As the name suggests, I carefully assembled my monster by purchasing these parts over a five-month period in an effort to lock in the best possible prices. Also, I was fortunate enough to receive some of the pieces as Christmas gifts.
This is the first modern-era gaming rig I assembled from scratch... The last time I dabbled in such activity, Cyrix still produced reputable processors and Matrox was a legitimate competitor in the video card market.
I decided on the x79 build because of the potential for a future upgrade to a six-core 4960x, a full 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0 availability and the possibility of 64gb of quad-channel memory. Further, having a Micro Center––with its virtually unbeatable CPU price structure––made the decision even easier.
While I started on this project way back in November, I was only able to complete the build a few days ago. Because of the Litecoin mining surge, the non-reference Radeon 290s were dramatically overpriced for a little more than a month. While they've come back down a bit, all the 280xs, 290s and 290xs are still well above MRSP values. (I couldn't believe that the Sapphire 290s went above $700 for a few weeks on Newegg.) I lucked out, and found one of the few remaining XFX DDs at MacMall for $510 last month.
Speaking of XFX, that 1050w PSU was a steal at $155 bucks from NCIX. Without question, SeaSonic is the Cadillac of power supply manufacturers. And yes, it is full-blown overkill at this point; however, upon Crossfire in the future, I'll need at least 850w to 900w.
As alluded to––within the next two years, I plan to add a second Radeon 290, and increase the memory to 48gbs.
Obviously, I am still in the infancy of testing the system, and have only played a few games. But, considering Max Payne 3 and RAGE totally smoked my previous rig (Pentium 4 EE 3.73, 4gb 533mhz, Radeon 4850) it was nice to crank them up to ultra without any sweat.
The temperatures, thus far, have been nothing short of unfathomable. Granted, the ambient temperatures in my basement hover around 58 degrees F. Nevertheless, the previous rig's 4850 would hit 93 degrees C within 20 minutes of playing Painkiller HD at 1080p.
With any luck, I'll squeeze at least six to eight years out of this puppy upon maximum expansion.