Well after its first incarnation I felt it needed a few tweaks here and there to get the perfect optimum balance.
Basically I left the motherboard, processor and cooler in place and set about upgrading and replacing pretty much everything else.
Originally the 1st build was perfect, comfortably, well sort of running a triple slot R9 290 which even though fit perfectly, it blocked a fair bit, well pretty much all the only 120mm intake fan and sucked all the cool air for itself. Motherboard temps were slightly high, not too bad but given the small bump on CPU ratio it was running pretty warm with no cool air passing over.
Plus another issue is a fundamental flaw with case design, PSU is mounted Fan upwards directly underneath your graphics card in a case with limited air intake. So running a non reference graphics card means Power Supply is sucking in a lot of that expelled heat, fans run faster than ever and its efficency is greatly deminished due to high temps. So moral of story, only buy reference version and have all that hot air sent straight out of the back of case.
Now onto the changes....
Upgrades GRAPHICS - R9 290 gone, KFA2 3.5GB GTX 970 EX OC Black Edition in its place. RAM - Swapped out the Gskill Sniper Ram for set of Corsair vengeance Pro DDR3 2400, why I dont know as not any quicker and needs 0.4v increase CASE FAN - I have replaced Corsair SP120 PWM as front intake and gone with 120mm Gelid Fan from Gelid Tranquillo Rev 2 Cooler. PSU - Well the original was rubbish, as loud as any cheap chinese rubbish and kept getting random shutdowns. Now replaced with a lesser watt EVGA Supernova 650W G1, didnt feel the need to go any higher and next best EVGA was 750W which was little overkill for extra £25. Given this site reckons I only need 298W, how wrong that is. I have registered over 420W from the wall so far benchmarking. Though this one isnt as quiet as some make out on reviews online I have tested it fully loaded and its extremely stable and no issues with the power spikes these graphics cards can causing, which I think was the issue originally. COOLER FAN - Also changed fan on H60 Cooler, have now changed to an even slimmer fan only 13mm deep. It has pretty much the same specs regards airflow but at a lower RPM and 5dba quieter which is a bonus. SSD Replaced 250GB Samsung 840 EVO with a 2nd 850 EVO and Striped them in RAID 0 for pure speed
Likely a hypocrite but decided to take the plunge and bought a 3.5GB GTX 970, after previous comments I made stated I wouldnt due to Nvidia Fiasco but I wanted to see first hand what all the fuss was about, especially as I had just been running a 4GB R9 290 so had a lot to compare to. Honestly not seen much in scope of issues during testing but I have seen some marked improvements elsewhere.
For starters, temps are better as I have bit more airflow, I ditched the SP120 from first build as they are utter pooh. I have since took the 120mm Fan included with the Gelid Tranquillo Rev 2 CPU Coolers, it pushes a huge amount of air at 50% fan speed and compared to corsair is silent, no humming, clicking or annoying sounds anymore when running low RPM's.
So after all that, have got this machine running at 4.6Ghz at 1.24v with temps under XTU load at maximum 69 degrees. Have managed 4.7Ghz at 1.27v stable but temps went to 80 Degrees as needed fair increase in voltage, with little more can easily get 4.8 at 1.3v though heat is my major issue then as impossible for H60 to keep that processor cool as its too small. Graphics is fantastic for additional overclocking, currently running 7800 on Memory and 1552 on Graphics core, temps get upto about 70/71 degrees but fan speeds up to about 80% then so gets little bit noisy when benchmarking, during games not so much but its quiet under load anyhow. Pretty much manages to keep maximum boost constantly.
So after all that stripping out and rebuilding with upgraded parts here are few results from benchmarks taken before and after upgrades. Before scores were based on CPU runing at 4.2Ghz and running alongside an Powercolor R9 290 PCS+ OC but now can eaisly run 4.6Ghz with no heat issues whatsoever.
Original PC 3D Mark Results Firestrike - 9701 Sky Diver - 23316 Cloud Gate - 19976 Ice Storm - 148119
Unigine Heaven 1080p High - FPS 109.1 Score 2749
Intel XTU Benchmark - Score 842
Upgraded PC 3D Mark Results Firestrike - 10785 Sky Diver - 26567 Cloud Gate - 23299 Ice Storm - 204708
Unigine Heaven 1080p High (default) - FPS 129.7 Score 3268 1080p Ultra 8xAA Extreme - FPS 60.6 Score 1526
Unigine Valley 1080p Extreme HD 8xAAFPS 62.7 Score 2624
Intel XTU - 896 Points
And as its seems to be 20% faster I have also replaced monitor too, may aswell take advantage.
Total Build cost as per PC Parts Picker shows £1455 but at end of all this including returning some parts and selling replaced parts total build cost came to £1335