* Mail-In Rebates:
My third build this year, I am now fully addicted. I've done ATX, MITX, and now decided to try MATX. My last two machines were in Fractal Design cases, but this time the Define Mini R2 lost out to the Corsair 350D, as I want to add a second video card down the road, and the Mini couldn't do it as easily with the H100i installed.
I ordered all the parts on November 1st from NCIX in Vancouver. Paid for next business day expedited shipping to Saskatoon. UPS then lost my shipment, sent my components to Seattle, Louisville, Minneapolis, and Winnipeg before finally reaching me 10 days later. I built the machine this afternoon, and have just set it up on my desk.
I only have a crappy camera phone, and so the photos are what they are. Sorry about that.
I LOVED building this. It went together quickly and cleanly, and there's good space behind the motherboard tray for cable management. I'm ordering some sleeved cables, so I've only twist-tied what I needed to for now. Before the end of the year, I hope to add another 780 and the cables.
I used Asus Suite III's auto overclocking feature, which landed my at 4.6 GHz. I also followed the recommended ASUS speeds for the video card - 1100 clock and 6600 memory. I haven't touched anything other than that.
3dmark Firestrike score of just over 9500, as you can see at: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/1610212
Umm, not much to say - it's exactly what I want out of a gaming machine. It's fast, quiet, and doesn't take up a ton of room.
For cooling, I have 2x140mm on the front as intake, 1x120mm on the rear as exhaust, and 2x120mm SP fans as pull on the top-mounted radiator, bringing cool air into the case. So far everything seems to stay nice and cool - CPU topping at 65C, GPU at 70C.
1440p gaming is ridiculously smooth - I mostly play MMO's, and the monitor clocks up to 110MHz, and WoW and GW2 are like buttah! Will try out some FPS's later this week.
Anyone have any suggestions on how this build might crack 10k on 3dmark's Firestrike? Or what my next OC steps are?
EDIT: Fixed video card sag - good spot by a Redditor. New photos added for proof!
EDIT 11/13/13 Starting to add some games and checking framerates. All at 2560x1440 60Hz unless noted:
WoW: Ultra Settings: 150-200 fps everywhere
GW2: Ultra/High (maxed everything) : 90+ fps in the world, 55 fps in huge fights, 45 in Lion's Arch at the Cauldron
SWTOR: 150 fps+ everywhere on highest settings
RIFT: 40+ in Meridian/Tempest Bay, 120+ in the open world, 60 at large rifts with 20+ people
Tomb Raider: Benchmark on Ultimate Settings with TressFX on, VSync off: Min 48, max 72, Avg: 60
Tomb Raider: Benchmark in Ultra (TressFX Off, Vsync Off): Min76, Max 104, Avg: 89.4
3dMark: FireStrike: 9616, Cloudgate: 22191, IceStorm: 183916 Results at: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/1622258?
BioShock Infinite Benchmark (DX11): avg: 92 min: 19 max: 159 (looks like min due to scene changes - town center hit 23.13 as the low) lowest avg was Raffle at 78.93
BioShock Infinite Benchmark (DX11 DDOF): avg: 73.9 min: 23.35 max: 199.21 (On par with 780 Ti !!!!)
Unigine Valley 1.0 Ultra, AA off, 2560x1440 fullscreen: FPS 71.2 Score: 2980, Min FPS 33.6, Max FPS 139.9
3dMark 11 - Just the Performance Preset from Steam: P12013, link: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7485004
Update 11/17/13: Added non-potato photos. Light's stuck on the H100i, so RMA'ing to Corsair. Took photos before putting stock cooler shudder in.)
3dmark FireStrike with Stock Cooler and Stock Video Card setup: ~8500
Replaced the H100i with a new one (Thanks Corsair!), and re-tuned the Fan Profiles. Now running push exhaust on the H100i with the rear AF120 as intake. System can run dead quiet at full load, max CPU temp is about 70C, same with GPU.. So 5 degrees more on the CPU @ 4.6 GHz, but no fan noise at all. I'm okay with that :)