Description

Silent but deadly is the shortest description I can think of for this system. Before folks start pointing out that some of the listed components are a wee bit overkill for what I use the 'puter for, let me mention the precepts under which I undertook that long, windy road that finally ended in that shiny, black box pictured here.

  • Silence
  • Performance
  • Upgradability

After all, the system this one is replacing is 6 or 7 years old now and had a Core 2 Duo, 8800 GTX and nForce 680 SLI MB. So, I think I'm covered for a few years with this system. ;-)

Now a few notes to some quirks that may help somebody when choosing some of the listed components. Whilst the Maximus Formula is quite the looker with the armour, it can cause some issues too. The cut-out in the steel armour backplate is just a smidgen to small for the backplate of the be quiet! cooler as can be seen in one of the photos. Now, this leaves owners with 3 options. One is to remove the armour and use the board in the buff. Two, take a grinder of sorts to the cooler backplate and trim the top and bottom edges to fit the armour cut-out. Three, loosen the armour screws and wiggle the cooler backplate into position and tighten the armour screws back up. Since the gap between board and armour plate was almost enough to wiggle the cooler backplate in as it was I opted for the latter solution. I don't think the armour backplate will do much in cooling terms but I do like the rigidity it gives to the board.

Next, try not to drop any screws into the armour top cover whilst/after fitting the board into the case. Very annoying because you're likely having to remove it again to get the screw to drop out from where it was hiding. Potentially even more annoying should you not have noticed it and the sparks are flying when you press the switch.

The gap between the memory and the cooler fan is very small indeed, a hair's breath (which one I leave up to you) would be the technical term. Out of the box the fan and memory will collide. Whilst it is possible to fit the fan on the other side of the cooler, on the be quiet! forum it is also mentioned that the fan can be moved up a bit. Just enough to clear the memory.

When attaching the little combo card with the WiFi & bluetooth module, one has the option to secure the card with a screw which can either go through the bottom of the board (which I used initially) or to the back of the I/O shield. Now, there is the option to fit a MF2 type SSD onto this wee combo card (which will use the SATA port 5 of the on-board SATA controller). Should you fancy this option but don't fancy having to heave the board out of the case again, you may want to fix the card to the I/O shield then.

When starting it up for the first time it will stop during POST with an error. The CPU fan of the be quiet! cooler runs at lower than default rpm causing an fan error. Set the treshold in the BIOS - Monitoring - Fan Controller to a setting below 400 rpm (600 is default and my fan was going at 435 rpm). Enable the XMP profile in the BIOS whilst here (otherwise your RAM will show at a lower speed). Save, exit and voila...everything starts up just fine.

As to some of the component choices, each of the SSD's will be a system drive. The 840 Pro for Win7 and the 840 EVO for a Linux distro, Mint or Ubuntu likely. The 850 Watt PSU is a bit oversized but I'm planning on getting a 2nd MSI 770 GPU down the line for an SLI setup. The case was the part I probably agonised most about. If my old Lian Li had USB 3 support and the capability to run cables behind the tray, I would have kept it since it still looks better than most cases out there now (including new Lian Li cases). The only better looking one to my taste is the Corsair Graphite 600. However for the money and yet still without native USB 3 it was just not justifiable. Hence as a compromise a case marketed as silent, still classy enough looking and easy to work with/in/on.

To wrap it up, given that the system hasn't been running 24h yet, I'm very pleased so far with the components and how it all fitted together (ok, ok, so I'm not going to win any prizes for my cable management but I did manage to close the side panels without 'much' force ;-p ).

Let me know what you think or ask any questions below.

Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

three shall be the number, the number shall be three! Not one, two, Nay four... Five is right out!

+1 for name.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Pretty solid parts. I'm getting that mobo as well. :-)

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. This is my first ASUS mobo and it seems to be the bees knees unless you are heavy into overclocking.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Definitely will overclock. But a good gaming experience is more important to me. Are you going to overclock at all?

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Ditto. I will of course try some of the overclocking toys once the system has run for a few days and I know it is stable. Reviews say it's not the fastest board on the block but I didn't buy it for that but for a solid games/modeling PC.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Most of the ASUS boards are pretty identical in overclocking and game performance. The big differences are the features each board has, and the M6 Formula is jam packed with them O_O

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build!!! Great job! The MOBO is soooo sexy.

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much.

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

How is the be quiet psu. i heard great things about them.

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

It's inaudible but since I can watch pretty pictures on't screen, it's only fair to assume it's powering everything as it ought to.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

nice. that mobo is dead sexy.+1

[comment deleted]
  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I've yet to work with liquid cooling but given how dominant the corsair units are in the market I would think it will fit just fine. As you can see on the photo, the hole in the armour backplate isn't the most spacious for cooler backplates but liquid units are more compact & less weighty and hence won't need as much real estate to spread the weight unlike the hefty air cooling unit I've used.