Description

Coming from laptops and consoles, this was the first computer that I've ever built.. And I was surprised how smoothly the whole process went! As someone who didn't even know what a motherboard really was prior to being infected with the desire to build a PC, I've definitely learnt a tremendous amount about gaming computer hardware in the past two months or so. The communities around here, Reddit and youtube were truly an invaluable resource during this learning period.

A little bit about the computer

This slightly overkill rig will be used for a mix of games (1440p and Oculus Rift in the near future) and engineering school work (3D CAD, rendering, coding, etc), and so far I'm amazed at how everything feels. I've been able to hit 60+ fps at 1440p on games like BF4 and Crysis 3, and 1080/60 at beyond ultra on the Witcher 3. I do plan on overclocking the CPU and the GPU sometime in the near future, but for now stock clock speeds still provide plenty of performance. On Firestrike, stock clocks achieve an overall score of 15926 (18997 Graphics, 14420 Physics).

Components

After a bit of research, I knew that I wanted to go with the X99 platform, as the platform seemed to have more longevity than the Z97 alternative (with DDR4 inevitably being the next standard). The extra CPU cores should prove to be beneficial for CAD and rendering purposes, and could potentially even provide a performance improvement in future games with DX12 looking to utilize CPU cores more efficiently. And, unlike the Z97 path, there is also room to upgrade the CPU down the line, when prices on Xeons drop. Also, from an aesthetic standpoint, I enjoy the look of the 8 DIMM slots. (The upgrade to the X99 platform was easier to justify as a friend of mine at Intel was able to get me a significant discount on the CPU.)

While selecting my parts, I tried to maintain a 'stealthy' aesthetic: primarily black with some grey/silver thrown in here and there.

  • CPU: The i7 5820k was chosen as it offered the best price to performance of Intel's current enthusiast line-up.

  • Cooler: The H110i GT seems to be the current AIO king when it comes to performance benchmarks (beating out the CM Nepton 280L and the NZXT Kraken X61), and in my opinion is the reigning king when it comes to aesthetics, with ridiculously sleek, braided tubing. At first I had the Cooler Master Nepton 280L, however - the pump unit on that cooler was defective (it made clicking noises), and so that was RMA'd.

  • Mobo: The MSI X99S SLI Plus was one of the cheaper options of motherboards sporting the X99 chipset, and it offered all of the features and connections that I looked for, while sporting a sexy black aesthetic. Several reviews of the board on Newegg stated that the DIMM slots were faulty (as it won't boot with a quad channel arrangement of RAM), however - flashing the latest version of the BIOS seems to resolve that issue.

  • RAM: 16 Gigs of G.Skill DDR4 RAM should last me quite a long time, and the angular, symmetric aesthetic of the four RAM sticks goes quite nicely with the aesthetic of the MOBO.

  • GPU: The 980 Ti was conveniently announced/released while I was still researching CPU components, and after seeing JayzTwoCents' benchmarks of the G1 Gaming Edition, I knew that this was the GPU for me. It outperforms the Titan X at stock clocks. Beast.

  • Case: The Fractal Design S. A nice, no-nonsense mid ATX build, with sturdy construction, good room for airflow, nice silence optimizing panels, and a minimalist exterior. Just perfect.

  • PSU: The EVGA G2 850W PSU. It outputs 850 watts of reliability, providing room to spare for SLI in the future.

Build Time

The total build time was a bit longer than I had expected at about 6 hours: 3 hours for the actual assembly (I was super cautious about every little thing), and 3 more hours for cable management. However, having the computer POST successfully for the first time (at around 3 am) was simply one of the greatest feelings in the world.

Anyways, thanks for reading!

Comments

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

To see another person that cares so much about cable management brings a tear to my eye. Freaking amazing job on the cables and the build as a whole! jealous of that 980ti, hopefully have a MSI 980ti Gaming for myself soon!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for reading! Cable management is a beast of its own, and I find it very rewarding in its own way. I was also debating whether to get the 980 Ti from MSI or Gigabyte, but in the end I chose the Gigabyte version as it suited my aesthetic better.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! another person that gets the same reward from cable managing. And Yea im with you on this one, I dont think the MSI woulda looked nearly as good as the Gigabyte does in your build.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Great looking build, that's within my price range. I'm glad I looked at the X99 chipsets, as I am planning on my build within the next two weeks. It's been about 6 years since I built my last rig, but thanks to mother nature, I'm getting an upgrade.

While doing my research, I had this nagging feeling like there's a newer chipset that's going to be released a few weeks after I get my PC online. Thanks for taking the jump on some of the components I'm looking at getting. SEXY!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! I was also wary of some new chipset being released in the near future (such a Broadwell or Skylake).. But then again, that's just the way the tech industry rolls. At any rate, the X99 platform should be relevant and relatively high-end for at least two years.

Good luck on your upcoming build!

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  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

This is the exact computer I have been dreaming of for the past few months! Looks so amazing, man!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud! Will you be jumping the gun and building your computer soon?

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Probably, I'm still gonna wait for some nice deals, pretty expensive over here in Estonia lol

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice work for a new rig. Cable management and cleanness is SUPERB!!

1st times take a long time to complete, since your working out everything and learning at the same time. I personally have built lots and lots of computers, I was able to build mine in around a hour. Then another hour for cable management.

That computer looks really good without the HDD cage in it, I wish my 450D had the capability of storing HDD's in the back (I do have 2.5 SSD/HDD mounts in the back, but not for 3.5).

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks dude :)

Yeah, the lack of HDD cages in the visible section of the cage was definitely one of the main selling points of this case for me - since it provided a clean aesthetic and good airflow. The 450D is also a pretty attractive case though.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice! I've built my new rig last saturday, and also took long time for clean cable management. But now looking at what you did, I have to change couple of things. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, the cable management was definitely an interesting problem to tackle - deciding and testing how and where all the cables should go and whatnot. What aspect of your cable management do you plan on changing?

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

That 980 Ti is a beauty.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

It brings a tear to my eye every time :')

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

The H110i GT seems to be the current AIO king when it comes to performance benchmarks (beating out the CM Nepton 280L and the NZXT Kraken X61),

beating the Kraken X61 ? I think the kraken X61 is better. It even has a variable speed pump. You need to run corsair pumps at 100% which translates to a noisier pump...

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/corsair_h110i_gt_vs_nzxt_kraken_x61_review,12.html

BTW, very nice build you have!! Enjoy it!! +1

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I based my numbers off of the Hardware Canucks benchmarks: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/69174-corsair-hydro-h110i-gt-cpu-cooler-review-4.html.

At any rate, they are both some of the best AIO coolers out there, and you can't go wrong with either of them :)

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

the corsair is definitely the better looking.... probably would get more GFs... :)

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Did the h110 gt doesn't fit at the top area?

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

The H110i GT did fit at the top, however, doing so would require removing two of the moduvent covers - allowing more noise to leave the case. Personally, I also think it looks better at the front of the case.

I can see where you're coming from though, as I was also initially concerned about the taking hotter air into the case.. However, after running several benchmarks, it seems that the air from the radiator doesn't heavily impact the temperatures on the GPU (GPU stays at ~30 degrees Celsius when idle, regardless of whether or not the CPU is under load). This could be because of the bottom intake fan, although I haven't tested that yet.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh ok, so u end up using front fan from radiator for the cool air intake. Nice :)

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

The Fractal Design S case looks so amazing. I bought the same case for my upcoming build before the year is out.

Also any issue with the Gigabyte card?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope, so far I haven't really had any major issues with this card at all. The cooler does its job pretty well, being able to keep temperatures under 70c under heavy load with just 60% fan speed. There is a slight amount of sag though, although that is to be expected considering the length of the this thing :P

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice, also how is the airflow?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Qualitatively speaking, airflow in this case is great, since there aren't any obstructions like ODD bays or HDD cages.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Amazing build, and a phenomenal job with the cable management! Very similar specs/parts to my own build. How are you liking the performance overall?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Your rig looks pretty awesome too.

The performance so far on this rig is pretty great, as I'm sure you're finding with yours too :P I haven't overclocked anything yet though - as it seems to be doing well enough with everything that I throw at it for the time being. I shall provide some more benchmarking numbers though, once I do overclock things (Planning on about 1500 Mhz for the GPU, and ~4.2 GHz on the i7) Have you overclocked your rig yet?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, the thing is unstoppable. I overclocked my cpu to 4.5ghz, it runs a bit hot at full load but it's stable (plus my room so hot) and I pushed my 980ti to about 1470mhz clock and 8ghz vram. Pretty much the max I can push my card I think, not that it's super important, but my ASIC score is 63.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

I am going to build my first pc in the summer holidays using most of these parts but with a few differences. instead of define S, im going with define R5 for the graphics card it will be the EVGA 980ti. and im going with ddr4 corsair vengeance 3000 ram. your build is amazing though!

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. Preety much... well similar to... what I am looking to build.

Would you do anything different now that you have built it?

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

How's the acoustics with this case? Is it more silent with the noise damppening material? You have many fans in your case, do they make a lot of noise?

I am planning to build something Very similar and would like a silent setup.

Great looking build!

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey man, the case is completely silent at idle, and the only noise that is ever noticeable is the GPU fans while the GPU is under load - although it's merely a gentle hum, still not that bad (my GPU fans tend to run at about 55% under load). I am not sure how this case stacks up against other non-damped cases though, as this is my first build. For reference, all the other fans in the case run slightly under 1000RPM, which is the sweet spot IMO for performance and acoustics.

Anyways, good luck with your build dude, and thanks for taking a look at mine!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, thanks for your reply. I bought the define r5 blackout edition. Still trying to figure out the rest of the parts. Maybe maximus hero viii and some silent gpu like the strix 980 ti later on.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. I'm about to do a new one, and chose this case for the sound dampening, price point, and I love the hard drives not being in sight. Approx how long do the radiator tunes need to be to mount it on the front? Thanks.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

nice

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  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Those were my thoughts exactly - hopefully there'll be more sleek all-black boards on the market in the future.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man :)