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by BrutalJones
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I decided to get back to my roots of PC gaming after hearing the first rumors about the next consoles and seeing the WiiU stumble out of the gate. Always-online DRM? Locking out used copies of games? All of this stuff sounded incredibly restrictive, and I was already getting tired of shelling out $50 per year for an Xbox live subscription and having to deal with a dashboard full of advertisements. I spent a lot of time in the late '90s and early 2000s as a primarily PC gamer, and I find a return to those roots attractive. So I set out to build a beast of a gaming PC last Autumn. I knew from the get-go that this machine would be used almost exclusively for gaming; I have an Android tablet to use for instant messaging, e-mailing, browsing Reddit, etc. After months of research and plenty of help from the guys at r/BuildAPC this is what I ended up with.

From the very beginning I knew I wanted to build a machine in the NZXT Phantom 410, particularly because of the fact that I love the way it looks and it always seemed to have ample bells and whistles as far as cable management was concerned. Another reason for my preference was the fact that I planned on keeping the case on top of the desk, which pretty much ruled out a full-sized case. From the very beginning, the Phantom 410 was a strong preference of mine, and I found the gunmetal to be a less ostentatious choice rather than the others available, yet still unique enough to set it apart from all of the other black on black cases out there.

I knew from the beginning that a big focus of this build would be the GPU. The Sapphire Radeon 7970 seemed a highly suggested choice among those more knowledgeable than I, yet still within the range of what I was willing to spend. So I went with that. Not much to say there. I'm not well-schooled in the technical aspects of what separates one card from another, so I went with what most people seemed to tout as a very high-powered graphics card.

A bit later in the research process I found the idea of overclocking not only to be applicable to my situation with gaming, but also fascinating in essence. Like tuning a car, you can fiddle around with settings until you've reached an optimal balance between stability and performance. I decided that I'd like to try my hand at it, and I was recommended the Gigabyte UD3H motherboard as a solid board to overclock with. This is also where the unlocked CPU and the aftermarket cooler came from.

Very late in the process I decided that I'd rather spend the money to go with an SSD-only build as well. I found the idea of having one larger, more expensive SSD to be very attractive and convenient rather than managing two separate drives. I don't store much media (Facebook for photos, Spotify for music, and Netflix/HBO Go for movies), so the 500 GB storage space should be plenty for me. If I still require more, I've got a 500 GB external HDD sitting in my desk drawer that I can always break out. I've only ever used HDD, and I was totally blown away by the speed with which an SSD operates. I don't regret my decision whatsoever.

The bluray drive was a cost effective choice that I made. It wasn't totally necessary, but I watch a ton of movies, and I wasn't sure I wouldn't later regret losing the option to watch them on my PC in the future. So I spent the extra $20 or so it cost me to go with the bluray drive rather than just the DVD drive.

The name, as several have mentioned in the comments, comes from the famous Gallic chieftain who managed to unite several large tribes of Gaul but was defeated by Julius Caesar and later executed after years of imprisonment. I have to admit, though, that I chose the name for purely superficial reasons. I just like the way it sounds.

Please note that I realize that these pictures are really rough, so I'll be adding a bit more photos in the future shot with a digital camera rather than my Samsung Galaxy Note. I'll try to get a finished shot of the case with better cable management, and the full battlestation itself.

That's about all I can think of at this point. Any other questions/comments/suggestions, please feel free to comment. Thanks for reading!

Edit: Shortly after this build was completed, I replaced my Microsoft Sidewinder rubber dome keyboard and my old Alienware mouse with a Quickfire Stealth mechanical keyboard with cherry MX blue switches and a Roccat Savu. Very happy with both purchases, I have since added both of them. I also should have mentioned in here that I'm running this build on a ViewSonic 24" LED 1080p monitor. Added that part, too.

Date BuiltMay 18, 2013
Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate4.3GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle28.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load64.0° C
Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate950MHz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate1.43Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle-
GPU Temperature Under Load-
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:
Oliver [4 Builds] 4 points 20 months ago

Is it sad that I know who Vercingetorix is (the roman leader who almost beat ceasar in a siege, but lost in the end)? Great build overall, there's really nothing wrong as long as the power supply holds strong.

JForce522 [2 Builds] 3 points 20 months ago

I just finished translating Caesar's Commentaries in Latin Class. I say +1 to him just for the title :)

BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

Haha, I graduated with a BA in History back in 2007 with a focus on Roman Civ. Hasn't gotten me far in the professional world but it continues to be a hobby.

As far as the name, I have to admit that it's purely superficial. I've just always loved the way it sounded. I certainly hope my PC doesn't suffer a similar fate as the actual man.

Oliver [4 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

Lols, we did (probably) the exact passage near the beginning of this semester (in Latin 3).

Booth21209 3 points 20 months ago

Well let's just hope this one does get hung from the walls of Alesia.

PacificNic [2 Builds] 2 points 20 months ago

You have a pretty balanced build. Sweet. :)

BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

Thanks!! I appreciate that, I put a lot of effort into research.

Divdor [1 Build] 1 point 20 months ago

Outstanding choices all around. I see you had some expert help from your canine assistant there. Nice Build.

BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

She's so lazy. I had to do all the work myself. I don't know what I'm paying her for.

bode927 [1 Build] 1 point 20 months ago

Nice build. I have the same motherboard. I really like it. Super easy to overclock with.

BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

Yeah, that's the idea. The mobo, CPU, and aftermarket cooler were all purchased after I decided I was going to overclock.

I'm going to start fooling around with the settings today. The goal is to get around 4.0+ ghz.

Enlyten [1 Build] 1 point 20 months ago

Very good build. I just hope that if you plan to overclock your CPU a large amount that you look into some water-cooling. Great parts, I hope your PC serves you well :)

DanniieBoiiy 1 point 20 months ago

Im giving a point for the doggy :3 and the computer too ha ha. that big ssd is surprising :P i like it.

sethi 1 point 20 months ago

Wow, that's a great build. Really well balanced.

BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

Thanks a lot!

Javanode [1 Build] 1 point 20 months ago

Looking at the first 5 components I thought I was looking at my build

IamApropos [3 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

This build is great, though for the same price I would have gone with a different psu. Aside from that one thing this build is greatly balanced. Good work and happy computing.

BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

Ah, forgot to mention in my blurb- At the time of purchase, that PSU was on sale for $59. That was the reason for my purchase. I changed it up at the last minute, I originally had a Corsair unit in there.

MooCow126 1 point 20 months ago

Should'nt have skimped out on the PSU, but since it seems to be working fine, I guess that was a good deal.

Marcopolo 1 point 20 months ago

Ahh gtx 770 released :) Fallout 3 lol

LookTopHats [2 Builds] 1 point 17 months ago

What monitor is that, wanna know if the case is too big for a 23'' monitor? Thanks.

BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 17 months ago

Monitor in that pic is a 24" Viewsonic LED, but I've since upgraded to a 27" QNIX 1440p.

[comment deleted by staff]
BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 20 months ago

I touched on my reasons for doing so in the description.

Black5Lion -1 points 20 months ago

Great build! A bit overkill on the SSD if you ask me, but to each their own.

lenoz [2 Builds] 5 points 20 months ago

You mean the SSD is larger than you would require. Don't make assumptions of what the submitter needs that much SSD storage for, although admittedly it would help to have a little more than four words of description :)

BrutalJones [Submitter] [2 Builds] 2 points 20 months ago

Sorry about that! I posted this early this morning when I got to work and haven't had a chance to type anything else until now. I just added a lot more.

Black5Lion 2 points 20 months ago

Well as long as you're happy with it, who am I to complain? xD Altho it is true I can't get enough of SSD storage my M4 is nearly at it's fullest.

saw1833 [1 Build] 2 points 20 months ago

I'd agree with lenoz on this one. If I had the chance a 500GB SSD would be in my build for sure. I only have 27GB left on my 256 and I've been conservative.

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ardechey 1 point 20 months ago

Can you link me some? I'm thinking of a similar build to this, what would you change?

kirbyloveszoe 0 points 20 months ago

This build is really great for the price, I think you are wrong. I would also love to see you do better.