Hey everyone! Welcome to my X99 build that ended the 2016 year with a bang! Check out the custom looped X99 known as Pikachu's Electro Ball. Let's get into it!
This monster hexacore CPU from intel readily handles any multi-core applications I throw at it, mostly ProTools and my wife's AutoDESK/CAD software. 40x lanes of PCI-e help the motherboard run two graphics cards at 16x/16x. A slightly boosted clock and extra lanes pushes this CPU a little over the little brother, 6800k.
One of the more budget options for the X99 platform, this motherboard features everything you would need, and a little bit more. Great overclocking and an easy BIOS managed UEFI makes the board a wonder to work with. It falls a little short losing a star to price. It doesn't feel like a $200 dollar board other than the fact that it's an X99.
Absolutely love the Corsair Vengeance series, and this set features 32GB of DDR4-3000 MHz memory. Can't go wrong with it. The red LEDs are more of a bonus really.
By now we've seen the release of the Samsung 960 PRO, which addressed the one issue I really have with NVMe drives in general: heat. This drive easily overheats causing crashes and data dumps. Regardless of that, the 950 is still a solid performer in all marks of SSD data transfer and storage. No crashes for me so far, but I wouldn't doubt heavy application use would cause a freeze up.
The proprietary storage drive featured in this build is a 2TB Seagate Barracuda, which features the same specs as Western Digital's Caviar Black, but produced with cheaper materials. This barracuda is actually pretty reliable as storage, and I wouldn't use it for anything else.
Regardless of the Founders Edition branding, the GTX 1080 FE from PNY (or any other manufacturer for that matter) is still exactly what it is: a GTX 1080. I've been able to go beyond 2100MHz with this card, which is comparable to some after market cards, and you'll see why as you read below.
Cooler Masters well beloved HAF series started here at the HAF 932 and its successor, the 932A (which features an all black interior and adds USB 3.0). The case is solid, it feels well built, and is made of steel. No, I'm serious, apart from the paneling in the front, this is is a steel case, which makes it a bit heavy. The tool-less design is welcomed, and has been re-used over and over again in further builds like the Mastercase. Riveting and de-rivet was simple, painting was a breeze, and this case lives up to its moniker: High Air Flow. With support for up to a whopping 12 fans (and even more with some modding), this case was made with air flow in mind.
1000 wats of 80+ Platinum makes sure my rig is powered cleanly and efficiently. The flat cabling made management easy although I wish I could get some extenders for it. All in all, a solid PSU for the X99.
These standard case fans aren't really made for the radiator, but I had some spare ones lying around, so I used them anyways. In regular 1 inch thick radiators, this is actually a fine solution. The only real problem is that they're cheap and loud.
Loses a star for price. Otherwise a great RGB keyboard, which changes colors with the Corsair Link software.
Lag free and highly accurate, the G700 is my all-time favorite for wireless mice. After using 4 different kinds, this one takes the cake with uninterrupted connection. For those who wish to remain wired, this comes with a mini-USB cable that connects via USB, and works as an extension cable both transferring data AND charging your mouse.
These nifty set of entry-level headphones from Turtle Beach is all I really need for sampling music for production. I'm not an audiophile by any means, but there's not much else I would need a set of headphones for. Gets a plus for gaming and the ability to be used with consoles. The lost star is for the microphone. It's easily contorted and feels like it could break.
This legendary set of speakers has won a numerous amount of awards for good reason. The small footprint boasts a very large sound, and is able to even fill a living room. Every piece of this set is discrete and to the point. The once $150 dollar set of speakers can now be found at a discount.
Used standard 3/8" ID tubing from XSPC. Very easy to work with, and a joy to install.
The RayStorm waterblock fits over the LGA2011-v3 socket perfectly, and seems to be one of the more popular blocks for its price. The LEDs are fairly bright, but just discrete enough for a calming look. Temps are generously in the hexacore's favor as it's known to run hot.
This is your standard 360mm radiator, so I'm rating it 5 stars as it functions as advertised. I would knock it down a little by saying that there's only one side of the radiator with ports.
Almost a full cover, the Razor waterblock for the GTX 1080 (reference or founders edition only) is a stunningly easy block to install. Temps for my GPU with this block in tandem with the rest of the liquid cooling system don't reach above 55°C. Slightly simplistic, you may find yourself wanting some L-fittings.
Small doesn't always mean weak, and that's how this pump is. Small, and strong. Flow rate is well over 1 gpm, and even comes with compression fittings. This pump loses a star due to the absence of a real mounting system. You may have to get creative as this pump doesn't even come with screws.
The surprisingly efficient entry to this build is made by Phobya, and isn't a very recognized brand. However, the reservoir doesn't leak, and the 1/4" threading is perfect. One of the more surprising features of this reservoir is the vortex equalizer, which prevents liquid from swirling in a vortex motion eliminating possible air to flow into the pump.