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My Black Panther

by 61Builder


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Feb. 21, 2019

CPU Clock Rate

3.6 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.102 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz


Hi Everyone,

To help with all the confusion and snide comments this built has encountered, maybe I should explain its existence in this particular build. First, I am not a Gamer, nor do I upgrade to newest and fastest simply because. I use my systems for programming, transferring analog music and video into digital formats and photo/video editing in 2D and 3D. The following is a tad long, so if you don’t choose to read it, which I understand, simply skip to the PRESENT…just don’t ream me on the parts and their age.


Initially, my main system was an AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (can’t remember the case or motherboard) which was updated to AMD’s Phenom II X6 Black 1100T on a GA-990FXA-UD7 motherboard. I believed going from 4-cores to 6-cores would be fine for years to come. That was until I discovered it had a real problem with floating points. Thus, an upgrade was necessary. After much research, I discovered it was best to go with Intel for my needs (better single core processing and better floating point); enter the i7-3930K! Not only was my 3930K better and cleaner doing Recursions (which I hate), but overall mathematical calculations as well, and it was built with Windows 7 in mind. Therefore, not only did I upgrade my AMD to Intel, but the OS as well; switching from XP 32-bit to Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate was the best choice and update in OS for my needs.

At the time of this update/upgrade, Xeon’s were so expensive; I had to settle on Intel’s i7-3930K. It’s immaterial what case the 1100T was in, but the cooler was a Cooler Master V8 with the attached fan controller. Now I kept the V8 but scrapped everything else (selling the 1100T and motherboard on the newly discovered eBay). Knowing the i7-3930K required a new case, I purchased Cooler Master’s ATCS 840 in black from FrozenCPU with sound dampening (their last all aluminum case, unbeknownst at the time). In addition, what I was doing required more than 16GB of RAM and storage space for scratch disks and backups. All that indicated more heat would be dissipated, hence the bigger case. I had to sell the V8 due to lack of RAM clearance and decided to go water (but NOT custom). I replaced the cooler with Corsair’s H105 for its thick radiator with four (4) Noctua’s in push/pull. I must also state, that I used this particular built in a paper for an advanced class in CSIS; I was refreshing my programming and updating my design skills.

The 3930K was okay, but I really did need something with a bit more oomph so I replaced with this 4960X. I know the stats show less of an increase between the 3930K and this, but it really does depend on what you’re doing. With the 4960, the memory controller was updated, thus, faster memory could be used (1866 vs 1600) not to mention a higher data rate.

Things were going great; I even updated the OS to Windows 8.1…which I found goofy on a workstation. Eventually, I set up double-booting with Win7 as the main OS. But when M$ made the pack with chip makers to only have Windows 10 run on new CPUs, I immediately started looking into yet a final upgrade and build…I am getting a little long in the tooth for this building.

A few years back I started having two systems, one main system for designing, and another smaller case for testing. Initially, an NZXT Source 530 housed the testing system. I sold the i7-3930K and put the 4960X in while the main system was updated to a 5960X…the 6950X hadn’t been released yet. The 840 was retired and replaced by my dream case, a CaseLabs Merlin to house the 5960X.


Last year I started to get into room cable management and sliming my test system case even smaller. I really liked the “hidden cable management” on the side of the Air 540, so another build was underway. All the components listed were already in the ‘small’ tester, but since I wanted to venture out a little, I gave it a name and theme: Black Panther because I loved the movie and colors. In swapping cases, I took this chance to experiment with some moderate case modding and re-acquainting myself with the Mac OSx for some design work and Linux (UNIX) to replace all Windows operating systems and applications.

This "Hackintosh" system is used to test if what I created on my workstation actually are cross-platform; refresh Unix skills through learning Linux and experiment with some basic design work in Mac (hence, the Hackintosh). In short, this system is for testing and learning new programs.

The build was fun, even researching and spray-painting. Although installing the other operating systems was a major pain, it finally worked out. I never knew how much I missed programming and learning new "languages" until I sat in front of this system and began installing Linux. Being a retired Systems Analyst and child psychologist, I'm looking forward to developing games and interactive books for young people.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

In actuality, the cooler is a GAMMAXX GT Blk. Anyway, it was selected for its subtle RGB header. The fans were replaced by two (2) Noctua Industrial 2000. I am totally surprised by its ability to cool my overclocked old 4960X.

Comments Sorted by:

FurryJackman 3 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

If your X79-UP4 is revision 1.1, you can replace that 4960X with a E5-1660 V2 or E5-1680 V2 Xeon. (BTW, they're overclockable with unlocked multipliers)

If it's revision 1.0, 4960X is the best you can go.

61Builder submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Woha, it's a version 1.1! I had no idea, thanks, spent the day dealing with getting ready for my Raspberry Pi 3. Thanks for the info.

FurryJackman 3 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

No problem! You can get a Xeon E5-1680 V2 and do a slight overclock on it with this board and BIOS version F7. It's worth a shot if you were looking for an upgrade without switching motherboards. 1680 V2 is 8 cores, 16 threads.

61Builder submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

For those of you who are taken aback by the age of the hardware, the first sentence states the parts are RECYCLED (used) from when I updated my 3 monitor workstation. This is NOT a gaming PC but one for me to re-learn some operating systems I used on IBM mainframes and brush up on my programming skills.

I apologize if you are offended by this build, but I'm old school...if it ain't broke, don't fix it or throw it away. Maybe I should have called it Recycled Purple & Black.

Thank you to those of you who supported this build.

[comment deleted by staff]
Otterman366 13 Builds 5 points 2 months ago

Please don't spew negativity toward somebody's build... clearly he has had this hardware for some time now, and just wants to share a major aesthetic improvement. Did you really think he bought a whole build worth of hardware that was 4 years old at msrp for a new build? Did you think he somehow got the graphics card and ram for free?

A good rule of thumb is to never comment something other than a future suggestion, serious question, or compliment.

Treat others with kindness and respect. Even when someone is rude or disrespectful it’s not a reason to reply in kind.

  • PcPartPicker User code of conduct
manirelli staff 8 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Please keep feedback polite and constructive.

[comment deleted]
HehHehHehHeh 1 point 2 months ago

How is it incorrect???? Just from looking at the build from the photos, seems pretty accurate to me.