Ever since I was 12 years old, I have always dreamt of owning an insane gaming PC.
Prior to the 3 month lead up to this build, I had absolutely no clue about the inner workings of PCs. I didn't know what a motherboard was for, how to use RAM sticks, what was thermal paste, hell I even mistaken the PSU hanging off the top of my old PC to be the optical drive...pft yeah, some hardcore PC gamer I am right!?
I used to just buy pre-built machines, used purely for gaming, didn't even cross my mind to understand the rigs I bought to a deeper hardware and software level, hence why every time I came across a problem, you guessed it, I had 0 hope of performing a diagnosis.
My first ever gaming PC was a Dell XPS rocking a GTX 280 graphics card which has served me well these last 9 years. I eventually upgraded to an Alienware M18x R2, which was the worse mistake of my life...a £2500 laptop which died after 2 years of use due to its notoriously pathetic build quality which I only found out too late. For that price I could've built a custom PC 3 times its power...after this horrible experience, I vowed never to buy pre-built **** ever again, and the next time I decided to upgrade my PC, it will be made completely from my own 2 hands.
I am 24 now. Yes, it has taken 12 long years, but I have finally built my own monster of a gaming PC!
What you need to understand about me is that when it comes to doing ANYTHING, it's either GO BIG or don't bother at all. I don't normally build PCs, but when I do, it is going to be the most powerful beast that I can afford.
Building the Warlord was pretty straightforward. Since it was my first build you would think it would be a true head splitting, hair pulling, strenuous process right? Naaaaah. Before I gave the green light to go and start ordering in all the parts needed for the build, I had to be damn sure that I knew what I was doing. If you are going to blow up $7000, you got to do it right, and so I spent the 3 months leading up to this build watching and reading every PC building tutorial under the Sun on YouTube.
Shout out to LinusTechTips, Bitwit, JayzTwoCents, Carey Holzman, and Paul's Hardware! You guys were my bible throughout this entire process. I learnt so much from these guys, and it was thanks to them that made this build go incredibly smooth.
But I must say, to those who can build PCs in 2 hours of less, mad respect to you all! It took me 18 hours from start to finish for my build, but then again I am a clutter freak and a perfectionist that wanted everything to be done right, checking, and re-checking, and the bloody cable management...my God...that alone took about 13 hours!!!
It also took so long because I kinda spent a VERY long time staring at each individual component that I was about to install into the case before actually installing it. Remember that the parts that I picked out are not only insanely powerful, but they are some of the most sexiest looking pieces of computer hardware out there, who wouldn't spend a good 15 minutes gawping over each piece when they come out of the box :D
After the first 11 hours of the build, it was time for my first POST. If there was a time to bring some brown pants, it was now. Time to see if everything I had done so far was correct, and hey presto! It was the fastest and smoothest POST ever!
All that was left to do now was install the crown jewels of my build, the two mighty Asus Strix 1080 Ti graphic cards, along with the HB SLI bridge, and the monster would be complete!
When the PC was fully assembled, it was time to set up my triple VESA mounted monitors. I decided to go for the Asus PB287Q due to its 4K capabilities. Although many argue that the monitor sucks, I disagree. Sure, a 144-240 Hz refresh monitor would be insane for gaming, but I'd much rather own a 4K monitor just cuz 4K :D
And there is currently no high refresh 4K monitor out that I know of, and if there were, it would be somewhere in the range of £700-£1000, that is just far too expensive for me at the moment, especially since I want 3 of the same monitors for a perfect matching triple monitor set up.
With the monitors all set up, the triple monitor stand installed, my new gaming desk set up, and the PC built, it was time to fire this bad boy up, and let me tell you, it was the most orgasmic experience of my life. When all those RGB lights turned on, it was like my PC roaring to life!
All that was left was to install the OS, all the drivers, anti-virus software, any other everyday programs like Google Chrome, Steam etc., and then the benchmarking and overclocking could commence!
After 2 days of short and long periods of overclocking stress tests and benchmarking, here are the results:
CPU: - Core i7 7700K overclocked to 4.9 GHz caps off at 77 degrees C at 100% load over 3 hours. - Cinebench score of 1089 (best score)
GPU: - Asus Strix 1080 Ti's overclocked to 2000 MHz clock and 5600 (x2) MHz memory - Cards cap off at 78 degrees C when running Crysis 3 at 4K resolution and max settings for 2 hours. - Crysis 3 running at an insane 120 FPS average at maxed out settings - World of Warcraft running at 289 FPS (LMAO!)
I've also included some Fire Strike, Time Spy, Heaven, and Valley benchmark scores in the photo gallery. All in all, this machine utterly crushes every game and test I could throw at it! According to 3DMark, the Warlord performs better than 99% of PCs on their database, which is mindblowing!
Overall, it was a super fun experience! Building PCs actually turns out to be a hell of a lot of fun, and I would happily build another PC in the future! Even though the cable management process was long a tedious as heck, the feeling of building your own super computer instead of buying one of those crappy, overpriced, and horribly built, pre-built systems, is indescribable!