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Gaming and A/V editing rig for a friend

by D33P_R07



CPU Clock Rate


GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



Was contacted by a friend asking for help building a machine for gaming, Video editing, and audio production. Was more than happy to oblige, given his stated budget was $2500. I managed to stay pretty nicely within that while still building a beast of a machine. It's a really nice balance of power and efficiency if I say so myself, especially having a Haswell i7.

Turned out he didn't need any help getting any peripherals, he actually was more knowledgeable than he gave himself credit for, having already bought a Corsair K70, Astro A50, BenQ XL2420T, and a Razer Mamba prior to the build.

Loaded a copy of Linux Mint 14 I had brought as he hadn't purchased an OS yet; he'll be installing Windows 7 Ultimate on as well.

Very impressed with the ASUS mobo, I knew I would be but it still exceeded my expectations. The BIOS was very detailed and had full mouse support. He was wowed by the NFC module included; I'd love to get one myself. The H100 keeps the CPU in the mid 20's at idle, very efficient. The SSD was so insanely light I thought it was a dummy, I have a Kingston and an OCZ SSD; both still have some heft compared to the Sandisk which had the weight of a giant SD card. System boots in about 11 seconds, including the 3-seconds allowed by the mobo for the user to hit F2 to enter BIOS. Didn't have time to benchmark anything unfortunately. Also very impressed with the Corsair C70's build quality and cable management; I didn't need to use a single cable tie as there were clips and guides for everything behind the motherboard tray. Corsair PSU is great, but the SATA power cables were too short (as always). I had to use both to power the hard drives and the ODD, could've used one if it had been another two inches longer. I wish power supply manu's would get on this, it's unnecessary and wasteful to have even an extra cable or two cluttering up the case. Oh, and the HD 7970 didn't come with a decal. I know that's a petty complaint, but when we spend $300 on a graphics card, it's nice to rep that on the front of the case, manufacturers get free advertisement from it anyway.

Comments Sorted by:

Xerdia 4 points 49 months ago

Very nice build, I love how the case has a militaristic look to it.

Two things I'd like to mention is that the CPU cooler is the definition of overkill(if he's not overclocking). I also would have swapped out your ram for 16 GBs of 2133-mhz for $120-$140 as well, he would have recognizable performance gains for what he's going to be using his computer for.

D33P_R07 submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Thanks! You're right, I probably should have gone for higher clocked RAM with the extra couple hundred left in the budget, though I was unsure if he'd purchased things like a mechanical keyboard yet. Hopefully prices will fall again next year.

I'm also a firm believer in keeping CPU temps as low as possible to safeguard the longevity of the processor, plus the benefits of closed-loop liquid cooling far outweigh the cost now. As the AC5 cures his temps will probably float in the low 30's, which is comfortable IMO.

DishRagBoy 2 points 49 months ago

C70 REPRESENT! Also nice build man! +1

That0rangeGuy 2 points 49 months ago

+1 for helping friends. :D

Hakumisoso 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Why the 7970 and not a 280x?

D33P_R07 submitter 1 Build 3 points 49 months ago

Wasn't out yet at the time he purchased all the parts. Quick check on Newegg also shows they aren't offering the 3 free games with the 280X, which is a nice deal.

Electrospeed 1 point 49 months ago

+1 from me, great build.

But, the R9 280x is about the same price, has the same VRAM, and has similar clock speeds, while being a newer model...

I'm just saying, if I were to get a 7970, I'd get the GHz edition.

AustinL 1 Build 2 points 49 months ago

all GHZ edition is it is Factory OCed which means a Regular 7970 can still reach same speeds

D33P_R07 submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

At the time (around six weeks ago) I think the price was closer to $300, which made the 7970 the winner as I knew he wouldn't need insane performance out of the GPU, just very high end. I also wanted to keep temps down by not having any OC'd parts (i.e. GHz edition cards).

On a side note, I've heard in reviews that some of the new R9 cards end up having worse performance than their forebears due to the firmware on the card. The ASUS Matrix R9 280X vs. the Matrix HD 7970 for example. Food for thought though, thanks.

nhall.bob 1 point 49 months ago

that is a very cheap ssd

xx116xx 3 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Why the slower RAM?

DrFrostSickle 1 point 49 months ago

Wait he had a 2500$ budget? I mean with taht get a 290x and all ssd....

D33P_R07 submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Wanted to stick with quality parts elsewhere, i.e. it's easier for him to get another graphics card later on and do crossfire, than it is for him to upgrade the processor or the mobo. Plenty of room for additional SSDs and platter drives as well, the mobo has 10 SATA 6Gbps ports and the case has plenty of room :)

DrFrostSickle 1 point 49 months ago

Ah thats a very good point i didnt even think about.

Starlana 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

How nice of you not to spend every red cent, like I would have done. :)

+1 Starlana

EDIT: I keep forgetting they fixed my handle and I don't have to sign off Starlana anymore. :)