Description

This is sort of my 3rd build, but my 2nd build from scratch. I've slowly worked my way from modifying my tiny case Dell XPS 8500, to dabbling with a mid-tower trying to squeeze two 780s in, to buying a full but skinny tower NZXT Phantom. Amazon only had the black/green Phantom on Prime so oh well for me. I would have preferred all black or maybe white, but the green accents aren't my favorite.

Problems with the build. First, as I mentioned above, the case is rather skinny (width) which I knew going in. I have a PC desk I got off Craig's list for ten bucks that has a nice cut-out little stand for a PC that is only 9 inches wide. So I had to buy the biggest case that was less than 9 inches wide (stupid I know, base my PC building decision off a ten dollar PC desk, oh well). Because the case was so thin, I wasn't able to fit the big side panel fan in with the giant air-cooled CPU heat sink I had. So I had to throw on the tiny heat sink that came with my 4770k until I could get a CPU water cooler.

I just installed the water cooler which was a breeze, but again, because of the skinny case, I had a hard time bending the tubing enough to fit the pump over the CPU. When I did, that stupid giant side case fan barely would fit in with the tubing kind of sticking out. It only pushes on it just barely so it's not an issue, and the fan blades aren't even close to hitting the tubing.

Other than that, this build was pretty much a breeze. I ended up putting an extra intake fan at the bottom of the case because I couldn't fit a push-pull configuration on my Corsair H60 cooler because again, the side case fan was in the way. I wouldn't blame the fan, I want that big intake fan on there, but the case being as thin as it is makes it difficult. Note: when I went to put the 120mm fan at the bottom of the case, I didn't realize after grinding open the screw-holes big enough for the fan screws, that the holes were not actually lined-up in a square, but rather a rectangle (I guess those holes were meant for the storage racks I took out, not a fan). So I cleverly used zip-ties on one end to hold the other two fan holes down and used mesh from an old case for dust prevention. It turned out well.

My CPU temps are great, my 3D Mark score is awesome, and I crush any game at 1080p60. Every once in a while I get a drop below 60fps on Far Cry 4 at Ultra settings, 1080p, but I think that has something to do with the game, not my build. I still need to fire up Crysis 3 to see if I can finally maintain a solid 60fps at 1080p.

I'm running this PC temporarily with a Corsair CS 850 semi-modular PSU. I'm upping to a Platinum EVGA 1000w PSU as soon as I get the extra $200. Of course I'll have the pleasure of rewiring stuff which sucks, but I'm afraid to OC with a PSU that barely makes the 800w recommended cut-off.

I run my system on a single monitor, with adaptive v-sync on. My monitor is only a 60hz monitor and I find I'm happy with 60fps. Plus, my GPUs run cooler with only having to maintain 60fps instead of having the pedal to the medal constantly.

This case has a really easy set-up and a nice built-in fan controller with everything pre-wired and if you want to add the fans to utilize all 5 controllers (7 fans total) it's easy to find the labeled fan plugs to know where to plug your fans into.

Overall, this build went well with the exception of the width limitations. I would say, if you're in the market for a bigger case and want to do things like SLI, want a lot of fans, or want to run push-pull configs from the back-top fan outlet, just get a wider case than this. It's a headache. Or, don't put on the giant side fan but if you're air-cooling your GPUs, I think the intake from the fan is probably necessary. I'm a big believer in good air flow to keep case temps down. If you're not concerned with the air-flow, you should probably get a case that has a big side window that doesn't support a side fan anyway, and show your stuff off.

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Comments

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build man! I like the cable management! Great progress from modifying your dell xps to this! I have recently discovered having a nice case is super worth it. Its much better to build in. I hope you enjoy your build for years to come!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man. I wish I had a wider case though...I appreciate the comment!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

You should definitely buy a 120/144hz monitor to take advantage of the horsepower in there! And you could have gone with the newer 850 EVO, maybe a Z97 motherboard as well if you'd want to upgrade to Broadwell. Overall sweet build and pretty good cable management. The CPU power is what distracts me though.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I know. What would your recommendation be for the CPU power cable? I didn't know how else to get it over there and not be so...in the way.

Thanks! You know, I've been hearing that two 780s, and now two 780tis are too much for 1080p. Well, in my benchmarking experience, MOST games this PC destroys at 1080p. But FINALLY was able to run Crysis 3 at 1080p locked at a cemented 60 FPS. With 2 780s, I wasn't able to do that at Ultra.

So, I'm a super stickler for a rock-solid framerate. If I have dips below 60, I'm not happy. I've run many games (Dark Souls 2, Far Cry 4, Titanfall, Crysis 3, Skyrim, to name a few) at 1080p and higher using Nvidia's built-in downsampling tool (they call it something else). I CAN run these games at higher than 1080p, but some of them having framerate dips, and others don't. Plus, the 780tis don't have enough vram for higher than 1080p in some games. Farcry 4 for example hits over 3GB of vram at resolutions higher than 1080p. So, I'm really waiting on Nvidia's announcement of a 980ti or whatever they're going to call their next card and hope it's like 6gb of vram so that won't be an issue for me.

Also, for some reason there are certain areas of Far Cry 4 that have framerate dips down to the 40s at 1080p with my build. I'm thinking it's the game and not my PC, but who knows.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The cable should have enough length to route behind the motherboard tray, behind your H60 cooler in the upper left corner is a CPU power cutout. Try that.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I'll try that, thanks.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

m8 did you really make this build for 1080p? That is by far one of the biggest wastes of money i have seen, sorry but this is more like 4k or 1440p, but 1080? really?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Do a quick benchmark search for 780ti in SLI at resolutions higher than 1080p, it doesn't run everything locked at 60fps. When I had two 780s, I had trouble running everything at 1080p at a rock-solid 60fps. Even Crysis 3 would struggle to maintain a locked 60fps at Ultra settings/AA. Now I can with two 780tis, but when I raise the resolution over 1080p, I start getting framerate drops below 60, and that is no bueno for me.

I'd rather have a corvette handle 70mph with ease then struggle at 140mph. My GPUs stay much cooler at 60fps and I NEVER have FPS dips (except Far Cry 4)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

two 780tis and you say 1080p destroyer this could destroy games at 1440p just saying. but nice build

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I've tested my PC at 1440p all the way up to 4k, and for one, vram becomes an issue with only 3GB of vram on these suckers, and for two, my framerates drop below 60 which is not acceptable for me. I hate seeing those dips. I'd rather have locked 60 at 1080p, than an intermittent 60fps at 1440p/1660/2160 etc. That's just me though. Plus, my temps are better.

Also, I still need to upgrade my PSU to 1000watts or higher, so I'm trying not to push my GPUs too hard ATM.

Thanks for the comment though. :)

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

how did you mount the 2.5 SSD? Did you buy the adapter?

[comment deleted]
  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man.