Description

I built this PC to replace my old AMD Phenom II box and play competitively at LAN parties. I did a significant amount of research before building it, but apparently, not enough. This is the sloppiest build I have ever done to date. The performance is there though.

I guess I'll start with the really bad. The Gigabyte Z68 UD3H has boot looping issues. They aren't consistent enough to be able to recreate though. The EFI Touch BIOS is neat, but only accessible once booted into windows. The normal BIOS is still old school. The auto CPU OC are good up to 4.33GHz. The 4.47GHz is unstable. Also, the location of the CPU power isn't in the best of locations.

The GTX480's in SLI are a beast at a slight OC @ 750MHz. I tried swapping them out for an ASUS DirectCU II OC. I clocked the 680 to 1240MHz Core and 7350MHz Memory, but the 480's in SLI still won out by 10%, so I returned the 680 and stuck with the 480 space heaters.

The CM Storm Trooper offers some great features. It has an X-Doc in the front that is of better quality than the ones found on the HAF cases, but it only takes laptop HDD or SSD's. You also get 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, e-SATA, headphone, & mic plugins on the front I/O panel. You will also find a Large, back lit power button, a reset button, a button to turn the case lights on or off, and case fan speed controller. The front plates are easily removed and cleaned, as are the 3 dust filters on this case. I never found a use for the drawer at the bottom, but it's there for some who use it. There are plenty of rubber grommets to protect your cables. The HDD rack is rotatable which allows you to rotate the front fans to blow across your GPU as well. It has a nice ergonomic handle, and a nice finish inside and out. All these great things about this case, but it was just to large for me to manage the cables like I would like to.

The 1050W Seasonic PSU was necessary for the 480's since they are power hogs. I could have gone with a little less power, but the SeaSonic was actually cheaper than the other companies I was looking at. I am very picky about PSU's and limit myself to SeaSonic, Corsair, or XFX for the most part. It is modular, so I was able to omit some of the cables, but not enough to give the inside of this case a clean look, nor the free airflow that the 480's demand.

I use SSD's as a cache. It's a cheap and easy way to boost performance on the programs you use most regularly. People always recommend installing my OS or favorite game to an SSD, and that's a great way to boost performance, but it's also coming at a risk. I never trust an SSD with information or programs I deem valuable. There is a very good reason you are told to backup any information you keep on an SSD. The caching approach still allows me almost the same performance on my games as long as I play them regularly. I don't care about shaving a couple of seconds off my boot times.

For most people reading, this is a well-known fact, but for those of you who are preparing to dive into the PC gaming world you want a 64-bit OS. The main reason being is it allows you to use more than 4GB of RAM. (Not sure why 32-bit Windows still exists.)

This PC still destroys any game I throw at it. It's good at what it does a.k.a. play games, heat homes, fry eggs etc...

In the end, I can't bring myself to recommend the motherboard or the case. The only thing with the case is that most PSU's won't have long enough cables. If you're confident that your PSU will reach enough to take advantage of the cable management, then it's a great choice. All in all this rig weighs 60+ lbs which makes it a pain to move around to LAN parties, even with the handle.

Comments

  • 79 months ago
  • 1 point

Pretty nice selection of gear. I'm sure it does tear up some games. An aftermarket CPU cooler might help with that load temp and stabilize the OC a little... Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO can be had at some stores for under $30. Just a thought.

  • 79 months ago
  • 2 points

The CPU temps relate directly to the case temperature. I can't get the hot air out fast enough. At full load, my CPU temp mirrors my GPU temps. I have a feeling a closed loop water cooling solution might be my best bet, but I still need to be able to feed the radiator cooler air than what's inside the case.

I've never messed with aftermarket HSF because I've never had the need, and now that I have a need, I question if it's worth the money in my particular situation. I'll definitely keep it in consideration though if I catch one on sale again.

  • 79 months ago
  • 1 point

I would've gone with an NZXT Vulcan and a 680 for Lan parties, since it's lighter, smaller, and uses less energy, but that's just me. I just think the Vulcan is cool.

  • 79 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for checking out my rig. Thought I'd drop in and see what you've got going on :)

  • 79 months ago
  • 2 points

I appreciate it. :)

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I've built a computer here recently with almost the same setup, and absolutely love it. While quite old, it still performs VERY well, using 2nd Gen Intel I managed to come across the i5-2500S. A very cool chip compared to the K series, with the power savings I've went ahead and paired it with a single EVGA GTX 480 all running off a 450w 80+ PSU. The thing is a beast at running anything I throw at it (720p - 1080p). Trust me, you don't need a nuclear reactor to run it, just need to know what you're getting yourself into to.

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  • 79 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I bought the 480's when I built it last year. I originally wanted to go with 670 or 680, but I let the guys at work talk me into trying out 480's in 2-way SLI. After I got tired of the heat, I decided to try and get with the times by buying a 680, but couldn't let go of the performance. 480's in SLI works great, I just wish I had never seen the performance so I could be happier with less performance(6xx series card).

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  • 79 months ago
  • 1 point

The thing that worries me about the 7xx series is that flagship cards come late in the series. That being said, they will most likely under-perform the 680 and 690 until at least a year after the first card is released. Unless of course you are running insane resolution on multiple monitors in which case the Titan out-performs the 690 already.

Thanks for the vote of confidence with the 480's though. I second guess myself daily with them. :P

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  • 79 months ago
  • 1 point

I had a bad experience with an HIS Radeon 5770 card in my first build. They aren't as rigid as Nvidia cards and tend to warp. I guess it depends on which end of the series you look at though.