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