Everything you'd expect and more. And even those they are expensive, they were a great price. And a bonus... they came with Rise of the Tomb Raider! (I didn't account for that in the pricing list) This setup over a single GTX 980 at 1440p is amazing. I've always been sensitive to framerate dips and refresh rates. These cards with Gsync and 144hz has been life changing. I've actually down clocked them to stock to save power, and they are so far great. After an hour of Tomb Raider at 144fps, the fans never even turned on.

Case

Easy to work in and looks great. My only grievances are fixed with the R5 (which didn't exist when i bought this). But they would be; 1. easier mounting of SSDs behind the mobo. (you have to remove the mobo to mount them) and 2. the Power LED was blue and the brightness level of the surface of the sun. Which is why I bought the new LED.

Power Supply

provides clean consistent power. If you go through and manually add up the power for the build, this is only 4 watts over what's needed. So I may end up buying a larger one, but after downclocking the GPUs, I feel good about it as is. I had planned custom sleeved cables, but I'm going to wait until I overclock, just in case I get a new PSU.

Wireless Network Adapter

It works. Wireless AC is as amazing as it seems. But I do also have an amazing 3x3 access point. So you might not have the same experience. Please note: to use the bluetooth on this, you need to connect a usb header, or loop a cable outside the case.

Case Fan

I LOVE the way these look. And they're about as quite as the noctua. Although I don't really care about harmonics. As long as they're not crazy loud, I can handle some fan noise.

Monitor

144hz, 1440p, and Gsync are all amazing. Aside from those features, this monitor is just average. I was able to dial the colors in pretty close to my preference. But I think I'd prefer a high resolution, high refresh rate, IPS monitor. But since I don't have anything right next to it to compare it to, it works very well for my needs. I'm keeping the ROG swift for a bit.

Keyboard

Entry level mechanical. I wanted white LEDs and black casing. The clicks are very satisfying.

Mouse

Love it. Worth every penny. Fits my hand and looks great. I also love the white LEDs. Matched my build beautifully.

Headphones

The Superlux are me dipping my foot in the water of studio monitors. They are great! Paired With my old X-Fi, they had rich and beautiful sound. The onboard of the new mobo is at least that good. I'm looking forward to get an amp/dac and sampling new headphones.

Headphones

The passive isolation is great, the mic works well. And the 7.1 surround can be cool. However the range is so poor, that the studio headphones do a better job at immersion. However before I had something to compare too, I thought they were the greatest thing ever. I still use the Logitech for on-line gaming, and I am not upset when I have to use them. They're comfortable and sound decent, just not as decent as the Superlux.

Comments Sorted by:

ZeParagoon 2 points 38 months ago

You should replace the fans on the radiator with static pressure fans.

admiralnorman submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

Ordered! Thanks for pointing it out! Never even realized this was a thing.

Faizan 2 points 38 months ago

But I think I'd prefer a high resolution, high refresh rate, IPS monitor.

PG279Q?

admiralnorman submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

That one does look nice. I also like the x34 pred widescreen.

However I'll probably wait for a 4k IPS/OLED at +96hz with frame syncing to be reasonably priced. I've messed with frame rates a bit, and it seems like around about 96hz is where I start to notice the difference.

Faizan 2 points 38 months ago

Well, you can create a custom resolution in the nVIDIA Control Panel and raise the resolution of the PG279Q to 4K. The only other thing is that it's not OLED. But it's IPS, has a 165 Hz refresh rate, etc.

MATTECH 2 points 30 months ago

Id add some cablemod blue cables

dunkeymonkey 1 point 38 months ago

http://wccftech.com/nvidia-gp100-pascal-zauba/

The successor to the 980Ti and Titan X are planned to be released this summer and they have some crazy specs. They will be able to play at 4k anything maxed out at 60+fps, so get ready for insane stuff. Also they are probably gonna be insanely expensive so you better start saving haha. BUT beast build love everything

zpconn 1 Build 2 points 38 months ago

What do you think a used 980 Ti will sell for when its successor is released? I'm relatively new to this whole thing so I don't have any experience with selling video cards to compare to. I currently have a 980 Ti SLI machine and will be looking into whether it makes sense to upgrade.

personwhoknowshowtobuildstuff 1 Build 2 points 38 months ago

It will be cheper seeing that the whole deal with Dx12 carss will make these not on the pascal and arctic islands level, but they are still great card sso i would guess $500-$400

admiralnorman submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

This sounds about what I'm expecting. That is if I'm diligent, and get them up on eBay before the new cards ship. Pretty much as soon as the new stuff hits, the market gets flooded with the old stuff.

admiralnorman submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

BUT beast build love everything

Thanx!

Also they are probably gonna be insanely expensive so you better start saving

This is typically what I do. I've had the flagship Nvidia card for 8 years. Whenever the new one comes out, I sell the old one and get the new one. I haven't broken down and got something early like this since the GTX 480.

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