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Energy Efficient Gaming PC + Hackintosh ("Toshrio")
by evansims
Permalink:   (13 comments)
Description

My latest build is an energy efficient, super quiet gaming rig with ample performance. Aside from gaming I use the machine for software development and photo and video editing. On the OS X spectrum, these components add up to a powerful and no-fuss hackintosh build, if that floats your boat (it does mine.)

I began constructing this build around the specs of the mid-range Steambox prototypes and went from there. The storage options are significantly beefed up, most notably.

Component Choices

  • CPU — I settled on the Xeon E3-1230 V2 after initially picking a i5-3350P. Both of these processors offer fantastic performance and value, drop the useless integrated GPU, top out at a very energy efficient 69W, and sit around the $200 pricetag. However, the Xeon includes Hyperthreading support and is effectively an i7 3770 with a slightly reduced operating frequency. Hyperthreading really isn't that useful for this rig's intended purpose, but it's nice to have.
  • CPU Cooler — The stock cooler would have been plenty sufficient for this CPU, but meh. I replaced the stock fan on the H55 with a SP120.
  • Motherboard — I liked the GA-B75M-D3H because it doesn't include any bells or whistles that would go to waste, and it can boot OS X without DSDT hacks or major kext work. A quick Multibeast pass and it's set for life.
  • Memory — I've had good luck with G.Skill's products in the past, and these were the least expensive DDR3-1600 modules available from a brand I trust. Not much more to say about that.
  • Storage — I went overboard here but I just love the 840 Pro SSDs. I added a WD Caviar Black 2TB drive for general data storage.
  • Video Card — Excellent performance-value balanced card. It's not going to break any benchmark records, but it'll do just fine for my needs.
  • Case — Understated and clean with great cable management. The intake filters for the front fans and the power supply are great. Using 4 of the 5 fan slots on this case I've sealed the second (forward most) fan grill at the top to reduce dust settling in and direct airflow. I removed all of the stock fans and replaced them with AF120s or SP120s where appropriate.
  • Case Fans — Two in the front of the case, one in the back, and one to replace the stock fan with the H55 at the top of the case. I configured the fans for positive-pressure to reduce dust intake.
  • Power Supply — Thanks to the energy efficient components, a 450W will power this build just fine.
  • Optical — Just in case.
  • Custom — Silverstone Tek 3.5-inch to 2 x 2.5-Inch Bay Converter (SDP08B) — I purchased this to house the 840 Pro SSD, as I found the SSD housing offered by the 350D case left the drive free to flop around fairly easily. This also allowed me to remove the SSD housing that partially obstructed the top-front intake fan and move my SSD into the HDD housing at the bottom of the case, which was already necessary for the storage drive anyway.

Assembly

The only surprise during this build was the issue I had with the wobbly SSD bay on the Corsair 350D with my 840 Pro. I picked up the Silverstone Tek bay converter to resolve this. Everything else went off without a hitch.

Final Thoughts

Having had this machine up and running for about a week now, I have to say I couldn't be happier with it. It screams on every game I've thrown at it, runs cool and silent, and has met all of my expectations. Windows 7 and OS X run great on it, and I plan on throwing in an extra drive devoted to SteamOS in the next few weeks to give that a go.

Benchmarks

3DMark: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/2082425
Cloud Gate: 19557
Fire Strike: 5745
Ice Storm: 130817

3DMark 11: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7754287
Performance: P8556

Details
Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.3GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle33.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load40.0° C
MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.08Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate6.01Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle28.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load42.0° C
3DMark 11 Benchmark Results
Performance Preset ScoreP8556
Comments
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Sorted by:
 
 
EcoMCG [1 Build] 2 points 11 months ago

+1 for the pictures #filter

 
 
Emperor200 [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

Oh.Just put custom prices.

[comment deleted]
 
 
agnosie 1 point 6 months ago

Im trying to build a PC almost the same, I am going to be using "Patriot Viper 3 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220807

i want to get a i5 3570k or this Xeon, which one would you recommend the best?

Using the same Mobo.

 
 
Harleysmoke -3 points 11 months ago

You put 16GB of ram in the build which is totally unneeded but you put a bomb as your PSU Rosewill are bad. Other than that nice build!

 
 
tomaryus [1 Build] 2 points 11 months ago

rosewill aint bad !? It is a good quality brand. But for 70 bucks he could have gotten a higher wattage psu.

 
 
evansims [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

Yeah, I didn't pay as much as PPP is quoting right now. Still need to go through and set my actual purchase prices. But I got it for a steal during Black Friday sales.

On the wattage front, my theme for this build was energy efficiency so I wanted to kind of constrain myself to a fairly low energy PSU. /shrug

 
 
Harleysmoke 1 point 11 months ago

Just checked that's the one and only good model of rosewill according to logical increments. Though I'd get a corsair semi-mod 600w for 40-50 bucks i think i just ordered one.

 
 
evansims [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

The Corsair PSUs are great, I'm sure you'll have good luck with it. I went with a Corsair 750W modular in my last build and really loved it. (I ended up giving that build to a friend who had fallen on hard times, which is why I started on this new one for myself.)

 
 
Harleysmoke 2 points 11 months ago

Oh, well that very charitable of you. So kind of you well I wish you the best of luck with this build.

[comment deleted]
 
 
Harleysmoke 1 point 11 months ago

It's a tier 2 ( http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx )when he could have got the T1 corsair with more wattage for less money what I am sating.

 
 
evansims [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

I do a good deal of work with virtual machines (I'm a software developer) and photography editing in Lightroom, so the 16GB is always nice to have in my situation. I'm sure 8GB would have been enough, but I like the breathing room.

I've had good luck with the Rosewills, myself. It was also the best reviewed PSU in that power and price range. To each their own though. :)

 
 
mallocunbounded [1 Build] 2 points 11 months ago

Make sure you enable C6/C7 states in the bios for maximum power efficiency.

 
 
evansims [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

I'll double check that those are enabled; thanks!