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Build

Xenolith

by bd3

11
22 Comments

Details

Date Published

May 12, 2015

Date Built

May 7, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4.0GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

25.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

64.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.11GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

29.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

68.0° C

Description

This Rig is dead silent - just what I wanted. I spent a long time looking and reading and asking advice and I am extremely pleased with my rig. Everything worked as expected, and I have had zero issues.

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor Not much to say here. This is simply the best price/performance processor available. I don’t and won’t be doing any streaming, so I don’t need to drop the extra cash to get a bit more out of my CPU. This is a solid gaming processor – pretty much a no brainer for a gaming rig.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler Again, not much to say. The fan is silent, and my rig is cool. It was easy to install and I had plenty of clearance for no issues with my RAM.

Motherboard: Asus Z97 PRO GAMER ATX LGA1150 Motherboard This is an excellent motherboard. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other “budget” boards, but it brings a bit more with it. First, the BIOS is top notch. Super easy to use with an EZmode that lets you do auto-overclocking at the click of a button. If you want more control, there is an advanced mode that lets you change just about every attribute of the board. Very nice BIOS. The built in audio is a grade up from the Pro-gamer’s peers and delivers superior audio. The Ethernet on the board is the same that ASUS uses with their Republic of Gaming line and delivers noticeable latency reduction in online games. I am very impressed with the construction of the board too. Top notch parts, a nice thick and durable PCB and the RAM and GPU were so easy to install. A great board.

This board also comes with an M.2 slot. There are not a lot of SDDs that use the M.2 port, but in a couple of years when they are more mainstream, it will be an easy, cheap upgrade to buy and M.2 SSD and use it to run the OS from.

My only complaint would be I’d like to be able to plug in one more fan to the mother board. The board comes with 5, 4-pin connectors for fans; 3 Case fans and 2 CPU fans. It’s nice if I want to run a push-pull configuration with the CPU cooler, but the case I have has 4 spots for case fans. Right now I have my 4th case fan plugged into the slot (BIOS gives easy control over fan speed profiles).

Over-all, I would recommend this board to anyone, but especially if you are a first time builder. The board is super easy to use and assemble the other components too and the EZmode in the BIOS makes for fool-proof over-clocking.

Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory Again, this is another no-brainer. This is the highest rated, best performing RAM that is not just compatible, but also supported by my MoBo.

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Fast SSD and cheap, pricewise. Plain, sleek, and I have a 7 second boot time for windows 8.1. I have my operating system and my most played games with plenty of room to spare.

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Just more storage. Highly rated and offers the best price/performance for a TB of storage.

Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 970 4GB STRIX Video Card
I spent a very long time reading about the 970s and ultimately settled on this. Many reviews complained of the noise associated with the EVGA 970 and to a lesser extent the noise of the MSI 970. The MSI 970 had a fan complaint in general about them dying sooner than they should. I experience this with my MSI GTX 470 and had to RMA that card after 4 months on account of a failed fan. Since the EVGA was noisy, and the MSI had questionable fans, I went with ASUS. The AUSU have very few negative things said about it and ASUS has proven their quality to me with past purchases. The card delivers everything you would expect from a 970 and I can’t hear it at all. I a very happen with this GPU. It was also very sturdy. The card fit nicely into the MoBo and there is not sag at all. A very high quality card.

Case: NZXT S340 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case
I can’t say enough good things about this case. It’s Sturdy, sexy, and sleek. She is plain Jane, but that is everything I want in a case. Nice black finish, top USB 3.0 ports, and a front panel that is easily removed to expose a magnetically attached fine mesh dust filter. The inside of the case is so spacious with plenty of built in features that made cabled management fool proof. I absolutely love this case and have seen first-hand why it is so highly rated.

Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
More than enough juice for what I need right now and for anything that I might add in the future. Fully modular and carries a 10 year warranty! 10 years! Absolutely dead quiet operation and comes with a built in “ecomode” the run fan-less at low demand.

Case Fan: Phanteks PH-F140SP_BK 82.1 CFM 140mm Fan
I bought two of these to fill out the case. They are great fans. Sturdy construction and have a nice warranty. They have been rated with a MTBF of over 150,000 hours! They are absolutely silent at 800 rpm and hardly noticeable at full throttle. Plus, when your rig is at full throttle you are likely too busy to notice the slight uptick in fan noise. I have ordered two more to replace the stock fans that came with the case.

Part Reviews

CPU

Simply the best CPU for just gaming.

CPU Cooler

Quiet and stupid easy to install.

Motherboard

An excellent board. A nice budget board that offers some of the higher end features. Well built and easy to build with.

Memory

Best rated supported RAM for my motherboard. No issues with it. Looks sexy too.

Storage

Fast! 7 second boot time for Windows 8.1.

Video Card

Quiet, sturdy. No sag with this card and I can't hear anything even under load. Great card, simply the best GTX 970 out there.

Case

Big, spacious, sleek, and sexy. Cable management was super easy, and top mounted USB is ftw. Great case. Best case for the price, by orders of magnitude.

Power Supply

All the juice I can use and a 10 year warranty! Dead quiet and Ecomode keeps the fan off at idle.

Case Fan

Silent, Cheap, Moves a lot of air, and has a >150,000 MTBF!

Comments Sorted by:

ATSigh 2 points 30 months ago

Nice build! But more pictures please :D

bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

I know it! They all turned out pretty crappy, but I will take some more soon and upload them!

bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Added more pics!

ATSigh 1 point 30 months ago

Great!

ATSigh 1 point 30 months ago

So, i'm, planning to build with this case and mobo myself, and i got some questions. Is it possible to remove the front i/o so i can repaint the main chassis? Since i'm going for a white build, i would like to ask if the red lights on this mobo is dominating? i'm going to paint the red parts on the heatsinks and maybe print a decal for the big square chipset heatsink. Hope you can and will answer my questions since you're the only i've seen so far who use this mobo case combination.

bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

You can get the case in white: https://pcpartpicker.com/part/nzxt-case-cas340ww1

So no painting needed! But yes, you can remove it - as far as I can tell - it looks to be secured with a couple of screws. As for the MoBo, the lights are hardly noticeable, just subtle. I will try and take a better picture of the LEDs.

bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

I should add, the audio chip set on the card is separated from the rest of the PCB and the division glows slightly red. The LED's on the case are white (hint of blue).

Looking at the top of the case, there is no real i/o panel there, just openings in the top of the case. You can remove the USB and Power button and stuff, plain the top of the case, and slap the ports back into place - which is likely what you were asking anyway.

ATSigh 1 point 30 months ago

Nice! Thanks - I was planning on getting the white case, but it's still only the outer panels which are painted white from the factory. I want the whole damn thing to be one huge snowflake :D And great with the mobo lights. It would just look silly if my "pure white" build would get screwed by a tiny bit of red light.

bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Okay, I added more pictures. I rearranged some of the pictures that I already had loaded, but I mixed in some close ups of the USB ports from the inside as well as a shot of the two screws that hold it in place. I also included some shots of the MoBo fully lit up. I must say, though, that the picture really intensifies the light from both the stripe around the audio and the LED in the lower right. My junk camera makes it look brighter than they are! Hopefully these pictures help, and let me know if I can answer any other questions.

GoldMine 2 points 30 months ago

Wish there were more pictures of the computer finished and more pictures of the inside of the computer.

bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

I'll get some posted in the next day or so. Sorry, I took some they just all turned out crappy.

GoldMine 1 point 30 months ago

All good man. In my opinion I would have crappy pictures now and take better ones later than have none or very few.

bd3 submitter 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

Added more pics!

Slabmonkey 1 point 30 months ago

Nice looking build. How long did it take to put together?

bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

About 3 hours from opening the box to firing up windows 8 for the first time.

LoufasGR 1 point 30 months ago

Really good build.I want the same case and the same PSU can you give some more details about Both?Also my mobo is MSI Z87-g45 gaming and has 3 fan connectors plus 2 for cpu fan I want to use them all can I plug rear fan to a cpu fan connector? Thanks!

bd3 submitter 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

The case is simply the best. It does not have any bays for an optical drive, so you will have to either use an external optical drive or a thumb drive to load up an OS. But the case is really big and spacious and easy to work in. It's sturdy and you can tell it is well built - it does not flex or even wiggle when I was trying to stress it to test it. The front panel pops right off and it reveals a fine mesh dust filter that is magnetically attached. Really easy to clean. There are 4 places for fans to go: 2 intake fans in the front and two exhaust fans one in the back and one on top at 90 degrees of each other situated where the CPU will be. The thumb screws are nice (I have a close of the thumb screw in one of my pictures) and have a little spring on them to keep them attached to the various panels. Both side panels slide on and off really easily. There are plenty of places to slide cables though and many more places to tie cables down to a which makes cable management about the easiest thing in the world. Again, this is simply the best case out there. My only complaint would be the stock fans. They are good, don't get me wrong, but they are not as good as the ones I bought to fill out my case. I wish I would have just bought 4 right out of the gate! The stock fans are pretty quiet and move a lot of air, but they are the ONLY thing I can hear when my computer is running at full throttle.

The PSU is fully modular and comes with a zillion cables so whatever your MoBo has in terms of connectors, this PSU is ready for it. There PSU is dead quiet and has an "Ecomode" that makes it run fanless at idle. The cables are fully sleeved, and the connectors are well built and tough. They snap right in without effort and you can tell they make good attachments. There are both flat SATA and 90 degree SATA cables to chose from, so flexible in terms of the types of drives you though at it. 750 watts is enough for pretty much anything you can throw at it and this PSU has a 10 year warranty! 10 years!

As for your MoBo and fan connectors, you can plug in your fan into the CPU fan connector . My MoBo was the same; 3 case fan connectors and 2 CPU fan connectors. I hooked up my Cooler Master to one of the CPU connectors and my top fan to the other. The other three fans I connected to the case fan connectors on the MoBo. My BIOS lets me control any of the fans, any way I want - so it was no issue at all. Even though it was labeled as a CPU fan, I still had total control on the fan settings. That is just a hallmark of the superior BIOS I would expect from ASUS.

Let me know if you have any other questions and I will do my best to answer them.

[comment deleted by staff]
bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

What? This is the first time I have posted it. Did you mean to reply to someone else?

maggotshero 10 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

Huh, it must've been a glitch, I saw your post like everytime a new batch of posts came through, so like 3-4 times, sorry bout that.

bd3 submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

No worries.