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Twins xmas build

by thomasfxlt



Date Published

Dec. 23, 2015

Date Built

Dec. 27, 2015

CPU Clock Rate


GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



My twin sons have been bugging me for gaming computers. I was a PC systems integrator in the 80's and became a Mac guy in my business in the 90's and never looked back. 30 years later I find myself building PC's and loading Windows. I had 2 to put together and I went slow with the first. There was a lot of anticipation when I plugged it in and hit the power button. I think some healthy skepticism on the part of my boys as well. Lucky for me it fired up and I was able to start my Windows 10 installation. I updated drivers on the critical components and set it up in son #1's room. Back to the bench for #2. I built the second one in 45 minutes. Luckily my other boy was taking a Christmas nap when I went to fire it up. It didn't turn on. I stared at the interior for about 15 minutes thinking carefully about what it might be. I knew the PSU was working as there was light to the power switch. The first things I checked were PSU connectors. They were fine. Then I looked at the small connectors to the MOB that provide the connection to the power switch and panel LED's. I had the Power LED and the Power connectors switched. I moved them and she fired right up. I installed windows and drivers and moved it to son #2's rooms. There's a few residual issues; The DVI out of the GTX 970 was connected to the VGA input of the AOS monitor I purchased for one of the kids. It looked fine until he played League of Legends online. There was a strange refresh rate issue that's hard to describe. It looked like a subtle rippling effect while gaming. It only did it while the game was active. I changed cables to an HDMI/out from GTX to DVI/in on the AOS and the problem is gone. I might try a DVI to DVI cable Monday. Also on this particular unit, when the unit sits on overnight and you turn the monitor on in the AM, it loses it's active connection and you can't reactivate the monitor. I have to reboot it. Any suggestion here would be appreciated.

These boxes are fast enough that's for sure. Plenty of room for upgrades, extra boards, fans etc. No regrets and Windows 10 seems like a nice OS. The SSD was a good decision. This thing boots in about 10 seconds. The performance is good too. Set to full 1080p with the graphic settings max'd out in a few of their online games, the frame rates are in the mid to high 100's.

Part Reviews


Seems like the perfect processor; latest model, OC capable, fast enough for gaming.

CPU Cooler

Haven't stressed these boxes yet so I'm not sure but the install was simple enough and they're very well regarded.


If the mark of a good board is "booting on the first try" then these get a perfect score. Nice looking with decent documentation. The Bios menu is nice. 3 days in and no problems thus far.


Don't build a computer without using one of these. I think the MS Windows 10 boot time is about 10 seconds.


I'm sure they're fine. I'd do everything on the SSD if the cost per GB was low enough.

Video Card

Fast!! For gaming at 1080p I can't imagine you'd need anything else.


Can I give them 6 stars?!?! Beautiful with nice plexi side panels. As said by others, cable management is a breeze. Tons of room for expansion or a complete retrofit down the road.

Optical Drive

Cheap and functional. I dropped one and it still worked.

Operating System

30 years a Mac user and I had to build these computers for my kids for gaming. MS Windows 10 seems really nice. These computers are fast and the little I did in the OS was efficient and relatively elegant.

Comments Sorted by:

SirEpicWin 3 points 29 months ago

Dad of the year :')

thomasfxlt submitter 1 Build 2 points 29 months ago

Thx! They already told me to "stay off their computers"! I told them them that when they build them, they can have full jurisdiction.

willgrad1107 2 points 29 months ago

First off great double build.

The monitor sleep issue where you have to reboot might be a Windows 10 power setting that's not quite right. I have come across this a few times.

thomasfxlt submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

I'll dig deeper on the power settings. The computer comes on with USB activity but the graphics card doesn't sync with the monitor.