Description

As of now, Black Aura has been torn apart and rebuilt. Most of the parts are still there, but the loop is shelved and the motherboard and CPU have been replaced.

Continuation of previous build (without the custom loop) also called Black Aura, which was a continuation of a previous build (in a Zalman Z11 Plus) called just Aura.

I built this for myself about a year and a half back to fit the purpose of primarily gaming, and it's evolved quite a bit since then as my interests and requirements have changed. Recently I've been doing a lot more prosumer-grade work, but also shifted my interest towards overclocking a bit more.

CPU: Bought it when Haswell first came out. I've been quite disappointed with its overclocking ability, but it's suited me well otherwise. Recently, though, I've started to need an i7.

Thermal compound: Bought it just recently when I switched to a custom loop. Good thermal paste, I don't see what else matters.

Motherboard: Came bundled with the CPU for just $110, back when it was retailing and being found at most sellers for $140. I've come to regret the purchase. It uses Renesas PowerPAKs, which aren't as bad as Asrock's old D-Paks but still does not suit well to overclocking at all.

RAM: Also came bundled with the CPU and motherboard. I use 16GB for VFX rendering, 3D design and modeling, and ray tracing, so don't say it's useless :P

Storage: I bought the SSD with a Micro Center gift card a friend gave me for building his computer (Thanks, Nick!). It's an average SSD, average boot times and average performance relative to an SSD. The hard drive came because my first hard drive was DOA, and when I asked my father to return it and buy me a different one he bought me this. Not my first choice of a boot drive, which I had to use it as back then, but ever since I started booting off of an SSD it's been fine,

Video card: I got some crazy Micro Center deal that sold the thing to me (refurbished, albeit) for $244, back when 670s were retailing for $420 and 4GB 670s were selling for $460. It's an amazing card thermally; I've never had it go above 65C (57C if I do 100% fan speed) and even under full load it's dead silent. I haven't seen the need to upgrade it since, as I don't game as much as I did anymore and it does everything I need it to. Recently, though, I've been looking into a GTX 970.

Case: I bought it to replace a old, cheap, plasticky Zalman Z11. I don't even know where to start in describing how much better it is.

Power supply: I bought it to replace a CX750, with 2 purposes: to prepare for a custom sleeving project, and to support SLI better. Both kind of died, so instead I'm saving it to SLI 970s when I get the chance (which I probably never will).

Optical drive: Bought it because, by my own words when I did buy it, "Why the h*ll not." The thing is surprisingly durable; I rammed into it with my knee when it was extended once, and bent the tray sideways in its slot. I just pushed it back into place and it's been working fine ever since.

OS: Free from my father's workplace. Windows 8 and especially 8.1 were both better than I thought they would be, improvements over Windows 7 IMO.

Primary monitor (P2211H): Got it for free from my mother's office.

Secondary monitors (H226HWLbid): Bit of a strange story behind them. Once during a family fight, my mom got mad and took the three monitors I was using, a 23", the 21.5" P2211H, and an old 18" 5:4 dinosaur. We thought we'd never get them back, so I went ahead and ordered these two. Two days later, my mom came, apologized, and gave them back, but with the two new ones, I couldn't have all of them on my desk anymore. So I just kept the P2211H, which was the same size as the new ones, and set up a triple-monitor setup that actually looked nice.

Keyboard: Free from my father's workplace. Feels terrible to type on, but built like a tank.

Mouse: Bought for $70 to replace a cheap plastic $12 mouse. Very good mouse, would highly recommend.

Headset: Caught up on a deal at the local Best Buy and bought it for $24. Fairly good headset, sturdy, sounds ok and picks up sound fairly well.

CPU block: Bought because I liked the look. Most CPU blocks perform within a few degrees of each other anyways.

Res+Pump: Bought because I liked the look and I didn't want tubes running under my case where a separate D5 pump would be mounted.

Rad: I already had 2 XSPC parts, so why the h*ll not? It was one of the only rads I could find that fit my requirements and didn't have an ugly copper color. (Looking back, I realize I had chosen exactly the same parts as what are in the Raystorm RX480 kit. :P)

Compression fittings: kinda self-explanatory.

Tubing: Blue is my favorite color. :D

So yeah, there you go, that is my build.

Comments

  • 61 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 I like this Build. Nothing is Wrong. Solid build dude.

By the way what is that thing that is On top of the Optical Drive in picture 5. I have not been able to find one of those

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :D I believe your question is already answered :P

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

I love it

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. Very clean!

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

All down to the Enthoo Primo :P My cable management in the Zalman was horrendous.

http://i.imgur.com/4CHM28q.jpg

Thanks though!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

What are you gonna use the custom loop for?

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Cooling my CPU. :P

It runs stable and VERY cool, and adds a certain degree of elegance that I can't get with a high-end air cooler. (CLCs are even less elegant than air coolers IMO.) That's all I expected and all I'm using it for ATM.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Was it hard setting up the custom loop? Except the i5, solid build! (I prefer i7s due to multitasking capabilitys)

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Not particularly.

i5s are fine for multitasking, you won't notice a difference between them and i7s until you get to prosumer-grade workloads.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you like your case ?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry, I have not kept up with this at all.

Yes, I absolutely love it. IMO the Enthoo Primo is the best case in existence short of a Caselabs offering.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

could you message me what you used for water cooling if you dont mind me stealing you idea because that looks awesome !!!!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I made a loop with XPSC parts, namely, a Photon D5, a Raystorm, and a RX480 rad.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Did the pre-drilled holes support that reservoir mount?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope. I ended up using a janky arrangement with a single bolt bolted properly and double sided tape holding it in place.