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ThE_MarD's PC Gaming Rig

by ThE_MarD

24
8 Comments

Details

Date Published

Aug. 15, 2014

Date Built

June 6, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.7GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.01GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

75.0° C

Description

Heyyo,

3DMark 11 score: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/8430603

Only parts I couldn't list here? Antec Lansing 2.1 Speakers (the old ones FutureShop used to carry... not the ****** new ones with worse quality sound) and a Rader Destructor Mouse Pad.

NOTE! You can see above the PCI-E x1 extension cable I bought off eBay (w00t!) and how I used spare motherboard mounting brackets to space it out so I could make the KillerNic 2100 fit in my case without taking a hacksaw to that heatsink hahaha... win. :)

CPU --- 5 / 5 --- Ever since Intel gave up on the Pentium IV and the Pentium D and rebuilt their CPU under the Core architecture? Mindblowingly good. I've had the Core 2 E6600.. the Core 2 Quad Q6600... i7-920 and now this i7-3770k? WOW. Got it used off a bud hence the price. ;)

CPU Cooler --- 5 / 5 --- Adjustable fan speeds and liquid cooling at a cost-effective price... awesome. The new H80i must be epic to be able to control via USB and software... but I'm still happy with the manually controlled one. :)

Motherboard --- 3 / 5 --- Had to do a BIOS update borrowing a friend's 2nd generation i5 to version F10 before I could use my i7-3770k... the top PCI-E x1 port has a really annoyingly tall heatsink which prevented me from using my Visiontek KillerNic 2100 until I bought off eBay a PCI-E x1 extension cable (as pictured above) to make it work... it was a package deal I got off a bud hence the price.

Memory --- 5 / 5 --- Kingston... how awesome you are. Runs great, has heat spreaders and work as advertised. Got it as a package deal off a bud. As you might have noticed... lots of my stuff is from a bud, lol, spare computer parts left over from his Dogecoin mining days. :P

Storage --- 5 / 5 --- For each one I bought? I got the expected performance out of them for the prices. That Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB works surprisingly well despite only 5900RPM.. but the cache is 64MB. Maybe that's why she works good for such a discounted price.

Videocard --- 5 / 5 --- Coming from my old GTX 480 SLI setup? These dual GTX 680's in SLI are AMAZING! A single GTX 680 performs at stock speeds almost as fast as dual 480s... that's an impressive performance leap with the Kelper Architecture. Kudos to nVidia for making such monsterous cards. Got these cheap off a bud for the pair after he started selling a bunch of AMD R9 cards and kept two himself heh.

Case --- 5 / 5 --- This is the best case I've owned. Easy to work with, lots of modularity and fan options and is just plain beautiful. I'd rather have an all-aluminum build option but the plastic on this one feels durable and has a nice gloss finish. Good Job NZXT!

Power Supply --- 4 / 5 --- because the PSU is solid and has a five year manufacturer warranty. Docked one star due to how annoying it is to ply the cables to make them bend the way you want them to... all cables are plastic coated.

Optical Drive --- 5 / 5 --- For the rare amount I used this DVD drive? It works. It burns images without issue using ImgBurn and plays movies on VideoLAN. :P

Operating System --- 5 / 5 --- It seems Microsoft gets a miss on one generation of Windows and then Hits with the next... after the Miss that was Windows Vista? Windows 7 is not only a hit... it hits a home run out of the ballpark. The multi-tasking of Vista combined with the single program performance of XP is a dream come true. The interface is built for speed and efficiency and it delivers on that front as well. Unless Windows 9 and beyond sparkles and shines? I don't currently see a reason I'd consider anything else for the time being.... I do also dabble in Linux, but it's still far from my main operating system... the lack of proper Multi-GPU support from both AMD and nVidia means it's fun to mess with, but lets me down as soon as I try and use my GPU's.

Monitor --- 5 / 5 --- Asus. It's been a trusted name in electronic hardware for a long time, and this monitor is a prime example why. It delivers a great visual experience for the price point... only downside? It is only a 60Hz monitor... but can't expect too much for the price point anyways without sacrificing screen size or image quality for less than $300. I got mine for less... once again, contacts. ;)

Sound Card --- 4 / 5 --- I've used Soundblaster sound cards in my PC for a long time. Last time I tried using onboard HD Realtek? I was let down by the performance hits and the lower quality sound... getting the Recon 3D with the four "Soundcore" processors was awesome. Mine is the Recon 3D FATAL1TY edition that comes with the stereo microphone and paired with the Recon 3D has great noise cancellation. My friends get to hear me crystal clear and don't hear my speakers. Perfect.... the only reason it's not a 5 / 5? Creative Labs refuse to support Linux. Luckily there's a dedicated Linux community that got most of the sound card working by backwards engineering the Google Chrome Pixel drivers... by most? My front audio ports and front microphone ports don't work.

Wired Network Adapter --- 2 / 5 --- It's a fantastic idea but not a plausible market as an expansion card. It has its own processor for computing the sound, allowing your CPU to focus on other tasks. It helps give you a minor performance boost... but? $20 network stack optimizing software such as PGWare's Throttle can achieve half the results this $100 card can do.... Bigfoot Networks (who were bought out by Qualcomm) even state they don't support Linux...

Unfortunately, no Linux drivers exist for the Killer 2100. The card was designed to improve Windows networking performance, and those restrictions don't exist in Linux, so a driver was not created. I'm afraid driver creation has ceased for this product (bug-fix support still exists), so there likely won't be a Linux driver coming.

Apologies for the inconvenience,

Ethan Senior Support Engineer Qualcomm Atheros www.killergaming.com

ref:_00D306grN._500a0h48HQ:ref

Case Fan --- 5 / 5 --- BitFenix makes some fantastic fans. They look nice, they aren't extremely loud and were cost effective.

Keyboard --- 5 / 5 --- Logitech G15 the best keyboard I've ever used since I haven't had the chance to try a G19s. It's backlit, the LCD is neat (totally unnecessary but neat) and I love the semi-mechanical feel to it. They layout is perfect too. I've had this keyboard for almost six years and it's still going strong unlike my previous Microsoft keyboards.

Mouse --- 5 / 5 --- The Logitech G400s is my favorite optical mouse. It feels nice, the button placement is very similar to the awesome MX518 I bought for my sister and it has a nice balanced weight to it. I've owned in the past a Razer Deathadder (mouse-click failed after two years), Razer Lachesis (worst mouse ever made) and a Razer Deathadder 3500G where the mouse-click failed after two years as well. Razer makes some neat products... but wow, after trying these mice? I'll still with Logitech Keyboard and Mouse from now on. They have better warranty which also goes to show they know they sell a reliable product. Stay away from Razer Mice.

Headphones --- 4 / 5 --- I've owned my Schenheiser PC 350 headset for well over 7 years and they've worked without issues. The only downside to them? Cheap glue to hold the chrome-painted swivel caps... all four have fallen off lol. Otherwise? Fantastic sound quality, good microphone and comfortable fit for hours of gaming with my buds. I tend to use them less these days though since I bought my Recon 3D soundcard with the stereo microphone that has perfect background noise cancellation.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Adjustable fan speeds and liquid cooling at a cost-effective price... awesome. The new H80i must be epic to be able to control via USB and software... but I'm still happy with the manually controlled one. :)

Motherboard

Had to do a BIOS update borrowing a friend's 2nd generation i5 to version F10 before I could use my i7-3770k... the top PCI-E x1 port has a really annoyingly tall heatsink which prevented me from using my Visiontek KillerNic 2100 until I bought off eBay a PCI-E x1 extension cable (as pictured above) to make it work... it was a package deal I got off a bud hence the price.

Memory

Kingston... how awesome you are. Runs great, has heat spreaders and work as advertised. Got it as a package deal off a bud. As you might have noticed... lots of my stuff is from a bud, lol, spare computer parts left over from his Dogecoin mining days. :P

Storage

That Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB works surprisingly well despite only 5900RPM.. but the cache is 64MB. Maybe that's why she works good for such a discounted price.

Video Card

Coming from my old GTX 480 SLI setup? Doing dual GTX 680's in SLI are AMAZING! A single GTX 680 performs at stock speeds almost as fast as dual 480s... that's an impressive performance leap with the Kepler Architecture. Kudos to nVidia for making such monstrous cards. Got these cheap off a bud for the pair after he started selling a bunch of AMD R9 cards and kept two himself heh.

Case

This is the best case I've owned. Easy to work with, lots of modularity and fan options and is just plain beautiful. I'd rather have an all-aluminum build option but the plastic on this one feels durable and has a nice gloss finish. Good Job NZXT!

Only downside? 200mm fan mounts are only for the minimal size mounts.. my bitfenix spectre pro 200mm fans didn't fit on the front very well and couldn't fit in the top-front spot.

Power Supply

4/5 because the PSU is solid and has a five year manufacturer warranty.

Docked one star due to how annoying it is to ply the cables to make them bend the way you want them to... all cables are plastic coated.

Operating System

It seems Microsoft gets a miss on one generation of Windows and then Hits with the next... after the Miss that was Windows Vista? Windows 7 is not only a hit... it hits a home run out of the ballpark. The multi-tasking of Vista combined with the single program performance of XP is a dream come true. The interface is built for speed and efficiency and it delivers on that front as well. Unless Windows 9 and beyond sparkles and shines? I don't currently see a reason I'd consider anything else for the time being.... I do also dabble in Linux, but it's still far from my main operating system... the lack of proper Multi-GPU support from both AMD and nVidia means it's fun to mess with, but lets me down as soon as I try and use my GPU's.

Sound Card

Sigh sound crackles a bunch in Windows 7 64bit when you use voicechat programs like Mumble or Teamspeak with games (World of Tanks, Battlefield 3, etc)... turns out the Windows 10 64bit drivers suffer the same issue... that combined with Creative Labs failing to provide proper drivers for Linux? 1/5. AVOID! Just get a USB DAC if anything or just enjoy onboard sound which is more reliable. Never again will I buy anything Creative Labs... tbh I'm back on my onboard Realtek HD Audio with Windows 10 64bit and no crackling sound issues at all.

Wired Network Adapter

It's a fantastic idea but not a plausible market as an expansion card. It has its own processor for computing the sound, allowing your CPU to focus on other tasks. It helps give you a minor performance boost... but? $20 network stack optimizing software such as PGWare's Throttle can achieve half the results this $100 card can do.... Bigfoot Networks (who were bought out by Qualcomm) even state they don't support Linux...

Unfortunately, no Linux drivers exist for the Killer 2100. The card was designed to improve Windows networking performance, and those restrictions don't exist in Linux, so a driver was not created. I'm afraid driver creation has ceased for this product (bug-fix support still exists), so there likely won't be a Linux driver coming.

Apologies for the inconvenience,

Ethan Senior Support Engineer Qualcomm Atheros www.killergaming.com

ref:_00D306grN._500a0h48HQ:ref

Monitor

Asus. It's been a trusted name in electronic hardware for a long time, and this monitor is a prime example why. It delivers a great visual experience for the price point... only downside? It is only a 60Hz monitor... but can't expect too much for the price point anyways without sacrificing screen size or image quality for less than $300. I got mine for less... once again, contacts. ;)

Keyboard

Logitech G15 the best keyboard I've ever used since I haven't had the chance to try a G19s. It's backlit, the LCD is neat (totally unnecessary but neat) and I love the semi-mechanical feel to it. They layout is perfect too. I've had this keyboard for almost six years and it's still going strong unlike my previous Microsoft keyboards.

Mouse

The Logitech G400s is my favorite optical mouse. It feels nice, the button placement is very similar to the awesome MX518 I bought for my sister and it has a nice balanced weight to it. I've owned in the past a Razer Deathadder (mouse-click failed after two years), Razer Lachesis (worst mouse ever made) and a Razer Deathadder 3500G where the mouse-click failed after two years as well. Razer makes some neat products... but wow, after trying these mice? I'll still with Logitech Keyboard and Mouse from now on. They have better warranty which also goes to show they know they sell a reliable product. Stay away from Razer Mice.

Headphones

I've owned my Schenheiser PC 350 headset for well over 7 years and they've worked without issues. The only downside to them? Cheap glue to hold the chrome-painted swivel caps... all four have fallen off lol. Otherwise? Fantastic sound quality, good microphone and comfortable fit for hours of gaming with my buds. I tend to use them less these days though since I bought my Recon 3D soundcard with the stereo microphone that has perfect background noise cancellation.

Comments Sorted by:

xx116xx 3 Builds 4 points 45 months ago

SLI 680s are still great cards. Nice build.

ThE_MarD submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Heyyo, thanks mang! Yeah I'm thoroughly impressed with them. GTX 680 SLI is still faster than a single GTX 780ti! Probably not as power efficient... but who cares! It's maybe $10 a year in power bill difference heh. :P

Zedzer 2 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

Just be careful, not a lot of games support SLI but the cards on their own are still pretty good. A +1 from me. :)

ThE_MarD submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Heyyo, in Linux that argument is true. SLI support in Linux is limited only to ID Tech 4 Engine (Doom 3, ETQW, Quake 4, Wolfenstein 2009 and that ****** game Brink)...

On Windows? There's only be a rare handful of games SLI doesn't work on... usually early access titles on Steam like Rust (but can easily be setup to work in AFR2 to still get a decent performance boost over a single card). Sure, there's some titles like Titanfall and Elder Scrolls Online where SLI was broken for a long time... but AMD's CrossFire suffered the same fate due to developers lack of proper multi-GPU support in their titles.

Essentially... before the GTX 400 series? SLI was useless. Alternate Frame Rendering yeilded 10% to 30% gains only... yet nowadays with the revised (and somehow amaze-balls better) AFR2 + proper SLI Profile? Performance leaps almost by twice the performance of a single card... in some well-optimized games like Battlefield 3? It can achieve twice the performance in SLI!

http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/geforce-gtx-770-sli-review,19.html

I'm telling you... keep it in mind as a cheap upgrade path if you have a good mobo to go with it. Before? I bought a GTX 480 when they were newish for $350... two years later? Bought a second GTX 480 (same EVGA model number luckily) off of eBay used.. for $100. Doubled my performance in Battlefield 3 and got great improvements in many other games. Blew me away. :)

Same goes for AMD CrossFire.. it's also a very viable upgrade path if you're willing like myself to buy a second card used for a discount price down the road. ;)

Tezan 2 points 44 months ago

Sir, Thats what i call, THE COMPLET BUILD !

ThE_MarD submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Heyyo,

Heh thanks man! Yeah the only thing I couldn't list was my Antec Lansing 2.1 PC Speakers. Other than that? PcPartPicker had the whole build which is awesome. :)

I love this site and it's so darn handy for helping others too which is great. I just wanted to toss up my build that I'm constantly tossing new parts into every year or two... slowly upgrading as I go.

LeOrange 1 point 45 months ago

As to your front mic and headphone ports not working: I suspect that you still have them connected to the motherboard. Is there a place on the sound card where you can connect the front panel HD_AUDIO header?

ThE_MarD submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Heyyo, It works fine in Windows, but as I said in Linux the limitation for my CA0132 Recon 3D is no front mic or front headphone ports... I've messed around with alsamixer muting and unmuting different channels to no avail.. it automatically detects it to... it just won't output sound via the Intel_HDA_Sound... limitations of Creative Labs not properly supporting Linux which is lame since they had half-decent support on their Audigy and X-Fi lineups...

[EDIT1] Apparently onboard CA0132 cards (like the Recon 3Di) works fine with both speakers and front mic and front headphone ports though... which makes sense since the Linux drivers are based off backwards-engineering the Google Chromebook Pixel drivers... sigh, maybe Creative Labs will get off their asses once SteamOS eventually ships...