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Build

Photo/Video Editing and Gaming Build

by sergeantfoley

138
56 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

CPU Clock Rate

3.9GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.27Ghz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.16Ghz

GPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

Description

Please note that prices are from June-July of 2013 when I built this computer.

This list is updated as I upgrade and add components. (Up to date as of May 2015)


  • Intel i7-4770K: This is slightly overkill for gaming and general productivity but it really helps with video editing and Photoshop. The 4770K is also nice for games like Shogun and Cities Skylines.

  • Corsair H100i: My H100i is set up as an exhaust in the top of my case. I have a love/hate relationship with this cooler. The performance is great, with two Noctua NF-F12s it's incredibly quiet and it makes the inside of my case roomy and clean. However, the software is just a pain to deal with and the LEDs on my waterblock started to die/malfunction after a few months. Now the LED color is stuck on solid Green which doesn't look bad, but it's annoying for the price I paid. An RMA feels unnecessary since it's a trivial matter. The stock fans were slightly loud and made some clicking noises, although the newer Corsair coolers have revised fans that might fix these issues.

  • Asus Gryphon Z87 Micro ATX: This is a very robust board with a decent feature set and tons of fan headers. The CPU opt fan header is slaved to the CPU header's RPM setting which is nice for fan acoustics (all of my fans ramp up and down at the same time). The color scheme isn't the best looking, but it has tons of voltage protection and good connectivity.

  • Corsair 16GB DDR3-1600MHz: 16GB of memory is completely overkill for gaming but it's invaluable when video editing where I frequently use 12+GB of RAM.

  • Samsung 850 PRO 128GB: This is my boot drive and where I have my applications like Adobe, Chrome, etc. installed. This drive is FAST. My boot time is well under 10 seconds and overall it runs consistently quick. I originally had a Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD as my boot drive, but it died randomly. This Samsung seems to be faster and reviews showed it to be stupendously reliable and capable of extreme longevity. The 850 Pro drives are essentially enterprise drives in terms of speed, components and reliability.

  • Samsung 840 EVO250GB: This is where I keep all of my Steam library. I know, I know, this is the drive that suffers from gradual reduction in speed. I bought this just a couple months before the news broke about performance issues. So far I haven't noticed a massive hit to speed, but it's definitely not as fast as my 850 Pro. I'm getting read speeds of around 350-400MB/s which isn't great, but it's still speedy for games.

  • WD Caviar Blue 1TB 7,200rpm: This is currently where I store my photos and video projects, although I will be replacing it soon. This drive is just okay, but it gets the job done. It's quite loud and is very slow, I've tried defragging and it hasn't improved performance.

  • WD Red 3TB 5,200rpm: This is my current backup drive, but I will soon be purchasing two more and using them in RAID0 while using this to back them up. I love this drive, it's somehow faster than my WD Blue 7,200 rpm drive and is much less audible.

  • EVGA GTX 770 2GB SC: It's a couple years old now but still runs games like GTA at 1080p wonderfully. The 2GB cap has been an issue occasionally but is fine for 1080p. It runs very cool, with 50% fan speed the hottest I've ever seen it get in gaming is 72°C. The only complaint I have with this GPU is the fans are quite annoying at idle, I can never get them to sit at one RPM. They seem to ramp up and down without reason and no matter how I adjust the fan curve or settings in EVGA PrecisionX it has so effect.

  • Corsair 350D: This case is wonderful. It looks great, offers great cooling and decent features for the price. I custom installed some noise dampening foam (similar in spec to the Fractal's cases). With the foam is exceptionally quiet, the only noise I hear is my HDD spinning up and, under heavy loads, my GPU.

  • EVGA SuperNova G2 750W Gold: This is the best PSU I've ever bought. Amazing efficiency, hybrid fan that shuts off under low loads, extremely good build quality inside and out, and it's affordable! The cables are all black and it offers great modular capability. Definitely check out the G2 line from EVGA, these are great PSUs.

  • Noctua NF-F2 PWM: I used two of these to replace the H100i's stock fans. These are completely inaudible at idle and under load (60% fan speed) they do generate some slight, low pitch wind noise but it's very subtle and not intrusive. Great replacement fans for any 120/240mm cooler.

  • Noctua NF-A14 PWM: I have two of these set up as front intakes in my case. This is the best intake fan I've ever used. Absolutely inaudible in my 350D at any RPM, they have amazing airflow and cool my GPU very well. I noticed an immediate 5-7°C drop in GPU/CPU temps from the stock, single 140mm intake. I couldn't recommend this fan enough, it's absolutely silent and has great airflow.

Peripherals

  • Acer H236HLbid: This is the best 1080p monitor I've used. IPS, thin bezel, glossy screen, amazing colors and contrast and it looks fantastic. It does have some very minor ghosting but it's mostly unnoticeable in games and the upside of the IPS is absolutely worth it for editing. The colors are very accurate and overall it's an amazing panel for the money. This is a great monitor for those editing photos/video who also do some gaming.

  • Corsair K70: I have the black version with MX Red switches (my favorite for gaming). A bit of a luxury, but I bought it on sale. This is the version before Corsair changed the logo. This keyboard is fantastic, I really have no complaints. The backlighting is bright, the build is amazing and overall typing experience is flawless.

  • Logitech G9x: I have small hands and like to claw grip mice, so this fits the bill perfectly. Great sensor and feel in my hand, the DPI buttons are in a nice location too.

Audio Setup

  • Schiit Audio Modi USB DAC: I use this for my headphone and speaker amps. Extremely clean signal, zero coloring and it looks great. This company really knows their Schiit.

  • Schiit Audio Magni Headphone Amp: Very powerful for it's size and it's extremely clean. Using the Magni with the Modi means absolutely zero noise at any level of amplification! I'm not sure there is a reason to go higher-spec than this amp, it's amazing for the money.

  • SMSL SA-36A Pro Speaker Amp: Small, simple and it sounds clean and detailed. Much better than my older recieiver that I tried that sounded muddy in comparison, this amp is more than powerful enough for some stereo bookshelf speakers. Great build quality too, all aluminum and steel case with a large, dampened volume knob.

  • Philips Fidelio X2: Normally I take hype about audio products with a mountain-sized grain of salt, but these are hands down the best headphones I've heard for the money. Possibly better than the HD600 and HD650, these are the best non-planar headphones I've heard (still need to try the HD800 though). They are slightly warm, but close to neutral. The bass is truly phenomenal for an open headphone and is extremely detailed and feels very natural with the other frequencies. The mids are wonderful for vocals and are not at all diminished by the bass. Treble is crisp and slightly exaggerated, but brings out wonderful detail without sounding harsh or grainy. The build quality and comfort are second to none, all metal/leather with memory foam filled velour pads. These are amazing headphones, highly recommend trying them.

  • Klipsch R-14M: Some of the best small speakers I've heard for this price, they sound as good as a $300-400 pair of bookshelf monitors. Great detail and midrange by themselves; you will need a sub for adequate bass but it sounds decent without one. I love how they have a detailed, familiar Klipsch sound but they aren't fatiguing at all. I'm not sure if this means the treble is laid back, but I find them wonderful for long listens at my desk.

Comments Sorted by:

xIMcCloud29Ix 3 Builds 22 points 19 months ago

Beautiful, excuse me while I clean myself up from that cable management.

Great build

dbrowerpower 4 points 19 months ago

Very nice build. I hope you enjoy it.

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks, it's a dream to use for editing and jumping right over into gaming.

TheTekJake 1 Build 4 points 19 months ago

This has literally become one of my favorite builds. The components mimic exactly what I would have done. I'm pretty sure if I build another PC soon, it will be the exact same as this xD

+1,000,000 if I could.

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 3 points 19 months ago

Very nice and clean build.

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks!

SirPrize 1 Build 3 points 19 months ago

Very nice overall. Love the simplistic look of that case. Well done with the cables too. Also, it's good to see someone who can take some quality photos.

Daisyahoy 1 Build 3 points 19 months ago

so clean. And there just arent enough "computers in the wild" photos on this site. +1

Maroon 2 points 18 months ago

I wonder why this build doesn't have more than 150 votes... Nice build!

balldrix 2 points 16 months ago

+1 for the Green wall :)

Nice machine and awesome temperature readings!

CDot 2 points 8 months ago

Your cable management is probably the best I've ever seen

Ricky_Math 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

Nice Schitt stack +1

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

Thanks, the amp is ridiculously clean and powerful for the price. Love this setup!

digitalfirex 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

what does the h100i in pull do? as in the difference?

Arit911 2 points 19 months ago

It's in pull so that you do not have to take the fans off to get the dust out.

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 2 points 19 months ago

It also performs slightly better (0.5°C better on average, lol) and it makes less noise. Read a very detailed article about it some time ago. I also have my H100 set up the same way now. Had it the other way around and it was a nightmare to clean.

digitalfirex 1 Build 2 points 19 months ago

ah, I have a similar build and i was trying to figure out what he did... so I just put the fans under the radiator or are they upside down/inverted?

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

They are between the radiator and the case and draw air out as exhaust (though the radiator -> into the fans -> out the case). Cleaning it is as simple as wiping the dust off the exposed radiator; no trapped areas for it it accumulate.

My only problem so far has been one of the supplied fans from the H100i kit has a bearing that clicks every now and then, but I will probably replace them with quieter fans eventually.

istealunderwear 9 Builds 3 points 19 months ago

One word, Noctua.

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

That was precisely what I had in mind.

liqgranite 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Great build for sure. +1 Gotta love that case.

oajarmeh95 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

I really like your build, good work.

oajarmeh95 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

I really like your build, good work.

strifeltd 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

TIL: h100 fits in a 350d definitely gonna be in my next mATX build.

super clean.

Stadt2000 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

I'm extremely impressed with the cable management. Very nice build!

phusionplus 1 point 19 months ago

Very nice build. I love the RAM.

martyyp 1 point 19 months ago

How did you get Windows 8 Pro for only 20 bucks?

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

College discount.

Flippmo 1 Build 1 point 18 months ago

I have the same case and very similar built….BUT….Where the hell did you put your SSD and HDD????? o.O

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

I put them in the 5.25 bay to hide them. Removing the drive cage helps a ton of air reach the GPU.

EDIT: I put the drive cage back since I added a 3TB drive!

cjeffcoatjr 3 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

Wow. +20394650837465823746503872465665678340276564653424584760854564275876. This is amazing. Dat cable management.....

Neverside 1 point 16 months ago

What sleeved cables are those? and would you recommend the H100i if you were to build this again or would you go with a different cooler?

Great build by the way and thank you for taking the time and take nice clear photos!

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Hello! I used Silverstone sleeved cable extensions. They are excellent, although I probably should have gone with fully sleeved cables in the first place.

Unfortunately I would not recommend the H100i. First of all, it's a little expensive. The fans that are included are quite loud, even at lower rpm (although they do have great airflow). The main problem with my H100i is the LED on the waterblock broke about a week ago and it flashes random colors when I turn on my computer. I ended up disabling the LED, but it's a little disappointing considering how much I paid for it. The Corsair Link software is pretty mediocre too.

I don't plan to RMA it since I would have to buy a replacement CPU cooler while I wait for the new H100i.

Neverside 1 point 16 months ago

I can't find an actual power supply that comes packaged with fully sleeved cables, seems I would have to buy a Corsair power supply and than a corsair sleeved kit (pricey). I've been leaning more towards the Seasonic X-series or Platinum Series but they don't offer fully sleeved either it seems..

Which CPU cooler would you recommend than? Would you go with another liquid cooler or air cooler?

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

I'm probably upgrading to a 850w Seasonic X series and then buying a full sleeve kit. Unfortunately that's the only way to go, but they look amazing and help keep the cables spotless.

For now the H100i is working okay, and the pump seems to be fine. If I ever have any issues with the pump or radiator, then I will definitely switch to an air cooler. The Noctua NH-D14 is probably the best air cooler you can buy, but I'm not a big fan of the aesthetics. Personally, I might go with the BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro2 or the Phanteks PH-TC14PE.

Neverside 1 point 16 months ago

I'm really on the fence about which CPU cooler to buy, I already have a set of 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws, so I'm wondering about clearance issues if I purchase an air cooler, but I guess the side fans on most can be adjusted upwards?

Sucks to hear you're having issues with the H100i, I see a lot of reviews stating that cooler is quite loud. Have you tried switching out the fans on the H100i?

I do love the look the of the Dark Rock Pro 2 but can't find it in stock anywhere. It looks like BeQuiet! just recently released the Dark Pro 3, those air coolers are HUGE though, I don't know, I might just settle for the Phanteks PH-TC14PE.

Thanks for you help and recommendations, at this point all I need is the CPU cooler and power supply to complete my build. I was initially going to go with a bitfenix prodigy build but than I ran across your build and instantly fell in love.

fklioside 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

You mentioned that you did a pull for your fans. Which one of yours fans acts as the exhaust?

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

The top fans on my case are an exhaust. Here is a really terrible diagram I made showing the fan setup, lol: http://i.imgur.com/LOugepA.jpg

Jagnanimous 1 point 16 months ago

That's some good Schiit, man, some goooooood schiit.

CasaNOVA_Fly 1 point 8 months ago

XD

mat_tech 1 point 14 months ago

Is that a good monitor? Do you recommend this?

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

Yes, for the price it's a remarkably good monitor. However, I do notice some ghosting in certain fast images, but it's bearable. The color accuracy and contrast are incredible. If you like gloss monitors, you'll love it.

[comment deleted by staff]
sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

The color performance and viewing angles are phenomenal, but I do notice a fair amount of ghosting with this specific panel. It can make extremely fast moving images a little blurry, but for the most part it's not noticeable in games.

I would absolutely recommend this monitor for gaming. The colors are beautiful, the black levels and contrast are great, and the actual monitor itself looks fantastic.

Be warned that the screen is glossy, so if you have your back to a window or bright light you might run into some problems.

RonTait 1 point 13 months ago

Have you had any issues with the power supply? I am looking at a similar build and am planning on using my old 650 Mushkin power supply running 44amps off the 12v.

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Nope, I can't speak for the quality of the PSU you own, but my Silverstone 650w is more than ample for what I have. I could easily run this system with a 450-500w psu if I wanted to, I've seen systems with a 780ti running off of 450w without any issues. 44 amps is more than enough for a high-tier gpu.

RonTait 1 point 13 months ago

I appreciate the response...just confirmed what I was already thinking.

TopThriller 2 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Wow, you are god.

CasaNOVA_Fly 1 point 8 months ago

Bad cable manegment?? On the other hand, sir, its ASTOUNDING. Cheers

MaxxBot 1 point 7 months ago

Very good build, solid part choices all around.

Gmafz7 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

I'm planning on getting the same monitor, how has your experience been for both gaming and editing?

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

It's an outstanding monitor, not perfect but the performance is quite good.

Pros:

  • Fantastic color performance

  • Great contrast

  • Lateral viewing angles are impressive

  • Very thin bezel, overall a thin and attractive monitor

  • Decent menus for calibration and settings

Cons:

  • Slight ghosting (very minor)

  • Backlight isn't very bright, but sufficient for most uses

  • No VESA mounts and the stand is slightly wobbly

  • 3.5mm audio passthrough/output sounds awful compared to my USB DAC

This is an IPS panel, so for gaming you might notice some minor ghosting in high contrast, fast moving images (it's quite minor). I can't perceive any input lag whatsoever, so it's fantastic in that regard. The color performance of the IPS panel is wonderful in games. Games like Trine 2 and GTAV have absolutely gorgeous colors. The viewing angles are fantastic. It has HDMI, DVI and VGA inputs. Don't use the 3.5mm audio out, it has a buzzing/humming sound and is really muddy. I'm not sure why it's there.

For editing the color performance of the IPS panel is really fantastic. This is the best price/performance I've seen when it comes to the panel performance. The colors are vivid, accurate and the contrast ratio is really impressive. Editing on this is comparable to a low price professional monitor, it's that good. I love using this for photo and video editing. These are the settings I used for calibrating my monitor:

  • Brightness: 100 (it's not the brightest backlight anyway)

  • Contrast: 51

  • R: 51

  • G: 51

  • B: 51

Gmafz7 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Thanks a lot! Now I am just waiting for its priced to drop again, was about to buy it when newegg changed the discount! Unlucky me! I really want an IPS now, if I can find any other in the $150 range I'll get it!

[comment deleted]
BlackWidow 3 Builds 0 points 19 months ago

i have a very similar build, great minds think a like :)

mallocunbounded 1 Build 0 points 19 months ago

Calculus would dictate your 4770k was not purchased at the global minimum.

Source: f(x) has an absolute (or global) minimum at x=c if f(x) >= f(c) for every x in the domain we are working on. Substitute f(x) with price history of 4770k over time.

sergeantfoley submitter 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

I bought my 4770k in July... also why I paid so much for my 770. I finished most of the build in September, but I put some more touches on it recently.