This build is really more of a set of upgrades to my previous rig, White Lightning. I have put a lot into the rig since I posted it, so I decided to list it as another build. It essentially is a new build in terms of performance gain, which is anywhere from 20-50% depending on the application being used. Below is a list of my upgrades and how they effected my system:
1) Intel Core I5 4690k @3.5GHz --> Intel Core I5 4690k @ 4.5GHz: A night and day difference. This processor overclocks like a champ, and only with 1.25 volts running through it. My physics scores in 3D mark jumped noticeably after applying this overclock. The is probably still a slight bottleneck to the system but overall definitely pulls its weight well.
2) Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO --> NZXT Kraken X61: The 212 EVO is one of the best air coolers out there, but since I planned to overclock, I needed a water cooler to accommodate the additional heat. With this cooler, my CPU does not get hotter than 65*C when stress testing, which is incredible considering it is at nearly a 30 percent overclock. I may try to push more out of the CPU, but performance is fine for now!
3) 2x GeForce GTX 960 4GB --> 1x GeForce GTX 1080 8GB: The 1080 can display at QHD with higher framerates than the dual 960 setup could muster at 1080p. The only complaint I have from the 1080 is very minor coil whine. It also runs fairly hot, but still cooler than the reference card.
4) No SSD --> Sandisk Ultra II 480GB: Get an SSD for your build. It is definitely worth the cost to gain so much speed over a mechanical drive!
5) Old 1080p LG Flatron --> Asus MX27AQ QHD Monitor: My games look so much better in QHD compared to FHD.
That's all for now, I may upgrade to the Skylake processor world, but I likely will wait for its successor since my performance at this point is strong. Where could I make improvements? Thanks for checking out my build! I've really enjoyed putting it together and making it work as well as possible so far!
Still going strong at 4.5GHz. If you want to spend a little less and are willing to overclock, this chip is still a great gaming option.
*See temperatures in build details.
The board has plenty of features for an 1150 chipset and is SLI capable for those that are using two cards. It seems to be of good quality overall and I've had no issues thus far.
Great RAM. It is reliable and easy to overclock so I've heard. I'll have to see if I can squeeze 2133 out of these sticks!
For the money, it can't be beat. The controller transfers at a consistent speed (the transfer speed does not nosedive about a quarter of the way through like some SSDs do) and the capacity is plenty for my OS drive since I mainly use this PC for schoolwork and gaming.
It's a mechanical drive with plenty of capacity for cheap. I only have games on it and it performs just fine.
If you have the budget for one, this card is king. I game at QHD and no game I own can slow this card down at max settings (Save for some of the crazy AA settings in certain recent AAA games). It runs circles around my old 960 SLI setup!
Sturdy, attractive case with plenty of room for cable management and a PSU shroud. Works for me!
Bought it factory certified refurbished from my local Micro Center and have had no issues whatsoever. Got the warranty just in case though.
Perks of being a college student - Free software!
A beautiful monitor. Even when the screen is off this thing is sexy. Displays everything beautifully and has that trademark IPS color accuracy. I highly recommend this monitor!
The mouse I really like. It has a varying speed optical sensor and seems to work well. The keyboard is nice, but makes me wish I would have sprung for a mechanical keyboard.
Have had these for years, I used them to play Xbox 360 games prior to my ascension to the master race. They still work well and have good sound clarity so no complaints here!