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Titan X Workstation

by element94



Date Published

March 19, 2016

Date Built

Dec. 22, 2015

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

45.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

79.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

50.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

85.0° C


After 10 years of using COTS computers, I decided to build my own rig again. My goals when designing this build were:

  • Mini-ITX form factor
  • <700W power consumption
  • NVMe SSD
  • 4K video editing, 3D modeling, real-time simulation & gaming
  • 3-5 year service life
  • Highest practical reliability
  • Highest practical performance

In particular, I designed the hardware stack around the following software stack:

Virtual Machines

  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server
  • VMware Workstation

Software Development

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2015
  • JetBrains
  • Notepad++

Systems Administration

  • Remote Server Administration Tools
  • PuTTY
  • WinSCP

Creative Development

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Trimble SketchUp Pro
  • Autodesk Fusion 360

Business & Office Apps

  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 2016
  • Microsoft Project Professional 2016
  • Google Earth

Real-Time Simulation & Gaming

  • Lockheed Martin Prepar3D
  • Laminar Research X-Plane 11
  • Dovetail Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition
  • Orbiter 2016
  • Grand Theft Auto V

I elected to use professional grade components with air cooling for reliability, durability, and long term support.

Part Reviews


Excellent frequency optimized quad-core LGA2011-3 CPU. Handles any real-time, simulation, gaming, or user workload with ease.

CPU Cooler

Quiet, efficient, and cools the CPU very well. Temps are not what you'd get from water cooling or a noisier competitor, but this cooler does it's job well and prevents any thermal throttling.


Everything you need for a LGA2011v3 rig in a Mini-ITX form factor. Flashing the BIOS can be a pain at times, in addition to mediocre technical support from ASRock.


It just works, and it works well.


Extremely fast and eliminates any storage performance bottlenecks. Limited capacity has been restrictive, however. Highly recommended, but with a mechanical HDD for "mass" storage.

Video Card

Handles nearly any graphics processing with ease. Temps run a bit high under load, but not enough to thermal throttle.


Excellent, durable, easy to work with case that is fantastic for air cooling.

Power Supply

Excellent PSU with fantastic voltage regulation, efficiency, and ease of use.

Comments Sorted by:

FACUNDO 13 Builds 4 points 31 months ago

People saying "Ohhh gtx 980 ti is more worth it... Bla bla bla titan x.... Bla bla bla 12 gb no needed" in 3...2...1...

I think it's a great build!


floridaboz 4 Builds 2 points 31 months ago

A lot of power in a very small area.

nukemaster999 1 point 31 months ago

why did u go for an itx board when u could have gone for and matx which allows for more pci-e expansion? it would also allow u to go for a non-narrow socket

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Originally I was going to use the Node 304 case -- and in fact did have the components installed in one. With the Titan X and RM650i installed, there was about 1mm of clearance for the modular PSU plugs. A smaller, non-modular PSU would've solved the problem, but that would've meant a reduction in available power, and a whole lot more of a cabling mess over some very hot components in a small case with one fan.

So, since the components were operating well, I decided to go with a new case instead of a new PSU. Plus this looks much cooler.

mlach 4 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Shouldn't the bottom fans be intake to blow cool air onto the titan?

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

They are, pics were taken before I was done re-seating fans.

RubensGalaxy 1 point 31 months ago

which it is better NH U12DX vs NH-D9DX i4 or no difference????

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

I can't say I've done a comparison, but I'm very happy with the D9DXi4.

RubensGalaxy 1 point 31 months ago

thanks for the reply. One last question this cooler can be put in the other direction, 90 degrees. right within the node 304, as you have trapped air would remain wide. Thank you.

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

I don't think I can turn the cooler 90 degrees, because of the Narrow ILM socket on the motherboard. However, I'm not 100% sure. You can turn it 180 degrees.

nakaman 3 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

I must ask what is the ram clearance with that cooler in use?

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

I haven't had any problems with ECC RAM, but haven't used anything with a heat spreader...

Matnoob12 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

I'm wondering how you fit the PSU in that case? Online it says that the height is just over 5"...when I measured in my air 240 I got 4" from the side of the case into where the dividing wall to the other side. How did you get it to fit?

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

The RM650i fits just fine for me...

thecomgeek 1 Build 1 point 27 months ago

how does the xeon treat you?

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

Absolutely fantastic, it's extremely reliable and can handle just about any workload I throw at it (including gaming) with ease.

ESSE_ELLE 1 Build 1 point 22 months ago

+1 ! :)

War_Driven 0 points 31 months ago

Nice build.

I'm not sure how well that E5-1630v3 will treat you when running VMs. We passed that CPU in favour of the E5-1650v3. I assume you'll be running KVM Virtulisation, as I can't see any of the other forms taking your interest as they lack the power require IMO, (Mostly looking at OpenVZ and XEN)

With that said the E5-1620v3 offers a far better price point compared to the E5-1630v3, for the cost difference of the 30v3 and the 20v3 pushes a lot of people (Inc datacenters) are opting for the 1620v3, simply due to it's really good price point and the performance between them is so close it's not worth the extra money.

Since it's only a quad core (with HT), I personally would have gone for the new E3-12XXv5 Xeon range, they support up to 64GB RAM and the motherboards available support ECC which I would say is recommended for VMs. You can pickup a good motherboard Commercial - Not Enterprise so the price on them is really good. But not lacking on quality. The extra PCI-E connections on those motherboards would be good for running KVM MVs with hardware passthrough.

But since you say it's for work, I definitely would have gone with the new E3 v5 Xeons as the warranties on the CPUs and motherboard are really good.

But that's just my two cents. It's a nice build none the less, the CPU you picked allows you to upgrade in the future. Interesting GPU choice however, I would have thought a quadro would have suited your work better (Excluding the cost of those things). But this PC will serve you well I have no doubt!

I would also recommend investing in a UPS. Expensive components should be protected.

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

I began assembling this beast back in December, so the E3 V5's were still coming out. Definitely looking at a Skylake upgrade this year. I ended up going with the 1630V3 because of the clock speed (lol, that's not something you hear very much these days). Flight simulation tends to be single-threaded (or heavily dependent on a single thread) and CPU restricted. If budget was less of a concern, I would've gone with the E5-1680V3 (3.2GHz 8-core). That CPU seems to have better single threaded performance, in addition to 2x the cores.

The VM work is mostly software development and business apps -- I've containerized my bare-metal OS for flight simulation / gaming / creative work (the heavy graphics, since NVIDIA refuses to provide PCI-passthrough support for their GeForce series) and use Oracle Virtualbox to run the rest of my apps and development. With a better CPU I could definitely make better use of the build.

Honestly I could've used an i7 and non-ECC RAM, but I've always wanted a Xeon build, and since this was for work, I figured I'd grasp at the little bit of justification I had. I would've loved a quadro M6000, but I couldn't justify spending 5-7x the cost of a Titan X for different colors on the reference cooler.

Thanks for the advice and review! A UPS is on the list as soon as I get paid next, and I'll be sure to post my upgrades as well.

War_Driven 2 points 31 months ago

Haha it's not just pretty colours for the Quadro :P

I would strongly recommend waiting until the next branch of Xeons come out before you upgrade again!

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Yeah, I think I'm done till December lol. My bank account hurts.

PloniAlmoni 1 point 13 months ago

You can, with a bit of XML editing, pass through a GeForce card using VT-d under KVM/QEMU and, I think you can do it in VSPhere also. XEN however can't do it, nor can other hypervisors I think. VirtualBox and others like it can't do pcie passthrough satisfactorily, period, but I assume you're aware of needing a bare metal hypervisor for this..

Leon1228 1 Build 0 points 31 months ago

those 4 additional NZXT fans are not needed. and orient your cpu cooler so that the intake is facing the front of the case and not the gpu

element94 submitter 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

The CPU cooler exhausts towards the fans at the top of the case, which exhaust the airflow.

The two 140mm fans in front are intake.

The two 140mm fans on the bottom are intake.

The top 140mm fans are exhaust.

The back 80mm fans are intake.

I'm still doing some testing to figure out the best way to get airflow through the case. I reoriented the top set yesterday after doing some thermal testing. And yes, 8 fans for the Air 240 is complete overkill, I agree.

I'll give reorienting the CPU cooler a shot -- i'm not sure how much flexibility I have with LGA2011-v3 Narrow ILM socket, but we'll find out!

Thanks for the advice

Leon1228 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

yeah i´m kind of an airflow fetishist... but it´s nice if you can help people

element94 submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

I've been toying with the idea of making the fans in front exhaust as well. Do you think that would help? Seems to me that ~250cfm of inflow and ~100cfm of outflow is a bit asymmetric...

Leon1228 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Just run the intake fans on 50%, that should be fine than