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Potato (First build)

by el1t



Date Published

July 16, 2014

Date Built

July 10, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

37.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



It's a potato. That is, it's silent...because potatoes are silent?

I've been using an ugly stock HP desktop, which began to whine horribly and crash randomly, so I decided to build something. The parts came in slowly; the pictures pretty much depict that. I received the graphics card last because I ordered it from Microcenter for $689, but then they decided to cancel my order. As it turned out, this was a fortunate "accident" because I was able to get it for $639.99 due to price matching and the $30 rebate, and watch_dogs to boot. I chose not to get a wireless card because I do not need it as of yet, and I'm sure that some new standard will pop up in the future anyways - so I can wait for that. The color-coordination was not intentional, believe it or not, but I was pleasantly surprised (if only cougar made black 140mm PWM fans!). Overall, I estimate that PCPP (and a lot of patience) has saved me around $300! <3

CPU: I opted for the 4770k instead of the Devil's Canyon refresh, even though it was only $20 more, because it's $20 that I don't need to spend. They're practically the same thing, with only a few minor differences. However, I knew going in that the Haswell line is infamous for high temps and absurd voltage scaling, so I can't exactly rate the processor that high. Yes, it does what it needs to, but the problems with Haswell almost made me wait for Broadwell.

CPU Cooler: The Corsair H105 is great. My only complaint is the sheer size; it definitely took up all the space it could. Note that IT FIT IN THE CASE. I read multiple threads online about people complaining that their cooler didn't fit with the motherboard; this is simply not the case (pardon the pun). After measuring out the dimensions, I crammed it in there with no space to spare - but it fit nonetheless.

Motherboard: BIOS was a seamless experience, ASUS provides software to tweak settings even in Windows.

Memory: I was going to get 4x4gb for some speed, but then I decided that upgradability was more important. the X.M.P. profile was detected by the motherboard, and settings were set automatically.

SSD: I hated the small 128gb SSD on my Macbook Air, so I got something a little larger. It's a beauty.

Graphics Card: After waiting forever to get it, I can safely say that it exceeded all of my expectations coming from my AMD Radeon 6950. The drivers can't even compare to AMD's, and the card is blazing fast. I do wish nVidia would make non-Titan cards with more VRAM, though.

Case: Corsair. Silent. Potato. Can't go wrong there, although the back leaves just a little less space for wire management than one might desire.

Power Supply: I once bought a TX series power supply, and that didn't work, but the HX series did. HX it is.

Sound Card: The last sound card I had was also by Creative, except they ditched driver development for their old cards. Their new drivers are still somewhat ugly and surround sound muffles my audio, but I do like the microphone a lot.

Fans: Why did I buy so many fans? Potatoes. They're quiet. More fans means more potato. I had to replace the two in the CPU cooler, then pull out the two in the front of the case. The 140mm fans went into the side and the back, which is quieter than the front. I have two push-pull sets and one more pushing out air.

Monitor: The new one came out, and I regret not buying this model when the price fell :( I do have two 1080p monitors, by the way, and the BenQ is lightboosted.

Keyboard (Custom): I wanted a mechanical keyboard since forever, and the Realforce keyboard with Topre switches is just a dream to type on. It took a while to get used to, but the switches have grown on me.

Windows: It's cheap because of the student discount, for those wondering.

Other: The optical drives were pulled from my old computer, and my mouse (G600), headphones (ATH-M50), and second monitor (LG trash, colors are off) were all purchased earlier, so I didn't count them in the build - they're more like accessories, if you will.

If you have any questions/comments, feel free to leave them below and I'll try to answer them :P Thanks for reading!

3DMARK Fire Strike Score: 10657 Valley Wall 2x1080p Max Settings FPS: ~30 Valley 1080p Max Settings FPS: ~60

Comments Sorted by:

Wololo 4 points 44 months ago

This is quite clearly a potato. Anyone can see that.


concorde007 2 Builds 2 points 44 months ago

Not a bad build. Not too bad a cabling job for a first build either. Those cables look slightly awkward to bend near the ends to me. Nice name too.

Retroman 2 points 44 months ago

Perhaps someone can help me here but I noticed you bought a sound card with your system but you're using the maximus vii hero, I thought asus put in a lot of effort to adding really good onboard audio onto they're new line of rog boards. Is it worth it to get an external card when your purchasing this mobo? I ask because I'm looking to upgrade soon and this build seems similar to what I had in mind. If OP could comment to and give his first hand experience I'd be very greatful. +1 on your build

el1t submitter 1 Build 0 points 44 months ago

Their onboard is slightly less featured, although definitely good. These two windows show the difference. It depends on your cans. The sound card I used is helpful because it has a 600 ohm amp (for high-end headphones), the crystalizer filter, and an equalizer. On the other hand, the built-in driver only has surround-sound and output quality options. One thing to note is that this sound card only supports 5.1 audio, while the motherboard supports 7.1 (no idea why). The benefits are just a few more features, plus better quality that can only be discerned with adequate speakers/headphones.

IamApropos 3 Builds -1 points 44 months ago

This video should help you understand if a discrete audio card provides much of a benefit for gaming over on board audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1rXcJuEsy0

LeMonarque 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

As a computer and electrical engineering double major, that video made me cringe so many times.

That said, I sound cards worth anything will usually lower the amount of noise (annoying background hiss) that will come through speakers and headphones. ASUS ROG onboard audio is great about that, but for standard boards you can usually hear it.

Buying better speakers/headphones or a USB DAC is almost always a better choice though.

vikingXcore 4 Builds 2 points 44 months ago

I <3 the potato comment. Awesome build. I think you did great on the cable management! I have the H105 in my 450D and it fit, but just barely. the rad sits on the cpu cable :S. It doesn't quite pinch it just kinda lays on it. But damn it keeps my CPU cool! I ran the CPU benchmark Passmark for 20min and it wouldn't get above 50 degrees Celsius. I'm surprised how weird and kinda cool the color scheme went haha!

el1t submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Thanks! Yeah the H105 is huge but it really gets the job done ;)

negative_codezZ 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

At this price point, I would try to improve the cable management and maybe get sleeved PSU cables.

el1t submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Oh I had no idea sleeved PSU cables existed lol And yeah cable management was iffy, a lot of the cables were too long, but I didn't plan for that :(

negative_codezZ 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Yeah, just make them show less in the front, tighten them back.

concorde007 2 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Those PSU cables are sleeved...unless you meant each little cable individually sleeved.

el1t submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Yeah, I meant individually sleeved (and I think that was what negative meant too)

negative_codezZ 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Yeah, I mean individually sleeved. Sorry for not putting that in.

LeMonarque 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

The cable management looks just fine to me! O_O

negative_codezZ 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Some are just not tightened back. A lot of extra cable hanging.

LeMonarque 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

That's a good thing. Lets you remove or swap out cables easily. There's no point in tying every cable down to the frame. All that does is make it difficult to remove them. Cable lockdown instead of cable management.

Matty 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago


Awesome choice of parts, especially the 780 Ti. Just one thing is that your ram is in slot a1 and b1 i believe, i think it should be in both red slots for dual channel memory (if its the same as the old hero mobo i have) Matt

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DodecPCs 2 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

I absolutely love my 550D. Awesome build

Pencil465b 1 point 44 months ago

how do you like those cougar fans? I am thinking of having them in my next build. how quiet are they on low/med/high? nice build btw! +1

el1t submitter 1 Build 2 points 44 months ago

Really, really quiet. They look, feel, and perform better than the stock fans. On high, I can hear a low hum (the size of the fans makes them lower-pitched, which is harder to hear), and on low the flow of water is actually louder than the fans :P

Kanevil 1 point 40 months ago

+1 for the name. 9Gag?

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