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Gaming PC the Third: "Dark"

by brightman42



Date Published

June 4, 2015

Date Built

May 29, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

46.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.14 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz


My third gaming PC build, and I think my sixth build overall. None of which are on here since the last one was in 2010 and I don't think this site existed then.

Last PC is still running fine enough, it's AMD based and I wanted to switch back to Intel, so that meant not a lot of cannibalization could take place, nor should it for some components that are nearing 5 years in age. As such I took a new SSD and HDD from it, the HDD is actually the same on used in this build and amusingly I didn't realize that until I was install them. The SSD is a two year old Mushkin one that I forget the model of, it's 240gb. Also took the wireless pci card, monitors, speakers, and keyboard. The mouse was an MX518 that had started to misclick, but it was 12 years old or more so that's pretty good. Gonna to use the old PC for living room gaming and/or as a media center when I get around to it.

This system was primarily built with The Witcher 3 and other newer games in mind. I plan to upgrade with SLI in a few years, maybe get some larger/better drives, and possibly more ram.

I waited for Memorial Day weekend to capitalize on sales, as such the total price was about 60~80 bucks less than what it shows now (so just shy of 1300) including tax. Micro Center had several combo deals that weren't listed on here that applied, the only thing that changed was the ram, went from low profile to regular. I actually didn't realize this since the models are so close, but it ended up not mattering with this motherboard and the H7 cooler.

Installation was mostly smooth, first hiccup was getting the motherboard in the case and lined up with the I/O guard, I actually stabbed my thumb on the guard in the process, blood all over the bathroom while I patched that up. It might be prudent to fit the guard on the motherboard prior to putting it in the case, maybe not.

The second hangup came with the sata power cables, stretching up to the optical drive from the lower cage in the R5 isn't doable with this PSU, neither is doing from the SSDs mounted behind the motherboard. So I had to remove the lower drive cage in put the upper one back in despite not needing that many slots right now.

Third was the GPU needing both 6 pin and 8 pin connections. The instructions were a little vague, made it seem like one or the other. As a result of this I wasn't able to route that power cable through the side of the case, so it's just going straight up from the PSU to the card. Anyone familiar with more modern video cards is probably already aware of this. You can see the screw up in the photo, didn't have another that wasn't blurry after the cable was corrected.

Was sorta worried I might need more fans but the system runs at about 30~35c idle and between 36~46c under load. It's also really quiet with the Fractal Design R5 case, which I can't recommend enough, it's a fantastic case.

The computer is named Dark because I have a theme going with "D" and haven't thought of something better yet (phone is Diversion, tablet is Distraction, a bunch of other things are named after The Endless from Sandman, etc).

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

A great alternative to the CM 212 Evo, slightly easier to install, and it's sorta angled in a way to allow more clearance for RAM.


I love this case. It has several configurable options, mostly for airflow, that I really appreciate and is really easy to work with. Great for cable management, comes with instructions for the entire PC build if you need it, and has properly labeled and organized case cables for all the front i/o and such. It's very sturdy and super quiet, just a really great case.


Coming from what some have deemed the "Holy Grail" of mice, the Logitech MX 518, I have to say this is an impressive mouse that has a very similar feel with additional features to sweeten the pot. The extra function buttons are handy and wildly configurable, and the weights actually do affect the balance (didn't think they would initially but I tested it out a bunch). This is just a really solid mouse.

Comments Sorted by:

Mobo64 1 point 47 months ago

woah. That cpu cooler looks beastly.. how is it? any good? :o

brightman42 submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

It's extremely similar to the Cooler Master EVO 212, seems to be decent so far, has clips to add a second fan on the other side if you want.

I actually did that with my last build with the EVO, now that's beastly...hold on I have pics for that too:

1, 2, 3 (Warning: bad cable management [it did get better eventually])

Edit: I also fixed the alignment on that shortly after these pics were taken, biggest difference is the CR H7 provides ample ram clearance.

Mobo64 2 points 47 months ago

wow thanks for your huge description! that helped alot. thanks +1 for your build and also how helpful you are!

SilentKnight 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

i see your PSU is 550W and you mention going SLI in the future. you might want to reconsider a larger wattage unit as you might experience problems at peak performance when gaming due to not being able to handle the load from 2 cards.

otherwise, nice build! got to love that R5 :)

brightman42 submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Yeah, I was slightly misinformed about it unfortunately although for now it's fine. The bigger problem is that PSU only has enough connectors for the one card, so yeah, if I go SLI in a year or two I'll get a better PSU, one that's probably modular. Also more ram for the hell of it.

Hushbuild 2 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

Hey man, how much of an overclock you getting with the cooler? (if you have overclocked) I thinking of getting it myself

brightman42 submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Sorry for missing this, but no, I haven't overclocked it, this particular cpu doesn't really gain much from overclocking since it's already clocked fairly high as-is (iirc the gain is like 3~4% maybe).

Looking into though something like overclocking an i5 from 4 to 4.2 has been doing with an H7 with no issues as long as the voltage is correct.

IceSkills 1 point 40 months ago

How good is the cooler with some overclocking?

brightman42 submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Bit late on this, sorry, but with this particular setup not very good I'm afraid, but I may have botched the oc attempt I made. If you had an i5 something-k it would probably do the trick well enough for a little overclocking, but if you're going to go all out you'd need like a Noctua NH-D14, something with a few fans like that, or realistically liquid cooling.