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Build

Dual ZOTAC GTX 1080 / 2D & 3D Workstation

by Duranarts

74
83 Comments

Details

Date Published

Dec. 13, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.6GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

28.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

42.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.77GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

10.8GHz

Description

After long insurmountable hours spent trying to ship Black Ops 3 (as a user interface artist), I finally decided to upgrade an 8 year old Mac. Reasons are clear but what really convinced me was working on a beastly Treyarch build and later coming home to just to realize how much I hated Apple's increasingly bloated OS... Tired argument here but go ahead, I dare you to commit to a Mac Pro ($5,800 trash can) after pre-configuring it on the Apple site and commit to spending twice as much. Apple really needs to stop throwing the word 'Pro' around so much.

i7-6850k Not a Xeon but I'm really hoping GPU support improves for Adobe and other creative applications. For now, Redshift & Octane (3d renderer) look really promising and has prompted my decision to drop more investment on GPU's. Industry trend seems to be favoring this as multi-core is nearing a wall and pricing isn't reasonable for the majority.

OC 4.0 GHZ / 6 Cores 1.29V

ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme (x2) This was a tough one. Mainly because I was not going anywhere near fussing with water cooled solutions (due to price and maintenance). I won't be home when rendering 3D scenes and I'd like to avoid leak anxiety. The best alternative to this was a fast card (not the founders edition) with decent temps. A close contender was the EVGA FTW Hybrid but price and dual card setup limitations made it a deal breaker. I managed to find the ZOTAC Extreme for $650 and managed to convince myself that weight and size wasn't a deal breaker. Of course this quickly became an issue in the installation where I immediately noticed the dreadful 'GPU sag'. I had seen people use legos before so that became my solution but I needed something slightly thinner so it didn't interfere with the fan as much (not that it would matter much anyway).

ASUS X99 Rampage V Edition 10 Probably the hardest piece of hardware to commit to. Even after looking at workstation boards like the ASUS x99-e WS (old 2014 board) and the x99 Sabertooth (64gb max ram), I decided the Rampage was the best option for the dual GPU configuration. And I wasn't going to run the second card at x8 with other viable options just to get some breathing room. SafeSlot, safe boot and lane switches was a plus (GPU support brackets are available btw, albeit very bulky). Some boards also shared bandwidth with m.2 configurations (another deal breaker).

Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 64GB 4x16GB sticks. The plan is to eventually max out to 128GB (if necessary).

Corsair Carbide Series Air 740 Lots of breathing room for the dual GPU setup. Although laying the motherboard flat (no glass of course) would have made more sense in a case this big. Seriously, is the market really that big for those who want a mobile workstation? After a week with this case I did notice some fan noise so I plan on investing in Quiet editions soon. Temperatures are great on this case so I can get away with lower RPMs.

Samsung 950 Pro 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD It's small, fast and free's up a SATA port. Not using one would be a waste. 1TB sounds good but will upgrade once prices drop.

Kraken X52 GPU Cooler It's a very minimal improvement over the X51 but looks way better (imo). X62 wasn't avilable at the time and will upgrade in the future. Being able to turn off the NZXT logo is a plus.

Comments Sorted by:

waffle502 3 Builds 14 points 4 months ago

+1 for legos

jipster69 4 Builds 6 points 4 months ago

+1 for skillfully constructed Legos™

dayum

uberlizard 1 Build 5 points 4 months ago

+1 for masterfully constructed legos.

overkillscs 4 points 4 months ago

+1 for transcendentally constructed legos

RhettRO55 1 Build 4 points 4 months ago

+1 for magically constructed Legos™

nakaman 1 Build 3 points 4 months ago

+1 for omnipotently constructed LegosTM

Flamearky 3 points 4 months ago

+1 for logically constructed Legos.

BeerzGod 2 Builds 4 points 4 months ago

If you're not using Legos in your computer build then you're not doing it right.

ewhac 1 Build 2 points 4 months ago

/me heads over to Lego store...

jipster69 4 Builds 7 points 4 months ago

I think we have found...

The Special

RhettRO55 1 Build 3 points 4 months ago

A talented lass or fellow, a special one with face of yellow.

MackPremo 2 points 4 months ago

Not too shabby +1!!!

chubble123123 2 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

That mac +1

Caminon 1 Build 2 points 4 months ago

+1 for innovative gpu stand.

KevinSlamsPigs 2 points 4 months ago

So tempted to go for this case....how are you liking it?? I didn't know this case supported E-ATX mobo..

Anyways, great build. +1

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 2 points 4 months ago

Thanks! It is a little tight towards the top if you want to do a push/pull configuration for the cpu. Otherwise, there's plenty of space to play with. I couldn't be happier :)

no_mans_buy 2 points 4 months ago

I was so worried that pic 5 was your setup but then I saw pic 6 and I was pleasantly surprised. Also nice way of fixing going sag +56

MrSomeone1314 1 point 3 months ago

lol

GeneticallyEngineeringCatgirls 2 points 4 months ago

Look at that beautiful Wacom tablet...

10/10 not drooling

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Took some time to break into it. There's a rough texture at first use that began to worry me. Mainly because the pen nibs were wearing off fast. It's a smooth surface now, so really happy overall.

uberlizard 1 Build 2 points 4 months ago

heck, you could probably use this as a 4D workstation too if you really wanted

TheOfficialCzex 3 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

Marry me.

LEGO... Art deco... Zotac... A e S t H e T i C...

+EVERYTHING

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Thanks!

BrenN5830 1 Build 2 points 4 months ago

that setup... :o

PigWithAMustache 2 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

how can you use two gpus when they arent in sli? +1 for the legos lol

Apex_Syndicate 3 points 4 months ago

Programs he's using don't support SLI

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

I know :( ... Wishing SLI was more universal.

SnakoM 2 points 4 months ago

Lol, if you reeallly want a non-bloated OS switch to ArchLinux. <2K lines of code. So fast, smooth, and beautiful.

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

So used to the windows workflow at this point. But will try!

pcbuilderman 2 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

I hope you don't have a patent pending on that GPU stand lol because I am going to use your idea. Very nice PC I didn't even think it was possible to fit SLI Zotac Extremes in ANY case ha!

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Me neither! (to be fair, quite a bit of research went into this before buying)

ewhac 1 Build 2 points 4 months ago

...I decided the Rampage was the best option for the dual GPU configuration. And I wasn't going to run the second card at x8 with other viable options just to get some breathing room. SafeSlot, safe boot and lane switches was a plus (GPU support brackets are available btw, albeit very bulky). Some boards also shared bandwidth with m.2 configurations (another deal breaker).

You don't find out stuff like that without reading a metric assload of manuals. You have clearly done your homework.

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Well worth it in the end :)

oneflygtiguy 4 Builds 0 points 4 months ago

Metric assload......what a ton of ****! :)

oneflygtiguy 4 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

Mnpctech makes some really nice video card brackets that dont appear to be all that bulky. I have been contemplating the same lego trick myself for some 980ti's but wanted to possibly make some integrated to board somehow. Awesome use of legos. By the way. Was the card supposed to sag that mutch? Pictures to vendor possibly?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Those are definitely more elegant solutions. Maybe they'll block some much needed air from the top card ? I'm going to give the lego trick a few weeks and see how I feel about investing in this. Even with 'safe slot' which will at least prevent the slot from breaking, I didn't feel comfortable leaving the cards sagging. I'm sure the vendor is aware and they should at least provide some type of support bracket. I will send them photos though. Looking forward to seeing what you decide to use man.

WaggishCrowd80 2 points 4 months ago

Just had the best laugh when i saw the legos, nice thinking

wraithawk 2 points 3 months ago

Is the x52 working well for you? I'm really considering it but I'm reading reviews on it that range from calling it the best AiO available all the way to it's a broken POS that doesn't cool any better than an air cpu cooler.

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

I'm currently using it to overclock the 6850k to 4.2 (from 3.5). Idle temps range from 32-38c and no higher than 75c under load. Keep in mind, the Air 740 case is large so it helps lower inner heat build-up. I'd recommend getting the x62 if your case allows it. I'm personally upgrading just to be safe. It's definitely quieter than the x61 (and looks better imo).

If you are not overclocking then definitely go for the x52. Only downside is the CAM software. It's a huge resource hog and it's currently very buggy. I had to uninstall Asus Aura software in order for it to recognize the cooler. I'm willing to live with it since I'm not using CAM to monitor the PC. I simply went in, set my favorite color, turned off the logo and prevented it from starting up so I never use it. It kept my settings so I'm happy with it.

Let me know if you decide to buy it and how it's working out for you in your future build :)

wraithawk 2 points 3 months ago

Awesome info, thank you! It definitely seems like it's performing decently for what it is. I'm planning on overclocking a 6700k BUT I'll be in a mini ITX case, specifically the Phanteks enthoo EVOL mini itx. This case will fit AiOs up to 280mm so I don't see why this wouldn't fit, but do you think performance will be an issue? Would the safer bet be the x52?

xxswindlexx 2 points 3 months ago

side note here, i7 6700k overclocks really easily and I have mine at 1.4v and 4.6ghz on a h60 temps never over 79c

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

That's great! What AIO are you using?

xxswindlexx 2 points 3 months ago

H60 by corsair (its in push/pull config as exhaust out the back) it was left over from a previous build. funny story. I ordered a replacement fan for it, and just added it to the setup. lulz

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 2 points 3 months ago

If you can afford and fit the x62 (which seems to be out of stock for eternity) then go for it! I'm personally upgrading to the x62 when I get a chance. I'm definitely happy with the x52. Keep in mind you won't be able to run higher voltages for the overclock. I recently reduced the voltage from 1.5 (4.4ghz) to 1.29 (4.0ghz) because of the temps I replied to your comments with. Averaging 35c on idle.

I tweaked the fan curves for both fan & liquid to get 27c on idle. The good thing is that higher RPM isn't increasing dB. I ran a stress test with cpuz for an hour and max temps on load were 58c. Like @xxswindlexx said, the 6700k is a great choice for easy OC, just don't know what cooling method he is using.

Someone I know is using the Phanteks Entho EVOL mini itx case and seems happy with it. Looks cool too!

n0z0ne 2 points 3 months ago

So, I dunno if it's some sort of taboo among PC builders or whatnot, but I've officially swiped your partlist! Therefore, as someone who's benefiting directly from it, I thank you heartily for all your hard work and research!

Question about the various lighting schemes tho: Once you got CAM set as you liked, and then prevented it from starting up again, were you able to re-install and run Aura? What about the lights on the gpus?

Hardly a priority on a primarily-for-work machine, but it seems a shame not to be able to use all the pretties on a setup like this, you know, for when your friends come over for Friday Night Disco...or, um...whatever...

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

Hi n0z0ne! There's no taboo that I know of. And it's great that you have decided to build a similar PC!

With that said, about the Aura software. You can begin by installing Aura and setting your preferences. The motherboard will maintain those settings even after uninstalling it. You can then install CAM and use normally. If you have Aura installed alongside with CAM, CAM will not recognize the Kraken cooler. I spoke to Eric from NZXT and he says it's a verified bug they plan on sorting out on a future update. I am really hoping this is the case because there are several bugs I'm running into with the Kraken, where it doesn't turn on after waking up from sleep. The great thing about CAM is that you can easily tweak the fan curves and really improve your temps without high noise.

The lights on the GPUs can be set using a program called Firestorm. You have settings like Static, Breathing, Strobe and Cycle but the colors are limited to 7 (not full RGB like Kraken). But you can turn off the logo and set the brightness. Each card is independent so each can have different settings. The temps are great with both cards, with the top card having a few degrees above (37c) the one below (31c).

The nice thing about how I have the cards setup is that I can easily switch to SLI mode (for gaming) in NVIDIA Control Panel. I just used an SLI bridge provided with the ASUS board. The other nice thing is how easy it is to overclock using the ASUS AI Suite 3. Some are against having a software do this for you but quite honestly, I don't have the time to manually overclock. 5-Way optimization in AI Suite 3 works just fine for me. I have overclocked the 6850k to 4.3mhz at 1.37v with 28c at idle.

Overall, I am very happy with my build. Let me know if you commit to buying! I'd love to see some pictures.

DEV1LSPROD1GY 2 points 3 months ago

How fast is your boot speed from the M.2? I've heard Asus boards have had issues with nvme drives, but would like to hear from you about that

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

Just ran a test. 33 seconds. Haven't had ANY issues with it. Issues that have been reported have been from older boards that don't have the latest BIOS.

DEV1LSPROD1GY 1 point 3 months ago

i mean that's the issue I've been hearing. 33 seconds is very slow for an SSD. NOT criticism of your build (totally badass :) ), but that's strange. My OCZ Vertex SATA drive boots in 14 or less. Is it taking the most time on the BIOS splash screen? I'm researching for which board I decide to get.

purechaos946 2 points 2 months ago

any BIOS issues from that processor?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Not at all. Only issues I've come across related to the processor were due to user error during the OC process. The high voltage was unstable when overclocking but that's normal when trying to find a sweet spot on your processor. Silicon lottery is REAL.

MuchLinux6500 2 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

LEGOS!

resendezcyler 2 points 1 month ago

Yes Yes YEs YESS! Thank you for showing me what heaven looks like.

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Haha! Thanks for the comment :)

thebream 1 point 4 months ago

No SLI bridge?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

3d render programs and Adobe Suite won't use the second card in SLI.

thebream 2 points 4 months ago

Interesting, didn't know that. Anyways nice build +1

Lyrix 1 point 4 months ago

nice build mate! 1+!

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Thanks!

asd360 1 point 4 months ago

SLI bridge?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 2 points 4 months ago

Want to but not supported for what I'm using the cards for.

asd360 1 point 4 months ago

Gotcha

Asanxz 1 point 4 months ago

What you have in front the keyboard rest hand oh what is that?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

It's the BenQ BL3200PT OSD controller that allows for a one button quick change to the HDMI input (PS4).

n0z0ne 1 point 3 months ago

lol no I think he means the Wacom tablet. Intuos 5?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

Yes. It's the Wacom Intuos 5 Touch Large Pen Tablet.

commodore64 2 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Did you have to install the backplate of the NZXT X52?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

Not for the board I chose.

commodore64 2 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Thanks! Wanted to be sure; I have an X99 as well.

sbrdude1 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

I currently have 1 Zotac AMP Extreme 1080 GTX and am considering a second for SLI. Is it worth it? I use my setup for 3D rendering in CAD and some gaming. My MB is an MSI X99 SLI Plus with 64g of G-Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 3200 and a Haswell-E 5820k in the brain behind everything.

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 2 points 3 months ago

It is definitely worth it! You will need to use a GPU based render engine of course. Octane and Redshift are the great choices. I have an SLI bridge connected but it's usually disabled. It's there just in case I want to easily enable it through NVIDIA control panel (for gaming). If you are still on the fence about getting the second one, look at your render times and gauge your frustration or impatience. The great thing about using GPU based render engines, is that you have the option to stack performance. With CPUs, you are stuck with one or two (XEON).

I would install the second card in slot 5 (PCI_E5) Just make sure it doesn't interfere with the bottom connectors (JAUD1, JUSB3 and SATA). If the card interferes, you can always get a pcie extender. I'm personally getting one for a third card in the future.

mrdudeperson449 1 point 2 months ago

How often do you utilize more than 32gb of ram?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

With Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects each having 10gb allocated ram, somewhat often (depending on the project).

Zbrush, Substance Painter (Photoshop plugin), and Cinema don't cap surprisingly. Overall 32gb was just enough for me right now. 64gb feels like a distant future tbh..

mrdudeperson449 1 point 2 months ago

I heavent gotten into game development yet but i plan on using blender and unreal4 and releaseing it free on steam or something but yeah i wont have access to those high dollar programs. Would you reccomend more than 16 gigs of ram to someone that doeant know what theyre doing? XD

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Start with 16gb. I've been at 16 for over 5 years before I upgraded and didn't feel the need to upgrade. That is, until Windows 10 began having ram management issues. Haven't had those since. 16 is plenty if you are starting out IMO. Do get 8gb sticks though if you plan on upgrading layer.

MoreGaming 1 point 2 months ago

Hi Super Good Build Bro +1 For Dem Lego's. I Have a Question What Desk Is That?

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

I wish I knew :( I got it back when I was working at Carbine. Funny story, they were about to throw the desk away. It's a corporate desk (highly sturdy), meaning they aren't usually sold to the public. If I had a choice now I'd probably go for a large wood/modern dinning table (not L shaped). L shape is nice but it can be a pain configure your space.

Desertkrieg 1 point 2 months ago

Such a wonderful build you have there my friend! I am planning to do the the same GPU configuration with the same cards but sadly i still havent found any Z270 ATX ones that wont have something blocked by those beasts :/

Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks! The biggest thing I was worried about what them blocking the m.2 drive. You could always invest in pci extenders but that requires a bigger case :/

SamaHD 1 point 1 month ago

HOW DID YOU FIT EATX MOBO IN A ATX CASE?

+1

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Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

The keyboard is the KUL ES-87 Tenkeyless Keyboard from elitekeyboards.com. Amazon also carries them. You can buy the red accent keys separately from them as well. Make sure you get the brown switches! I got the blue switches which are louder and slightly harder to press on. Which is good because I tend to rest my fingers on the keys (no accidental presses), but if I had a choice again I'd go for the brown.

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Duranarts submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

You're welcome :)