This is a rather large update to my 2013 build:

I had noticed that during gaming I was bottlenecked on CPU and I had the top Haswell processor so a new motherboard was in order. I also wanted to take advantage of some NVME SSDs as I was stuck on the SATA III bottleneck. The drive performance was even more annoying than the CPU bottleneck.

I wanted to re-use my case because it's small, well ventilated and quiet although I did change the Corsair AF fans for be quiet! ones. This made a fairly large difference and now the biggest sound in my case is the hard drive heads parking. The part list says that the Corsair 350d won't fit a Dark Rock Pro 4 but I measured about 20 times and figured I'd have just over 2mm before I hit the perspex window. After fitting everything I have about 3mm spare!

For RAM I just went for the fastest low profile RAM available that didn't require massive voltages. The motherboard was a no-brainer and I just went from an VI Gene to an XI Gene. The DIMM.2 SSD mount was the part that I had to have because it meant that my two NVME SSDs could have dedicated CPU lanes with no DMI latency or bottleneck.

I chose a 1TB Samsung 970 Pro as my secondary drive because the 1TB is the cheapest 970 Pro that has enough dies to saturate the controller. This is my game and downloads drive as it excels at loading large game files and un-raring massive files.

My primary drive was always going to be an Optane drive. You just can't beat the IO responsiveness. My job for the last 15 years has been server performance optimization for pretty much every bank on the planet. I had seen Optane in servers and knew I had to have it at home. Due to the price I opted for the 380GB as all it has to do is hold my OS and virtual machines. I can honestly say that it's overkill and even when I run VMs, SQL, games, 50 webpages and stream 4K video to the TV at the same time from the drive it still has a latency under 1ms and a queue length of zero. It's truly insane!

The only other thing that got upgraded was the 4 WD 4TB drives all being changed for 14TB HGST drives. That should buy me a few more years of storage!

(Graphics card will be getting updated later in the year)


  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points


  • 5 months ago
  • 0 points

I'm only playing World of Warships at the moment and I get 60fps at max settings so although it is technically bottlenecked I really don't care. I'll grab a new card when I see a good sale but I'm not gonna drop £1000 on a card and >60hz monitor just for another 10 fps.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice Mobo, too bad you have it cramped and completely covered up. I would go with Corsair or NZXT AIO and take that bulky *** engine block... Yo have a dog or a cat?... I see heavy fur in the case.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Only a few outliers on here using the Optane SSD. I got mine without much idea of what makes it so expensive (fine line between poser & prosumer), but wow you're not kidding about this thing's readiness. I have to disable fast booting if I want a chance to open BIOS before Windows is there waiting. I sit here duplicating my largest game folders just to watch the progress meter zoom by & then delete them again. Madness.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Its beautiful. Fast as f*$k where it needs to be and that loving it. Good work.