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Gaming and Workstation Build

by GreenLeafy



Date Published

April 2, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

26.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

24.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


Hey guys, I was planning to build an awesome PC for a while now and it's time to retire my old i7 920 PC I got in 09' for this guy. I got many of the parts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday which was nice. Unfortunately, I had some woes with stock and such and I only got around to building it a few days ago. On top of that, the first GTX 780 I received was faulty and I had to get a replacement. I got into PC gaming a few years ago, because I had many friends who played console but the experience was just lacking in my opinion. I have been planning this build for over a year just for fun, watching youtube vids, reading forums for information and spending time on websites like these! I believe I got a few somewhat decent deals considering the fact that I live in Canada and our stuff is usually more expensive.. >_< My aim for this build was cleanliness and quality.

Purpose for this build: I do probably 60% gaming which includes Battlefield 4, Skyrim , AC4, Guild Wars 2 and some additional games I own. The other usage for this build is to accommodate a medium workstation load. Some rendering (including 3D), video editing and some other multi-threaded software.

Time to explain the part rationale.

CPU: I picked the 4770k because of editing purposes and because I wanted the extra firepower. I've been saving for this build so I didn't care too much about the budget. I tried to create a well rounded machine (an expensive one, at that) and I believed that having a 4770k at the helm wouldn't be a bad decision. Currently at 4.2 @ 1.2V

Cooler: I was sort of sketchy when looked at closed loop solutions but I do like the clean look it provides (It's got a cool LED on the block!). I was considering an NH-D14 as I know it's an excellent cooler but I saw the H100i on sale at Canada Computers for $69.99 (89.99 w/ $20 MIR) so I thought, "Why Not" and I went ahead and bought one. I was concerned about clearance issues with the RAM and MB heatsinks but I looked into some other completed builds on this site and other people appeared to have accomplished it. I tried it and it only took me about ten minutes to install... The rad is slightly offset but it is still in the correct mounting holes.

MB: I went with the Z87 sabertooth mainly for the aesthetics. I really like the clean look on top of the nice backplate that I get with it. Five year warranty seems good. Thermal armour looks pretty cool imo and it's been an all around good motherboard. No complaints.

RAM: Again, I went with 16gb so I could use it to edit and I sometimes run some virtual machines. Gskill seemed like a reputable brand and it was also 1600 (pretty standard nowadays). The best part was that it was on sale for $109.99 on Newegg, so I jumped at the opportunity and bought it. Automatically detected by the sabertooth for all advertised settings and it's working fine.

Storage: SSD/HDD Combo. Probably not surprising here, I mainly want the SSD for boot times and fast loading for BF4. I saw the 840 evo and the 530 on sale for the same price, but I opted for the 530 for a few reasons. It is an MLC drive, which I definitely like more than TLC and I do enjoy the products that Intel provides (I also like Samsung, too!). Seagate Barracuda I got for standard price of $59.99.

Graphics: I love the 780. It is a great card and maxes out everything I throw at it. I may be adding more monitors in the future and I saw this guy on sale for $459.99 (499.99 w/ $40 MIR) so I just went ahead and bought it.

Case: I like the clean looks and functionality of this case. I would recommend it to anyone. There are some shortcomings, however. Although possible to mount a 240 rad in the top, the (very) limited space is disappointing, as many people do want to mount 240s. I got the windowed version because I got the sabertooth. Build quality is excellent and sound dampening foam is a plus.

PSU: Got the RM850 for silence and a POSSIBLE SLI configuration in the future. This would most likely be implemented as I opt for more monitors. Black ribbon style cables are "OK" and are black, but are stiff. Zero fan mode is nice and 80+ Gold.

Optical Drive: Asus drive for installation of windows and I like to watch movies and burn stuff sometimes.

OS: Windows 8.1. Meh... It's okay.

Monitor: I saw this monitor on sale and I was looking for an IPS monitor. This one appeared to have good reviews so I just went ahead and bought it. Seems to be pretty good.

Problems I encountered:

  1. GPU. As stated in the intro, I received a faulty first card. Weird blue lines at windows load up screen, Error 43 in windows and sometimes would not even boot into windows. Replacement card works fine.

  2. NCIX OUT OF STOCK!!! I first ordered my fractal case on NCIX for $89.99 on the weekend of black friday. I opted for in store pickup as it's usually faster. I called to inquire about my order status only to be informed that my case would be arriving in B.C (I live in Ontario, which is across the country) on the 23rd. I really did not want to wait, so I cancelled that and got it for 115 at newegg.

  3. H100i Clearance.. Not an issue for me, but beware buyers looking for a similar configuration in THIS case. I can CONFIRM that H100i w/ Z87 Sabertooth w/ Define R4 works, but I cannot confirm the compatibility of any other configs.

  4. First Dell monitor would have an issue where the bottom right corner would turn dark once in a while. RMA'd it and the new one works. My personal ideology is that if I get a defective product, the highest rating I will give it is 4 stars and then deduct more if there's anything else that doesn't work or I don't like.

Overall, this build went pretty successfully. All my parts are working fine and I hope they will for years to come...

If you are still reading right now, I give you an internet high-five. :)

P.S. Razer Blackwidow was purchased after the Deathadder a few years back so they would match. :) Didn't include them in the part list because I don't believe they were a part of this build.

Special thanks to Linus from LinusTechTips (& Affiliated Forum), Paul from Newegg, the PcPartPicker community, NewbComputerBuild and everyone else who fed me tons of information to get this build completed.

Comments Sorted by:

Ja3farQ 3 points 47 months ago

Sumss up to 1984. you used an intel cpu. heh.

Attacker3 1 point 47 months ago

I don't get it...

-machete- 1 Build -1 points 47 months ago
SparkyOnPC 1 point 47 months ago

whats the thing under the GPU? lol sorry, i dont see anything listed

comptech0408 1 point 47 months ago

Are you talking about the Armor kit?

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

It's a trendnet wireless adapter. I couldn't find the model in the part list, sorry.

SparkyOnPC 1 point 47 months ago

oh, its fine, I knew it was a wireless adaptor. just didnt know which one. I was looking at getting a wireless adaptor too.. (not the same though) is there noticeable speed difference with wireless adaptor and wired? im moving houses and the new on doesnt have a internet outlet in my new room :/

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 0 points 47 months ago

Unless you're set on downloading tons of content really fast, I don't see that big of a difference. I rarely disconnected over both computers I've had that used wireless. Sometimes you might get a bad adapter and d/c a lot but that's the adapter, not the actual service. The wired connection will definitely be faster but wireless works perfectly fine for me.

jaredt 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I have a ASUS ac68 pcie adapter and its just as literally just as fast as the wired computer upstairs. And I'm in the basement. I get my full 50 down and 15 up, the real test will be when i get Google fiber in my city in Q1 2014!!!

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Oh you lucky duck... You might want to get wireless AC for that... I seriously doubt your adapter can handle it although I hope it will.... Have fun with the lightning speeds... *jealous

LittleBlueSeas 1 point 47 months ago

You think you got it bad I live Australia and the prices are horrendous. +1 though grate build!

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Oh yeah! I've seen the Australian prices :(... Thanks

mattack98 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

For the same price as your RAM, I can get 8gb of the exact same stuff. WHY?! +1 your build. I think it is fantastic. I will be pretty well copying your build in the future :)

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Thanks a lot.. The RAM prices have been up a lot since the past... ~$100 for around 8gb of ram isn't uncommon these days. So when I saw 16gb on sale for $110, I just went for it... I hope you can find some decent deals when you build yours... :)

Wardmanhd 1 point 47 months ago

Haha I'm from Straya too, and I agree. I wish Microcenter would come here, so many deals :P

piyar 1 point 47 months ago

Sweet kick *** build :) why no samsung 840 pro?

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

840 Pro wasn't on sale the time of purchase. I tried to grab sale items and the 530 was on sale for $90 so I grabbed it. :) Thanks btw.

Emperor200 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Nice build. I was thinking that you should put the adapter in the x1 spot above your gpu. this is just in case it might be blocking airflow,etc. It doesn't look so big, but why not? :P +1 anyway..

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I considered this but I can barely see it while it's under the GPU. It looks to be working perfectly fine atm so I will probably keep this configuration. Thanks for your suggestion for your nice comments. :)

atrox 1 point 46 months ago

First off - great looking build. I am doing one very similar using the r4, sabertooth, and h100i. I noticed you said you didn't have much trouble but I have seen others say they had to put a notch in the mobo.

I was wondering if you could maybe post some pictures of how/where the rad is mounted. Maybe of the top to show where the screws are.


GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Hi! Thanks! Sorry for the late response, but I posted three more pics to show you the clearance with the MB and the mounting on top as you requested. Make sure to plug all the fan headers and CPU power plugs in before mounting it, because you can't reach any of that once it's in. As for people drilling, I did read that too, but I didn't need to do anything out of the norm. I just put it in the offset mounting for 120mm fans that are designed into the case and it worked fine. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

atrox 1 point 46 months ago

Thanks for the reply and the awesome pics! They really help a lot. I'll let you know if I have any other question when I build but I should be good.

Retroman 1 point 45 months ago

is your H100i setup as a push or pull? (exhaust or intake)

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Push, Exhaust.

Retroman 1 point 45 months ago

thx for the reply, I have the same case and was thinking about picking up one of those coolers but I'd like to do push/pull but the R4 doesn't have room for it so I thought I'd best do some research and it seems like the way you did it is the most common way from the builds I've seen using that case/cooler combo. Thanks again dude! +1

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Yeah, it's difficult even with one set of fans, so push-pull would be impossible. Push as exhaust is probably most common because there are no dust filters on top. thanks.

Max21 1 Build 0 points 47 months ago

I would have gotten some black RAM and an EVGA GPU. Then it would have all been black/greyish except the fans :D

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I would have too, but the ram and the gpu that were on sale were both red! :)

Vas65mar 1 point 47 months ago

That gpu is much better than the evga one :S

GreenLeafy submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I thought about the EVGA, but I do prefer the MSI. I meant the RAM I would have gone for black.. :) I agree with you! :D