Description

I was asked to put together a quote for a buddy of mine who wanted to replace his main gaming rig with something more reliable and fast, with enough headroom to run VMware Workstation and a number of virtual machines, output the display to 5 monitors, and of course gaming. Since building this machine he started a Twitch.TV channel here and has not had a problem with it at all. He says it is so quiet he forgets that it's running half the time!

I never had a chance to run a full set of benchmarks on it, but maybe I can get him to send me the details between his gaming and work sessions. The parts I chose were based on a combination of features, budget (this and a custom FreeNAS box with 16TB of HDDs for $2300) and an emphasis on silence, quality parts, and dust-free operation. I'm very happy with the way it turned out and the phone photos don't do it justice at all in my opinion.

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Comments

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

Not bad but my only question is: why a locked 4790? Why not a 4790k? It would've only been a few bucks more and then you got overclocking capabilities because you already have an aftermarket cooler that would be capable.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Overclocking wasn't a major consideration for the build since the focus was 24x7 stable use and maximizing the lifespan of all components. Overclocking can shorten the lifespan of the components and cause errors to crop up over time. It is cool, quiet, and reliable... and fast enough that overclocking isn't really needed to get great performance out of the rig. The extra $50 for the unlocked part would probably be a waste since I know my buddy isn't interested in overclocking or keeping an eye on the temps, or troubleshooting errors caused from pushing the system too hard. I went for a dust-proof case for a reason because his last build looked like "Tales from the Crypt" after a few years and continually suffered from random part failures. I didn't want him to have to worry about stability on this one.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Wish I had the money for something like this... good job, for august. (I imagine that's why no gtx 970 for the same price???)

  • 64 months ago
  • 4 points

Yeah the 970 wasn't an option yet, and it would have been the same price like you said. I tend to prefer a single very powerful GPU, but needed the extra outputs. Ultimately I needed "enough" gaming power but still an option to run the cards independently and have up to 6 outputs and dual 280X's fit that bill within the target price.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you know about the Xeon E3 Family? It really helps to save some bucks without compromissing performance regarding the CPU

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I keep hearing about this, but in Canada, for a Xeon E3-1246 V3, it's $327. That's a 4 core that runs at 3.5GHz. An i5-4690K (4 core, 3.5GHz) is $257.

What am I missing? Because that seems way more expensive.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, well there's a wide variaity of Xeon's for example there is the New Hashwell-i 1231-V3. Too bad you can't take other's options, here In México everything is overpriced too

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

it has hyperthreading suports ecc and trusted computing

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

It is very interesting that you mentioned the Xeon E3, I had looked into doing the Xeon E3-1276 V3 which is almost identical to the i7-4790 except for a couple of points. The Xeon supports ECC memory, which I wasn't using, and the i7 "turbos" up to 4.0 GHz under load but the Xeon does not. The i7 is also about $50 less expensive (give or take) so that helped me decide. Compare specs here

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't know where you live, but look here, take a gander at the 1231 V3

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

That is a good point and a decent alternative. Only lose 200MHz but drop about $100 in the price. Certainly will keep the E3-1231 V3 in mind. Looks like I'm wrong about the Xeons not turboing... they turbo just like the i7s do so the big feature add is really the support for ECC memory.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Hopefully that Xeon will be the powerhouse of my next build! Yeah It's not hard to get a Motherboard that can actually enable turbo. By the way, can you check my part list and tell me how can I do better for the money? Thanks PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $248.98 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $26.75 @ OutletPC
Motherboard ASRock H97M PRO4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $81.98 @ Newegg
Memory Kingston Fury Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $69.99 @ Amazon
Memory Kingston Fury Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $69.99 @ Amazon
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $139.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $51.85 @ OutletPC
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE Video Card $359.99 @ NCIX US
Case Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $98.98 @ Directron
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $59.99 @ NCIX US
Monitor Asus PB238Q 23.0" Monitor $204.98 @ NCIX US
Case Fan Corsair Air Series White 2 pack 52.2 CFM 120mm Fan $19.73 @ Mwave
Case Fan Corsair CO-9050017-WLED 66.4 CFM 140mm Fan $13.98 @ OutletPC
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $1447.18
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-12-16 15:50 EST-0500
  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks really good. $1200 is a good target for a system like this without accessories. I like the motherboard, PSU, cooler, and I'm a big fan of the Arc Mini case. The Windforce cooler is great on the Gigabyte video card. The Samsung 850 EVO SSDs look great on paper but I haven't had a chance to try any out yet. They are highly rated just like all the parts you selected. The Xeon is a great price right now and there isn't a comparable i7 part for less than $250.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I want to ask why you went with the 4790 over the 4790k or 4770k?

Great Build, +1

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the +1! Like I replied to dfour802, there was no desire for overclocking so all decisions were made for stable 24x7 operation under various types of heavy load. As long as he maintains the air filters this system should last for many years.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

That makes perfect sense, and thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Gotta love the H440. It's so easy to get a clean build in it. How are the temps on those 280Xs?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

The airflow is great in that case with the positive pressure from three fans up front blowing over the cards and exhausting out the top and over the radiator out the back, the fans on the video cards hardly ramp up at all. The motherboard leaves an extra slot between the cards and about an inch of clearance for airflow under each of them so they are never starved for cool air. If I can get some stats from SlipstreamX14 maybe he can tell me what kind of temps he is getting after a few months of use.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

If I was to do it today, I would change a couple of items: Updated Build

Replacing the CPU with the 4790K makes more sense today because the price difference is < $10. The video cards can go up to dual 970s from MSI and this would drop the power requirement significantly, allowing for a 650W PSU. The result is still around the same price range < $1900 without an OS or accessories.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build. Why did you go for a z97 mobo instead of h97, if you don't mind me asking? I have gtx 970, i7 4790 and asus h97 pro-gamer, but i did consider getting z97.

Would you recommend getting an aftermarket cooler despite having a non-k version of i7?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the comments! The z97 is really designed with an unlocked processor in mind, but it does have other features as well such as the isolated audio logic, improved power delivery, and MSI's excellent UEFI BIOS. The h97 is a great platform as well, just watch out for shortcuts a manufacturer could take when dealing with it. The pro-gamer from ASUS is a really good one, but there are a lot of stinkers out there as well simply because of the perception that it is a lower tier product.

As far as cooling goes, I would always recommend an aftermarket cooler just to cut down on noise and lower the average operating temperature. Even without overclocking it is one of those "nice-to-haves" that sets a custom built system apart from something you might get pre-built. The H55 in this build is whisper quiet and it was so easy to install in this case.