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RWBY Build

by Raventhornn


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Jan. 8, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.7 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.569 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11.016 GHz


 Here is my RWBY Gaming rig, after using this site as reference for some of my component decisions I decided I would share my information as sort of a way to return the favor.  I also used other various online resources to help decide which items to use.

 After using an iMac for gaming for the last 8+ years, I decided my January birthday gift to myself would be a new custom built gaming rig.  Prior to my iMac systems I used to build my own computers, and I used to be a professional IT guy [basically retired now], so I know my way around the insides of PC's.  One of the compromises I had to accept using iMac's for gaming, was not being able to run current games at full resolution with all the options enabled... No more, my primary goal was to build a system where I could run games with full pretty enabled.

 So, now that we covered some of the background I'll cover some of my design/build criteria.  First I'll admit to some personal bias; I prefer Intel CPU's and NVidia GPU's, this is based on some personal experiences with AMD and ATI items in the distant pass [which I acknowledge is in no way reflected on the current generation of CPU/GPU components from AMD].  Here is my criteria, listed in order of preference, that helped guide my decisions:

 1. Reliability/Stability
 2. Performance
 3. Acoustics/Quietness
 4. Aesthetics
 5. Value

 CPU:  Basically this is the top of the line i7-8xxx current Intel processor, I could have gone with an i5-8xxx or an i7-7xxx or the locked version of the i7-8xxx, however I have not heard any real negative review of the i7-8700K, other than availability, and while I'll primarily run this at stock speeds, keeping the ability to do some light overclocking available is a preferred option.  Yes I am paying a bit of a premium for that ability, and while gaming performance isn't really improved over the i5-8xxx that is a value related item which is the bottom of my list.

 CPU Cooler:  So this was really my second/third choice for cooling solutions.  I did not want the expense/complication of a custom liquid solution.  So my first choice was Noctua NH-D15S; however I did not want to put the weight stress on my motherboard which most performance air coolers tend to have due to their size. This particular model took into account the common issue of blocking memory DIMM slots, in case you wanted to know why that particular model, which leads into the issue of my next choice; the NZXT Kraken X62.  The Kraken has an issue with either blocking the memory DIMM slots or you have to change the alignment which could impact the orientation of the logo & the internal cooling fins within the block/pump.  While I admit there is debate with regards to the impact of actual cooling reliability/performance [fin orientation being parallel/perpendicular or skew], I wanted to avoid the item entirely.  Most review put the EVGA CLC as comparably with the Corsair Hydro series solutions, with some review putting it ahead in some areas, but generally it consistently rated as quieter, hence my choice.

 Motherboard:  Again, this was actually my second choice.  The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 was actually my first choice.  I went back and forth on this a couple of times, however the deciding factor was the reports on the Gigabyte forms about multiple people have 'minor' issues with the onboard sound.  Many people where report static sound coming from the onboard sound [regardless of front panel vs back panel], this pushed me to the MSI board.  This board is overkill, I openly admit it, however outside of price, I honestly could not find any review really identifying any issues with this board [outside of some minor LINUX resource conflicts].  This might be due to not many people actually using the board, so smaller sampling, but I went ahead with this board.  A minor feature that I was considering using that seems mostly 'unique' to this board was the native U.2 connector, but at this time I did not go for an U.2 storage solution.

 Memory:  This could be a can of worms, as to LED vs RGB vs no-LED/RGB.  I decided on G.Skill due to some minor item about stability and functioning in quad channel [yes I know the Z370 only handles dual channel] from Tom's Hardware in one of their reviews of a motherboard; and how they only could get it to work with the G.Skill memory.  Also was the CL of 16; most of the other memory I found at the 3600 Mhz had worse timings and while I could get faster [Mhz] memory doing rough calculations with their timings did not actually compare better than the 3600 with the 16-16-16-36 timings [G.Skill's own Trident Z RGB memory at 4000 Mhz has 18-19-19-39 timings].  Then we come to the fact of RGB, I know some people have stability issues with the memory, specifically because the RGB info is writting into the SPD settings on the DIMM and this has cause issues with overclocking stability, however I decided I'd go with the 'wow' factor here and do RGB memory just cause.  BTW my second choice for memory was G.SKILL Trident Z RGB F4-3000C14Q-32GTZRR, with it's 14-14-14-34 timings it actually compares fairly well to the faster 3600.  I went with 32GB since it should mostly 'future proof' the build and the 4 DIMM's would look 'better' than having the gap of 2 DIMM's.

 Video Card(s):  I had already decided I would be running the system in 2 card SLI, and that it would be GTX 1080 Ti's.  I am aware of the diminishing returns with regards to SLI performance, but we get back to my primary driver for this system, "ALL-THE-PIXELS-ALL-THE-PRETTY", so it really comes down to which vendor and which model.  I was concerned with thermal impacts of running two of these cards, so I decided to go with AIO liquid cooled cards.  So this is where some amount of general practicality surfaced, as only a few cards were in stock and available to ship, most of the reviews were favorable about this particular card.  Some people have reported issues with noise especially if they changed the direction of the fan's.  Also of concern was the length of tubing between the card and the radiator, as almost all these type of cards want the radiator above the card, which becomes an issue when you are attempting to install two of these cards, I was thinking that I may have to install one radiator in the front of the case [which I did not end up doing, as the tubing was too short for the case I went with].  I am happy to report no issues, at least at this time, with the cards or my setup.  I ended up with one radiator mounted on the top of the case, and the other mounted just below it on the back - both in a push [default fan setup] configuration exhausting out the case.

 Case:  Again this was my second choice, however that only because Fractal Design had just announced the Define R6 while I was setting up my parts list for order.  I would not however recommend going the path I did with regards to the Be Quiet! - Dark Base 900 with adding the Tempered Glass side panel vs just going with the Dark Base Pro 900.  Price wise it it becomes pretty much a wash, I went this way because I did not want the wireless charger, nor did I want that spacing being used up with something I wasn't going to use.  However the non-Pro version basically has a plastic shroud inplace for the charging unit, so I did not really gain anything other than one less wiring harness to worry about.  The other item I would note about this case is that some case modders have commented that they have improved the thermals on this case by trimming all the vent coverings in the top of the case; this is something I may explore, however I do not have any cooling issues at this time.  I needed to go with a mid-tower, or larger, for the volume of what I was fitting in the system, having 3  radiators and 3 PCIe cards [2 Video and 1 Storage card] dictated it.  Also this was one of the few cases that addressed space issues above the motherboard, as the system tray can be moved down and spacers moved from the bottom of the system to the top.  I knew at least one radiator needed to go in the top, and I was concerned about clearance above the motherboard.

 Storage:  My parts list has this a bit off, as at the time of this writing Intel Optane SSD 900P 280GB was not listed as a storage option, I have it listed as an 'Other' item.  This is my primary boot drive.  It has some of the best performance characteristics you can currently get, and it has some of the best endurance you can get in an SSD, in a nutshell this is the best storage you can purchase as a consumer [yes I am sure people will debate that fact].  The only real limitation is the storage amount, hence this is where the Samsung 850 EVO 2TB comes into play.  Limiting the Intel to just the Operating System, the space doesn't become an issue, and most of the performance impact is realized; keep in mind that Microsoft Windows [even Windows 10] with a bunch of RAM still wants to use a swap file, and it will default to the system drive.  Unless you go thru and configure Windows to not use a swap file/virtual memory [which it will complain about], you system drive will impact your performance to some extent.  All my programs and game are loaded onto the Samsung 850 Evo, which is a SSD that I had on hand [it was in a MacBook Pro 17", however sadly after 8 years the system board finally died].  In the SSD space the 850 EVO 2TB is still pretty respectable with regards to performance.  The performance impact of 'where you run your games from' is pretty minimal with regards to FPS, and once you are in the land of SSD, even load times suffer from diminishing returns on performance.  The Optane SSD is in a PCIe format, it really is only available in PCIe or U.2 formats, hence the motherboard consideration [MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming's U.2 interface] and/or the case consideration [3 occupied PCIe cards].

 Power Supply:  Overkill, plain and simple, I acknowledge that fact.  Now moving on, why the Corsair HX1200i?  I tend to trust Tom's Hardware, maybe a bit more than I should, and this was one of the 'best power supplies' they had listed [I think they updated their list for 2018, and it was replaced by the HX1200].  Selling points to me; 80 PLUS Platinum certification [meaning 92% efficiency at 50% load], modular cables, fanless operations at low loads, and the fan is a fluid bearing.  So this all comes back to it's meeting my top 3 component requirements; reliability, performance, and acoustics.

 Monitor:  35" curved ultawide (21:9) 1440p 100+Hz refresh with G-SYNC.  I wanted a gaming monitor, and while I did think about 4K monitors, I decided I wanted the emersion factor of an ultrawide monitor.  I wanted G-SYNC, as I was NVIDIA bound, and suddenly that actually narrows the field considerably.  After reviewing a fair amount of the options I decided on the Z35P due to 35" and 1440p; basically the only other real option in the 35" was the OMEN X by HP 35 Curved Display.  Yes there were a few other good options at 34" and a few 1080p 35+", but this was the highest size/resolution I could find.  Many people complain about colors being washed out or blacks not being 'black enough', but most of that is addressed by calibrating the unit, and some people have identified 'flickering' on the screen with G-SYNC enabled, however there doesn't seem to be solid lead on that.  So far I have not encountered these issues.

 So that about covers this build, some may want to call it the "More Dollars than Sense" build, as there are a few things that could have been addressed with cheaper options without sacrificing much/any performance.  The remaining items on my build are mostly peripherals that I already had.  To all the people who have posted their builds here, especially the Intel i7-8700K's builds, the 2-way SLI builds, and the Liquid CPU/GPU cooler builds, thanks bunches as viewing those helped me identify most of my build before I spent any money.

Comments Sorted by:

VenusFTW 1 point 11 months ago

nice build! btw weiss dies.

FranLowell1422 1 point 11 months ago

oh cmon man, i was getting there and now you had to ruin it for me, i named my cat after her too. god dammit, now the surprise is gone and now i'm disappointed.

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

Super nice components. Looks like I did your cable management, but hot dayum SLI hybrid 1080ti's, an 8700k, Optane and a 2TB SSD, and that monitor. Wow.

Thumbs up.

Raventhornn submitter 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Thanks, as for the cable management, without going custom cables I am afraid there was just no good way to run them. Running down thru the back looked worse than running down the front of the cards, and don't even get me started on the PCIe onboard power run...

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

Man, I have a lot of trouble trying to cable manage. Just check some of my builds. I get tired of trying to figure out where to put stuff and eventually just quit. I enjoy the operation of the machine as much as the aesthetics. If it works, it's good.

Tetsuclaw 5 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

Nice build but with the name you gave it I was hoping to see a RWBY themed build lol.


VenusFTW 1 point 11 months ago

or atleast a tribute for monty oum.

Raventhornn submitter 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

I hear you, very sad. Hopefully we get many more years of tribute to him thru his creation.

VenusFTW 0 points 11 months ago

they ruined his creation. the fighting animations are god awful and it is nearly unwatchable...

Raventhornn submitter 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Still working thru the RGB configurations, then will likely do the RWBY color scheme. As for the wall paper, still trying to find that right one.

Skidsteve 1 point 11 months ago

This may be a example of how I'd wanna retire when my day comes lol spend all my money on something I can love

Ashura 1 point 11 months ago

Could you do 4k resolution sli gaming benchmarks? Thanks and sorry for the trouble!

Raventhornn submitter 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

Sorry for the delay, been busy. I can't really do 4k benchmarks, as I don't have a 4k monitor. The Z35P only does 3440 X 1440, which is just a bit more than half the true resolution of 4k [4k = ~8.29 million pixels vs Z35P which is 4.96 million pixels]. When I get some time I can post some of my in game FPS [I don't do a lot of technical benchmarking - I mostly do what I enjoy gaming shooting for smooth FPS with as pretty as possible].

So far I can say most of my games I can play with the Nvidia recommend settings and keep FPS above 60 in all but the most demanding games [example SpellForce III - which my old system got shuttering at 1080p with about 1/3 of the pretty options enabled/set - new one stays about 40 FPS at heaviest times with 3440X1440 with all the pretty options enabled]


Ashura 1 point 10 months ago

Oh nice! Yeah, I just look at in game fps, anyway. Thanks

Raventhornn submitter 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

Well, I can tell you that running pretty much all the options on highest, and running native resolution [3440 X 1440] - for Destiny 2, I pretty much stay above 90 FPS, and usually keep close to 100 FPS. I don't tend to run the overclock refresh on the Z35P - so 100 Hz is what it runs at.

Ashura 1 point 10 months ago

Yeah, sli for 1440p is definitely super overkill. I'm looking for 4k fps tho. Thanks

Chief_Savages 2 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

+1 For the Godlike Mobo

ruffino 1 point 7 months ago

Are you using your Optane 900P for anything beyond boot?