Description

A generation or two old, and besides the dust it doesn't show.

This is my rig. There are many like it, but this one uses superglue, nerf foam, wood, and rubber bands to operate, and yet laughs at anything 1080p. The most recent upgrade was the wood and plexiglass HDD brackets which keeps the WD Blacks a whopping 25C cooler than in the X-Docks. Much quieter as well due to foam mounts.

The 3570k is still top-notch, and any margin the i7's or Haswell systems have over it can almost be made up if I overclocked a touch more. The MSI Z77 Mpower's only flaw I've run into is that the wireless chipset is just a USB stick with an antenna (boo hoo, I still game on it when needed), and that the system posts inconsistently with the fast boot options on. With fast boot off and using another NIC, it's fantastic. G-Skill's still works as advertised, which is all you can expect from RAM.

With the recent issues with Samsung's TLC SSDs, I might suggest another product. Admittedly, I haven't noticed any strange behaviour even with the old firmware, they're crazy fast and the Windows 8 boot spinner only gets around once before I hit the login screen. WD Blacks are the only HDDs I suggest as boot drives, because they're cheap and fast as sin. ~230MB/s file transfers are typical in Windows software RAID0. Who doesn't like a 5-year warranty?

Zalman's CNPS10X cooler is dandy, and it's shorter than a Hyper 212 so fits in smaller cases nicely. I still have clearance to put a 200mm fan up top, but a Hyper212 wouldn't. It blocks 1 RAM slot. The stock fan was replaced with a Bitfenix SPro simply because the heatsink is so powerful that the fan doesn't ram up during prime95, so I put in a slower fan for noise. I don't like the mounting, if you get frustrated easily get a Hyper 212.

The HAF-XB is more work to build in than a tower. If you want to change an internal HDD, add a GPU, or many basic tasks you need to pull the mobo. Once it's built, you have DIRECT airflow on the GPU and CPU heatsink, so temps are awesome.

Power supply fan never kicks on at idle. I sleeved the cables with 550 black paracord which adds some bulk to the cable mess in the basement, but it make getting around the narrow bend easier than the original sleeved bundles. I haven't gone so far as to test the efficiency, but it's cool to the touch when the CPU and GPU are loaded.

I love those Benq displays. Awesome colour depth! I've got the primary one overclocked to 66Hz (10% is better than nothing!) and the very mild motion blur makes it much less harsh than a TN panel. The PVC frame holding them keeps the displays perfectly at eye-level and close without consuming desk space. Comfortably fits a 15.6" notebook in the gap below. I really ought to paint the frame, but it would require my PC being pulled apart for a couple days.

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Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 5 points

Nice build, but whenever you get the extra cash, upgrade from that potato please. +1

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

What's the potato, the soundcard? I've been saving up for a modded Fostex T50rp and a O2+ODAC from Mayflower, but I seriously doubt I'll be getting 5x the audio quality compared to the DGX and G230.

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

I'm talking about your camera XD

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh, ya it's my Moto G held freehand, probably with some actual potato chip grease on the lens. The dust from a couple years of use really isn't flattering either. I could have use my brother's Nikon (D1500) but these pics were just spur of the moment.

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

Dusty crew checking in

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

It's a couple years old, and the dust is the really fine stuff that got through the filters so it does more damage to aesthetics than anything.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

As a fellow HafXB owner, I approve this rig. :)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I like your build man, it is much like mine. I feel like you hit the sweet spot for performance vs. dollars spent. How do you like the sound card? I went for exterior DACs instead and am happy with the choice. Ill trade you my corsair c70 for your cooler master cm storm haha.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

It's a $50 sound card, so go in with that expectation. Get the Uni drivers instead of the Asus ones and turn off "GX" mode if you run into compatibility issues in games. You can't compare it to a ODAC+O2 or something, but at a fifth of the cost the DGX is great for budget stuff. I might pair it with a SteelSeries 9H or a HyperX Cloud instead of my G230 for better headphone quality, but the mic on the G230 is unsurpassed even by my brother's Blue Snowball.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

RT Podcast nice :) Listen to it on the way to school, along with Screen Play and Patch :P Anyway nice build :)

  • 63 months ago
  • 0 points

2133MHz RAM for couple bucks more?

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Overclock for $0? Heh, I don't suspect it would be a massive performance improvement, but the kit is rated for 1866MHz CL9 so 2133MHz CL10 is probably not out of the question.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Those speeds are effectively the same.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I think having a higher frequency and loose timings performs better for onboard GPUs and some tasks, while low latency wins out in other situations. I could be wrong, but I'm hearing from others that RAM speeds aren't significant anyway.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

There is actually CL9 2133MHz G.Skill Sniper 2x4GB memory for 69.99

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

I bought most of this system a couple years ago so RAM prices were a few bucks higher. Unless you're using an AMD APU, your RAM speeds aren't a huge deal. Many would likely get better performance with conservative RAM and using the extra headroom to up your multiplier.

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