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Black & White Quiet Air-Cooled 4.4 GHz X99 Build

by reggstar

96
66 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

July 19, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.3 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.102 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

Description

(Update: Revised clock speed down)

Some of the driving factors behind this build:

  • I had not built a computer since March 2009 (I built this one mostly in May 2015). I wanted to get back in touch with what has been happening in hardware.
  • I had been tiding myself over by gaming on PS4, but I really had an itch to get back into PC gaming.
  • I had been tiding myself over for programming and office activities with a laptop that was kind of slow and had some odd behaviors in Windows.

Some of the goals and design decisions for the build:

  • Go with the X99 platform because it's great and is a little more future proof (has the new socket type, supports DDR4).
  • Aside from going with X99, try to identify very cost-effective parts by doing lots of research.
  • Go with air cooling for now, but try to get parts that would allow for water cooling in the future, if possible.
  • Try to have it be reasonably quiet.
  • Go with black & white colors where possible.
  • I planned to put the computer on my desk to the right of my monitor, so I figured I might as well get a case with a window and have it look nice inside.
  • The case needed to be narrow enough to fit on the raised part of my desk to the right of the monitor (as shown in the last picture).

Reasons I went with air cooling for now:

  • The all-in-one units don't seem to strike the right cost-performance balance for now if you care about noise and don't need ultimate performance.
  • I didn't have enough time to research parts for a custom loop.
  • I intended to use the ASUS 5-way-optimization thing, which does some fan optimization.
  • The following video influenced me to try the ASUS auto OC, and supported the air cooling idea: ASUS X99 Software Features & Overclocking

Results:

  • The ASUS software automatically overclocked it to 4.4 GHz, which was higher than I was expecting.
  • The system is very stable -- I've had maybe one crash in almost 2 months of use.
  • No problems at all with gaming. Lots of Battlefield 4.
  • It looks great overall and when looking in through the window. The light bars are a little brighter than I would like, but it's ok.

About the storage: I have a separate server, so this one doesn't have much storage. Also, I'm waiting for a good M.2 NVMe drive to come out; these 850 EVOs are will become backup storage once I get that drive.

The pictures show an optical drive, which is there only temporarily.

Comments Sorted by:

Busy_Schedule 2 points 45 months ago

Airflow is brilliant. Add in another fan next to the PSU and add in a top exhaust.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Another fan mounted on the CPU cooler would be good. This particular cooler has some heat-dispersing fins on the back that would kind of get in the way, but it could be done. I will add this to my notes for a future round of improvements. Thanks.

I decided not to do any top exhaust since that would leak noise. The removable panels on the top of the case have some sound-dampening material.

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Busy_Schedule 2 points 45 months ago

Yeah cables do a need quite some work on but nothing is in the way of airflow although for looks it'd be better

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Busy_Schedule 2 points 45 months ago

Yeah, the R5 is in general an amazing case for cable management. I built in the ARC Midi R2 and that had more cable room than my awful Z11 Plus

Busy_Schedule 1 point 45 months ago

I meant Arc Mini R2 :P

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reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

I looked at only1battman's build a lot when doing my design. His pictures were really helpful. I almost got a Kraken X61 and front-mounted it just like he did with the H100i.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

I originally had the GPU power cables routed through the lower grommet. This is kind of lame, but I decided to route them through the top grommet because the right side of the GPU was sagging a little (which is more noticeable with the big CPU cooler right next to it), so GPU power cable holds it a little straighter. Maybe I could get a backplate for this card. I'm open to suggestions for how else to solve it.

Value 2 points 45 months ago

Fantastic looking build, and decent cable management, except for on the bottom but that's okay. Phanteks fans are awesome. Great detailed review. What's not to love?

I don't see any problem with airflow as long as those fans are configured properly.

Value 2 points 45 months ago

EDIT: Congrats on being featured mate!

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks! I should have done some work on that bottom area before taking pictures.

I let the ASUS software configure the fan curves and haven't taken the time to review what it did yet.

auldae 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Nice part selection. Looks eerily familiar, even down to the secondary monitor (1703FP, I presume). From experience, I'm sure you'll love this machine.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Thanks. I do love this machine. The monitors are a 2408WFP and a 1901FP. I'd like to get a big new monitor -- I planned to tackle that separately from doing the main build.

Eddie0711 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Nice build mate! That CPU cooler looks awesome! I hope you didn't end up using the Asus software to overclock your CPU because it usually increases the voltage too high just to make sure the oc is stable. I would oc manually through the bios to make sure the voltage is just right and you preserve the lifespan of your CPU.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks! Having a good-looking CPU cooler was important since I'll be looking at it all the time.

I did use the ASUS software to auto overclock it. It's on the "Adaptive" setting with the CPU core voltage set to max out at 1.275V. Think that's too high? My CPU temps are ranging from 40°C to 77°C. I was hoping the ASUS software would do a balanced overclock that would hold me over until I had time to refresh my knowledge and do a more optimal overclock.

Eddie0711 1 Build 3 points 45 months ago

Anything below 1.300 is ok in my opinion however it could be too high for that clock for YOUR CPU. Every CPU is different some may be able to hit 4.5ghz at 1.200V whilst others can't hit it at all. You may have a chip that can hit the clock that you dialled in at a much lower voltage than 1.275V. This means that you prolong the life of your CPU as more Voltage equals higher temps. What are you doing when your CPU hits those temps? You should run a CPU intensive benchmark to see how stable your overclock is.

Try this guide to start from Asus to begin with and then research some more if needed: https://youtu.be/Z7zPu9255ZI

To summarise, the Asus software is over estimating the voltage required to make sure that your system is stable so it may be supplying more than its requried. Hope this helps :)

reggstar submitter 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

I just realized that it was another video by JJ that made me want to try ASUS's auto OC, and that gave me more confidence about going with air. This video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxd651HEsXE

Eddie0711 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Thanks for the link mate I didn't realise that the software has come such a long way since my chipset (z87). I see that it does allow you to set voltage and frequency limits and temperature limits so thats pretty sweet. I'm still not sure if I'm entirely comfortable with software automatically over clocking hardware mostly because I can't afford to fry my CPU lol. Judging by the thermal limits your temps seem fine as well so I probably would just leave it as is. Might have to upgrade to the x99 chipset in the near future!

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

When I hit 77 degrees, I was encoding a video in Handbrake. I will definitely check out that guide. That's very helpful. Thanks!

Eddie0711 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

In not too familiar with your CPU so probably not the best person to gauge temps. (I got a lowly i5 4670k haha) if I were you I would return everything to default settings and research a bit more before ocing. No problems glad I could help! :)

GameAsaurusRekz 2 points 45 months ago

Great build and congrats on being featured! Love how uniform the color scheme is.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Glad you like it. Thanks for commenting!

GameAsaurusRekz 1 point 45 months ago

:D

gfody 2 points 45 months ago

Beautiful build!

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks, gfody.

vikingXcore 4 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

That heatsink fan is dying for a buddy to play push/pull with! :B

Super awesome model of the video card. I really like the profile of it.

Awesome rig you got. Great job on the pics!

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks! A better CPU cooler choice might have been the Cryorig R1 Universal. It comes with 2 fans, it would fit with the black & white color scheme, and it gets great reviews. I was a little concerned about the width and weight of that one, but I now I think it would have been fine. And since since I went with low-profile memory, a longer heatsink would be fine.

Tooth 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Very black, very white...good job!

wrjohnson2000 2 points 41 months ago

Great job with the colors! White and black is my favorite color combination, it looks really clean. That cpu cooler looks really nice in the case, might check it out for myself ;)

reggstar submitter 1 Build 2 points 41 months ago

Thanks! I'm still happy with the cpu cooler so far.

jonathan7 2 points 40 months ago

It's a great build reggstar, well done. :) Ignore some of the comments above about OC and temps - Asus OC utility is excellent, and idle temperatures don't matter - it's how a cooler performs at load that matters. Your temps are decent, and answered my question if the H5 is adequate for a 5820k OC'd between 4.3 - 4.5.

I also have a theory that the duel tower coolers are massive overkill (Cryorig R1, Noctua DH-15). The Noctua NH-U14s is actually the best cooler on the market in terms of cooling - interesting comparison here; http://us.hardware.info/reviews/6190/29-cpu-coolers-reviewed-tested-using-our-latest-method (Should you be interested).

Think I'm gonna get the H5 :)

reggstar submitter 1 Build 2 points 40 months ago

This build is still running fine at 4.4 GHz after 7 months.

I wouldn't be surprised if the NH-U14S was better than the H5 on performance. But I can't complain about the performance I'm getting, and looks were part of my decision.

jonathan7 2 points 40 months ago

You did a really good job, it's a great looking build :)

Tordenvogn 2 points 39 months ago

Nice build:) Can i ask you what kind of desk that is?

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

It's Pottery Barn's Bedford modular desk system. You can see it here: http://www.potterybarn.com/m/products/build-your-own-bedford-home-office-system-components/ I bought most most of the pieces new, and got some of the pieces on Craig's List to save some money, but I think I spent about $1500 on it. You can't see in the picture, but it goes farther off to the left and right, and pretty much spans two whole walls of that room. It's a great desk. Nice solid wood.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

Also, Pottery Barn had the Bedford stuff at my local store, so you might be able to check it out in person if there's a Pottery Barn near you.

DASGUUT 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Did you spray paint that GPU? Nice aesthetic. +1

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

No, I didn't paint anything. The colors were a factor in choosing MSI's GTX 970 rather than another company's 970. I ended up not really having to pay any premiums to get parts that fit with the black & white theme.

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Lightdrive 1 point 45 months ago

What are your CPU temps idle and load?

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

I'm getting 40°C at idle and up to 77°C during load. It's higher than I would like. From what I've read, 77 is ok for this CPU, and I'm glad I'm not under-using the CPU.

Lightdrive 1 point 45 months ago

Yeah I was considering it because of the Aesthetics.

bad_replay 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

i like the tissues in the background :3

Omnislash89 6 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

Air @ 4.5GHz? You're one bad mother, sir. I have NEVER known ASUS to automatically OC to 4.5... I'd like to known your temps and vCore at load and idle for this particular build. Thinking about selling my IVB-E rig for Skylake-E money next year.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

ASUS put me at 4.5GHz two months ago and again when I ran it tonight. There is some discussion of temps and voltage in other comments here, but I was getting a range 40 to 77 C, and voltage up to 1.275V. 77 C was while encoding in Handbrake.

This video influenced my decision to try the ASUS auto OC and to use air: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxd651HEsXE That Noctua is probably a little better at cooling.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

After installing Windows 10, I ran it again and got 4.4 GHz.

its_the_peanutiest 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

I have the same case as you and I just purchased a couple Phanteks PH-F140XP_BK 140mm case fans to use as intakes in the front. Did you encounter any kind of installation snafus with these fans or did they screw in flawlessly? I was figuring I'd leave the stock Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 140mm fan in the exhaust spot for now.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

No, I didn't have any problems installing the Phanteks in the front two spots. The only thing is that you have to have the fans rotated in a certain way to get their cables to go through the correct hole the case. You can see how I have them rotated by looking at the Phanteks logos in the 4th and 5th pictures for my build.

I left one Fractal Design fan in the exhaust spot and put the other on the bottom of the case, as shown in the 4th picture.

its_the_peanutiest 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Ok that's good to know. I swear I was reading a couple comments somewhere about people having to remove the rubber dampening corners (8 of them) from the Phanteks to get them to screw in properly. But that very well could have been other PH-F140 variants.

I wish I could get rid of my drive cages completely but I still need at least the 3 drive cage on the bottom for my HDD's. I do have 2 SSD's strapped to the back. I'll probably see about either shoe-horning in a remaining Fractal fan between the cage and the PSU or totally re-arranging the drive cage sitch to get rid of the optical drive and move the 5 drive cage to the top which will free up the bottom and front fan clearance while letting me keep my HDD's.

Edit: One more question. Since the fans are PWM I assume you are plugging them directly into your 4pin fan headers on your mobo. Does this mean you do not use the included Q.S.A adapter "for a quieter set-up"? You let the mobo set the speed based on temp needs, right?

its_the_peanutiest 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

One more question: I notice those Phanteks case fans are the F140XP's which are PWM controlled. Your mobo's CPU_FAN & CPU_OPT are the only two headers that are truly PWM. The other 4-pin fan headers are voltage controlled. Did you compensate for this by using a PWM splitter off your PWM headers? Or are your PWM fans just being voltage regulated and if so are you noticing the starting RPMs of your fans being higher or other problems in general with the front fans?

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

The manual for this motherboards says, "4 x 4-pin Chassis Fan connectors for both 3-pin (DC Mode) and 4-pin (PWM Mode) coolers control." Another part of the manual says, "The chassis fan connectors support DC and PWM modes. To set these fans to DC or PWM, go to Advanced Mode > Monitor > Chassis Fan 1/4 Q-Fan Control items in BIOS." So, I think they are actually being controlled with PWM. I have my two Phanteks fans plugged into CHA_FAN3 and CHA_FAN4.

ASUS Fan Xpert 3 detected speed ranges for the Phanteks at around 250 RPM to around 1250 RPM. The Fractal Design fans that came with the case have a detected range of around 325 RPM to around 870 RPM. However, it showing the speeds on a scale with voltages next to it, so maybe it is controlling them with voltage even though PWM is supported. I might have a closer in BIOS the next time I reboot.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

No problems in general with the front fans. I do notice that I hear a fan spinning up sometimes, but I think it's the power supply fan, and I've seen the bottom fan stop and then spin up again.

gerogemagordge 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

Is that a 120mm fan on the bottom or 140? I will be doing the same fan placement, but am having trouble figuring out what will fit with my 180mm psu.

reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

It is 140mm. It's one of the fans that came with the case.

gerogemagordge 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

wow. I have received so much conflicting info on this subject. I'm glad I asked you since you have personally mounted in this config. with the define R5. Thanks.

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reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks! Maybe I should do more cable management and then take another picture since it's getting so many views.

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reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks, yeah I'm happy with it. It's nice to glance over from my screen and see a pleasing view into the computer. I don't really see the cord mess at the bottom from my viewing position, but maybe I'll fix that up soon.

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reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

I'll consider that. I plan to do research toward getting a new monitor before the end of the year.

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reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks, I'll look into them. Having a height-adjustable stand is key for me since my monitors already sit a platform higher than the keyboard. I need to be able to adjust the monitor to go lower.

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linkleo 3 Builds 3 points 45 months ago

I actually plugged my disk drive to the side of my case to install the drivers before storing it back up. It honestly takes away from the look of my case. Though in some cases they actually look good. I even paid $20 for an Asus one just because of the logo (Samsung/LGs go for like $12).

Now it collects dust in my hoarding closet waiting for the day I may need to install Windows or motherboard drivers again. Poor thing.

DeadCircles 2 points 34 months ago

i did the same thing my case doesn't even have a disk drive bay. And now i sit here thinking back to when a computer didn't have cd drives because they were too new a thing instead of being phased out.... lol

XxD34THxX 2 points 45 months ago

Did you know... One can use a floppy to copy the boot sector of a HDD and use it later in case of screw ups.

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XxD34THxX 2 points 45 months ago

What... the... censored

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All_Mighty_Cat_God 2 points 44 months ago

that was the best thing i ever watched 10 mins well spent thank you sir.

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reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks! Yeah, I'm pretty happy with color tone and brightness of the LED sticks, especially given the low price. The LEDs shine in one direction away from the stick, so the sticks can be rotated to face toward a wall of the case to make the light dimmer.

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reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

I don't know. I found out that it was featured by people saying so in comments on the build.

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reggstar submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

I definitely plan to get at least one new monitor, probably before the end of the year. I planned to tackle that separately from the main build.