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Sportster's Winter 2013 Build - Core i7 w/ 16 GB RAM, SSD, and 4 TB HDD and 27 Inch Dell U2713HM

by sportster


Part List View full price breakdown


CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

48.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



2013-12-15: This box will be used for silent photo editing. The Dell 2713HM sports a native resolution of 2560x1440. The Zalman CNPS9900ALED CPU cooler was a bear to install. Note that its box doesn't list socket 1150 CPUs but it works with them. For the video card I got the most powerful fanless (for low noise) card I could find - an ASUS Radeon HD 7750. I followed the motherboard instructions and installed the motherboard into the case before installing the CPU and CPU cooler. That was a mistake - the Zalman back brackets would not install onto the backside of the motherboard with it screwed into the case.

The monitor is real nice. I like the higher resolution of 2560x1440. I would recommend this monitor. (2014-01-04 update: please note that the 2560x1440 resolution is only available when using the monitor's display port input. When using HDMI the max resolution is 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 - I don't remember which for sure.)

Running Windows Pro 8.1. Real hard to get used to new way of doing things. I didn't try hard and found a 3rd party application to make windows 8's start menu more like that found in Windows 7. The application is Start 8 by Stardock.

I am a bit disappointed in the Rosewill Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express WIFI card as the most throughput I could get was about 100 Mbps. I haven't troubleshot this problem (?) yet. Instead I ran a long ethernet cable to a gigabit port and went the wired route.

I installed Window 8.1 Pro and Microsoft Office 2013. They were $35 (Windows) and $65 (Office) through the Microsoft Friends and Family program. I know someone that works for Microsoft in Redmond, WA.

Newegg let me down on my Seagate 600 Series 240GB 2.5" SSD shipment. I ordered that on November 30 and still haven't received it (it's December 15 now). They said they are going to have to file a "lost order" claim with the warehouse and that would take 3 to 5 business days to resolve. This forced me to go down to the local BestBuy and pick up a 128GB SSD so I could get on with the build. That sucks as I spent $108 on the BestBuy SSD.

Once I was up and running, I did the driver download thing and flashed the motherboard's firmware to ensure I had the latest. That all went fairly smoothly. It did take some time though. I almost flashed the wrong FW too. It turns out I downloaded the FW for the H87-PRO FW instead of the H87M-PRO FW. Luckily the little FW loading utility in the BIOS told me that my FW was failed its security check before I flashed it in. Once I had the right FW it loaded up no problem. They make it real easy as they have a little flashing application in the BIOS. All you have to do is place the FW on a USB thumb drive and have it installed in a specific USB slot and then enter the BIOS settings and pick the FW flashing utility in the BIOS program under "tools."

CPU temperature idles at 33 deg. C (91 deg. F). After 20 minutes at 100% CPU load temperature is steady at 47 deg. C (116.7 deg. F). I used Prime95 to run the CPU at 100% for 25 minutes.

Update - Prime95 has been running continuously for an hour-and-a-half now and the CPU temperature has only slightly risen since last check. After 1.5 hours at 100% utilization, it is at 48 deg. C (118.4 deg. F).

Update - Prime95 has been running continuously for three-and-a-half hours now and the CPU temperature is at at 48 deg. C (118.4 deg. F). I am calling it good and shutting down Prime95. (The CPU temperature is actually toggling between 118.4 and 116.6 deg. F every few moments.)

2013-12-16 I heard back from newegg on my botched SSD order. They have filed a lost order claim with the warehouse and asked for it to be expedited but it could take 3 to 5 days to resolve. Whatever. Anyway they also gave me a $30 credit toward a future purchase. Woohoo. I am underwhelmed. I also completed a mail-in-rebate for the Cooler Master 620W ATX12V power supply. It's all in a stamped envelope ready to go in the mail tomorrow. Mail-in rebates are a pain. This rebate is worth $30 in the form of a prepaid VISA gift card.

2014-01-04 I added a sound bar to my 27" Dell U2713HM. By default this monitor hasn't any speakers but Dell makes a sound bar that fits nicely to the bottom of the monitor. This monitor even has a DC connection for powering the sound bar so you don't have to run a separate power connection to an outlet to power the speakers (sound bar). Instead, for power, the speakers simply plug into the DC out of the monitor. The sound bar was $37.65 (including tax) directly from Dell. They shipped it UPS ground at no charge. The speaker are adequate for my needs - hearing the various sounds the computer makes (email notifications, adding and removing USB devices, etc. and watching the occasional online video). If you are a gamer, big movie buff, or audiophile you will probably want something a bit nicer. But for the price and clean integration into my system, this sound bar fits the bill nicely. The part number for the sound bar was AX510PA. Note that this part number included a "wall-wart" power adapter but since my monitor model includes the DC output for the sound bar I am not using this wall-wart. The sound signal is provided through the DisplayPort 1.2 cable that I am using. Sportster out

Comments Sorted by:

yourmother117 2 Builds 2 points 59 months ago

7750 for 113?? With just a little more money you could have gotten a 7850. Which will help photo rendering.

iSkillzorz 4 points 59 months ago

He was going for silence over performance. However, direct cu ii keeps cards insanely quiet so i think a beefier gpu would have been worth it for maybe 1 db more in noise.

yourmother117 2 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Get the msi 7850 single fan and that case?? NO difference what so ever.

sportster submitter 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

If you (or anyone) knows of a specific fanned 7850 that qualifies as silent I'd love to have a link to it. I am not a gamer and for the past few years my GPU selection process has been "find the sportiest fanless graphics card available and buy it." The last graphics card that I owned that had a fan was very, very loud.

Spiral350 1 point 59 months ago

PowerColor have a Passive 7850 SCS3. Not sure if you can find it right now.

sportster submitter 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

You're right Spiral! A quick google search yielded these two reviews: Power Color Passive 7850 SCS3 review 1 at techpowerup.com and Power Color Passive 7850 SCS3 review 2 at guru3d.com. This thing doesn't see to exist in the wild however. I didn't find it at newegg or amazon. Thanks for the suggestion, I will keep an eye out for it.

It doesn't crop up as an available part here at pcpartpicker.com either. I'm guessing it must be extinct.

Microshrimp 2 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

I picked up an MSI 7850 on Black Friday from New Egg. Whenever I get my mail-in rebate back, the final price will be $99.99.

I understand OP's concern with noise though as my previous card (Diamond 4890) sounded like a small vacuum cleaner or something, but I've been very impressed with how quiet my new MSI 7850 is-- I can't hear it at all. I got mine though for some games that the 4890 was having trouble with. I was editing photos just fine while my system had the 4890.

I think for photo editing, having the i7 and 16GB of RAM will be extremely helpful. I was editing just a handful of photos last night and noticed that I had used almost 7GB of my 8GB of RAM.

candy 2 Builds 2 points 59 months ago

Nice pics +1

sportster submitter 1 Build 2 points 59 months ago

Thanks. I like to take my time with the photos. These were shot with a canon S100 and a tripod. The S100 is a great little camera.

laserpigofdoom 1 point 59 months ago

Great build. I'm buying the same CPU cooler and am wondering how you think it'll do with a processor running at 3.8Ghz.

sportster submitter 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

Not sure. My processor is rated at 65W and after ~25 minutes at 100% load the CPU temperature was steady at 47 deg. C (116.7 deg. F). I'd be interested in hearing how yours does once you build it.

laserpigofdoom 1 point 59 months ago

Alright, thanks anyway. I'll comment again to tell you when it's complete.

linsyschopman 1 point 59 months ago

91C idle... 102C load...? what the hell?

ESPM400 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

I'm assuming that someone mixed up Fahrenheit and Celsius. Well, either that, or someone's going to have a very short lifespan on their CPU

sportster submitter 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

Yeah, I mixed up me C's and F's. I also benchmarked (stressed) the CPU a bit longer and its loaded temps are a bit higher. It shakes out as follows now: "CPU temperature idles at 33 deg. C (91 deg. F). After 20 minutes at 100% CPU load temperature is steady at 47 deg. C (116.7 deg. F). I used Prime95 to run the CPU at 100% for 25 minutes."

ESPM400 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

Sounds about right. Personally, I ran Prime95 for 24 hours, but I'm running a moderately overclocked system and wanted to verify its integrity. Temps hit their highest around the 1:45 mark, but given that you're not OCing, for all intents and purposes 25 minutes should be adequate. On top of that, its doubtful your system will ever see the temps Prime95 produces during any practical application.

martialartsK1 1 point 59 months ago

If this is gaming, because I honestly can't tell, you'd probably want a better video card. If you want to stick to radeon, I'd say a 7850 and 2 GB would do you fine.

Other than that, nice build. +1

sportster submitter 1 Build 2 points 59 months ago

Nope, not a gaming box. It's intended to be a silent photo editing box with the occasional video conversion. You're not the first to suggest the 7850. My only concern with that is that, since there doesn't appear to be a fanless 7850 available, the 7850 might be noisier than I care for. Thanks for commenting and for the suggestion.

18hockey 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

Nvidia CUDA cores would help more with video/photo editing, but I still like this build, +1.

MaxxEnergy 1 point 59 months ago

+1 For including the little one :) Glad to see people are just building these sick rigs for themselves in their basement1

twaelbroeck 1 point 58 months ago
  • Weird fan, but cool.
  • Just my pet peeve, but I'd put that USB dongle on the back of the tower just to keep the front/top sleek.
  • Thanks for posting tons of quality pictures. More is better.
  • How does it do in your silence test? Had any problems with noise? (I doubt you've had any)
sportster submitter 1 Build 1 point 58 months ago
  • yeah, it's weird but seems to do the job
  • I agree that the front/top should be sleek. I actually moved the dongle to the underside of the U2713HM monitor - it has two hard to reach usb ports underneath and another two on its left-hand side. I put my keyboard/mouse bluetooth dongles in the two ports underneath the monitor.
  • You're welcome - I agree more pics is always better. I had fun shooting them.
  • Nope, no problems. It's silent as a mouse - I am very happy with it.
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