Description

This is my first custom PC build and it's been a lot of fun, well worth it. It's also been an endless money and time suck, as I just can't leave well enough alone and I spend more time tinkering with, adding to, and thinking about what I can do next, than I actually spend playing games, writing, drawing, editing, etc.

So far, I play games, surf the web, use Microsoft Office 365 for work and hobby stuff, and use Corel Painer X3 with a Wacom Intuos tablet.

The components are way overkill, although I'm already kind of bummed that I don't have an X99 Motherboard and enthusiast grade Haswell chip. I am happy that the Z97 chipset will be compatible with the upcoming Broadwell chip. More money to spend next year! Why do I have 32GB of RAM? Why do I have 16GB of Corsair and 16GB of Team? Why did I buy a Noctua air cooler then turn around and buy a Corsair H100i? Why did I buy a semi-modular bronze 750W EVGA PSU then a few months later a 750W Gold, fully modular EVGA? Change GPUs? Yep. Add a second? Ditto. Switch from the Asrock Extreme 3 to the Asus Z97 WS? I did that, too. The tinkering and upgrading are endless. Already I'm thinking about upgrading cases (although the Define R4 is fantastic) and a custom water cooling loop even though I haven't yet delved into overclocking the GPUs or the CPU. I need to get off Youtube.

Components:

i7 4790k: Nothing bad to say here. I haven't attempted overclocking yet.

Corsair H100i: The stock fans are noisy so i replaced them with Noctua Industrial PPC fans. I think the Corsair link software is a pain and the only reason to use it is to adjust the RGB color scheme on the block. Also, some of the threads on the radiator have stripped and I can't tighten all the screws for the fans and case. Overall installation is smooth--the first time at least-- the kit works as advertised.

Asus Z97-WS: The first one I got didn't work, so that was a bummer. Amazon sent me a new one at no cost. The board is great, so many features. It's not the prettiest, but it's sturdy, thickly constructed, supports quad SLI, dual SLI at 16x16 with a PLX chip. Sata Express and M.2. Dual Intel gigabyte LAN. Plus it has a power and reset switch to POST outside of the case and numerous features that are outside of my comprehension.

2X Samsung 850 Pro 128 in RAID 0: When one 128 GB SSD isn't enough, throw in a second in RAID 0. Just waiting until M.2 or SATA Express become more prevalent. The Samsung drives are fantastic though.

Gigabyte G1 Gaming: No problems from the Gigabyte cards, just added a second for SLI. I haven't overclocked yet. Also, pretty silent operation and no coil whine. The cards look great, I appreciate the backplate. It would be nice if the LED Windforce logo was controllable or RGB to match color schemes, but the blue works well for me.

Fractal Define R4: The case has been great. Super modular, right now I've removed all the hard drive cages to mount the 240mm radiator in push/pull in the front. While it's a little bit of a stretch for the tubes to reach from the CPU to the radiator, this configuration works well. It wouldn't be possible to mount push pull in the top as there would be clearance issues with the top of the MOBO, but push or pull should work with a thin radiator like the H100i in the top mounting holes. I added a 5.25 to 3.5 adapter to mount the 3.5 mechanical HD in one of the two 5.25 bays, so 5.25 bays do come in handy. The SSDs are mounted behind the MOBO tray and while they don't have the tool-less, removable trays like the Define R5 has, this is still a useful and practical feature in the R4. Swapping of the SSDs requires removal of the MOBO. Overall, I've found the Fractal case to be accommodating and configurable enough for me so far, and the build quality is great, it's still pretty quiet although I've loaded it with fans. It looks sleek and classy.

EVGA 750W G2: So far so good.

Corsair WLED 140mm air flow fans: Pretty quiet, look cool. Recommended.

Noctua NF-F12 industrial PPC: Awesome fans. They look fantastic, so much nicer than the tan and brown fans, they spin real fast, blow a lot of air and don't make much noise.

Edit: I did some over clocking of the 4790K. Without pushing the voltages too high (1.24V), I was able to get a stable overclock at 4.7GHz. I think 4.8 or even 4.9 would be attainable at voltages over 1.3, but I didn't really want to push that far. Although the highest temps I saw was 80 degrees and TJmax is 100. I haven't really thought about overclocking the GPUs yet, because with two factory overclocked cards, I think I'm getting enough performance (understatement) at 2560x1440. I did bump the RAM up to 1866 which was as fast as I could get without increasing voltage. Yay.

Comments

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Just a word of warning You get down voted for calling a build a beast... +1

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for over $165 in fans

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Niccceeeeeee Sli'ed G1 970s with a WS MOBO love Asus's workstation boards. With Noctua industrials. Hot.damn love it. The only thing to improve would be the cables. I know it's really hard when you remove the drive bays but that's it besides that its a freaking GEM!

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

I've been waiting to get some custom sleeved cables and PWM fan splitters before cleaning up the cable routing. Sleeved cables are so expensive though. Thanks for the reply

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

have you had any issues with that cooler being verticle?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you mean the radiator mounted in the front?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

No. That's what Corsair recommends. I would prefer to mount the radiator in the top, but the case doesn't have a ton of room up there.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I added Bitfenix sleeved cable extensions for the GTX 970s. I probably need to invest in some clips to organize them a little better. I also shifted the radiator to the top because I noticed that the 970s were operating in the 70-75 degree range while gaming. I haven't noticed that it makes much of a difference whether the radiator is mounted in the front or the top regarding the other components in the system. I think what's more important is the ambient temperature of the room. Which, unfortunately, isn't always in my control.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you fit the bottom drive cage in still or no?

  • 51 months ago
  • 0 points

big yeast

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