I wanted an enthusiast grade gaming computer that I could tweak and improve over time as I saw fit. I started planning this build back in August. It went through many different variations, but I finally decided that I wanted to use the Silverstone RVZ01 which narrowed down my options for the rest of the build leading to my final choices.
Since I was getting a new CPU for a new system, going with Devils Canyon just made sense. The Core i7 4790k is the best 1150 CPU for overall performance period. Since I was limited to a mini-itx MOBO, 1150 was my only real option for top performance. I went with a K CPU because I want the option to overclock even if my choice of case limits how far I can overclock. Got the CPU on Black Friday when it was only $300 which seemed like a steal for the total performance of the chip.
While PCPP says that this cooler is not compatible, it is if you use a slim fan on the top. It offers the best cooling for the size limits and I really want to overclock a little bit so best cooling was a necessity. I replaced the Noctua NF-F12 with the Prolimitech slim 140 because while the CPU cooler side fan slot is a 120mm slot, the cut out is slightly larger than 120mm, so 140mm it is. The fan does a great job of moving a lot of air over the CPU cooler and the motherboard, it's PWM and even at 100% it really isn't very loud as far as I am concerned. When turned down to 30-60% it is barely audible.
I almost went with the EVGA Stinger, but many of reviews said the board was average at best. Since I was building an enthusiast system, average didn't make sense. So I spend the $30 extra and managed to find the Maximus VII Impact for only $215 which seemed pretty fair. So far I am most impressed and pleased with this Motherboard. The BIOS is ridiculously easy to work with and to manage. The power delivery is very smooth and reliable. The fan settings are great and it found the right profile for all my hardware without me having to touch anything.
Kingston has good RAM, the Fury was a great price and came discounted with my CPU. It's fast and so far very reliable.
SSD's man, everyone needs them. I was going to go with the 1TB option, but then the 850s were released and the prospect of much higher capacities than 1TB in just a year or two made me decide to go with the 500GB option until there are two or three TB SSDs at reasonable prices.
The GTX 970 was a very powerful card with excellent price for performance, but now that I have a 980 Ti...it looks like weaksauce. The 980 Ti is amazing! It crushed benchmarks and games alike. I couldn't be happier with the upgrade. I have it heavily overclocked and so it gets a little hot and loud, but with head phones on you can't barely hear it so I don't care. Eventually I will add a custom water cooling loop to this and run the GPU into a 240mm rad which should solve most if not all my problems. Maybe if I feel crazy and a bit daring I will add the CPU to the loop too.
Man what a beautiful case. So sleek and the vents are so nice. I love what Silverstone has created. The only thing that would make this better, and a lot of people have already said this, is if the case was all metal. But in the mean time...damn!
Had to fit with the case and 600 watts will give me a lot of expansion room if I want. Also it came with Silverstone's short cable kit which is very nice when working in this small case.
Yeah, I still use one. I like watching my DVD collection on my computer. EVGA had a good price and came with an adapter.
I don't mind windows 8.1, it also supports Direct X 12. My wife is a student so I got to use her student discount to save a lot of money.
The Corsair fans are very good, they move a lot of air directly to the GPU which helps keep it cool. No complaints about them; they perform exactly as I would expect.
This is the one thing I slightly regret. Don't get me wrong, this monitor is awesome and I am not dissatisfied with it, I just wish I had spent the $30 more to get the Samsung PLS model that can overclock. However, it is a 1440p 27in monitor for only $279.90; that is practically highway robbery! If anyone wants a good 1440p monitor that looks good and is cheap, this is a great way to go.
I built this wonderful example of the Master Race a week ago with my little brother. He also love building computers and I want to encourage him to build his own PC in a few years.
I've spent what time I have with this beautiful machine overclocking it and testing the overclocks. I set the CPU to 4.4 on all cores all the time, but I haven't really stress tested it so I can't report on what the max temps will be just yet.
On the GPU side, the overclocking has been ok. I seen people getting 1400-1550 overclocks on their 970s, but no matter how I change the settings, I can't get a stable overclock of more than 1490 mhz. I got 1510 to work for one round of Heaven and then the drivers crashed the minute I even considered Firestrike. If anyone has pointers on what worked with their cards, feel free to let me know.
If you have made it this far, thank you for reading and have a wonderful day.
[Edit 001] Got the CPU overclock to 4.6 Ghz on all 4 cores at 1.225 volts. 15min at Aida64 max temp was 89c. Yeah its a little high, but it is well within Intel's safe operating temperature limits.
[Edit 002] Achieved a stable 4.6 Ghz on all 4 cores at 1.193 volts. 2 hours of Aida64 max temp was 88c. I tried to go for 4.7 at 1.21 volts and it ran for almost two hours before Aida64 crashed. Max temp was 94c. I have also adjusted my benchmark scores to my 24/7 overclocks scores. If anyone would like to see my max semi-stable GPU overclocks I can include them again.
[Edit 003] Added a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD for additional storage and changed the two Corsair AF 120 fans for two Cougar Vortex fans. I will mention that the fans have a min RPM of 800 compared to a Noctua NF-12 which is 300RPM. At 800RPM they are not loud, but they aren't dead silent either. I have them set to run at 850 RPM all the time. They aren't very loud and they keep my GPU fans from having to work very hard.
[Edit 004] 980 Ti added with pictures. Benchmarks are awesome, overclocks are awesome, card is awesome. I'm beating Titan X's with this card for $330 less. A ton of thanks to my wife to took the new pictures as I built (She's much better at cameras than I am) and for helping me figure out how to get this beast of a card into the GPU compartment without breaking anything.
(Old) Benchmarks: (All benchmarks are ran at the presets)
Cinebench: 906 email@example.comGhz (I did achieve a Cinebench score of 938 at 4.7 Ghz, but the temps during Aida64 were in the low 90s, so I don't consider it a stable 24/7 overclock score).
Very fast, super cheap; what's not to like?
As powerful as a Titan X for $330 less. Totally worth the price. A little bit, but that extra size allows for some really killer stability and performance improvements.
Pretty quiet, moves a lot of air. Good quality fan over all, at least as good as Corsair.