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The Orange Box
by hodo@msn.com
Permalink:   (88 comments)

This is my first computer build ever. Built it with my Dad as my Christmas Present, we wanted to get the best performance for gaming and spent a lot of time working on case temps, over clocking, and stability. We went with an Orange theme (thus the name, Orange Box) so basically most of the fans and PSU cables are all Orange. We also went with Dominator Platinum Memory because they support color bars. Once orange color bars are available we will add them to the build. The build went pretty well but the Sabertooth motherboard was DOA so we had to wait on a replacement and I dropped one of the GTX 780's (ouch!) so it had to be replaced also. The NZXT case is pretty good, we had a lot of trouble trying to get the cable management right. Other than that everything went pretty smooth, it took a couple of days to build (we took our time) and a load of testing to tune and optimize. Everything works great so far and gaming performance is amazing... My average frame rate in Battlefield 4 (with Ultra settings) is about 150.

UPDATE: The Orange Box Gets a new SLI Bridge!

I finally saved enough to get my SLI bridge. I took a few more pics and added them to the library. The system continues to work flawlessly and my frame rates are amazing in any game I play. I have had no problems at all with any of the hardware components that we chose for this build. I mean it’s been absolutely flawless! The only issue I has was with a virus/malware/Trojan or something... had to reinstall after something bad got access to my system (got through my firewall and A/V software) as part of Mod I downloaded. I couldn't figure out how to clean it up so after a day or so of trying I gave up a just reinstalled. I used the System restore in Windows 8.1 and I must admit it worked pretty well.

What do you guys think?

Part List
Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate4.4GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle23.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load55.0° C
EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Dual FTW ACX Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.08Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate3.1GHz
GPU Temperature While Idle39.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load72.0° C
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
dvada191 32 points 6 months ago

A $4300 Christmas present. Your parents must be pretty rich, huh?

Incredibly good build, by the way. I'm jealous.

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 7 points 6 months ago

We had been planning this for a while, bought the parts over time, started the build on Christmas morning finally got to play some serious games by New Years eve.


dvada191 2 points 6 months ago

Should've gone with a mechanical keyboard. The tactile response feels much better, trust me.

Also, hyperthreading isn't really needed for gaming. i5's get the same benchmarks.

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

We thought about the i5 but my Dad decided on the i7...


StrifeWolfe1994 [2 Builds] 1 point 3 months ago

The person above is wrong. Newer games are supporting hyperthreading, Crysis 3 for example. And they have a lot of other useful features. So no, the i5's don't get the same benchmarks. Awesome build, great theme, and great part selection. I'd have gone with the Zotac AMP! series of GFX cards to match the theme but it looks good just how it is.

Dreamin73 29 points 6 months ago

You dropped a 780, im gonna go cry myself to sleep now.

xxKuroMeista [2 Builds] 16 points 6 months ago

This... is a... VERY expensive Christmas present. Holy mother of gods.

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago


plgdg [1 Build] 10 points 6 months ago

Very, very nice. I love unique style in a build.

I would suggest getting the EVGA Pro SLI Bridge. It's rigid and has lights on it :) and would look much better than the Asus ribbon.

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 24 days ago

Finally saved enough to get my EVG Pro SLI Bridge!

I will post updated pics once its installed.


orangefloortom [1 Build] 6 points 6 months ago

How are you liking the monitors like that? Is it weird at all with games?

(Also, a bunch of expletives indicating my great envy.)

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

It looks cool but for serious game play and Max fps I use a single display.


18hockey [1 Build] 8 points 6 months ago

dude... 2 780's.. I don't think 3 monitors in portrait will be a problem, lol.

tmans19 6 points 6 months ago

holy mother of god. I wish i could upvote more than once

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Thx a lot for the votes!

[comment deleted]
watergate26 [1 Build] 5 points 6 months ago

Really Nice Rig!!! Wondering did you overclocked your 780s to get 15483 3DMark11 X score? Looks like dual 780Ti's score to me....

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Yes, I over clocked the GPU clock offset by 103MHz and the Memory clock offset 98MHz, the CPU is also over clocked to 4.4GHz, we had it at 4.5 but after long game play the system would sometime crash so we brought it down a little.

Very stable at these clock rates.


watergate26 [1 Build] 0 points 6 months ago

Well, even with overclock, I don't think you can get 15000+ X score with two 780s in SLI.

If you go to 3Dmark11 hall of fame, you can see that the world first place has 780ti two-way SLI with score 13281. It is just impossible to beat world's first place with more than 2000 score. You might want to check your result.


hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

My performance screen shot is included in the pics... not sure if I put wrong number in but the screen shot shows the performance.


watergate26 [1 Build] 0 points 6 months ago

oh, I see, you are actually running different benchmarks, fire strike, cloud something and ice storm do not equal to 3Dmark11........ you might want to correct them.......

skemble [16 Builds] 4 points 6 months ago

The Gigabyte Z87 OC would have looked pretty cool too, but the Sabertooth is a monster! Very cool build and great pictures :)

zSyzygy [1 Build] 3 points 6 months ago

In before 100 upvotes. Wow what a beauty. I would definitely change some things however, but this looks like such an awesome father son project!

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

My Dad likes to build things so he thought this would be a great protect. I learned a lot and it was very fun. I will have this computer for a long time to come and I have my Dad to thanks for that!


SpicyPickle [1 Build] 3 points 6 months ago

Excellent, excellent build.

Plus ten if I could. :)

Also, could you upload a picture of the build with the NZXT Hue turned on? I'd love to see that.

Akut [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

That is some serious horsepower right there... Looks wicked to boot! Have fun fragging! +1

Catalyzer [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Amazing build brother , loved the color scheme !

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 0 points 6 months ago


DewyHealy 2 points 6 months ago

£2000 build and you have those speakers.. hm

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Yes, is there another brand/type you would recommend? I thought these were pretty good, they sound great.


DewyHealy 2 points 6 months ago

The problem is they're computer speakers, if you're fine with the sound then there's absolutely not reason to change. But monitors and a sub would be my preferred choice.

xx116xx [3 Builds] 2 points 6 months ago

Absolutely terrible, couldn't even run minesweeper on low settings. :P

tjb423 [1 Build] 5 points 6 months ago

Really, I think minesweeper would just lag the computer when trying to execute the program, that's how bad this build is. -1 (JK It's great +1)

LookTopHats [2 Builds] 2 points 6 months ago

Fantastic pictures! Oh... and nice build hah +1

ShawnCrespo [2 Builds] 2 points 6 months ago

Just bravo!

DanTheMuffinMan [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Very nice, I'm going with an orange-themed build myself although I don't have that kind of start-up cash so it'll take longer. Where di you get your sleeved cables? Do them yourself?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

ModDIY... heres a link


I ordered them for the Seasonic PSU but the part was for Corsair, I guess they are the same. They took a long time to get here. Forgot to add them to the build list.


jaredt [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

You know its going to be good when you see dominator platinum ram

Apach3 [2 Builds] 2 points 6 months ago

this looks great! $4400 well spent! +1

Fluffytaco 2 points 6 months ago

We have the same sound system! Except I have the 7.1 although I only set up for a 2.1 config :D Excellent system anyway no matter how you end up using it.

YourLocalPCNoob [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

any reason for not liking the source 530?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 0 points 6 months ago

Yeah, It didn't include the rubber grommets for the case opening, my Dad had to order them separately.. the color of the case is starting to chip where the side panels touch and the screws easily take the color of the chassis where tightened. Theres not a lot of room on the back for cable management so you have to get everything really tied down to fit. Overall it a great case and it looks pretty cool but I think there are better options available.


bytesize 2 points 6 months ago

Damn boy....

18hockey [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Very nice, my one thing - why no custom loop? A ~4000 build, I'd expect some epic watercooling :P

Still very nice, I love it. +1

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 0 points 6 months ago

Maybe one day... for now the Kraken and the cougars are getting it done!


canders [6 Builds] 2 points 6 months ago

Looks great, +1, Wondering how/why you decided to have your monitors oriented vertically?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Dunno... horizontal seemed to wide so I went portrait. Looks really cool when you see it but it takes time to get use to.


mynamexsh [2 Builds] 2 points 6 months ago

So you only play on one of those screens? Do you turn it or do you play tall screened?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Usually on one screen.


tarn [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Nice setup man! I like how you know what u want your case to look like! I just finished my first build as well the Pc part anyway. Check it out if you have time :) +1

Blazeman330 [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Uh... $4314.41 im pretty sure your gonna get the best performance possible.

KuruptNightmare [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

+1 Because it's awesome to see kids working with their parents and doing something together. Does your dad game with you at all? Also damn that's an expensive Xmas gift and you dropped the 780....? lol Gonna go kill myself at my crappy retail job where you dropped my paycheck. Haha but on a real note amazing build!!! Great job

scorza 2 points 6 months ago

Best present / Dad-tivity I've seen in a while!

nguyenj42@yahoo.com 2 points 6 months ago

How loud is your pc when you have 7 fans set up?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

The cougar fans are pretty quiet. I don't have a sound meter so I can't tell you the db level. when the computer is idle it's very quiet... but when the fans are on full blast you can definitely hear it roar.

streetsports [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Did you just make up your 3dmark scores?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Odd question... I included a screen shot of my scores. I'm going to take them down since I used 3DMark (latest version) and the provided scores are for 3DMark11 (older version), guess they aren't the same thing :-0


Retroman 2 points 5 months ago

gorgeous build +1

Gregfx [1 Build] 2 points 5 months ago

Why did you get a backplate for the 780s? Just a curious question, as i've never seen it used with the stock coolers.

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Basically for looks... it's also suppose to lower the temp of the card by a few Celsius as well (1 -3 degrees).

farm_on_fire [1 Build] 2 points 4 months ago

love the black and orange theme.

Jozmtr 2 points 4 months ago

Awesome build.

Pretty overkill.


mspohl 2 points 1 month ago

You just happened to accidentally drop a GTX 780... "Oopsie"

CKAMP [1 Build] 2 points 1 month ago

I hope you can find the time to respond, but did your NZXT Case come with the rubber cable management grommets? The case pictured on the NZXT Website is not pictured with the grommets. Did you have to install them yourself? Also, fantastic build! Love the orange!

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 1 month ago

We had to order the grommets separately, they were $5 and we had to install them.

CKAMP [1 Build] 2 points 1 month ago

Excellent, is there any chance you can provide me with a link?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 1 month ago
CKAMP [1 Build] 2 points 1 month ago

Thanks a lot dude! Excellent build btw! Thanks again.

Totallyahero87 2 points 1 month ago

Just want to know why you went with 2 780's if your only running 60hz monitors. You can tell a frame difference beetween 1 780 and 2 now.

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 1 month ago

So I could run 3 monitors and maintain a decent frame rate :-)

Totallyahero87 2 points 1 month ago

Its still a bit overkill but atleast youll be future proofed for a bit (like 1 year)

gogo809 [2 Builds] 2 points 25 days ago

How are your fans holding up? Still quiet with no issue?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 24 days ago

The fans and the system are doing great! I logged many long hours over the summer break, so I am happy to report all components and performance are top notch. The cougar fans are worth ever penny. I often put the system in high performance mode (all case fans at full speed) and while you can hear it pretty well in that mode, the high RPM's and air flow keep my system humming right along all through the night :-)

Windows 8 has been my worse experience so far, I ended up reinstalling it once to get things functioning (Zone Alarm stopped running and I couldn't load any AV or Firewall software). I suspect I got a virus so I started from scratch to be safe.

So bottom line, I would recommend Cougar Fans to anyone looking for top notch cooling with a custom build that isn't using a liquid cooling solution.

gogo809 [2 Builds] 2 points 23 days ago

Yeah I have a couple of the Cougar Vortex myself. I'm cheap so I didn't go with the PWM variant. Still whisper quiet. I only run two of them though, and so I thought it would be good to ask someone that more of them. Generally I recommend them as "almost as good as Noctua's at almost half the price". It's "almost" a no brainer :-)

m4ttr33d 2 points 23 days ago

Awesome build man, just one question about the 780's. From the pictures I've seen on here and on other sites, they don't say GeForce GTX on the side like they do in yours. Is that an accessory or is it optional for them to say that?

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 21 days ago

My 780's had it on there out of the box. The only thing I added was the backplates.

Hope that helps.


BaSkA 2 points 9 days ago

I gotta say it's a waste that you have that monitor setup...

Nice build though, will last for 7 years minimum!

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 7 days ago

I appreciate your support...

but I like my 3 monitor setup... I can go single monitor, 3 monitor vertical or horizontal... whatever I like depending on what I'm doing or playing. It gives me flexibility and looks really cool when you see it live.


BaSkA 2 points 7 days ago

If you can afford, try out a 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 display... you will cry tears of joy!

hodo@msn.com [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 days ago

Lol... Thanks for the advice... I think I know what I will be asking for this Christmas :-)


BaSkA 2 points 6 days ago

Yeah! If you sell 2 of your current monitors and keep one, you'll probably get some buck to help you/your parents out and you'll be having 2 monitors, 1 for games and 2 for general purposes!