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stonedboss' gaming and chrome tabbing rig

by stonedboss

13
33 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Sept. 1, 2016

Date Built

Nov. 1, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

4.6GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

23.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

2.10GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.0GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

36.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

63.0° C

Description

This build has changed drastically since I first posted- everything but the mobo, CPU, PSU, and case have changed. I am waiting until it is fully complete to repost and change all of the details.

Current benchmarks: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/10781507

http://imgur.com/vZz07DW

http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/2284812

I game almost daily and I do massive amounts of research with like 100 tabs and many word docs, pdf files, etc. open simultaneously- then I like to take breaks to game while leaving all of that up. This PC was built to handle any games at max settings 1080p for years to come (hopefully 144Hz soon), and to never be limited by how much I am doing at one time. Everything works beautifully. FYI I just moved in yesterday, a second time (was just moved in on the last post too lol).

This has been changed a bit since the original posting/comments. Here is a link to the parts list with the PC only: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/stonedboss/saved/Z8THxr

CPU - I decided 6700k is the way to go so that I won't ever be CPU bottlenecked for a long time. Thus the k version so I can overclock in a few years, and I had the room in my budget to go i7 quad core so I figured why not future proof a bit. Who knows when I'll want to stream or something. Plus the tiny improvement in games is nice.

CPU COOLER - I didn't want liquid cooling, and I wanted this to be a mega air-cooled rig so I went with the biggest air cooler with the best benchmarks. Noctua's thermal paste tested as one of the best as well.

MOTHERBOARD - I am a fan of ASUS and this board looked the most promising with all of the features I wanted and then some. Their software package has quite a lot too, and it has been the easiest mobo I have ever worked with (most expensive too lol).

MEMORY - I didn't want to have a limit of RAM for anything in the next few years, and I wanted to go overkill rather than just enough with 16GB. As I mentioned I generally have a **** ton of tabs open, and don't want to close them. Now I don't even think about it.

STORAGE - I wanted to go SSD only, so originally I went with the fastest SATA 1TB SSD, the 850 Pro. I realized I wanted to partition it since 1TB feels too large as an OS disk, and with a sale it came out to $10 more to just get the 512GB 950 Pro and 512GB 850 Pro so I returned it for this setup. It turned out perfect- I have an extra HDD bay slot and it is fast af.

VIDEO CARD - Figured it was a good time to upgrade with the price of Pascal cards finally lowering. The GTX 1070 felt the best price/performance for lasting long at max/close to max settings at 1080p. I went with the ASUS Strix OC for the triple straight blade fans (max air output), GPU Tweak and Fanconnect (Fanconnect is amazing), and the benchmarks were great. Add to that their RGB is the best out of any 1070 and it is the perfect card.

CASE - I wanted the case with the most amount of 200mm fan slots. The V71 won with four (2 front intake, 2 top exhaust), plus two 120mm (bottom intake) and one 140mm (rear exhaust) that are all being used. The exhaust feels room temperature...

POWER SUPPLY - Just wanted to overkill here too so I won't have to worry in the future in case I want to run SLI.

OPTICAL DRIVE - I needed something to burn M Discs, and having Blu-Ray was necessary as well.

SOUNDCARD - I am an amateur audiophile, so a soundcard makes a massive difference to me. The SoundBlaster Zx seemed to be the best from reviews and I am not disappointed at all coming from an ASUS Xonar DG in my last rig. I picked it up for $107 and it is completely worth if you have good audio equipment (NOT "PC speakers" or a headSET). In the future I plan to upgrade my speaker system to 2.1, then 5.1, so I will get the full use of the soundcard eventually lol. It has great software too.

FANS - This rig I wanted to have high quality cooling so I ignored the price and went with what was the best performance outright. The 200mm fans were chosen for max airflow, with the Cooler Master Megaflows being some of the best 200mm fans currently (there is almost no testing for 200mm so far). I also love their sound profile- not whiny at all and just a dull sound of air moving.

I don't care about noise (in fact I like the noise if it isn't whiny), so the IPPC 2000s were a no brainer. The 2000s are practically silent in my rig at 1200 RPM (by practically silent I mean you don't notice them vs the rest of the fans). They don't get annoying to me until 1700+ RPM, making them the perfect choice (they run at 1200 RPM constantly- higher under load).

Lastly the NF-A14 was chosen because it matches perfectly with my CPU cooler and it is one of the best 140mm fans. It is very quiet and smooth with lots of airflow. I am aware of diminishing returns for fans being massive, but if you felt my exhaust then you'd probably want just as many fans too haha.

MONITOR - I have had the HP 2709m for many years and through 3 different PC's. I have never had a problem with it to require an upgrade. That being said, I will upgrade to a 144Hz 1080p IPS monitor this Black Friday. Also, I bought it for around 400 at the time, but I set it as $200 since it was so long ago (and the oldest part of this build). The Acer isn't great but I got it for $70 a year ago and it gets the job done for note taking (like now lol) and multiboxing.

KEYBOARD - I actually have the BlackWidow Chroma Stealth edition, not the keyboard listed. I already had it- bought it with a student discount and it has served me well. The RGB is awesome, which was the main reason for picking this keyboard (at the time the RGB was way better than anything else out).

MOUSE - I have had the Razer Naga Hex for a few years and I have loved it. I always felt like the buttom spacing could be better though as it felt like I had to reach for a couple. I tried out the Hex V2- the layout is so much better, but I cannot stand the texture. IDK what they were thinking.

I picked up the G502 Proteus Spectrum and I haven't used my Naga Hex since then (returned the V2). The button layout is almost perfect (very intuitive) and the mouse feels smoother than my Naga Hex at high DPI (currently running 6000, I was doing 4200 on my Naga Hex). The only downside is that the RGB is extremely minimal- it is only for the "G" logo.

SPEAKERS - I use Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Bookshelf speakers with a Dayton Audio 30 watt amp. After looking at many many audio charts and reading reviews- these seemed the best by far in their price range. They completely **** on any PC speakers, and I even prefer them to my ATH-M50x's. The best sub-$300 speakers imo.

HEADSET - I needed a good mic. I got the G930 on sale, but regardless it fit the bill for what I wanted exactly: noise-canceling mic, it was wireless, and it had extra programmable keys to boot. The sound is pretty good too- better than most headphones.

HEADPHONES - I love good quality music, and I love bass. My EQ settings are generally + tons of bass, - a tiny bit of mid, and - a lot of treble. These fit my listening style just right, and I got them on sale for around $100.

DESK - I am using a black glass desk I got from Costco. I love it. It is the Nalu Desk by Bayside Furnishings (http://www.baysidefurnishings.com/category/home-office/group/desks/000703)

Part Reviews

CPU

It runs very fast and keeps my games from being bottle necked. If you have the budget for it then no reason not to buy it.

Motherboard

I love this board. It was so easy to install everything, the BIOS has many features, and the board itself also has more features than I'll need. It has been the easiest board to work with in terms of installing everything. Everything runs great on it too. It also came with some sweet free programs like Daemon Tools Pro.

Storage

I had this for over a year before I got the 850 Pro and 950 Pro. I love this SSD and still do- the Pros weren't much of an upgrade in daily performance. If on a budget, this SSD is the way to go. I have never had a single problem with a Samsung 850 EVO in the 2 years I have used them (both 250 and 500 GB versions).

Storage

Works flawlessly and very fast, but the best part is having a 10-year warranty. This is awesome as the long held HDD lifespan limit was 5-years. Now I won't have to go searching for a new SSD for a VERY long time to replace this one. This will probably be obsolete by the time I lose warranty on it.

Storage

I am not sure that the performance of this SSD is worth the extra cost- it definitely is not for the average consumer, especially considering you lose out on the 10-year warranty with an 850 Pro. The speed isn't noticeable.

I could have gone with two 850 Pros, but the reason this SSD was the better choice is that I don't have the increased risk of data loss from RAID while still getting higher max outputs than with SATA. That being said, as I mentioned for the average consumer this boost in speed isn't really worth the price and loss of a 10-year warranty. It isn't even "subtle", it just doesn't exist in regular tasks.

I gave this 5 stars still as it does perform perfectly as it should, even though it isn't worth the price for the average customer imo. I only spent an extra $10 to get mine (over an 850 Pro), so I didn't care and it wasn't a loss for me in terms of money. I wanted to try out a NVMe m.2 SSD to see for myself what they are like, and I have not been impressed after being accustomed to a 850 Pro.

Case

I got this case mostly for the four 200mm fans, but in general the total amount of fan spots and the customization for cooling. I have a LOT of open space in this case- all of my wires are hidden and it was the easiest thing to do. Thus far it has been the easiest case I have worked on in general.

There are some downsides though, which keep it from being 5 stars. There is no hotswap bay which sucks. There is only 1 front drive bay, with a second extremely tiny bay (I had to cut my fan controller in half to fit). The built in fan settings are crap (high/low) and only work for the stock fans supposedly. I had to cut off part of one of my 200mm fans for them both to fit on the top.

Overall I do like the case a lot, but I would buy something different if I had to get a new case today. I would rate it 3/5 but I knew about the majority of the shortcomings beforehand, so I cannot fault the case for that.

Sound Card

Everything sounds amazing, the card has a ton of extra features, and the software is great with many options. If you use PC speakers, then it is definitely not worth it to buy this sound card. Just get a $30 one at most, if that. Your onboard sound should be good enough.

If you love music and you are really into sound and you have decent audio equipment (great headphones, speakers), then this is definitely worth it. After owning a ASUS Xonar DG for 2 years, this seemed like a huge upgrade. It was very easy to setup as well.

Case Fan

They are decent- definitely not even close to the quality of a Noctua fan, but it gets the job done. One of my fans had a wobble and made an annoying noise a month in. I moved twice since then and it persisted after the first move, but now it has gone away. It seems like just a matter of time before it starts wobbling again.

Case Fan

Can a Noctua fan get any better? I guess it can. This is just as awesome as their standard fans, but it is dust and water resistant, it goes up to 2000 RPM for higher cooling (vs 1200-1500 RPM max for standard fans), and to some it may be more aesthetically pleasing since it is all black without the vibration dampeners.

I keep mine idling at 1200 RPM, but I know it can go as low as 1080 RPM. I am not sure if it can go any lower, so if you want to be super stealthy then this fan is not for you. Otherwise, if noise is not an issue but you want maximum cooling, then this is the best 120mm fan to get imo.

This is a bit more efficient than the IPPC-3000 in terms of noise:airflow ratio, and I don't believe I will ever use 2000 RPM to ever need 3000 RPM (or any average user). 2000 RPM sounds like a 80mm fan lol. According to the charts at uk.hardware.info, it is the best 120mm 2000 RPM fan in terms of air flow.

Mouse

At the time it was amazing for its amount of extra programmable buttons and lack of clutter like the regular Razer Naga. I really enjoyed using it- even now comparing it to my G502 there are no major flaws in the Razer Naga Hex. Easy to program and works perfectly. The only reason why it gets a 4/5 is because the button spacing/layout could have been slightly better- my finger had to reach for 2 buttons. The newer Naga Hex V2 has a better layout (but the mouse texture on it feels horrible).

Mouse

I have the G502 Proteus Spectrum. I love it- the layout and buttons feel extremely intuitive. I jumped straight into using all of the extra buttons. The scroll wheel is awesome too- it unlocks for insanely fast scroll speeds or "auto-scrolling".

The RGB is very weak though- only a small "G" of all things is RGB, why is pretty lame. Well 3 dots that show sensitivity settings too, but those disappear. The bigger downside however is the programming software. You can only have 3 profiles- that sucks really bad. I like to have many profiles so in 6 months from now I don't have to recreate my Fallout 4 profile when I play again.

The G502 also comes with customizable weights- I thought it was just a marketing gimmick at first, but wow! They really do improve your mouse control a lot. I use the mouse at 10,000 DPI very smoothly now.

Headphones

The sound is surprisingly good for a headset- it was much better than any of my other pair of headphones (this was before owning a pair of ATH-M50x headphones), including low-end Beats (I don't own them but I have compared them).

The mic works fantastically too- the noise-cancellation allows me to use speakers without bothering anyone on comms. The mic mutes when raised too which is a great feature.

Headphones

My review won't do justice, so just google a review lol. They are amazing headphones and they fit my preference perfectly (extra bass).

Comments Sorted by:

Milkman92 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

Holy crap batman, that's some hefty hardware. Love the lighting and the build as a whole. That said if raw performance is the goal and money is of little consequence maybe an m.2 drive and some faster RAM? Just a thought. Nice system as a whole.

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks man! I looked into m.2 drives HEAVILY over the past year. To date they haven't shown any significant real world performance increases that would be relevant to what I do (ie: load game levels, open docs/pdfs, etc. No huge file transfers), so I went with the regular SSD with more space. Plus I figured I'll wait until the new SSD Samsung is working on will release- either much better performance, or the prices of old NVMe SSDs will drop.

I did research for the RAM as well and 2400MHz vs 3000MHz doesn't make a difference in most applications, since you give up latency for bandwidth. In my case the 2400 will work just fine.

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago

After many hours of deal scouring and waiting patiently, for a mere $10 I was able to swap out/upgrade my SSD setup to include a 950 Pro, and for $50 upgraded my RAM to 3200Mhz C14. I specifically went for C14 so that I didn't give up latency for bandwidth, but rather I upgraded both frequency/latency to really see any performance difference.

It makes me feel nice lol, but other than that the PC benchmarks the same and more importantly it feels the same in use. I have gotten like a negligible 1% increase in some benchmark, but it is so tiny it could be chalked up to just a regular deviation of different benching runs. For $10 it was worth it for the 950 Pro just to have as an m.2 slot drive, but otherwise I'd save the money.

Mohidev 2 points 12 months ago

Wonderful and upvoted! Nice use of Windows 7, man!

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Thanks! Yeah I still refuse to upgrade haha

Mohidev 1 point 11 months ago

Did you upgrade to Windows 10? The pictures are showing it.

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Yeah I tried out the free upgrade to see how it is, and also now I have both Win 7 and Win 10 install discs and keys lol. It's a Win(7)-Win(10) situation haha.

It is a bit disappointing as CPU performance is slightly worse, but GPU performance seems to be slightly better. Otherwise I am actually enjoying most of the features and I think I may stay on Windows 10 Pro.

Mohidev 1 point 11 months ago

I was about to say the same thing, I really like it.

[comment deleted]
noodle74 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Nice bright interior, you won't need to switch on the room light with this PC on :)

Anyway, I am not sure i7-6700K is the most powerful CPU available at the moment. And I wonder why you chose that 2400MHz G.Skill RAM? Won't they limit your overclocking ability? I think people normally pick at least 3000MHz RAM to maximise overcloacking.

archlinuxos 4 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

RAM overclocks can actually hamper high clock speeds, since the part of the CPU that controls memory gets hotter. Performance wise, 3000MHz might be a sweet spot, but it really doesn't matter unless you're loading/saving huge files from/to it, so 2400MHz is really an unnoticable difference anyway.

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

No it is not the most powerful CPU, but it is the most powerful desktop CPU for gaming. I should have clarified. Also, beyond the i7-6700k the price wasn't worth it.

As for the RAM, I did research and 2400MHz vs 3000MHz doesn't make a difference in most applications, since you give up latency for bandwidth. In my case the 2400 will work just fine. I can overclock my GPU/CPU no problem.

noodle74 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

No worry. I only mentioned that higher RAM speed because you described you want to go "overkill", so other than more RAM I thought you should also go faster speed too.

jalarson5 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

As far as I have heard, RAM overclocking is the most risky because its hard to test accurately, with the least gain (1 -3 fps difference in gaming situations), while also becoming wildly expensive. At least, that is what I have seen real world, and what Linus says. YMMV

I too went for 2400mhz.

noodle74 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Interesting you said that. I just finished my new build a month ago (i7-6700K). I chose the Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB 3000MHz RAM, which I can easily overclock from default 2133MHz to 3000MHz. How much gain do I get from it, I don't really know. Just like how much gain will I get if I overclock the i7-6700K from 4.0GHz to 4.2GHZ, may be just very little. But we all get the K CPU for a reason right?

Also not sure the price difference in your country, but in my local Sydney shop here, the $125 3000MHz RAM I have is only $10 more than the Corsair $115 2400MHz RAM. Wildly expensive? I don't think so.

jalarson5 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Ah, for the RAM I was looking at, it was significantly more expensive for 32gb 3600/ect ram. 2400 suits my needs perfectly. :)

In US so pricing is different.

OCing does help for programs like F@H stresstests and stuff, especially on the CPU.

Lyrix 0 points 14 months ago

that is sooooooooooooooooooooo wrong. the 6700k is not the most powerfull cpu atm!

Tpgeee 2 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

I'm afraid you're soooooooooooooo wrong actually. :) There are a bunch of CPUs that are more powerful than the 6700K. The 6700K has one of the highest (if not the highest) base clock speeds at the moment, but that doesn't make it the most powerful.

Lyrix 1 point 14 months ago

very right

XxPCbuilder2016xX 1 point 14 months ago

Hey nice build! How much MHz did the gpu boost up to?

Tpgeee 2 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

I think another guy on here managed to get his 1070 up to around 2.1GHz using just the built-in boost.

XxPCbuilder2016xX 1 point 14 months ago

What is the average boost clock for a asus gtx 1070 strix to boost up to?

Tpgeee 2 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

Pass. I would imagine it would be within the 2GHz range though.

XxPCbuilder2016xX 1 point 14 months ago

Ok thx

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Not sure- I have not and will not try to push my card that hard right now. I just have no reason to personally. Maybe in the future when I am being limited I will see what it can do lol.

XxPCbuilder2016xX 1 point 14 months ago

Ok thx

jalarson5 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

The STRIX 10XX line can be pushed up nicely. They remain cool and quiet. You will have no problems pushing that baby higher. :)

also, I have the same case and strix GPU. I found it more pleasing to tuck the GPU power cable in the grommet (lower right, by the HDD rack) under the GPU, loop it in the cable section down to the PSU.

edit: my post doesn't reflect the cable management I have done once I got to college. Updated pics: http://m.imgur.com/a/dR9Db

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago

Yo man, so I ended up actually overclocking my GPU and without changing voltage at all I can boost it +91MHz, bringing it up to 2114MHz. It runs perfectly stable this way. Here are some benchmarks:

Unigine Valley: http://imgur.com/ADLxsoC

Firestrike: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/14873972?

Userbenchmark: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/1816427

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago

Yo man, so I finally overclocked a bit and I got a stable boost of +91MHz without increasing the voltage at all, with the overall clock being 2114MHz.

Here is my Unigine Valley: http://imgur.com/ADLxsoC

jmx009 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

I am building a similar ( same CPU, CPU cooler ,RAM and Graphics card). I was wondering if you had any space issues with the RAM and the gigantic Noctua NH D 15 coolers?

Awesome Build by the by !

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

No, I had zero problems. You can mount the fan higher than normal (wherever actually) to fit over taller RAM, which is what I did. Idk if you can tell the front fan is slightly farther out than the back fan on my cooler. Thanks dude

Edit: look at pic #3

jmx009 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks for the reply. I wonder if moving the fan farther out has a negative impact on the cooling. If you havent noticed any issues then i guess its fine. Thanks again !

stonedboss submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

The 2nd fan is considered an extra fan by Noctua- the center fan is the only one that is necessary. Performance has been great

jmx009 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Ok thanks.