So I had been dreaming of building my own PC for a while and when black friday/Cyber monday rolled about, I decided to finally dive into it.
The machine is essentially used for Gaming (MMOs, FarCry 3, AC3, etc.) and so far, it has been performing very well. However I sometimes find the temps are getting a bit high. CPU wise, I think the Zalman cooler might be bottlenecking my OC capabilities here and might be the first component I would upgrade if I want to aim for higher clocks, but for the actual use I make of it, it doesn't seem urgent. I might have also been slightly unlucky with the silicon lottery on this one because even at 4.4GHz, my CPU is sucking some 1,26 mV which is generating some intense heat on this Ivy bridge architecture from what I gathered. any voltage lower than that is unstable :(
GPU wise, I reach these 75°C temps (on both GPUs) after a prolonged FarCry3 sessions on Ultra (no AA). I think the main issue here would be the airflow. 2 cards of this size make it hard to have a good flow through the case, and there's no real cure for that, I eventually took one fan from the front of the case to put it on the side intake to shoot some fresh air right on the GPUs, which helped a bit. I went with the SLI solution in the first place because the GPUs were on sale and came to 140$ each after MIR, which is some 60$ less than a single GTX670. I am satisfied, but unsure if I would do the same thing again or wait for the bigger single card to be on sale.
Concerning the Case, while the airflow is simply amazing, I feel it was greatly hindered by the piss-poor cable management solution (no backspace, very few holes to pass the cables through) . I did the best I could with the cables, but as you can see, it's far from perfect. Thankfully the power supply was semi-modular, limiting the number of cables present. I am going to add some dust filters to the front and side intake fans very soon since they were not included in this iteration of the case. Also, the lack of tool-less solution made the build a bit more painful, esp. for a first time, not being used to it all, but once all up and running, can't complain.
I went for the Pro MB mostly for the WiFi-go features and for the very small price difference with the LK version at the time.
For those who are curious, the Mushkin Chronos works very well, absolutely no issues so far (in line with the numerous reviews I read before buying the unit) and at a 90$ pricetag at the time, it was clearly the cheapest of the league!
All the prices below are slightly off since they are not the sales prices, and overall the build cost me just shy of 1400$ with taxes and shipping (I live in Canada).
So, what do you think? would you have done anything different or what would you change? Constructive input would be appreciated :D