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Build

The Predator!

by pitchfork

84
57 Comments

Details

Date Published

Oct. 14, 2015

Date Built

Oct. 7, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4.2 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.114 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

Description

My first build for about 8 years, things have really moved on!

I went for this combination of parts as a combination of gaming and light vmware use. The goals were to build a new rig that can play modern games, cope with anything I can throw at it for work and that will last a long time.

I'm overclocking lightly and have never done this before. The motherboard BIOS and included software made this initial overclock very easy. I got the CPU up to 4.7GHz as a test but it was a bit unstable so have dialled it back to 4.2Ghz, not had any issues at all.

The motherboard and accompanying software are quality. Fan control is very good. No issues with anything and nice interfaces on the software. Some of the software that came bundled (which I installed) turned out to be eval which I was pretty irritated about but not the end of the world I guess. Actually one thing that I did struggle with, the damn backplate for the IO ports is not great with this case. It's got some padding on it which made it very tricky to fit, I had to use quite a lot of force and it bulges a bit at the back. Seal is good though.

The CPU cooler was the biggest gamble space wise. I've got it in but had to remove the optical drive trays and card reader trays for it to fit. I don't care I never use them anyway got a USB Blu-Ray drive for rare occasions I use discs. THe CPU cooler has blocked the first PCI slot but I don't mind because I'm not using it anyway but if you wanted to SLI or something you'd need a different cooler I think. A GPU with a smaller backplate than my Strix might just scrape in. Cooling performance is excellent.

RAM clearance would have been an issue if I had gone for the original G-Skill, glad I swapped this out for lower profile Corsair Vengance at the last minute.

I really like the case, only criticism is once you have your GPU in that pretty much covers the entire side window so you really just look at the GPU. I also started installing the mobo then had a small hissy fit that there weren't enough included standoffs. I searched through everything, all the boxes I'd unpacked gradually getting more irritated they could leave something like that out, also missing cables etc. then I remembered the cardboard box tucked in the drive bay....everything nicely labelled and sorted even with a special little tool for easily installing the extra included standoffs. Told my angry self off for panicking and got on with the build :) I was just already stressing about scratching the mobo on the standoffs trying to force it into that stupid padded I/O port plate. Anyway all was well in the end and it fits ok.

The aftermarket filter for the front fan works really well, the magnet on it is a bit weak it struggled to stick to the case and kept slipping down but eventually I managed to get it in a spot where it stayed put. It covers that fan hole well, I'm happy with it as a solution. I didn't need any other filters as no other unfiltered intakes on this case.

The lights I got are awesome, never had these before. Like the remote control and about 12 different colours to choose from, they look really cool and even made my wife interested in playing with that part of the rig! White looks best I think. :)

The Predator drive comes with a big drawback, you cannot upgrade windows 8.1 to windows 10 using this drive. For anyone planning to use the Predator drive and Windows 10 upgrade, it doesn't work, only a clean install of Windows 10 works at this stage. Kingston have recognized this on their website and say they are working on a fix: http://www.kingston.com/us/support/technical/products?model=SHPM2280P2

Very very disappointing, especially since this problem has been around for a couple months already looking at a few threads on various sites. I got around this by installing 8.1 on an old HDD upgrading that to windows 10 then doing a fresh build of windows 10 onto the Predator, this worked fine no issues. Just skip all the license key requests on the second Win 10 install, your hardware is already registered with MS from the 8.1 upgrade on old HDD so no need for a key ;)

PSU fits, it is a little tight but not that much of a problem. I have average to slightly large hands and got everything in without problems. Tip: fit all the cables to the PSU before you install it, they're a ***** to get in afterwards. The only thing I found annoying about the PSU is they advertise it as supporting Link but don't supply the cable and you can't buy it in Aus (not thatI've found). After doing some research on this turns out it's pretty much useless anyway since the fan is off most of the time on the PSU and the power reports as temperature or something like that. Anyway I looked into it and decided not to bother getting the special cable.

Case build quality is very good and if you remove the cages I mentioned earlier cable management is easy by taking off the front panel and routing stuff behind it, wouldn't be possible with cages in place, in that scenario cable management would be more tricky.

Comments Sorted by:

auldae 1 Build 7 points 42 months ago

How did this get featured ... pic 31 is far too blurry. Kidding. Sweet build (descrip and pics). +1

thepurrfessor 5 points 42 months ago

Your back porch is awesome. That is all.

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 3 points 42 months ago

Thanks! It is pretty sweet :)

TechyinAZ 14 Builds 4 points 42 months ago

Nice! You GOT FEATURED!!!

Build looks great, especially that outdoor environment!!

tiny_voices 4 Builds 4 points 42 months ago

+1 for air cooling!

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

I'm old school, or is that just old :)

riomist 3 points 42 months ago

Nice build and boy what a generous amount of photos! +1

jeffreymays44 5 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

this looks awesome, great build!

dccorreia 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

A beautiful piece of technology! ..and a beautifull place to build it...It's your hollidays house? :-)

Congratulations!!

dns637 2 points 42 months ago

+1 for the Phanteks! its sooo Purdy!

could've gone for a white and grey theme or black and red

everything looks good but I'm pretty sure someone will point out the bad choice you made for that PSU =P

also noticed that supplement in the background...so instead of asking "do you even lift bro", how much do you lift bro!

johngerges582 2 points 42 months ago

It isn't a bad power supply.

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

The PSU was a deliberate choice based on noise. I love the fact the fan doesn't come on until it reaches a certain temperature. Same for the Strix GPU.

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piemancoder 2 points 42 months ago

Rawrrrr...

Iceman320 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

Pretty weird issue with the predator upgrading to windows 10, sounds kinda annoying but I am glad you found a way around it :)

Really like the Phanteks cooler, looks pretty awesome in this case.

Also the side window that displays your graphics card in all its glory, what more could you want? haha +1

jeffreymays44 5 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

this looks awesome, great build

rhali8 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Wow!

Winks

+1

syntaxerrur 22 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

+1 for your upcoming scuba trip!

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Ha ha, it's going to be the Yongala wreck, check it out looks amazing!

kaan 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

I would feature the hell out of that awesome view too!

Your post needs some formatting tho, it's currently hard to read

HTTPRO 3 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

TBH I care more about where he lives than his build, ******* that weather looks like a tropical heaven...sucks to be Canadian with the cold *** weather.

Russkie69 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

If I were to take a guess I'd say he lives in Florida.

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

I come from a land Down Under :) Australia!

darklegacy083 2 points 42 months ago

Ahah no way, I'm also Aus nice to see fellow Aus builders. From the photos I'd say you're in QLD/NSW/WA, only places that can look that good in summer Aus. Then again, I've always sucked at gambling.

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Pomps 2 points 42 months ago

Great build. I recently purchased the aerocool ds and having a noctua nh-d14 sent to me as I type, and I'm now worried I can't use the optical drive. Would it not fit at all?

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I don't think it will TBH, the Noctua was my first pic but I decided against it in the end due to the issue listed on the Noctua site against it with my Mobo. You can move the fans up and down a bit with this cooler, or even take the fan off if an optical drive is really important to you.

I really love the Phanteks cooler, it looks awesome and comes in a few colour choices too.

Pomps 1 point 42 months ago

Luckily my build won't have the window, but if I had known about the Phanteks I think I would have chosen that instead.

Thanks for the reply

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Check this out, depending on your build you might need to tinker with the cooler a bit. This is what put me off the Noctua and I also preferred to have a choice of colours with the Phanteks. I think Noctua are soon to start offering different colours too though.

http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=faqs_single&faqs_id=53&lng=en

They have a pretty good compatibility listing here where you can check if your cooler has any issues with your mobo: http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=support_compatibility_lists&lng=de

DrTot 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

I love MicroATX builds, and i love seeing white builds +1

(BTW Is that really your house? or did you just build your PC at a resort to look fancy...)

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Yeah I'm glad I went with white, I like how it looks.

Ha! It's my place, I'm very lucky :)

Scatologic 2 points 42 months ago

cpu question, did you keep dialing back from 4.7 in 100 increments and finally get to 4.2 before it was stable or did you just pick a conservative number?

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I actually just used the Ezy config wizard from the Motherboard BIOS which picks a conservative number. I think I will be able to get it up a bit higher, probably 4.4 or 4.5 is my gut feel but I need time to investigate and play around with it so just 4.2 for now.

bobsbuild 2 points 42 months ago

Woah, nice build. +1. Is that cpu cooler any good or overkill?

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

It's a very good cooler, I'm really happy with it. Probably total overkill but that's the way I like it! I'd rather have too much cooling than not enough.

FirstBuildPC 2 points 42 months ago

What lights did you get, I'm interested in implementing this in my build.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3nF2yc

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Not sure if I can modify my list of parts, will have a look at some point. These are the lights: Deepcool RGB LED Lighting Kit with Remote 2x 300mm http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=31758

I highly recommend them, no hassles installing/using them and the remote is a really nice touch.

Just one tip, they have an adhesive backing for sticking them to your case, good idea to test them out before you install in your case. It would be really annoying to install them and then find out they are faulty!

Eggz 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Dude, in addition to this being a really nice computer, I love how the photo journal gives the sense that this is a nice thing in a nice space. Highlighting the natural light and featuring the back yard were great. Very nice all around!

elvenson 5 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

That case is awesome looking... and that cooler is massive... in any other style case that would have been a bad idea, but in this one, it works very nicely. Nice clean build, though i definitely would have grabbed a little bigger psu with that 970 in there and the desire for over clocking. The ssd is the only really extravagant cost here, which is surprising as you would expect a build that looks this nice to cost more.

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks, the SSD was a little bit of luxury but I don't regret it!

I calculated the power out and took some guidance on the PSU, maybe 600 might have been better. I'm still learning about O/C so I might end up replacing it later if it needs it.

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pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks for the feedback, good to know the calculations were about right :)

tpot11 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

did you use a UEFI USB Flash to install windows 10 on the M.2?

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

In the end I used a USB key to install Win 10, but I also used a USB blu-ray on the previous install.

Unuvailiable 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Creatine +1 lol

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I know I should have edited out lol, I was too keen to get on with build to move it out of the pics :)

Sp00n115 1 point 42 months ago

WHERE DID U GET THE LED LIGHTS?

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I bought most of the parts from a local guy who price matched PCCaseGear. I like to support the little guy when I can :) You can get the lights from PCCaseGear. I'll go back and check my part list, maybe I missed out.

Sp00n115 2 points 42 months ago

thanks and nice build!

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Oh I did miss the lights off my list, sorry about that. These are the ones I used, they were about $25 Deepcool RGB LED Lighting Kit with Remote 2x 300mm http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=31758

Daxtore 1 point 40 months ago

You have your GTX 970 in the top PCI 16x slot? Does that interfere with your M.2 or no?

Thanks in advance.

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Yeah it's in the first slot (farthest from the processor), it doesn't interfere with M.2

CubeMatrix 1 point 2 months ago

Heya, which G-skill RAM would have been an issue? I use the Trident-Z, would it have a clearance problem with the Phanteks cooler?

Utopia0 -4 points 42 months ago

this is no predater with that 970

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pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Yeah I did think about liquid cooling but I've never used it before and I was worried about pump noise. Also water close to all those expensive components would tweak my worry warts! I know tons of people are doing it and it definitely looks neater though.

I think the Phanteks cooler looks soooo sweet but it's just personal choice :)

This rig runs basically silent when I set the fans to low and so far cooling has not been an issue at all even during long runs of Battlefront Beta.

Ralphort 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Yeah I did think about liquid cooling but I've never used it before and I was worried about pump noise. Also water close to all those expensive components would tweak my worry warts! I know tons of people are doing it and it definitely looks neater though.

As long a you decouple the pump even with just a thin sponge, rubber washer or velcro, noise should not be a problem. Chances are, you can hear more of fan noise than that of a pump.

pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

It would have been great to hear one in action but I don't know anyone that's got one and I had to get my rig ready in time for Battlefront Beta.

The great thing about the fans for me is with the Mobo software I can turn them really low when I'm working and they are large fans so they spin slowly and are very quiet.When I want lots of cooling I just crank them up, of course they are noisy then but I have headphones on so not an issue.

I didn't mention it in my review but the stock case fans seem very good also. I might still swap out the the exhaust fan for a slightly larger one later on but it doesn't seem necessary at the moment.

Maybe I'll try water cooling out for my next build down the track....

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pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks, I love it :D

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pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Cooler is great, obviously very large but I'm impressed with the performance and I like the looks too. Comes in a range of colours as well.

And thanks, it is a great house :)

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pitchfork submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks, I definitely intend to play with the OC a bit more when I have time, it looks quite complicated but I usually enjoy that sort of stuff :)

I deliberately chose this case for the mobo mount on the bottom. The cooler is quite heavy, I didn't want to stress the board with too much weight on a side mount. Might have been ok but I don't have the experience so I went for the safer option.