Description

Went smooth as butter. Zero problems! To be used for gaming and other general computer/internet stuff. The cable management is better than in this pic (those GPU power cables gah), so please bear with me until I get some new shots up.

CPU: i5 is the cookie cutter for gaming - and for good reason. Picked it up at Microcenter for super cheap. Love it, runs super fast and cooler than I expected.

Cooler: Running in push/pull. Had some temp problems at the start, but I removed the thermal paste and reapplied and the temps dropped around 7 degrees. The Maximus hero has a cpu_opt fan header which made the second fan (CM Blade Master I believe it's called) super easy to install.

Mobo: Fantastic. Works flawlessly. Has red LEDs and a bright "Start" button that can get a little annoying at night (they stay on even when the PC is powered off) - there's probably a fix for this in BIOS, but I haven't really looked. BIOS menu is very detailed and easy to navigate.

Memory: Doesn't clear the first fan on the 212 Evo without moving the fan up. Also, the metallic part of the heatsinks feel a little flimsy, but otherwise the memory works awesome. Easily got it to 1866 with the Hero. May add 8GB in the future just for fun.

Storage: Definitely went overkill here, However, it allowed me to mount my only drive behind the motherboard and enabled me to remove both HDD cages. Backup is on a WD external.

GPU: Absolute monster. Has some coil whine on WEI and Heaven exit-menu, but has been dead silent during gaming. Runs Bioshock Infinite and modded Skyrim on ultra without a hiccup. The 2GB model would have been fine, and I actually half-wish I bit the bullet here and went with a 780. With this in mind, I will be moving to 1440p (maybe dual monitors) in a few months so I haven't felt too bad about this purchase. May go SLI in the future? Stay tuned.

Case: 10/10. Great cable management room, build process was super easy, comes with a box full 'o screws to help you build.

Fans: Love the Quiet Edition fans. Great airflow, minimal noise, awesome aesthetics. The Performance Edition is easily the loudest thing in my case. I leave it running on the lowest setting, otherwise it makes the PC quite noisy. It moves a ton of air, but the noise is enough to dock a single star. For those less focused on quietness, the fan is definitely a good option.

PSU: Silent (0% fan), whisper when the fan kicks on. Semi-modular and comes with a big bag of cables. Works great.

Windows: Went with 7. Don't know why, I just hate W8. Personal preference here. Got for free through University.

NZXT Hue: Lots of colors! The unit itself is awesome and allows for RGB combinations. There's a few modes ("breathing," color cycle, etc) but I generally run it on the low-medium brightness setting in standard mode. The adhesive on the back of the LED strip kinda sucks, so be prepared with double sided tape and/or electrical tape.

NZXT Sentry Mix 2: Great fan controller. Love the LED colors (there's quite a few to choose from) and the ability to control 6 fans is awesome. The sliders feel solid and the unit is well-built.

Everything Else: Razer Deathadder 2013, CM Quickfire TK (MX Brown/White LED), Asus VH238H.

Comments

  • 73 months ago
  • 3 points

oh, and nice build by the way!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice Build! I'm in the planning stages of a very similar one, same case and mobo. Just wondering did you put the two Fractal fans that came with in the front?

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes I did! See new pic for those. They're actually great fans and run pretty quiet.

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet, planning on doing the same myself :) How's the airflow around the case? I want a nice quiet rig just worried about temps for when I start overclocking.

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

This case is great for airflow. With both HDD cages gone (I mounted the sole SSD behind the motherboard) the airflow is actually unbelievably good for a case this size. With one or both in I can imagine the airflow wouldn't be as great. The non-windowed version with the additional fan intake definitely would help, but the aesthetics of the windowed version are just too good to pass up. Assuming you go with the windowed version, you have the option to run 6 fans - I have 5 (2x front intake, 1x lower intake, 1x exhaust out the back, 1x exhaust out the top).

This case definitely is super quiet - I highly recommend it!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

if you turn your psu off the lights will turn off

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Correct. That's my solution as of now!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

I think the MB is kind of overkill considering you can't overclock very well on that cooler anyway... well and even if you could it's still a bit overkill. You should have just stepped down on the motherboard slightly, maybe waited for a slightly better sale on the 840 EVO, and also just ditched that CPU cooler entirely in order to upgrade to a 780GTX. Then later on you could have went for an AIO cooling solution for the CPU and overclocked it by much more. Haswell just can't be overclocked much on anything but very extreme setups, when it comes to air cooling.

This isn't a bad build but you could have done more with the money in the long run. A 770 4GB is wasted unless you've got them in SLI and you're gaming at higher than 1440p... and even then the only thing you're going to hit that much on is heavily modded Skyrim. By heavily I mean heavily.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

I fail to see how you can say you can't oc very well with that cooler. With similar builds on this site alone with that cpu and cooler, many people are hitting 4.5 and up

  • 73 months ago
  • -1 points

Because it's trash for overclocking haswell, pure and simple. Perhaps if you have very low ambient temperatures and a golden chip, you could hit 4.5Ghz. I'm not going to believe it until I see some actual evidence, like someone with a Hyper 212 EVO running Prime95 torture tests and keeping their temperatures at 80C or under. That being said a Haswell i5 will get to 4.5k easier than an i7, probably, just because of lack of hyperthreading and whatnot.

To give you an idea I started my build out with a hyper evo 212. My temperatures were going into 70C+ sometimes with absolutely no overclocking. Its idle temperatures at stock were what my current idle temperatures are on this cooler at 4.5Ghz @ 1.305Vcore. It's a massive difference.

Edit: In here, you'll see what HardOCP's cooling suggestions are for Haswell in general: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/06/01/intel_haswell_i74770k_ipc_overclocking_review/8#.Upz85nDryE4

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you have the proper thermal paste? When I used the paste included, I was getting 70-80deg without overclocking (i5 4670k). I took everything out, removed the thermal paste, and replaced it with Arctic Silver 5. Temps dropped down to <30deg idle and I got a stable OC @ 4.2GHz. I hit 50deg max while gaming, and I have two graphics cards in there which are also generating a ton of heat.

  • 73 months ago
  • -3 points
  1. For one I've never seen thermal paste actually matter that much, you might have messed up the placement on your first installation...

  2. What are your ambient temps?

  3. 4.2Ghz on 4670 is nothing... that's basically an i7 without hyperthreading and a few other bells and whistles, so you're probably going to hit higher clocks on it by default anyway because it outputs lower temps.

  4. Gaming isn't a good stress tester of your OC at all. Give me your prime95 temps. You don't have to bother with version 28.1, though, I can't even get a stable, low temperature overclock in that (seriously version 28.1 is ridiculous).

Just for comparison's sake try running Prime95 V25.11, large in-place FFT's. Tell me how stable your overclock is and how your temps are. Run it for at least 35-45 mins. Take a screenshot for verification.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

The cooler was sort of a quick-fix after the prices on a Dark Rock Pro 2 shot up during the build process. I likely will go with something different in a few months, but for now the cooler is fine at stock clocks and probably can give me some OC room if I get bored one day.

I agree the 4GB is probably wasted, but I do run very heavily modded Skyrim and the 2GB limit of the regular 770 was probably going to be an issue. As for the 780...I almost wish I bit the bullet and went with that GPU, but for practical purposes this card is more than enough.

Thanks for the comments!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Is the GPU so silent that it disappeared in the last pic? ;) I kid, great build and great part choice. Love the decision to go SSD-only!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha! It was the only picture I had of the "build process" so I stuck it on here just to show everything sort-of apart.

The call on the SSD-only solution was one I definitely think was a good one - 500GB should give me plenty of room for the time being. Plus this thing is FAST!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Good build!

I love that case. I can't wait for more pictures.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice job. Went with a pure SSD build myself (although I have a ton of externals from my laptop), and haven't regretted it for a second.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

I really like this build and its going to perform like a monster.....not sure why people arent loving this build. Everyone says you gotta get a ssd yet this guy is getting crap for it just cause he went above and beyond a boot drive. Also like the MB, heatsink will be much easier to upgrade in the future than your MB. +1

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Everybody said to get an SSD and a data drive - indeed, this would have been the more cost-effective solution. That said, this is one area I wanted to just bite the bullet on and reap the benefits of a single-drive solution.

The MB is an investment for the future - the heatsink will eventually be replaced with something more Haswell-friendly.

Thanks!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Rarely do I ever see just great part choice. I feel like I should've waited on my PC, I have a pretty similar build with a smaller PSU, smaller SSD and slower RAM but I paid over 1600$ when i ordered it and thats without the monitor.. rough :/

Anyways, this build is top notch! I hope you're enjoying it :D

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Don't beat yourself up about that...in a couple months I'm sure a similar build to yours and mine will be even cheaper. Technology moves too damn quick!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

it's annoying! But its also epic at the same time lol, yesterday I seen a video of a guy at MIT who made something where you can touch objects through a screen! Technology rules haha

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Dude that case is so sexy.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Good build, not great I would have dropped the SSD and got a cheaper one. After I would have gotten an H100i because I always say if you have a build over $800-$900 get a liquid cooler.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Unfortunately an H100i is a pain to get to work in a Define R4. I seriously looked into it, but the general consensus was that I should probably move to a larger case. With this in mind I just went with a painless/cheap solution for now until I start the next upgrade process on the PC in the not-so-distant future.

The SSD was definitely overkill, but I wanted a single SSD solution and this drive has great reviews.

Thanks for the comment!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome looking build man, looks great. I'd personally would have went with red LED because of the color matching, but that is personally preference. Overall great looking build and hope your enjoying your new PC =]

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

I have an NZXT Hue which allows me to change the color at will. Look for a red pic in a few minutes!

Edit: Posted one with the LEDs on red and turned up to max brightness. For some reason my iPhone didn't really like the red, but the green pic game out OK. The Hue is pretty cool, I definitely recommend it.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

good job on your ssd shopping

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet build, I hope those temps are normal. My 8350 idles around 29-30 with the 212, used to do about 33-34 before I moved some cables.

I don't know if it matters too much, but anyways like the build and that huge SSD!

-Matt.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

That is running with a ridiculously high ambient temp. When I turn down the heat at night I can see temps as low as 26!

Edit: Just raid AIDA64 for 30 minutes, average temperatures across the 4 cores is 56C. Ambient temp is around 21C. Not bad!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

windows 8 looks terrible, but is faster. I prefer win7 because it looks better

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Agreed. I do know 8 is quicker, but I really just can't bring myself to make the move from Win7.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

From what I've heard Win 8 is still going through some teething issues when it comes to gaming compatibility as well.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

I think the SSD and the mobo are total overkill imo. Nevertheless, nice build.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

I'll be the first to admit that! However, I do plan on adding a second 770 and making the move to 1440p in around 4-6 months. This makes the mobo choice less ridiculous in some regards.

As for the SSD: I bit the bullet on that to remove both HDD cages and just have the simplicity of one drive. I could have saved a chunk of change by opting for a smaller SSD and a disk drive, but I haven't regretted this decision one bit.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

How did get you get those lights? can you add them or send me a PM? :D

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry this is so late! I have an NZXT Hue - it's a great unit and allows for a ton of different colors. Definitely worth it.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build, looks so clean.

What LED's are those?

  • 66 months ago
  • 2 points

They come with the NZXT hue. The LED strip is really long, so I cut it at the halfway point and taped the connection off with electrical tape. They're really bright and look fantastic!

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  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

IMO Win8 sucks and Win7 is the best OS I've ever used and I used old IBM machines to whatever crap the US Army uses.