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Once you go black ;)

by grajasekar



CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

28.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



This is my first build in 5-6 years. I wanted to make something really good that runs a single video output and will last me quite a while. I plan to do a great deal of gaming but without multiple displays. I'll only be using a single 1080p TV for now (I favor a larger screen over a smaller 1440p).

I didn't want water cooling involved, so went with the Noctua D14. The motherboard was a somewhat higher-end but still value choice - didn't feel the need to fork out for an Extreme or Forumla. No LN2 plans here. Some decent overclocks (maybe 4.3-4.5Ghz) planned, thus the Z87 board and the K processor. I could probably have made do with the i5 but felt like getting the i7. I really love the motherboard though, performs well, looks sexy and has a bunch of cool lights on it (button and the traces around the supreme FX portion) and a very good bios.

RAM beyond 1600Mhz offers diminishing returns with Intel parts but went with 1866Mhz CL9 RAM anyway. The hard drives are split between an 840 Pro OS drive, the Constellation 2TB for reliable storage and an older 500GB WD Caviar I had lying around thrown in for ***** and giggles.

I wanted a nice full tower case with good build quality, plenty of room but no side window - hence the CM Storm Trooper. Also, a top-of-the-line (slightly overkill) PSU came in the form of the very silent, very reliable Seasonic X850 KM3. The GPU was a gift I had lying around. I was actually going to wait till the 9000 series from AMD showed up to do my build but got kinda impatient and my old laptop was dying. If I'd had to buy a GPU, I would have gone with the 780 GTX from EVGA (the ACX cooler) but it didn't make any sense to spend $600-700 on a GPU if I was going to replace it with another one just 3 months on when I already had a good temporary card. So yeah, I'll be switching to the latest and greatest GPU in a few months time when red team unleashes their stuff. For now, this rig runs everything on high to ultra (depending on the game) at 1080p.

I threw in a good blu-ray burner but didn't need BDXL capability (not that I intend to burn even normal blu-rays much anyway).

Any parts without prices are either gifts or contest wins. A good number of Newegg coupons have been used to bring the price down and I waited for some decent NCIX, Tigerdirect and Superbiiz deals for some other parts. Windows 8 Pro via MDSN Ultimate for personal development use. The speakers I had already obtained for use with my game console and the TV. I tried to keep to the red-and-black theme as best I could - even the Sidewinder keyboard and mouse kept to it) - and I would have had great success with that if not for the Noctua cooler.

I spent a couple weeks deciding components and playing around with different part ideas. Finally settled on something and kept an eye out for good deals on them (a special shout out to whoever made pcpartpicker.com making my job so much easier). I'd have liked to spend a lot more time getting some custom stuff done but didn't have any thanks to work.

I'll be on the lookout for good deals on cards right after AMD announces their next flagship (or dual 780s if they fail me on that front :P ). For now, butter-smooth BF3 on ultra keeps me happy as against the crappy laptop I spent the last several years gaming on.

Comments Sorted by:

bamige1 1 Build 9 points 52 months ago

You never go back. Surprised nobody said this yet.

RyneSmith 7 Builds 4 points 52 months ago

Nice overall build and good part selection process!

I know all about wanting a color scheme (my build here)

I also wanted that MOBO but when I went to MicroCenter they were out so I chose the z87 sabertooth and I'm happy with that.

+1 from me!

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Thank you :) I love how you put a lot of effort into painting parts to get everything to match up for your build btw.

Gigglerump 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Awesome build! The only thing I can really think to change would be the cpu cooler. Now I know that the Noctua NH-D14 provides unprecedented performance when it comes to air cooling, but the title of your build implies that you were going for a consistent color scheme. If you're looking to alter the build at all in the near future, I'd recommend either the Thermaltake Frio (http://goo.gl/IGcEBY) or the Thermaltake NiC 5 (http://goo.gl/J9NAo7), as they both match your color scheme almost perfectly. Regardless, awesome build anyway! Congrats!

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Thank you :D . Haha yeah, I looked at the Frio (thanks to the color scheme) but the Noctua called out to me with its amazing performance. In the end, I decided it was less important for a part that most won't see with a non-windowed case. Damn, if only Noctua made that cooler in red and black.

So yes, red-and-black (for the most part) gaming rig :( Title amended :D

Sabotage 2 points 52 months ago

I love the build. Cm storm makes great stuff.

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Thanks. Indeed, the case is a thing of beauty. Rubberized texture with a mixture of metal and a little plastic (the plastic doesn't even feel like it's plastic thanks to the texture).

Sabotage 1 point 52 months ago

Yeah, I would recommend getting a cm storm mechanical keyboard!

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

I'm sure it's good for most people but I just don't like how most mechanical keyboards sound despite the excellent response to key presses.

Sabotage 1 point 52 months ago

Oh okay, they do make switches that are silent.

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Ah, if you mean the ones with the Cherry MX browns I'll look into them when there's a sufficiently cool-looking one :)

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Great build!

I have the same keyboard, isn't it awesome? :D

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Thank you.

Totally, it's a wonderful keyboard.

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Would you like to play BF3 together sometime? I can see you have it since it's in one of the pics.

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Sure, I'm not going to be online much for a while cos of work, but whenever I am, my origin ID is grajasekar as well.

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Okay, mine is the same as my pcpartpicker username. I'll send you a friend request at some point.

iAmNicklezz 2 points 52 months ago

BEAUTIFUL. I'm planning on doing a build with that same color scheme, except with a white Storm Stryker. (:


grajasekar submitter 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

I nearly went with the white one too. Then decided that I didn't want a window on my case and that black goes better with the other components. :) I look forward to your build.

Radicult 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

I cant help but notice that your power supply is facing down right on top of carpet. If it stays like that it will suffocate and burn up. Personally, I have my computer sitting on a wooden board so it doesn't sink into the carpet.

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

There is sufficient clearance between the carpet and the base of the case - first the case is raised on the little legs, second the bottom of the case has a very good filter on the vent and third I wanted to separate the PSU airflow from the rest of the case instead of having it draw in hot air from the interior itself.

The advantage of having this particular PSU from Seasonic's X series in hybrid mode is that the PSU fans don't even turn on until it's under heavy load. Most of the time it isn't drawing in anything since it's in fanless mode.

It could sink but it isn't really thick carpet. I'll look into a wooden board later. In an ideal world I'd have wooden flooring :)

Radicult 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Cool deal, just looking out for you, I'd hate to see it all die!

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Oh, I'm pretty sure it won't ;)

faaipdeoiad5l 1 point 52 months ago

Shoulda just got the i5 4670k nothing beats it anything else is a waste of money pretty much in the gaming department same with ram anything over 8gb a waste but yet people still tend to think the more the merrier overall good build bro

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

As mentioned earlier I could have made do with the i5, but I got a decent enough deal and wasn't bothered by the small price difference. In fact getting a number of components free / winning them meant I had a surplus beyond my initial (kinda vague idea of a) budget. I don't plan to update the rig for a good number of years, hence the 16 gigs of RAM there too.

alexjc4lyfe 1 point 51 months ago

After a while how is that USB wireless Network adapter so far , was thinking abt getting that one for my build

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

It works great on both 2.4 Ghz and 5Ghz bands and has had no issues whatsoever connecting to my ASUS RT N56U. I'd say it's pretty good.

alexjc4lyfe 1 point 51 months ago

thx man i wasn't really sure if there was a difference in performance if i went PCI or USB for the interface

grajasekar submitter 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

I think the USB ones are better than the PCIe ones. Atleast as per most reviews and the customer feedback on all sites like Newegg and Amazon. I almost went with the PCIe version but switched to the USB one at the last minute.

Leerod80 1 point 45 months ago

That title tickled. lol