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Red, White, and Blue

by ProEngPC



Date Published

Aug. 3, 2014

Date Built

July 18, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

29.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

80.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


This computer was built to be an upper-end gaming system capable of playing new titles at 1440p with lots of eye candy, without going all-out crazy with watercooling and such (that’s another build!). While this wasn’t a budget build, air cooling was chosen to keep costs down and to ensure long-term reliability (I’ve had bad luck with closed-loop liquid coolers).

CPU: The i5-4690k is a great value for a top-notch gaming system. This one overclocked to 4.6GHz @ 1.27v. That’s a lot of processing power for a $250 CPU. The Phanteks cooler works quite well and keeps the core temps below 80C even under full Prime95 load for 12 hours. In regular applications that use the processor heavily, core temperatures are in the 60-65C range at the highest, which is quite satisfactory.

Motherboard: This Gigabyte board was reasonably priced for the features, and I’ve never had issues with their boards, so it was a sensible purchase. It’s nothing exceptionally special, but it does a good job for the price and had a nice high-res GUI UEFI.

Memory: The price was right for 1.5V, CL9 DDR3-1600 sticks. I have not tried to overclock the RAM, the performance gains aren’t worth the effort in my opinion.

Storage: Despite some harsh reviews, the V300 is a great value SSD for the price. It’s inexpensive, and the speeds are quite good (see ATTO benchmark in pictures). In use, it feels just as fast as any other SSD. The 2TB Seagate is there for games and media. I find the Barracuda are a little bit faster than the WD Blue drives at the same price point.

GPU: This will probably be controversial, but two 270X cards in CrossFire perform similarly to an R9 290, at a lower price point, with more free games. They also look pretty cool through the case window.:) I had initially bought the two cards on sale intending to use them for two different client builds, but I decided to use them here and I’m happy with that decision.

Case: There is a lot of hype around the H440, so I decided I’d try it out. It turns out the hype is well-deserved. The case has fabulous cable management options, and looks great. Everything inside is white also, which looks great with the white LED lighting I added. It has the look of a high-tech display showcase, which is awesome.

PSU: It’s a pretty good PSU, at a reasonable price. My only gripe is that the non-modular PCIe cable has wires that are yellow/black while the modular one uses all red wires. Thus the power leads for each GPU are not the same colour. 750W is ample power for the system. Total power draw with Prime95 and Furmark running simultaneously is 580W.

And that’s about it. Performance is great, and the red white and blue look is very nice. This will be a demo/inventory build for my small part-time PC design/support/assembly business.

Build # 140718-1

Comments Sorted by:

gunit1111 3 Builds 2 points 46 months ago

Very nice! I just got an H440 a couple of weeks ago, love this case.

[comment deleted by staff]
gunit1111 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Yes it does, I'm eventually going to add an NZXT Kraken X61 to the mix so I expect things to change but not too drastically.

xDiamond 2 points 46 months ago

great quality pictures +1

Zedzer 2 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

You pretty much have a different company for every part here: Intel, Phanteks, Gigabyte, A-Datam Kingston, Seagate, Club/AMD, NZXT, EVGA, and Microsoft. Funny thing but +1 anyways. You got great cable management, a good-looking system, and balanced part choices with plenty of power under an amazing price.

youkergav 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Did you use any specific lights?

incredigasmic 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Which LEDs did you use?

youkergav 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Can these lights be totally turned off or just dimmed? This build makes these lights look excellent. Great job!

ProEngPC submitter 8 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

If you have a controller that can go down to 0V, they would turn off, obviously. They are dimmed by voltage, not PWM. I run them all full brightness though.

godofchuck 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

I love my h440. SLI/Crossfire looks so good in these.

jose56wonton56 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

If only cpu cooler was the red version. :( +1

ProEngPC submitter 8 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

But then the build would no longer be Red, White and Blue :)

ArticPhoeniX 1 point 46 months ago


ctravis0128 1 point 46 months ago

I'm about to buy the motherboard you used in this build but I've heard it said that it is not actually a full ATX board which stops short of the case mounts. Supposedly this leads to dangerous flexing when attaching cables. Did you experience anything like that?

ProEngPC submitter 8 Builds 2 points 46 months ago

The board is a bit narrower than full ATX (It uses six mounting holes, not nine) and there is indeed an overhang. The only time when flex could be a problem is plugging the 24-pin ATX connector. If you support the board underneath with your hand while plugging it in, there will be no issues, and you'll never have to do it again anyways. I wouldn't let that stop anyone from buying the board, it performs well and is nicely priced.

ctravis0128 1 point 46 months ago

Good enough for me. Thanks for the reply.

ty44 1 point 46 months ago

Hey, really nice build. Did those red sleeved cables come with the evga psu or did you buy them seperately? Thanks

ProEngPC submitter 8 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

They came with the EVGA PSU. I think all EVGA units 750W or more have red sleeved PCIe cables.

iamwildbear 1 point 44 months ago

Hey man Nice build +1 Love the case but how did you manage to install windows? And its nice to see someone else who is crossfireing those 270Xs Im planing to do that on my build :P http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/6fHFCJ

ProEngPC submitter 8 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

I used an external USB DVD drive to install Windows. It about the only time I use an optical drive.

AjKulikowski 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

how is that power supply? its on sale for $59.99 right now and i need something reliable and good cable management for my new r9 280 ($120 insane deal). Thanks in advance

Ntress 1 point 39 months ago

how is this cooler compares to the Phanteks PH-TC14PE?

which one do you recommend?

CR4ZYF00L 1 point 36 months ago

Does the ram light up

Matt_M77 1 point 34 months ago

How well do the r9 270x cards scale in crossfire? I have one 2gb card already and was wondering if it was worth using another one. Also using a i5 4690k.

Guspac88 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Hey, how did you wire your front panel? I can't decipher the crappy manual on this motherboard and really have trouble wiring stuff as it is my first build. If you would like to help, please tell me exactly what goes where, like power sw + on (pin #) , or even pm me a picture. Thanks!

JaredPCGamer 1 point 26 months ago

Is it just me or is the memory $160 for 16 gigs?

xx116xx 3 Builds 0 points 46 months ago


ProEngPC submitter 8 Builds 5 points 46 months ago

Which is funny, because I'm French Canadian, and in my notes, I named this PC "Bleu, Blanc, Rouge" thinking of the French flag (hopefully this won't get me too many downvotes :) ).

xx116xx 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Well still, MERIKA. (I'm part French Canadian though :P)

Hazarded 1 point 46 months ago

SHH your still 'MERICAN +1

Hazarded 1 point 46 months ago

Oh and how are the Club 3d cards btw?

ProEngPC submitter 8 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

I've had no issues with them. They're rather quiet, cool and reliable. There is a small factory OC also. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again either for myself or a client build.

ITneto 1 point 46 months ago

Too late.

Norm101 3 Builds 2 points 46 months ago

Silly, it's "'Murica!" ;)

theblockparty 2 Builds -2 points 46 months ago

Looks nice. Two cards are better performance for the price, but I hope that you don't have any problems with games that don't support SLI.

Zedzer 2 Builds 4 points 46 months ago

You mean Crossfire.

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Zedzer 2 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

wut^ That word is being too overused nowadays.

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