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Build

The Return Of The Jedi aka "Yoda Of Dagobah"

by ElectricSheepsDream

19
16 Comments

Details

Date Published

March 27, 2017

Date Built

March 23, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.84 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

71.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

2.088 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.551 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C

Description

Greetings, Everyone!

It's been well over a decade since I worked closely with computer hardware. In the beginning of 2017 I started to obsess over building a high-end gaming system. It started with innocent research out of curiosity, of course, and progressed into a diet of noodles and cheap beer, as I frantically tried to save up resources for the endeavor.

I am a gamer since I got my hands on Sega Genesis, I love artistically made, immersive and deep games. I have been fairly satisfied with my PS4 but after falling in love with Witcher 3 (and consequently reading all available books by Mr. Sapkowski) I really wanted to experience the game once again but this time very comfortably (60+ FPS) with graphics' settings on Ultra and Nvidia's Hair Works on, haha. So I surmise that was the beginning of it. A silly notion that took over my mind. I knew that the only way I could heal myself--to get rid of the PC building bug--is to build one!

Overall, I am happy with my hardware choices, even though I went a little over my mental budget. There's no need for i7/GTX 1080 just to make any modern game fly, at least not for 1080p gaming I am limited to because of my displays. But I wanted to have lasting hardware for years to come, and eventually get one of those super high resolution free-sync displays... As soon as the alignment of stars was right (GTX 1080 went down in price a little after the 1080 TI's announcement, the Ryzen's release brought down prices of Intel CPUs, and my tax returns were coming through)--I placed my orders :)

The building itself took few hours, by the end of it my back and neck were stiff AF, and I realized that I was dehydrated on top of that. I felt like I had to learn a lot from scratch about what goes where (and how!) as modern day hardware looks more like alien space ships than what I experienced in 1999. I had to look up quite a bit of info before I felt comfortable with what I was doing. In the end it was a success. A little bit of patience goes a long way! And I can't stress enough the value of preliminary research, it saved me a lot of nerve cells.

Gotta say thanks to my co-worker who introduced me to this site and the community, as well as for listening to my brainstorming sessions 'til deathly boredom. Also, thanks to my family for bearing with my annoyance during the research stage. Epic thanks go to my good friend who supplied me with few essentials. And lastly, thank you, Bernie Sanders, for doing an honest college try last year. Hope is always alive :O)

NOTES:

3/27: Was messing with MSI Afterburner all evening and was able to run my GTX 1080 in Unigine Valley at +220/+700 without overvolting . I didn't see any issues, ran it for 20 minutes. Wonder if this is too much?? Am I just lucky? Or what is going on? Perhaps I shouldn't be so greedy and set my memory speed down to 500mhz..

3/28: Another evening of overclocking the graphics card. . Valley crashed after about 30 minutes. I lowered the memory clock down to +550 in the Afterburner, keeping +220 on the GPU, and had no issues over 40 minutes of bench-marking. I think I am going to stop now :D Fairly happy with the results, definitely went over my initial expectations. . Per Afterburner it gets to 2100mhz but stays usually around 2088mhz.

4/2: Not an April's Fools' Day joke! It's the 2nd. That wouldn't be appropriate. . Using the EZ Tune software by ASUS I got my CPU to 4.90ghz. I ran a 30 mins stress test to verify. The voltage I saw jumped to 1.316v in the beginning but stayed at 1.286v for most of the run. My cooler and case fans managed to keep the temperatures in the range of 68-76C throughout the test. I am not going to try and reach 5ghz. I have to say I am very happy with the results of my tinkering. I didn't notice much of real world difference, however, while playing games. But ESO was running more smooth in big cities.

4/6: Realizing that 75C is too much for the CPU, even during stress-tests, I got the processor down to 71C max by reducing the clock to 4.84Ghz. I believe it is a worthy trade off. Voltage remained around 1.3v.

4/24: Got today my Razer Deathadder Elite mouse and Blackwidow Ultimate X keyboard. I really wanted to keep everything in black and green, call it an obsession, and I wanted to get a nice mechanical keyboard, as I never had one before. Well, I love these guys. Especially the keyboard. Everything about it is pretty much perfect for me. I am going to post reviews in the next couple of days and update the pictures! W00t!

6/9/18: Few updates! Installed a Noctua Industrial PWM 140mm fan for exhaust. It's a beast! Thank goodness it's a PWM fan, otherwise I could hear it through headset at 100% speed and I was afraid that it would blow off the curtains. I crank it up for hot summer months. Also, I have installed for front intake a 200mm green LED BitFenix fan. It feels a bit cheap but sits well and after a while became quite quiet. I did it just for aesthethics, the original Phanteks fan is good. One issue I ran with my build is that it's damn hard to remove the cooler without taking off the entire motherboard. When I attempted to unscrew the cooler from the back, I couldn't get the screw out all the way, they just didn't want to come off. So, beware. Beauty has a price..

Part Reviews

CPU

Latest and greatest mainstream consumer-oriented CPU from Intel. Very fast single threaded and multi-threaded performance. Right now it's one of the best processors a gamer can get, perhaps once Ryzen gets wider support this will change, but we all know that Intel will always be very well supported by all developers =) I was tempted to get an i5 and save 100 bucks or so (while losing just few FPS in majority of games), nevertheless, I convinced myself that a new processor is something that I wouldn't want to upgrade for as long as possible. Plus, never before I bought a high end CPU, so it makes me feel nice and cozy inside. My decision to stick with i7 (vs. i5) was mostly guided by feelings and not logic.

I did look closely into Ryzen, and I have to say I am not an Intel fan-boy. I used to have a 500mhz Duron and then a 1ghz Athlon, and they performed wonderfully. The Athlon is still running in my grandparents' computer (the Duron's fate is unknown). But since my priority is gaming and not trying to build a "workstation," it just made sense to go with Intel, looking at the current state of affairs (such as benchmarks and prices). If Ryzen could have faster single threaded performance--I would have gone with AMD in a heartbeat.

CPU Cooler

I wanted a high performance CPU cooler, so that I could OC down the road. I didn't want to buy a cheap cooler just to get the job done, and then invest into a better one later on. Also, I didn't want liquid cooling for a variety of reasons.. Sure, there are slightly better performing air coolers in this price-range but none of them look so darn wicked!! I kept having my doubts about spending 80+ bucks on it. Eventually I thought "what the hell" and ordered it.

The installation was easier than I thought (after watching a couple of videos, I did not follow the included manual as there would be no way to install it that way with the motherboard armor on) and it came pre-assembled (didn't have to hook up the fans). It is a very high quality product. I think it looks amazingly well in my case and in any case. As the name suggests--it is very quiet. But be aware that the bearings would need to break in a little before the fans start performing quieter than straight out of the box.

Also, this cooler is quite heavy (1.2 kg). I would be weary installing it on a weak motherboard.

Motherboard

It was a tough choice (pun intended). What sold me is the 5 years of warranty and the legendary sturdiness of Sabertooth boards. Seems that TUF is virtually a re-branded Sabertooth but with the Z270 chipset (and thus more features than previous generations). I didn't come across any reports of people getting it DOA or having any kinds of reliability issues. I hope it will last longer than five years, I am confident that my i7 will hold its ground just fine. Aesthetically it looks like a modern tank. I loved installing it, hooking up stuff to it. As soon as I got set on this mobo I knew I had to get a windowed case. At this time I can't imagine getting a different board for my build but the beast is pricey, yet I feel I got what I paid for.

I had only one negative observation, and perhaps that's because I am a fool and overlooked something in the manual: when installing my M.2 SSD into the first (horizontal) position within the armor, the provided screws were too short to secure the drive. Not sure why would they supply a place within the armor but give no longer screws. I used the plastic thingy (can't think of a better description) that is meant to be used to secure an M.2 drive vertically in the second position. Its long shaft fit perfectly into the opening for the screw and its cap kept the drive in place. Not ideal but works alright.

Memory

Faster RAM from a reputable vendor. Works as specified. Not ugly and it is low-profile. I could've gotten away with 8gb but thought might as well get 16 and not think about upgrading RAM for at least a couple of years.

As a side note, after an extensive research on RAM speeds--I realized that super fast RAM doesn't make a lot of difference, almost none, when games are concerned.

Storage

I was looking at Samsung 850-EVO SATA SSDs but they went up in price a little right before my planned purchase. This M.2 solution ended up being 10 bucks cheaper/less expensive. So I went with the latter option. I liked the idea of not dealing with the cables. I read only good things about it and benchmarks looked good, too (for the price). I am happy with this drive, needless to say that it's a huge step up from HDD.

I was a little worried that it won't be recognized but I ended up installing Windows 10 from a CD on it without any issues. But I would suggest to ensure that your motherboard is compatible, some older ones are not.

Someday I will get an extra drive but right now this little guy provides plenty of space to run Windows and have few games installed. My music, pictures and other data would have to remain on my goode olde laptope for a while longer.

Video Card

It is not the fastest 1080 or the quietest 1080 (or the chilliest one) out there but it works well, requires no end-user tinkering to stay acceptably cool under high load (I didn't have to adjust the fan-curve but I heard some people had to), and I like the fact that it tries to push hot air out of the case, and not recycle it back in, like factory-overclocked models I've seen from third party vendors. I am confident that Nvidia folks knew what they were doing releasing this card to the public in such configuration. Needless to say, it's a very fast card and I won't use it to its full potential unless I get a higher resolution display and/or more demanding software gets released. I was considering GTX 1070 but as soon as I saw this card going on sale on Best Buy for 550 bucks--I knew I wanted it. It looks sexy as hell, if I may. It feels super solid, and everything just screams premium quality about this product. Also, I like the green LEDs that light up the card's name.. =)

P.S. I overclocked the processor to 2000mhz with the MSI Afterburner as well as the memory to 5100mhz without raising voltage. I played Elder Scrolls Online for hours in the past few days with VSync off and had no issues. Stays at 60C most of the time (but I do have a lot of extra case fans). No coil whine even with high load. This thing is priceless.

Case

It's unbelievable how much time it took me to pick a case. There are so many out there featuring similar designs (I like front intake, top exhaust), virtually sporting the same set of features, as well as a similar price tag. Finally, I narrowed my search down to Corsair 750D Airflow Edition and Phanteks Enthoo Pro. However, that Corsair case doesn't have dust covers on the bottom. When dishing out so much money for a box of steel and plastic--I find such inconvenience to be unacceptable. So I went with the case that wouldn't need any additional accessories (apart from extra fans I got for it; and no--purchasing dust covers is not the same as purchasing extra case fans!).

I concur with all the positive things people have said about this case prior to me. Easy to work with, sturdy, great value, good features. Definitely doesn't feel cheap. The EZ-scratch window is a negative thing to mention but for the price I can't expect tempered glass, so I am not complaining. Also, the packaging could have been sturdier with thicker padding (sides didn't have any padding/protection at all, besides the thickness of the cardboard, which was pretty average), but my case arrived undamaged. I was worried, however, that I would have to ship it back and wait for a replacement. FedEx usually do a better job at handling stuff than UPS, so I would suggest to stick with FedEx for potentially fragile things (this comes from work and life experiences).

Even though I packed this case with additional fans (summers get hot here), I am fairly confident (based on reviews) that the stock fans alone can do the job just fine, within normal room temperatures, that is.

Power Supply

My buddy brought this PSU to my attention when its price went down to 50 bucks (plus 30 in MIRB). It was just too hard to pass up. Five years of warranty, rated 80+ Gold, semi-modular, respected brand. I felt a little nervous after reading how some folks got it DOA but who doesn't risk--doesn't drink champagne, so I went ahead and purchased it. No complains yet (knocks on wood three times). My buddy bought it as well and he is happy with the purchase, too.

When I look inside I do see traces of dried solder, and the plastic Thermaltake logo on the top looks pretentiously metal-like, yet it is made out of plastic, but overall the construction feels solid. I guess I am just nitpicking. I can't even see the logo, as the PSU is exhausting from the bottom of the case.

I may need this extra power in case I decide to run two cards in SLI (all depends on prices and the state of technology in the near future). So much wattage is definitely an overkill for my current set-up but the last thing I would want is to buy another PSU because I didn't get enough power to begin with.

Optical Drive

Ordered it to install Windows. Came with no cables in a bubble wrap but I had all the cables I needed. No issues so far. It's black and it's ASUS.

Operating System

I've been using Macs at home ever since college, I simply love iOS, how intuitive and easy to use it is. I have Windows 7 at work and the last Windows I used at home was XP prior to me building the new rig. Since my computer is fast and it has been installed on the SSD, I feel that Windows 10 is running smoothly and snappily (it better be with such hardware!). It does what it is supposed to but I can't stand how snoopy Microsoft is, how much crap the OS wants to do on its own, and the user interface seems to appease more touch screen users. I just feel that this was a necessary sacrifice. Yet, glad the stability has improved greatly over the years. So far no blue screens of death or strange errors. Also it takes less space than I thought it would. Perhaps I will warm up to it more over time. Thank gods it's not another Windows 2000.

Case Fan

Well, I wanted PWM fans because it's the 21st century and my motherboard has a plethora of fan headers that support them. I don't normally care for the bling factor, but dishing out so much cash on such pretty hardware, I felt like it was only right to have it visible and illuminated properly. I like green and the only green PWM LED fans I found were BitFenix Spectre, but every online store was out of stock. I didn't want to wait for weeks, so I went with Cougars (these fans are not PWMs). Cougars are a tad more expensive but seem to be better than BitFenix in every aspect (minus the PWM), according to the reviews I stumbled upon. I also think that Dual-X Cougars look very sleek.

P.S. I just keep 'em running at full speed, they don't produce a whole lot of noise at all.

Case Fan

Well, I wanted PWM fans because it's the 21st century and my motherboard has a plethora of fan headers that support them. I don't normally care for the bling factor, but dishing out so much cash on such pretty hardware, I felt like it was only right to have it visible and illuminated properly. I like green and the only green PWM LED fans I found were BitFenix Spectre, but every online store was out of stock. I didn't want to wait for weeks, so I went with Cougars (these fans are not PWMs). Cougars are a tad more expensive but seem to be better than BitFenix in every aspect (minus the PWM), according to the reviews I stumbled upon. I also think that Dual-X Cougars look very sleek.

P.S. I just keep 'em running at full speed, they don't produce a whole lot of noise at all.

Case Fan

My mobo (Asus Tuf Mark 1 Z270) has a little slot in its "thermal armor" under a removable cover for installation of a 40mm fan... From my modest research it doesn't seem to make much of a difference (maybe 1-2 degrees Celsius under high load, and the evidence was mostly anecdotal), but I couldn't just leave that slot empty! Plus, I always wanted to tell at dinner parties about having a 40mm fan installed into my motherboard armor (just kidding, I don't do dinner parties).

Sorry for the long story. This particular fan is of a high quality. I read about people running it for years non-stop doing minor cooling jobs. It's quiet and it's a very cute little guy! Just looking at the specs I couldn't find anything better for my needs but we all know that fans' specs have to be taken with a grain of salt. Noctua's reputation in that regard though hasn't been challenged yet, to the best of my knowledge. So I trust it moves few CFMs just fine and maybe even cools something while at it XD I named mine Quincy as I feel that this is a very special mighty little fan. A little fan that could.

Have to mention that the packaging was impressive. Contrasts highly with a simple crappy box my Intel CPU came in.

P.S. When installing the fan under the motherboard armor I had to use regular screws that came with the case, as the supplied fan screws seemed to be too large.

Keyboard

Haven't had a mechanical keyboard prior to this one, so I am a little biased. I went with this particular model due to its utilitarian looks and features. My build is green and black, so aesthetically it matches it perfectly. It's very solid, all keys respond very well and feel fantastic. I play with the keyboard on my lap and it's not too heavy, kind of perfect, really, enough to feel it but not enough to constrict blood vessels.

I am taking 1 star off for the following reasons:

Razer Synapse is supposed to track all sorts of stats but for some reason it doesn't provide any for my (Razer) keyboard and mouse. It could very well be something I haven't set-up or done. I don't really need these features.

The plastic back while feels super solid up front around the space bar key, in the back at the very edges it makes some plastic-y sound if you apply pressure onto it. It's not weak or poorly installed by any means but I would prefer the same feel along the entire surface. Since it's made for a desk and not a human lap--I am just nitpicking. My house will probably loose its roof before that back falls off, just sayin'.

Lastly, the second row of character on keys is not illuminated (such as on F keys). I know them all by heart by now, so it's not a game-changer.. But since it's a 100 dollar keyboard--I gotta mention this.

Mouse

This mouse, just wow. It fits my hand like a glove. The rubber pads on the sides make the grip strong and comfortable. It's not heavy and it's not light either. I would have preferred a slightly heavier mouse but it doesn't feel cheap by any means. Ability to change sensitivity on the go--is awesome. Side buttons are very comfortable and you can barely tell they are there if you choose not to use them. LEDs look nice and there a lot of lighting options in Razer Synapse, the software it comes with. The mouse matches perfectly my green and black build.

Have to say, I am pretty impressed with Razer so far, they may have gotten a fan for lyfe.

I really can't say anything bad about this product; it's been over two weeks of heavy usage and I haven't encountered any issues. Razer Synapse software doesn't track stats for my mouse and keyboard, as it should, but it could be something I haven't done right in the set-up. I don't care about this feature enough to investigate or take a star off because of that.

Comments Sorted by:

Vreaker12 4 Builds 4 points 22 months ago

Thoughts of Dagobah and Yoda somehow came to mind when looking at your build name and the first pic. :)

ElectricSheepsDream submitter 1 Build 2 points 22 months ago

Haha, I definitely can see that as well! The alternative name: "Yoda From Dagobah!" :D

Blackhat132 1 Build 2 points 22 months ago

You should rename it that!

ElectricSheepsDream submitter 1 Build 2 points 22 months ago

And it's done! The Jedi still I am to keep, since one I am, hehe.

Z3R0-1NT3LL1G3NTS 1 Build 2 points 22 months ago

The force is strong with this one. Just wanted to say, for a monitor upgrade, you should look for a G-sync display, since you have a GTX card. +1

ElectricSheepsDream submitter 1 Build 1 point 22 months ago

Great advice! Gotta have the G-sync like a boss!

iCheese 2 points 21 months ago

I'm so jelly! This build is amazing!

ElectricSheepsDream submitter 1 Build 1 point 21 months ago

Thank you so much!! I still have hard times taking my eyes off it :)

paiyan 3 Builds 2 points 16 months ago

Hey man, awesome build. Am looking at a similar motherboard and CPU cooler combination! How does the Dark Rock Pro 3 clear the VRM heat sinks on the TUF board? All good?

Cheers!

ElectricSheepsDream submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Hey there! Corsair - Vengeance LPX is a pretty low profile memory. I had no issues fitting the DRP3 on top of it. No overheating issues with XMP on. So far everything is going well! Very stable machine, beastly gaming rig. Would be interesting to see what happens 5-6 years down the road, but so far I am glad I went with Intel/Nvidia. Cheers mate! Good luck with your build. Can't wait to see it!

Linden2711 2 points 16 months ago

Hey! Congrats for the beautiful rig! Quick question, how difficult was to instal the be quiet on this mobo?

I`m assembling a similar rig by the way, just some few changes as the case and the fans, the rest will be pretty much the same (tks for the inspiration)

ElectricSheepsDream submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Well, my friend, it took me 30 minutes because my hands were shaking from fear to damage something. I didn't follow the included instructions. I, basically, mounted the mobo on top of the cooler, and tightened all the screws from the back, not front. I just didn't see any other way to mount that monster onto this mobo.. Nonetheless, once the cooler is on--it's on. I didn't need to re-apply thermal paste yet. The fans are very quiet and move a lot of air... And the looks!! So, I think it's worth it, can't get any better cooling for 80 bucks than Dark Rock Pro... Can't wait to see your rig! Thanks for stopping by :-) P.S. Screws on the cooler are very soft, unfortunately, so be gentle and don't tighten them too much. Just an FYI :D

Linden2711 2 points 16 months ago

Thanks for the advice! Another quick question (sorry about it lol)

I`m thinking about use the corsair carbide 400c, but the maximum cpu cooler high for this case is 170mm, as the tuf mobo has that back and be quiet has 163mm high, do you think that this build will fit? (I know that your case fits 180mm, how close did the cooler get to the side panel?

ElectricSheepsDream submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

170mm might be pushing it close but sounds like people had no issues. The back armor is maybe 2-3mm tops. I say go for it!!!

And hey, my pleasure to answer any questions =)

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/618011-dark-rock-pro-3-into-corsair-400c/

klatoo304 1 point 15 months ago

Looking at this motherboard and CPU cooler combo..do you need this low profile memory to make it fit or no? Thanks

ElectricSheepsDream submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

I suggest getting low profile memory. I have a bit of space left between the RAM and the cooler but not a whole lot.. Just to be on the safe side, get something not too tall =)

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