Description

This build is quiet and works well for very high res Photoshop and illustration work, gaming, CAD, animation, video rendering and multitasking. My reason for going with a hex core over a higher frequency quad core was for the extra ram, which I often use more than 40gb of, and better multi streaming capabilities for rendering and multitasking. My Adobe program files, games, media and OS are kept on separate hard drives to increase performance without using a raid setup. A 120gb scratch disk is dedicated to Photoshop. I’m satisfied with the Corsair H90. It cools remarkably well even with the fan speed set as low as 800rpm. I considered the Corsair H110 and the H100i; however, as I wanted a silent computer, I opted to keep the top vents closed and only use the rear fan slot with the H90 as exhaust. With two intake fans in the front and one on the bottom I have a positive pressure build which creates less dust. This actually works way better than I anticipated, even with my GPU venting into the case. The build went without a hitch everything is very stable. I have not needed to overclock as my processor has more than enough power to handle anything I throw at it. I'm sure this system can handle a slight overclock should the need present itself. The MSI GTX 780 gaming edition is one of the quietest high end GPUs on the market and cools extremely well. I did not go with a workstation card as the price to power ratio is beyond my budget. I don't need 10-bit color. The 780 does fine for what I want to use it for even if it's not the best in slot option. It's also much quieter which is very important to me. The Define R4 case cools well and is quiet as advertised. Some people complained that the HD mounts were plastic and junk. Mine came with heavy duty steel ones so I must have a newer revision or something. The loudest thing in my office is my buzzing monitor. I think it’s PWM circuitry is going bad.

There are some negatives. The AI suite software that came with the Asus x79 motherboard for managing clock settings and fan speeds in windows will not install. The bios works OK though so it’s more of an inconvenience than a real problem. The MSI GTX 780 whistles sometimes when rendering extremely high frame rates. Using V sink fixes that. My old GTX 260 whistles much louder in such situations. My old system was loud so I never really noticed it whistle much till I tried in my new quiet system. My semi passively cooled PSU has a fan that will spin to full at times when it gets hot, rather than running at a low RPM like it’s supposed to. The Blu-Ray player is a bit noisy; however, it and it's included software works fine.

My temperatures may seem abnormally low to you. My room temp is a cool 21c so I assure you it's correct, at least according the CPUID HWMonitor.

I plan on modding the PC with some led strip lighting. Anyone have any suggestions for that? Have you bought similar parts? What was your experience with them?

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Comments

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

Your basic led strips tend to be the least troublesome, but cathodes tend to be more rewarding. I heard that the Alchemy line from Bitfenix might be good, but it's just preference.Also, why the 1000w?Even if you're ocing, that's about enough for 3 way SLI..

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the advice. I'll look into the cathodes. About the PSU. I thought the same way you did at first. However I decided do some research on it and looked at many charts, tech generals, reviews, and talked to an electrician friend before deciding on getting 850w or above. Most PSUs,especially this one, are most efficient when running at 40%-60% load. Since my parts will pull about 550w max, and I do max my system often, the 1000w will run cooler and quieter as well as more stable. This unit has semi passive cooling and the fan hardly ever spins up! Can't get more quiet than that :) Also It wasn't much more money at the time than the 850w model and it gives me room to add more stuff in the future.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

If you want a pretty good led lighting kit the one from nzxt(RGB LED Controller) is pretty good for about 30 bucks from amazon. Awesome build btw

P.S The H100i is a beast of a cooler and pretty quiet, i out noctua fans on mine, and with a double radiator and two fans you could probably runs the fans at even lower rpm with no noise and better cooling performance. I have mine in the same case at 1000rpm each and i cant hear it.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

That's good advice and makes sense. I saw someone got the H110 to work in the Define R4 but it looked really tight. I'm actually running my Noctua fan on my H90 at 800rpm permanently as I found it cools just fine at that speed for now. In the summer though, I might look into the H100i and run the fans like you suggested, since my room temp will be higher. That light kit looks nice. I'm not sure if it will fit behind the door in my case though. I'll need to measure it.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

It will I have the same exact case as you its fits just fine, just get some double sided tape just in case for the led strip if you get it, the adhesive that's preapplied sucks, it failed on me in two days lo , good thing i had tape already

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Holy ****, a guy who has 64 GB ram and actually uses it? You are one hell of a power user haha!

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL, installing ram must have been satisfying ;)

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm an artist. Digital painting with multiple layers is a HUGE RAM hog. Especially now that everything, going forward, must be optimized for 4k screens and high dpi printers. Nobody likes waiting for their line to appear several seconds after painting it. The only bottleneck I've found in my system so far is my SSD drives. Looking back I should have got a good RAID card and built a full raid 0 array. I mean so what it's less stable? I back everything up anyway just in case.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build then! +1!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 I would try the new 850 Pros series that just came out. See how it performs then get a second which I doubt you will need the 850 are that much faster. Plus the 850 use a more advanced memory architecture so they can actually be faster than what the Mobo can dish out. I'm basing this off benchmarks I read on the 850's 256 GB. I personally bought the 840's and love it. But wish I had known about the 850's

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the plus 1 :) I've been happy with my build. Yeah! I've been looking at the new 850 Pro series. I'm rather excited about them. As soon as the 1tb modle goes on sale I'm going to buy it. The 256gb 840 pro is very fast, much faster than my Kingston drives. Only problem is it ran out of space very quickly. Software these days takes up a lot of space.

Here are my thoughts after using this build for over a year. The CPU rocks is very stable and runs cool with the liquid cooler even when maxed out rendering 3d content for long periods of time. I've never had a problem with it.

As far as performance? Sigh! Unfortunately software is the bottleneck not my hard drives. I monitored my drives while saving an enormous file. Photoshop was only utilizing about 2% of my hard drive capabilities and round 4% of only three of my 12 CPU threads. For a 1gb file with hundreds of layers that's really bad CPU utilization. It also states that my small Kingston scratch disk is at 89% efficiency while compiling a 20Gb scratch file. It runs the scratch disk round a constant 290Mbps while 80% active which is about the performance the drive is rated for. It's not the best but is rather good for the cheapest low capacity SSD I could find. So what's wrong with Photoshop? Why is it throttling itself when saving? Is it poorly written? Why cant it run all 12 of my threads at say 50% and compile and save my file instantly? saving the same file outside of Photoshop takes less than a second. I now know my drives are NOT the bottleneck here :/ The sad thing is, It almost appears that Photoshop gears itself for a smooth but slow experience on old Macintosh computers and does not take advantage of high end PC hardware. Oh and yes, I have fiddled with Photoshop's settings.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok I gotcha, your waiting for the 1gb 850 pro. I would opt for that vs 2x 500gb in raid. I learned after researching SSD's Samsung's are top of their game in particular the Pro series plus reliability.

Im surprised how inefficient Photoshop is, assuming your using the latest version. Sounds like its not truly multi-threaded at least for every task. Such as shame especially since you have an i7 CPU. This is the type of app you would expect to take advantage of it especially for file saving its just unforgivable.

Its seems to be a common complaint even at this stage; see this forum post: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/there_is_a_core_problem_of_performance_about_photoshop_it_not_support_multi_cores