Description

Partly finished gaming rig. Most of the computer itself was bought as a bundle/set with some later additions, and the peripherals have been collected over several years.

My GPU is a Gainward reference card, but I couldn't find it on the list and picked the EVGA instead (not much of a difference, as far as I know).

The Corsair CPU cooler has been ordered, but not yet installed. Same goes for the Noctua case fans, they have not arrived yet, and at the moment I'm only using the two 140mm fans that came with the case. If the fans that come with the H100i are too noisy, I guess I'll change things around a bit. Part of the rationale for the extra case fans is that I currently have a negative air pressure in the case, and the rig is standing on the floor - in other words, it accumulates a bit of dust despite the dandy dust filters.

The wireless network card was needed because pulling network cables across the entire apartment is a major project I'm not ready for. The card works great - good signal strength and so far no hiccups. Just make sure you get the right one if you have a Haswell CPU (apparently, there are some serious compatibility issues with the PCE-AC66). I don't have an AC router, but I guess it doesn't hurt future proofing the network capabilities.

Overall, the rig works great, and I haven't had any serious issues. The only thing I have noticed is a weird whine that sometimes appears when I start up a game (like Rome Total War 2), and it seems like it might be coming from the PSU (it's surprisingly difficult to figure out without dismantling half of the computer). The noise might be perfectly normal for all I know. Eventually I'm planning to get a fully modular PSU anyway, as the cable management is anything but pretty with my current PSU. Corsair AX860i seems like a good choice, as it is reasonably silent, fully modular and should have enough juice to run a SLI setup in case I start defecating money and splurge on another GTX 780 down the line. And it should fit next to a bottom mounted case fan, if I'm not entirely mistaken.

If I stumble over a hard drive full of bitcoins, I might also consider a screen upgrade. Either doubling up on the one I already have, or perhaps something a bit bigger with higher resolution. But since this is not urgent, I may as well wait and see if the G-Sync enabled monitors are living up to the hype.

The idle temperatures given are before installation of the H100i and Noctua case fans (i.e. stock CPU cooler on "standard" fan profile in Asus AI Suite and a few apps running in the background in windows). I haven't stress tested the system yet, but will probably give it a go when everything is in place.

Comments are welcome, especially regarding the aforementioned upgrade alternatives.

Edit: The extra case fans and H100i are installed and running. Two Noctua fans are installed in the front, one on the bottom, since the decent static pressure of these fans should be able to deal with the dust filters. The two 140mm fans that came with the case are installed on the side and back, where there are no dust filters.

The H100i is top-mounted with a few millimeters clearance from the uppermost heat sink on the motherboard. In my case I did not need to offset the radiator away from the motherboard, but there is room for that on the case if necessary. The H100i did not cooperate at first, as it wasn't detected in Corsair Link (probably because of Windows 8.1), but with some tweaking in regedit it now finally works (thanks to this thread in the Corsair forums: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=120962&page=2 )

The radiator fans are mounted in a push configuration. I opted to use them for exhaust, as I have four case fans for intake. The included fans on the H100i radiator aren't exactly quiet, but it's bearable on the "quiet" setting in Corsair Link. If you're wearing a closed headphones you can ramp it up a notch without noticing it much. I expect to swap these fans with some better/quieter ones eventually. The Noctua NF-F12 comes to mind as a decent alternative. The current CPU temperature readings are about four degrees lower when idling, compared to the stock cooler.

Sorry about the ****** image quality.

2nd Edit: New "idle" CPU temps (approx. 10% CPU usage) are currently at 28 degrees Celsius, just a few degrees above ambient. That's with a H100i cooler with Noctua NF-F12 IndustrialPPC 3000 PWM fans at 1000 rpm (the "quiet" preset in the Corsair Link software). They can go down to about 800 rpm, but usually stay around 900 rpm in the desktop environment. They are not super quiet, but produce a relatively unobtrusive, reasonably low-pitched noise at lower settings. They do sound like a jet engine with afterburners when booting up the computer, though.

Also a note on having the H100i in push config: it's a ***** to clean, since the dust accumulates between the fans and the radiator. Fortunately, it doesn't need doing too often in my case, since it's exhausting air, and almost all the intakes are filtered (except the side fan blowing onto the GPU).

Decided to swap out the Corsair CX750 for an AX860i. It's fully modular, and it was a relief to get rid of all those extra cables in the back. It fits OK with the bottom mounted 140 mm fan, but it can get a little tight on the lower row of psu connections if you really have a lot of components to run (but then I think this case may be a bit on the smallish side anyway). The new PSU is also noticeably quieter and lacks any coil whine that I sometimes experienced on the former one. With only one GPU, the AX860i fan barely ever starts spinning - or maybe at all, I certainly haven't noticed it yet.

Time to see if I can find a matching reference GPU to go with the other one. These cards are getting less common in the stores now, though, so I suspect the prices may start to rise.

Comments

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Also, if there are any grammar nazis here - self-proclaimed or otherwise - I'd be happy to hear you out. English is not my first language and there's always room for improvement :-) Corrections on punctuation are especially appreciated.