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1st Build: Project VALKYRIE - Stryker, 4770K, Sabertooth Z87, GTX 780, H100i

by LeMonarque



Date Built

Aug. 12, 2013

CPU Clock Rate

4.7 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

75.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.014 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6.808 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

77.0° C


UPDATE 9/13/2014

Reading about CPU input voltage helped me get a stable overclock at lower core voltage!

OLD: 4.7GHz @ 1.350V, CPU Input Voltage AUTO (1.840V)
NEW: 4.7GHz @ 1.300V, CPU Input Voltage 1.990V

I really goofed on this. Before a couple days ago I had never thought of changing input voltage to increase stability. In fact I didn't even know it would. My input voltage (also called VCCin or VRIN), was auto set to 1.840V and I couldn't keep a stable 4.7GHz at under 1.350V core voltage. Manually changing my input voltage to 1.990V allowed me to drop my core voltage all the way to 1.3V! I would never have known about input voltage had I not been browsing forums, as pretty much every video guide tells you the cookie-cutter "change multiplier, change voltage, test" method of overclocking. Well, increasing the voltage to your VRM can increase stability as well, and it makes sense.

At 1.3V, my CPU doesn't break 75C under load, whereas at 1.35V it would easily break 85C. This means my fans never hit max rpm in ASUS Fan Xpert, which autosets all fans at max speed beyond 75C. I cruise around the 60% mark at load.

UPDATE 8/12/2014

Well, well...what do you say after one year? The system is still running strong as the day it was built.

I appreciate all of the feedback I've gotten, whether positive or negative. I've been able to learn a lot in the past year. This build marked the first serious entry into the PCPartPicker community for me and was the beginning of me being actively helpful on the forums instead of just asking for help. I've really enjoyed being part of the community thus far. There are a lot of great members here, like RyneSmith and skemble to name just two, and of course the fantastically responsive and transparent PCPP staff.

UPDATE 7/6/2014

Added some new pictures. It's been a while since I updated this!

About a week ago I purchased a new Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. It's a killer lens and I use it pretty much every day now. I thought I'd post some new pictures as the quality and color rendition of it is amazing. Also rearranged the photos (deleted and uploaded again in a different order). The new pictures are #3-8.

I have some exciting new upgrades planned for this rig in the coming weeks (hopefully by August 12, when the rig will be a year old). I plan to overhaul the storage system to be more efficient for graphics content creation and maybe add a Kraken G10 and a Quadro K4000 or K2000.

Somewhat longer term I plan to upgrade to Haswell-E at some point later this year or next year as per my original intention of skipping SB-E/IB-E and going with "cheaper but still good" performance in Haswell as a holdover until Haswell-E.

UPDATE 12/7/2013

I overclocked my monitor. From 60Hz to 85Hz. It was surprisingly easy to do...

Here are the steps (these steps are specific to Nvidia GPUs, manageable through Nvidia Control Panel, as far as I know).

Nvidia Control Panel > Display > Change Resolution > Customize > Create Custom Resolution > change the value of the number in the "Refresh Rate (Hz)" box > Test > choose the new custom resolution in Nvidia Control Panel > Apply

I'm now sitting at 85Hz, 31% up from the stock 60Hz. At 90Hz the monitor just went black and the OSD said "OUT OF RANGE" for 15 seconds before reverting to 85Hz. So I tried 86Hz, and the monitor passed the control panel test but began showing grains and other artifacts. 85Hz is my limit.

Slightly nervewracking, but easily done and took no more than 10 minutes of research and 5 minutes of actual overclocking.

The difference between 60Hz and 85Hz is absolutely surreal. Moving my mouse and windows around, even watching this cursor move as I type this message - it all looks so much smoother. It's a whole new level of clarity that I never expected.

I've seen native 144Hz 1080p panels before and they were nice but not overly impressive. The level of clarity achieved from higher resolution AND higher refresh rate is just amazing. The best way I have found to describe it is that it's similar to the first time you watch a BluRay movie.

UPDATE 11/10/2013

Added some spiffy formatting to the original post so that it's easier to read :)

UPDATE 11/2/2013

Borrowed a real camera from my folks and took a bunch more pictures! I've reuploaded all of them pictures so that the new ones are at the front.

This time I used an old Nikon D70 digital camera with an 18-70mm AF-S Nikkor lens. Took the pictures at night with all the lights in my room off, turned on long exposure, ISO 250, and strobed certain points with a white LED flashlight to get some cool lighting effects! I'm really happy with how these new pictures turned out.


UPDATE 8/22/2013

Max CPU overclock achieved. Currently running at 4.7GHz w/ 1.350V. Average load temps at 82 C with spike temps as high as 90 C. At 4.8GHz 1.375V wouldn't keep me stable, and upping to 1.400V would give me spike temps higher than 100 C, which is the i7-4770K's throttle point. Basically my H100i ended up being the limit of my overclock, and I can see a vice-delid with some CLU liquid metal in my CPU's future. But out of the box, I'm more than satisfied with 4.7GHz under an H100i on a Haswell CPU!

Batch Number: L312B330

Manufactured in: Malaysia

UPDATE 8/21/2013

My CPU's OC stability requires a less aggressive GPU OC. I've had to step down my GPU overclock to 1175 MHz boost clock and 6808 MHz effective memory clock... Normally this isn't worth it to do, as games are much more GPU-bound than they are CPU-bound (GPU overclocking yields much more framerate increase in games than CPU overclocking). However, seeing as this is a workstation rig first and a gaming rig second, I am choosing to sacrifice any amount of GPU or RAM speed up to stock in order to increase my CPU performance.

I don't anticipate needing to revert to stock settings, but if I have to I will. Most likely I will run into CPU Core Voltage/Temperature limits before encountering that.

The CPU is currently stable with: 4.6GHz @ 1.250V

UPDATE 8/18/2013

I've found my maximum stable GPU overclock. The results are in a picture. Power target, temp target, and voltage all maxed. I raised my GPU clock offset until I got crashes running Battlefield 3 on absolute max settings at 2560x1440. After that I went through the same process with the memory clock offset. I discovered that Furmark and MSI Kombustor would actually allow me higher overclocks without crashing, but as soon as I entered a game, I would crash...so from that point on, I decided my GPU stability tests would be done with a game.

The final result is a boost clock of 1215 MHz (29% increase from 941 MHz) and an effective memory clock of 6808 MHz (15% increase from 6008 MHz). Battlefield 3 average framerate increased from 65 fps at stock to 85 fps after overclocking, a 31% increase. Frankly, that's flat out amazing. And the card never runs hotter than 77 C.

Next up: CPU overclocking.

OP: 8/13/2013


My very first computer build. It's to be used for Autodesk Maya and 3DSMax, Adobe Premiere/After Effects/Speedgrade/Photoshop/Audition, and Blender.

And I do enjoy a little bit of gaming..

The build:

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-4770K $282.36
Motherboard Asus SABERTOOTH Z87 $207.62

I got my CPU and motherboard from Newegg on a $100 off combo; that's why they're so outrageously cheap. With my budget I could have obviously chosen the i7-3930K and an X79 motherboard. I debated and decided that I preferred the features of the Z87 chipset and the (much) higher power efficiency of Haswell over Sandy Bridge-E. With Haswell-E, X99, and DDR4 coming in two more years, I would rather skip the dated X79 chipset, buy good, less expensive performance in Haswell and Z87,and wait. The extra startup cost and operating cost of SB-E, or as of September 2013, the 5% increase of IB-E, doesn't seem justified with such a large jump waiting down the road.

I chose the Sabertooth Z87 first and foremost because I like it aesthetically. Let's be honest. Anybody who tells you their first reason was something else is lying to you. However, there are some nice aspects to the board. For instance, moving from the Sabertooth Z77 to the Z87, ASUS replaced many of the board's components with Z77 RoG parts, while their curent Z87 RoG has updated components. This means the board combines the performance of Z77 RoG with the looks of a Sabertooth Z77 and the feature-set of a Z87. Lots of win.

Type Item Price
Memory Corsair Vengeance Pro 2x8GB DDR3-1866 (Silver) $159.99

I chose 2x8GB DDR3-1866 memory because higher frequency not only helps in render speeds, but does also increase minimum fps in games. I wanted to stay at the 1.5v operating voltage, but didn't want to gamble on my 4770K overclock since Haswell has issues with memory speeds greater than 1866MHz. The 16GB capacity is pretty standard for an editing computer, as is the 2x8GB configuration instead of 4x4GB. With 2 sticks, I can upgrade to 32GB later on since I still have 2 unpopulated DIMM slots.

Type Item Price
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 780 DirectCU II OC $679.99

For the GPU I wanted GK110 at its cheapest, which lends itself to the GTX 780. I chose the ASUS DCU2 version for its low fan noise and beefy heat pipes (1x10mm (insane), 2x8mm, 2x6mm)). I also wanted a 2560x1440 monitor in order to edit 1920x1080 source footage in native resolution and still have space on the screen for the timeline and other tools. This also meant that I needed a GPU that could comfortably drive games maxed at 1440p, and since editing programs don't take advantage of SLI, I chose the most sensible single-GPU card for the task.

Type Item Price
Case Cooler Master CM Storm Stryker (White) $135.99

I absolutely adore this PC case. It's roomy enough for everything I wanted and the build quality is top notch. Everything is made of painted white steel except for the front mesh and the angled top around the handle, which are plastic, the side window, which is acrylic, and various rubber pieces throughout the case.

Type Item Price
Case Fan Corsair Air Series SP120 PWM High Performance Edition (2-Pack) 120mm Fans $32.99
Case Fan Corsair Air Series AF120 Performance Edition (2-Pack) 120mm Fans $27.99
Case Fan Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Fan $21.94
Case Fan Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Fan $21.94
Case Fan Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120mm Fan $22.24
Case Fan Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120mm Fan $22.24
Case Fan Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120mm Fan $22.24
Case Fan Noctua NF-A4x10 40mm Fan $14.55

I had a simple mentality when it came to fans. Put Corsair fans where they can be seen, put Noctua fans where they're hidden. A balance between performance and aesthetics.

The NF-A4x10 is a 40mm fan that I put in the rear I/O fan slot on the Sabertooth Z87.

I have 2 airflow-optimized NF-S12A FLX on the top and middle bays of the front of the case, intaking air into the main side, with a single static-pressure optimized NF-F12 on the lower third of the front of the case, meant to shoot a focused column of air to feed the GPU fans. That flow combines with the airflow optimized NF-S12A FLX and AF120 PE on the bottom of the case and results in a strong, diagonally vectored stream of fresh air to the GPU.

The rear fan is an AF120 PE. For the radiator I mounted 2 SP120 PWM PE's on the inside of the case and one NF-F12 on the top of the case. The one bad thing about the Stryker chassis is the carrying handle has a metal brace that prevents the installation of a fourth pull fan. So I'm running push|half-pull...

Type Item Price
Power Supply Corsair AX760 $144.49

I chose the AX760 for energy efficiency during high-load render times several hours in length. The 80+ Platinum efficiency also results in a bit lower heat output from wasted energy, which results in lower fan speed. The 760watt potential is there for if I want to add a RAID card and several hard drives in the future or a Quadro GPU.

Type Item Price
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $89.95

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit for now. I'm sure I'll upgrade to a full 32GB of RAM at some point in the future, and with my university discount the upgrade to Pro or Ultimate is only $9.75. For those who don't know, Home Premium limits usable RAM to 16GB. You can have 32GB of RAM or even 64GB if you're on X79, but Home Premium will only work with 16GB of it.

Type Item Price
Monitor Asus PB278Q 2560x1440 27.0" PLS Monitor $549.99

I had a few requirements in a monitor for my needs: IPS/PLS technology for better color reproduction in order to do accurate color correction, large screen size, a resolution large enough for me to size my footage preview window on actual 1920x1080 pixels with screen real estate left over to edit on.

This ASUS monitor fit the bill perfectly, and is the cheapest non-Korean QHD monitor available. I didn't go the Korean-import route because of time constraints - I would not have been able to wait the time required for shipping back-and-forth if I needed to RMA the panel.

Type Item Price
Keyboard Logitech G710+ $101.08

I wanted a Cherry MX Brown keyboard for the tactile response of Blues, the responsiveness of mechanical switches, and typing-noise the quietest possible for Cherry switches. I also wanted controllable-backlit keys and media controls. It was between the Logitech G710+ and the Gigabyte AIVIA Osmium Brown, and I chose the G710+ because its placement of macro keys made more sense. I didn't leave Gigabyte completely out of the picture though...

Type Item Price
Mouse Gigabyte GM-M8000X $59.99

Gigabyte GM-M8000X Wired Laser. It's a Logitech G500 with improved features. Instead of DPI switches on the side, it has a DPI rocker behind the scroll wheel, which is much easier to use for on-the-fly changes. It has a nice textured rubberized finish that doesn't let your hand slip while not causing your palms to become sweaty. And it's at the same price point as the G500. I highly recommend it, obviously.

Type Item Price
Sound Card Asus Xonar DX $89.99
Speakers Logitech Z623 2.1ch Speaker System $117.99
Headphones Audio-Technica ATH-M50WH $0.00


Logitech Z623 2.1 channel system. I needed something for real-world bassy audio playback. I have Audio-Technica ATH-M50's for neutral sound signature audio monitoring/editing, but I wanted an actual real-world system to know what my final results will be.

ASUS Xonar DX sound card: marketed as a gaming AND media sound card. Take a neutered Xonar STX and a neutered Xonar Phoebus, fuse them together, and you have the Xonar DX. Neutered is relative here, because it's still very good quality.

Type Price
Total Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. $3279.52

That's the build! The cost is higher than what you typically see for builds on this site with similar big-ticket components. But keep in mind a lot of those builds leave off the OS, monitor, whatever audio system, and sometimes peripherals. If I subtracted the cost of all the human-interface items, the meaty internals add up to $2591.55, which I think sounds about right for the internals chosen.

All-in-all things went pretty smoothly considering it was my first time. I had an Aha-moment when I decided to velcro-tape the SSD to the top of the PSU in order to cover the silly spec-sheet visible with the fan facing down. The one problem I had was dropping a screw onto the Sabertooth armor. It rolled under the plastic shroud and got stuck somewhere...I had to shake the now 40 pound case (the mobo was installed already) for 5 minutes until it dislodged itself. 1st world problems >_<

Anyways, enjoy the pictures! I tried to be as mindful of the main-bay cable management as I could.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks to Phillip and the crew for an incredibly useful resource for this noob's first build!

Comments Sorted by:

JPKaizer 1 Build 53 points 67 months ago

LOL at using the DVD drive as a cup holder, golden.

BradleyGijsen 31 points 66 months ago

yeah... i tried that too ;S, it closed automaticly.... My whole Desk full of coffee :S

blaziecat1103 9 points 65 months ago

What you do is you take the power connector out and use a paper clip to open the tray. That way it never closes.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 18 points 63 months ago

Apparently Cooler Master thought it was gold too, because they shared that picture on their Facebook page!

I never posted my photos to their page, so I guess they got it from here and thought it was funny :)

I'm a fan of theirs on Facebook, I saw this in the morning and it made my day. I can't explain how weird it was to be seeing a picture of my own computer on my feed when I never uploaded it... Scratched my head for a moment.

JPKaizer 1 Build 4 points 63 months ago

hahaha nice! It was creative on your part lol

AceBalthazar 3 Builds 2 points 51 months ago

dude that is awesome

mattataki 1 Build 2 points 62 months ago

I stopped using a DVD drive since ages, actually, I can't remember the last time I used those things. I guess that gave me a reason to use them :P

Mayday9158 1 point 53 months ago

After you install the os you never really use it so Perfect substitute

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 27 points 67 months ago

Bane Voice

You will first give me this computer. Then, you have my permission to die.

AustinTheTimelord 3 points 61 months ago

You will commit...

Goku671 1 Build 1 point 67 months ago

lol, that was hilarious and epic at the same time.

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 1 point 67 months ago

Thanks xD

Enlyten 1 Build 9 points 67 months ago

My very first computer build.

You will never know pain.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 15 points 67 months ago

If I agonize and obsess for 6 months on how to prevent pain, like I did on how to choose parts and build this PC, then yeah, you're probably right! :)

TheCrazyCryptonite 5 points 64 months ago

Im doing the same thing atm ;)

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 64 months ago

Good luck! Diligence will reward you with less headaches when building, no forgotten parts, and no money spent on extra, unused parts! :P I bought all of my parts in one go and didn't need any more or any less than the parts that sat on my doorstep. That includes fan extensions, peripherals cabling, screws, etc.

Plan with care and your first build experience will be a really positive one, I promise!

RussianPenguins 1 Build 9 points 66 months ago

Needs more fans :P

butch10x 1 Build 5 points 67 months ago

bad *** build!!!

anilms 4 points 67 months ago

Thanks for the detailed explanations. Helped me learn about the parts Nice build

DoctaHuff 4 points 67 months ago

I think im going to get an optical drive just to use it as a cup holder now.

TerraPosse 1 Build 4 points 66 months ago

Jolly nice build, old chap. Tally Ho.

FaPooCcino 3 points 67 months ago

What Individually Sleeved Cables Did You Use?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 4 points 67 months ago

Corsair White Sleeved 24-pin compatible with AX760 and Corsair White Sleeved Cable Set compatible with AX760 for the PSU. I used a white sleeved Bitfenix 1-to-3 3-pin splitter, two white sleeved Bitfenix 3-pin extensions, and two black sleeved Phobya PWM splitters.

MrChesse 3 points 67 months ago

To put the H100i on the top of the case did u take the fan that was there?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 4 points 67 months ago

Did I remove the 200mm fan that comes with the case? Yeah, I did - there's no way to mount the H100i if you leave the 200mm fan on.

But even if there was, I strongly recommend you do not use a 200mm fan on a CPU radiator. Large size fans are used by many people because they can move more or the same amount of air as smaller fans but at lower speeds and noise levels. However, their increased size means that they have terrible static pressure, which is very important when it comes to CPU radiator cooling.

Starlana 2 Builds 3 points 64 months ago

Starlana +1, Super sleek and sexy LeMonarque...very nice.

yoshisisland 3 points 51 months ago

you have a real talent for photography I think

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 50 months ago

Thank you! That really means a lot as photography is one of my passions.

dsargent7 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Agreed - Do you have a website or show your work on social media at all? I'd love to check out what you do if you shoot professionally to any degree.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

The most I've done is shoot for my university paper and fill in as a 2nd shooter at a wedding. I share most of my stuff on my Facebook page privately, but some of it I make public and I recently created a public Instagram account here.

I really should upload all of my shots to Flickr at some point but Yahoo's atrocious login system has me locked out and I'm too lazy to call them up as the underlying issue is a technical cluster**** of their making.

dsargent7 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Dude. I hate Yahoo's login. They definitely don't make it very easy. Anyway, I followed you on Instagram. You've got a good eye! Totally jealous of that weather sealed body btw.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks! Hearing that from a pro photog really means a ton. Oh boy do I love my NX1. I originally got it because I wanted to start doing video, but the workflow and time investment (not to mention monetary investment) is just so massive for professional videography that I've decided to just do photography and grow into a freelance thing while I'm still in school.

Princessefl 2 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

Great build!

AH__Banana 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

Very nice build!

sketch24 9 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

Nice pictures. And awesome build.

usmc0811 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

awesomely B...E...A...utiful!

elricky 2 points 67 months ago

Quick question, did you stayed with 3 front fans ? Or did you placed a CD drive ?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

I kind of messed up on that part.

I originally planned on having an internal CD drive, which meant only 2 front fans. But more than 30 days after the drive came in (past the return date...), I decided I wanted 3 front fans instead...so what I ended up doing was I put the CD drive in to install my OS, WiFi card driver, and several disc-ed utilities and programs.

After I finished all of that, I took the drive out and put the third front fan in along with a third hard drive cage. If I had to do it all over again, I would probably have bought an external Blu-Ray drive.

The setup right now and for the foreseeable future will be 3 front fans.

elricky 1 point 67 months ago

I see, I dont know much about the stryker, but it seems fun as heck to fool around with. So I was wondering, the last bottom cage, where all your accesories are placed, cant you somehow manage to place a cd drive in there? Just wonderin'

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 67 months ago

It would definitely be doable, but would require some modding. You would have to make some metal brackets and put them on the drive somehow, because the little drawer that comes in the chassis sort of sits like a sled on two metal pieces on the bottom.

For my build, I took out the drawer altogether because I didn't want to block the airflow coming from one of my bottom fans.

elricky 2 points 66 months ago

Hey man, im getting this case and I was wondering, about how many fans does it fit ? Imagine I get an extra HDD cage as you did. Did you used all of those fans you listed ? 1 more question, is where do you actually place all of those fans ? -Thanks

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 4 points 66 months ago

I'll break it down into parts so the answer is easier to read through:

1st Question: How many fans does the Stryker fit with an extra HDD cage?

  • The case will fit at most 9 fans without any case modding and including a 240mm radiator. If you mod or remove the top handle brace it will fit 10 fans.
  • Front: 3x120mm
  • Rear: 1x120mm or 1x140mm
  • Bottom: 2x120mm
  • Top (Case Fans Only): 2x120mm or 2x140mm or 1x200mm


  • Top (Radiator Fans): 2x120mm or 2x140mm or 3x120mm or 3x140mm


  • Top (Radiator Fans w/Handle Mod): [Same as directly above] or 4x120mm or 4x140mm

2nd Question: Did you use all of the fans you listed?

  • Yes, I used every fan! :)

3rd Question: Where did you actually put all of those fans?

  • I bought a Corsair AF120 Performance Edition 2-Pack, Corsair SP120 PWM Performance Edition 2-Pack, 3x Noctua NF-S12A FLX, 2x Noctua NF-F12 PWM, and a Noctua A4x10.
  • 1x Corsair AF120 on the rear case fan mount
  • 1x Corsair AF120 on the bottom of the case
  • 2x Corsair SP120's on the inward side of my radiator
  • 2x Noctua NF-S12A in the front bays (middle and top bays)
  • 1x Noctua NF-S12A on the bottom of the case
  • 1x Noctua NF-F12 on the lower bay on the front of the case
  • 1x Noctua NF-F12 on the top of the case, above the radiator as a pull fan
  • 1x Noctua A4x10 inside my Sabertooth Z87 motherboard.

I plan to do the handle mod when I have a few spare hours to think about it and do it. At that point I will replace my front NF-F12 with a Noctua NF-P12 and move the NF-F12 to the top of the case, next to the NF-F12 that is currently there (for 4x120mm top radiator fans).

elricky 3 points 66 months ago

Wow! Thanks for all the details and stuff ! Jesus christ you are a nice person :) Post pics when you finish the handle mod, id sure think it will look and perform like a beast!

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 66 months ago

Hahaha thanks

I always like giving info on system builds. There's just so much to take in, and when I first began research it seemed overwhelming. After several months though there's a lot of information that I just know by heart or can look up easily, so I try to share as much as possible, remembering where I came from.

I hope you find this build log and advice helpful, and good luck in your build! The Stryker is a badass chassis to work with.

DiatomicBromine 1 point 51 months ago

What did you do with the stock fans?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

I saved them all. Ended up using the H100i's stock SP120's and the case's stock 140mm and 120mm on a lower budget build for my older brother here: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/XvQ7YJ

H100i stock fans went on the H212 EVO in push-pull, 140mm went in the roof, and the 120mm went in the front as a 2nd fan. I was extremely happy with how that turned out lol.

The two other 120mm fans I sold to a friend along with some other parts.

794 1 Build 2 points 66 months ago

Wow that looks like a beast! Great build man.

shakezula 2 points 66 months ago

Where did you learn all this if this is your first build? I'm doing a lot of research for my first build and it all seems very overwhelming. You seem to know exactly what you're doing though.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 4 points 66 months ago

I took things very slowly. In terms of parts selection, you just need to know exactly what you want to do with your system. If you're gaming, look up gaming benchmarks with different CPUs and GPUs. I just went down the PCPartPicker list checking what the suggestions were for parts in video editing.

In terms of building, I just took notes from NeweggTV, LinusTechTips, and TekSyndicate YouTube guides. After that I looked at unboxings for all my parts to see what pieces I would have to deal with for installation. Finally, I actually sat down and wrote, piece by piece, what I would do in my build. Everything from what wires to connect to what order I would need to do things in.

When you actually imagine going about building in your head, it gives you a really good idea of what the process will be, as long as you go through it in your head really rigorously. I questioned every part of the build so that I could be confident I had all bases covered. This goes from unboxing things all the way to installing the OS and updating drivers and UEFI/BIOS.

For overclocking I referenced YouTube and written guides once again and put together a pile of testing and tweaking software.

TheCrazyCryptonite 1 point 64 months ago

I have spent around 2 days researching (as in 48hrs) and probably more on my build and its pretty similar to yours. :D

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 64 months ago

sweet post it Cryp!

mikeylikesit702 2 points 65 months ago

Nice build ! Looks so sweet with those white sleeved cables. I'm currently doing a very similar build and cant wait to get pics up. Most inspiring :) Question, for your 3rd HDD cage mounted in the top drive bays... How exactly did you accomplish that to get the 3rd front fan mounted? Thanks !!

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 65 months ago

Thanks for the complements! To mount the 3rd front fan I bought a Trooper HDD cage here from Cooler Master's web shop.

To mount it I just slid it into the 3x5.25" bay. It fits like a glove. Then I took 1 of the 4 screws holding in my other 2 HDD cages and screwed the 3rd cage in through the hole in the case meant for 5.25" device mounting.

Fun fact: buying the Trooper HDD cage gets you the cage AND a 120mm fan.

mikeylikesit702 1 point 65 months ago

Nice, just ordered one from the CM Store :D Cant wait to get it installed. Thanks again for all the awesome info on your sweet build. Much props.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 65 months ago

Sweet, I'll be looking forward to the pics! The Stryker is a lot of fun to work with.

Protocol 1 Build 2 points 64 months ago

Damn nice build. That's about as clean as it gets right there.

Very well done!

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 64 months ago

Thanks bud! I'm hoping to eventually put it all under water next Summer, so I made pretty sure that I got things as clean as possible just as a kind of practice. If anything ever goes wrong with my parts, definitely don't want to be hunting and pecking at exposed cables when there are pressurized tubes full of water all about!

Btw, what size fittings and tubing did you use for your 900D?

Protocol 1 Build 1 point 64 months ago

The trick really is to put it all together, but run the pumps for a day or so with an external DC power supply (Radio Shack has them for around $30 or so). That way if you do have a leak, your components are not getting wet while powered. Water alone won't damage most components if they don't have current flowing through them. Distilled water is also not very conductive, but if contaminated it can become conductive enough.

This is my second liquid cooled rig and I have never had a leak. ::knock on wood::

It's all 1/2" ID (3/4 OD) tubing. Fittings are of course the standard G 1/4.

Gooberdad 10 Builds 2 points 64 months ago

super nice

[comment deleted]
Buttery 1 Build 2 points 64 months ago

Congratulations on the build, stumbled across yours while planning my own Storm Stryker build (4670k/Direct CU II 770). I'm impressed you managed to cram 9 fans into your case, took me about a minute to figure out how you did it. Nice cabling by the way.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 64 months ago

Thanks! Mounting the fans was the easy part haha - figuring out the cabling was the real head-scratcher. I had to buy all of my parts in one go, so I spent a ton of time envisioning all my fan mounting spots vs. the mobo fan headers vs. the cable lengths on each fan and tried to see what fan splitters and extensions I would need.

Good luck with your Stryker build! The Stryker is fun to build in.

BlackWidow 4 Builds 2 points 64 months ago

love the cable management under the desk dude

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 64 months ago

Thanks, that's my moderate (I think?) OCD showing through lol

Condidi 1 Build 2 points 63 months ago

Haha it looks like i copied you (But i didn't) +1

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 63 months ago

lol thanks - I think the Stryker just has so much of a...striking ( >:D ) appearance that it really stands out and makes a lot of the builds look similar! Instead of the 200R's, 300R's, Define R4 Windows, and Lian Li cases that all look the same at a glance.

Condidi 1 Build 1 point 63 months ago

HAHAHA I love terrible jokes

j9506 2 Builds 2 points 63 months ago

Perfect build! Two thumbs up!

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 63 months ago

Well thanks! Good job on your own build as well :) Love the name haha

Draninus 2 points 62 months ago

Nice build.


Gatz30 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Nice build very informative love the pics, I would appreciate your input for my build the link is http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/Gatz30/saved/3kyu

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

Just happened to see your comment and I'm assuming this comment was meant for me (I don't get notifications if you reply to somebody else's comments!).

Your build looks pretty good. One thing I would try to look out for is try to lower your motherboard and PSU costs (and change your sleeved cables accordingly if you need to) and then see how much money you can redirect to funding a better GPU such as the R9 280X or GTX 770. The 760 is great, but if you can afford better by getting a cheaper board and PSU, I would do it.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

Thanks ;)

lwcdnet 2 points 61 months ago

LeMonarque, I love your choices! And "damn" on the GPU FPS yields from your overclocking! Nice job! I had a couple questions I thought I'd run past you as I am putting together specs for a build myself at the moment:
1. Did you consider de-lidding the 4770k, to improve the inherent handicap Intel gives us with the way they apply the IHS over the die? I've never done anything like that before, but it seems to me that everything we do to increase cooling is somewhat capped by the way they apply the IHS on the processors. 2. Have you ever implemented a RAM drive? I've decided on the MSI Z87 XPower Motherboard, and in that package comes a license for a RAM Drive application. The notes say you can load complete game images, page files, etc., into available RAM, which would operate about 20x faster than an SSD. I have no idea what size / amount of RAM a game image takes up, so I'm curuious if you've got any experience with that?

These two things look like further ways to improve performance, but the delidding option obviously comes with some risk. Hoping this post allows you to reply.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 60 months ago

Hi, I"m so sorry it's taken my so long to get to your questions; engineering midterms everywhere, been super busy!

I am indeed seriously considering delidding my 4770K, using the vice method and applying Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra to the die and Arctic MX4 between the IHS and my H100i. It is definitely the biggest bottleneck as you say.

I haven't ever created a RAMdisk and I don't really intend to anytime soon. I would only do that after upgrading to 32GB of RAM, and even then I may not want to sacrifice usable RAM for After Effects CS6 previews. Maybe just 1 gig for internet cache, but that's probably the most I'd do on dual-channel capacity. If I was on X79 with 64GB RAM I would probably consider it.

As for game performance, it really is more hassle than it's worth. You have to load your game into RAM every time you reboot, and that process is bottlenecked by the SSD anyways. For games I personally would enjoy more plug-and-play, install-and-forget use rather than slightly less delay on texture loading, which is something SSDs are still really good at.

EDIT: I want to add something about processor cooling. For gaming performance you'd be much better off reapplying some MX4 paste to your GPU and then using a Kraken G10 to mount a liquid cooler. You'll get better temperatures and/or better overclocking headroom, as well as lower noise. A little more GPU overclock always yields more performance gain than a little more CPU overclock.

0siris 2 points 60 months ago

Wow, awesome build! Love how you layed out the post, too. I'm actually going to try to save up money for a build myself, my current computer is hella outdated. I plan on using the same case. In fact, I was wondering if you, or anyone else for that matter could give feedback on this list. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2UIv0

Thanks, and again, nice work.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 60 months ago

Hi there, your build looks really solid. I would think about 3 changes though.

First, you could consider swapping to a 2x4GB kit of RAM instead of 1x8. BF4 is the first game in many years to seriously scale well with RAM speed, and so future games may also benefit. If you're worried about 32GB max capacity vs 16GB if you go 2x4, just remember that games barely use 6GB of RAM these days. By the time you'd have to worry about a game needing 16GB of RAM, you'll also likely need a new CPU, and therefore motherboard, and at that time we'll probably be in the DDR5 days anyways. So it doesn't really make sense to cut yourself short to try and futureproof RAM right now. By the time that futureproofing in capacity makes sense, your RAM and motherboard will be outdated anyways.

Consider swapping that monitor for a VS239H-P or VN248H-P. They're both IPS monitors. I feel like for 1080p gamers you have just 3 options for monitors: TN 60Hz for budget, IPS 60Hz for image quality, or TN 120/144Hz for semi-competitive gaming (you make money, whether from competitions or streaming). There's really no place for TN 60Hz panels that charge a premium for low response time. For the money, IPS 60Hz is a better option IMO. And personally I'd go with the VS248H-P, as its stand is much better than the VS239H-P.

Lastly, consider less expensive motherboard unless you absolutely need features on the PRO that the non-PRO doesn't have. It's quite expensive otherwise.

Good luck on your build! The Stryker is a beautiful case.

Kriston_S@101 2 points 60 months ago

Great build. I personally like the cable management OUTSIDE the case. A lot of people pay so much attention to cable management inside the case yet the outside has plugs going in every direction possible looking for a socket to plug into. So this in my opinion is very professional.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 60 months ago

Hey thanks for the nice words on the outside! I definitely appreciate the clean cable runs when it comes time to vacuum the floor there haha.

Rufus_239 2 points 59 months ago

Someone must have said this earlier but this would be my dream build. (Not so much the liquid cooling because i don't trust myself with OC'ing after i accidentally made one of my old useless computers catch fire) I nerdgasm at this beast that is so beautiful. And to the guy who made it. You are one awesome mother ******

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Haha wow, thanks dude! That's quite the comment you wrote there lol..

Don't sweat it on the LC though - my H100i is showing failure-symptoms: the green of its "RGB" light-up Corsair logo died, so I can't get white anymore (just red, blue, or varying intensities of pink..). The pump is also making soft grinding sounds.

Gonna RMA it but if I have any other issues with the new unit I'm probably gonna switch to a dual-tower heatsink cooler. Maybe a sexy Phanteks or be Quiet to make up for the loss in mobo cover and GPU backplate aesthetics.

littlekat11 2 Builds 2 points 59 months ago

What are the white pieces between your fans and radiator? I believe that it is something to help increase the statics pressure? I just happened to use the same case with pretty much the same fans set up like yours. Got to say, Storm Stryker is hell of a case, except the handle won't let me go push/pull on my 280mm radiator >_<

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Oh man, I know your pain on that damned handle height! So unfortunate... Plan to mod mine this summer.

Anyways, good eye on the white pieces. They're Modright Ninjas - 120mm silicon gaskets that do exactly what you guessed at, which is aid airflow to the radiator.

The SP120 has a circular frame and the H100i (and most radiators) have squared edges. This means that some air can leak out the sides of the SP120, or worse, enter the radiator and then rebound back into the case. The gasket goes between the fan and the radiator, filling out the frame and raising the fan from the surface of the radiator, which also allows a stronger flow of air since the main motor hub of the fan usually has little flow when pressed right against something.

They also look nice :P

littlekat11 2 Builds 2 points 59 months ago

Yeah they are, thanks for reply. Really cool build btw. +2 if I can LOL. Don't forget to update if u decided to mod that handle height!

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Oh I will! This summer I plan on doing the handle mod and delidding my CPU with the vice method. Funds permitting I also want to get more RAM and a mix of SSDs and HDDs for a faster workflow. Maybe get a Kraken G10 and a K2000 as well... Gonna be a fun summer!

littlekat11 2 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

I'm using Kraken G10 right now, still waiting for the VRM and VRAM heatsink to come in but so far, underload at 53 for me using Corsair H90 pull config. (VRM 1 & 2 about 74C, and trust me u don't know how high VRAM temp goes up without heatsink cubes.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

VRAM or VRM goes high? I haven't worried much about VRAM since I know so many cards have back-mounted VRAM. And my ASUS 780 has a dedicated heatsink for the VRM separate from the main fin array (basically a little heatsink cube on its own). I can just leave it on there!

kirk2rbo 1 point 52 months ago

Modright Ninjas - 120mm silicon gaskets---- where did you ordered that bro.. nice build ill be building a copy cat ^

IIIAVIATORIII 2 Builds 2 points 58 months ago

The description on here is by far the most beautiful and well written out of all the builds I have seen on this site. Amazing pictures as well, +1 all day man.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 58 months ago

Hey, thanks for the kind words! I'm a sucker for lengthy posts haha

ScorchedFusion 2 points 57 months ago

By far the best description, and you also did a dammload of research it seems +1

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 57 months ago

You bet haha. I knew I wouldn't have time to do any visual work during the school year, so I spent my extra time researching PCs. I kinda obsess about stuff until I get it down before it happens lol... The description is a text version of that :P

Thanks for the comment and the vote!

plgdg 1 Build 2 points 56 months ago

That is one expensive cup holder. My case doesn't support the cup holder option :(

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 56 months ago

Maybe, but your case is footrest-capable.

plgdg 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

It can also pour drinks now due to my custom loop ;) I'll have the updated build posted once I get my GPU block to add to the CPU loop.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 56 months ago

Try an overclock with coffee or energy drinks. 4.8 petahertz

BaSkA 2 points 55 months ago

Nice keyboard. Is it as awesome as it looks?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

It's even more awesome than it looks :) Kind of spoiled me actually. I can't type on rubberdomes anymore without feeling a little bit annoyed. Sometimes when I go over to my friend's house even his Cherry MX Blues annoy me lol

BaSkA 2 points 55 months ago

I already use a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Browns. However, it doesn't have macro keys which I would very much like to have and the G710+ has those rubber grommets under the keys which is probably awesome. Planning to buy it and sell mine. Thanks!

PChamp 2 points 54 months ago

Great build! Quick question...which fans are you using at the bottom of the case? And how did you secure those fans (using rubber screws or metal screws from hardware store)? I have the same case (Storm Stryker) and noticed that the screws for side-panels can get stripped very easily. Did the same happen for your case?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 54 months ago

I'm using a Corsair AF120 where the little SSD bay used to sit and a Noctua NF-S12A FLX under where the storage drawer sits. The only reason for the different fans are I hate the look of Noctuas, so I put as many Noctuas in hidden places as possible so I never have to look at them but still get their great performance. I used the rubber mounts included with some of my Noctua fans to secure BOTH of the bottom fans and my rear fan. I had 16 extra rubber mounts since my 3 front Noctuas and my top Noctua required screws to secure to the drive cages/radiator.

I never waited for the side panel screws to strip! A few days after the build I ordered some replacement thumbscrews for my side panels.


Everything about them is better. Longer thread, longer thumb portion, bigger thumb portion, better grip on the thumb portion, all leading to an easier time screwing and unscrewing. I think the look nicer as well. They're flat top though, so you can't drive them in. I feel like side panel screws don't need to be driven in though. I think hand tightening is way more than enough (especially with the good traction you get on those screws). I may eventually replace the screws for my expansion slots, and THEN I'll look for some screwdriver thumbscrews.

PChamp 1 point 54 months ago

Thanks for the prompt reply! Should have been careful while tightening those side panel screws :( Do you think if I stripped them, then I can still use these thumbscrews?

I never thought that those novel Noctua rubber mounts will fit fans of any other manufacturer! It is good to know they do, but I still worry about inserting them in hard to reach areas like the bottom of the case.

By the way, I removed that SSD bay as well, found it annoying and in my way. I have installed the SSD in the front drive cage along with HDDs.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 54 months ago

You sure could use stripped thumbscrews. They're now impossible for you to tighten with anything other than your hand, so wherever you out them they're a safe bet that you will be able to unscrew them in the future ;)

I hear ya on the hard to reach places with the Noctua rubber mounts. The thing is, though, that as hard as it seems to get them out from a tight spot, they probably about 9001 times harder to get IN to the tight spot to begin with. Areas that lack hand clearance are a nightmare for installing fans using any kind of rubber screw. So if you're able to get them in, you'll be able to get them out, and I can guarantee you that. Uninstalling is way, way easier even for places with plenty of space.

PChamp 1 point 54 months ago

Thanks, I will try out those thumbscrews :)

Btw...what settings and resources did you use for overclocking your 4770k? I haven't published my build, but you can see it at: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3BCC4D . I am using this PC for gaming/alt-coin mining. Therefore, you will notice a weird set-up with 2X 280X and 1X 290X! I initially tried OCing using ASUS software and that was useless, constantly got BSOD! Will appreciate any advice/tips!

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 54 months ago

I overclocked directly in my BIOS settings. With the BCLK at 100 I first changed the multiplier to 45 for a 4.5GHz overclock (BCLK x Multiplier, or 100 x 45 = 4500MHZ = 4.5GHz). I changed the voltage to Manual at 1.300V.

After that I attempt to boot up. If I'm successful I open up Cinebench R11.5 and run it 10 times in a row, then game for 1 or 2 hours. If I never crash, I'll go back in the BIOS and increase the multiplier by one (46 or 4.6GHz). Repeat until crash. When I crash, I'll go into the BIOS and increase the voltage by 0.025V and repeat stability testing until I'm stable. When I'm stable, I'll work on increasing the multiplier again until the voltage needs another increase, and so on.

My stability test is not what a lot of people do. I don't run AIDA64 or prime95. I believe those two programs are stupid for the average user to test with because they put incredibly high loads on your system - loads you will NEVER achieve through gaming or even video/photo editing or 3D modeling. So while you may have a perfectly working overclock for your usage, you may fail (ie, crash due to instability) when you run AIDA 64 and/or prime95. Does that mean you have an unstable overclock? In my opinion, no. Nobody builds their computer to run AIDA64 all day. We build computers to use them, and so it makes sense to test stability with our real world applications. I wouldn't load 20 tons into the back of a car and call it weak if all I'm going to do in real life is put groceries from the store there.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 54 months ago

By the way, I can't believe how cheap that RAM is O_O

EDIT: Nevermind, I didn't realize it was 8GB and not 16. Pretty expensive then.

Major_ADHD 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

love this build!

hopefully 1 Build 2 points 51 months ago

Looks great Nice cable management inside and out :D

milesknight 2 Builds 2 points 51 months ago

I just had an eyegasm because of your beautiful cable management!

jonasbensimon 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

GREAT build !! i want to buy cables like yours what exactly am i looking for? thansks! do i need 1 of each? i have the same gpu as you, i dont need the ones that connect straight into PSU just the ones into MOBO and GPU


LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Hi, sorry for the late reply.

Unfortunately you can't really get just the CPU 8-pin and motherboard 24-pin cables. The cables I used in this build are wired directly from the PSU to the components instead of using the stock PSU cables + extensions (because extensions won't fit into the keyed PSU holes).

So the cables are sold by Corsair themselves and since they follow their proprietary pinout keying, they're kind of expensive.

Here is the motherboard 24-pin: http://www.corsair.com/en-us/individually-sleeved-ax-860-760-atx-24pin-generation-2-white
and here are the rest of the cables: http://www.corsair.com/en-us/professional-individually-sleeved-dc-cable-kit-type-3-generation-2-white

Be sure to check the compatibility on those cable kits to make sure they fit into your PSU.
The rest of the white cables for other PSUs are listed here: http://www.corsair.com/en-us/power-supply-units/psu-accessories?acccolor=White|

I would find the one you need then try to buy it elsewhere (Performance PCs is a great online retailer). Also keep in mind that all of these only work with Corsair power supplies.

jonasbensimon 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

aah i see, well i have already purchased them just yesterday, but if you can double check them for me to see if i got what i needed then that would also be a lot of help. What i want is the extension cables (not the full cable) and i want the ones which attach to the MOBO and GPU not the ones which attach dirrectly into the PSU.

Heres what i got (only the first 4): http://search.directron.com/newsearch.php?find=silverstone+red+sleeved&x=0&y=0

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Should work with most power supplies. The first and fourth are for GPUs, second is for your motherboard, and third is for your CPU, correct? If so then you're all set.

jonasbensimon 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

yup thats correct, although when you say CPU youre referring to the one that connect up top on the of the mobo next to cpu? if so then im all set.....thanks for your time, and i was looking at your pics again, great pics, you must know a thing or two about photography.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Yeah the top left plug. You're good to go! And thank you very much for the kind words on my photos.

jonasbensimon 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

another quick question, can i use those extension cables i asked you about yesterday on a semi modular PSU?

iNonEntity 2 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

This thing is beautiful...

TerraHD 2 points 48 months ago

This is an AMAZING build!!! The best one I've seen! :D

PhantomStorm 2 points 48 months ago

My opinion on this case,

Cooler master employee: how many fans should we use?

Other cooler master employee: takes sunglasses off slowly* all of them -_-

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

Thankfully somewhere along the lines marketing rejected their original prototype :P


BlkMgkNitez 2 Builds 2 points 47 months ago

SO CLEAN! The jelly I'm experiencing is almost unbearable.

alexkizirian 2 points 44 months ago

This desktop build looks simply amazing. The white and black design looks great! This has inspired me to build myself a gaming rig rather than buy a pre-built one. This is my first time building a rig so if it isn't too much trouble, id love to hear your opinion. My build has a few similarities: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/alexkizirian/saved/#view=BYLxFT

Thank you so much and amazing build! Hopefully mine ends up working similar to yours!

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 44 months ago

Thanks for the kind words! They really do mean a lot :)

I like your parts choices in general. First off, your original list has TWO CPU coolers in it :D I also noticed that you don't have any storage chosen, but, I will just work off of your provided list minus the CPU cooler in case you are moving from a previous system.

I went and made some budget optimizations. Here is your build with and i5 instead of an i7, and 8GB RAM instead of 16GB. I put some of the savings toward an IPS monitor and better keyboard/mouse bundle.


Overall that saves you $150, not including that second H105 in your list.

If you wanted to reinvest that $150 into better parts elsewhere I would look at absorbing the $30 keyboard/mouse bundle and spending $180 on a mechanical keyboard + mouse.

Lastly I can see that one focus in your build is aesthetics, which I TOTALLY understand! That was the case for my VALKYRIE build, clearly. However I always make two configurations when I'm looking at parts lists: the one I want and the one that gives the most power for my money. They're often not the same since you're paying extra for nice cases, nice motherboards, or nice fans. It just depends on what you value more, and there is no wrong answer.

So just for the sake of completeness, here is what I would do for $1900 (your list minus a CPU cooler): http://pcpartpicker.com/p/QG3HTW

The main things in that build are the 1440p monitor, mechanical keyboard, and gaming mouse. In my opinion once you have your horsepower dealt with (choosing your CPU and GPU) the next most important things are user experience, or UX. These are enhanced with high resolution displays, comfortable peripherals, and fast storage.

alexkizirian 1 point 44 months ago

Thank you very much for your response and your advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me two builds for different budgets. You brought up several good points and I will take it all into consideration. I will definitely put more capital into a nicer mouse and keyboard and a better monitor. After doing some reading, it seems like there are two groups: the HD IPS 60hz monitors and the 144hz non IPS monitors. It seems like the HD monitors have much better colors and contrast but in order to see the nvidia gtx 980 Ti s power, one should go with a 144hz monitor. I am curious what your opinion is on this. I may have not used some of the proper terminology and I apologize for that. Thank you for your time and your aid.

alexkizirian 1 point 44 months ago

Thank you so much for your response and taking the time to look at my build. Thank you for the valid points and for taking the time to provide two viable alternative builds with different budgets. I will take them into consideration.

In response to some of your concerns,

The 2 CPU coolers mistake is fixed. I agree completely that it is important to have a decent keyboard and mouse and a monitor that unleashes the full potential one's videocard in order to maximize the user experience.

I have been looking at an AOC G2460PQU because of its high response rate and low lag capabilities This review really helped me with my choice. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/aoc-g2460pqu-144-hz-gaming-monitor,3827.html

I also changed my build to include the logitech gaming mouse and keyboard you recommended. I was going to buy something better a bit later because i didn't want to throw down more than 2k at once but now I am indifferent as long as its not too far over.

The SSD slot is empty on my build because I have two available harddrives from my previous gaming laptop: an SSD3 256GB Samsung drive and a SATA 7200 rpm 750GB drive.

I also took another look at your VALKYRIE build which is amazing and noticed that you invested in a sound card. Doesn't the motherboard have a sound card built into it?

Thank you for your time and aid.

The gentleman from the article had this to say:

A TN part has a much easier time dealing with 120 or 144 Hz refresh rates because its processing demand is much lower than that of an 8-bit IPS display. We’ve seen enough examples to say that image quality is not noticeably impacted by the reduced bit depth. Frame Rate Conversion continues to be an effective means of rendering 8-bit color with a 6-bit native LCD panel.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 44 months ago

In my eyes there are two camps of monitors - your 1080p TN and IPS monitors, and your 1080p 120Hz+ or 1440p+ IPS monitors.

They are separated by price, and so if you are considering a high refresh rate monitor, you should also weigh in high resolution monitors. Full disclosure I'm very biased toward higher resolution and IPS panels as a photographer and one studying animation and visual effects on the side. I personally wouldn't buy a high refresh rate monitor for myself if it meant I couldn't have IPS.

BUT. The monitor I DO have, the ASUS PB278Q, is a 1440p 60Hz monitor that I've overclocked to 85Hz. And believe me, refresh rate DOES make a difference. The clarity you get from high resolution AND high(er) refresh rate is phenomenal. The best way I can describe it is that it's similar to the first time you viewed a BluRay movie.

Unfortunately, having everything in a monitor naturally means the monitor will be expensive. There are 1440p IPS monitors you can buy that come out of the box at 120Hz or 144Hz, but they are very pricey. If I have to choose between refresh rate and resolution, I will always choose resolution, and then within the monitor selection that is left I will try to find a monitor that overclocks well.

The monitor in the second build I linked you (ASUS PB258Q) is the successor to the PB278Q that I have. It is a little smaller but the same resolution, so the pixel density is higher. The bezels are also much smaller and it is cheaper!

alexkizirian 1 point 44 months ago

Thank you for the timely response. This is very educational for me and i really appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me. Its kind of funny to me because i haven't purchased a desktop for a while. Currently, I am using my father's 10 year old desktop. The monitor is a 15 inch ADI MicroScan. The one I have at home is around 8 years old and it is also a pathetic 15 inches so i figure that i will be impressed with whatever monitor i get.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Oh gosh, I was just reading over my answer and realized I never talked about the sound card! So here's the scoop.

If I had to do it all over again, I would skip the sound card or buy a higher quality, NON-ASUS card. It was the biggest mistake I made in my build and I don't even use it now. ASUS has virtually zero support commitment to their sound cards, which have buggy drivers and in the case of my card, slow down your boot up.

There actually is a noticeable sound quality difference and buzzing/hissing reduction at high volumes through my Logitech Z623 speakers, but the drivers are just so bad and the boot up time increase so much that I don't use it anymore.

I would stick to the onboard sound of your motherboard, buy a high quality non-ASUS card, or buy a USB DAC and hook your speaker system/headphones up to it. Whatever you do, avoid ASUS Xonar sound cards.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 67 months ago

Does anybody know why my build isn't showing up on the list of completed Storm Stryker builds?

Hakumisoso 2 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

It'll take a while but it will show eventually. When i posted my build i was worried about that too. But the website updated eventually.

Edit: did anyone else notice the new icons at the top of the page?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 67 months ago

I noticed the Titan/7xx GPU, the de-Samsung-ified Samsung 840 Pro SSD, and the de-Corsair-ified Dom Plats haha

ProudNerd248 1 point 67 months ago

How well can you render in 3DS Max

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 67 months ago

I have not done a test on that yet, but for what it's worth here are my Maxon Cinebench R11.5 scores at stock CPU and GPU speeds:

  • OpenGL: 74.59 fps
  • CPU Multi-Core: 8.11
  • CPU Single-Core: 1.75
LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

Just a little update.

With CPU at 4.7GHz and GPU at 1175MHz boost:

  • OpenGL: ~95 fps
  • CPU Multi-Core: 10.30
  • CPU Single-Core: 2.05
elricky 1 point 66 months ago

Can I have a link for those white paracorded cables ?

elricky 1 point 66 months ago

Thanks !

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

Urgh, my bad, I accidentally linked the 24-pin twice. I've just edited the links.

Cyperior 1 Build 1 point 66 months ago

Where exactly does the wifi adapter plug in? And what exactly does it do? Does it just allow you to connect to local routers?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

The wifi adapter plugs into one of the PCI-Express x1 slots (the slots that are about 1/3 the length of the regular PCI-Express x16 slots that GPUs go in) on the motherboard. However, it can run in any of the slots, as the "x1" just tells you how much bandwidth it needs. In a x16 slot it would still only use "x1 bandwidth".

On the external side of the PCI bracket are two connections for two antennae. The card performs the functions needed so that you can have wireless internet, while the two antennae transmit and receive the signal from your router.

If you're thinking of getting a WiFi card, just know that before you can use it you have to manually install the drivers that come on the disk, or get them from the internet via another computer. For this one, ASUS includes a driver disk, but I know for other cards they are sometimes not included, which for some users results in a kind of "putting the horse before the plow" situation if they don't already have internet access.

Some motherboards have integrated WiFi which removes the need for a discrete WiFi card if you want wireless internet. The Sabertooth Z87 however does not, so I had to get a card.

Cyperior 1 Build 1 point 66 months ago

This is the motherboard I was going for: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-p8z77vlk I looked around and couldn't get a clear answer if there is onboard wifi. And if not, and I have to get a wifi adapter, I have my laptop with internet access for driver download. Thanks for the in depth reply. But I see you have said this one came with a driver disk, and this was gonna be the one I was going to buy so i should be fine.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

No problem, glad to help. That motherboard doesn't have integrated WiFi on it. You can tell because if it did, it would have two knobs for antennae on it.

This is what it would look like. See those two gold knobs on the rear I/O? Between the BIOS flashback button and the quad stack of USB 2.0 ports. That's where antennae go, and it's basically what's on the back of my WiFi card. If you're looking for integrated WiFi, check the back of boards for those.

Knightz 1 point 66 months ago

Hey man, i don't know if you will even see this, But what made you choose the z87 sabertooth over the Maximum VI Hero? I want to order my parts but i absolutely cannot decide! You seem to really know your stuff, what made you choose the sabertooth over anything else? Aesthetics?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

Aesthetics was a major player, yeah. There are other more practical parts to it though. I plan to have an upgrade cycle of 3+ years, so the 5 year warranty on the Sabertooth vs the standard 3 year warranty on most other motherboards was a big part of it. The motherboard fans were a small consideration, as was Thermal Radar 2, which is a more mature version of the Fan Xpert found on ROG motherboards. The dust covers were a nice addition, although how effective they are remains to be seen. They look nice lol..

Basically I wanted something that would last me for many, many years but didn't sacrifice on performance. ASUS' Z87 TUF boards use a lot of Z77 ROG components.

If I were only a gamer, I would definitely choose the M6 Hero instead. It's an extremely high quality board for the money and has integrated audio that's nearly as good as the dedicated Xonar DX in this build. You could consider the M6 Formula as well, which is kind of a fusion of TUF and ROG with the gaming features of ROG and the aesthetics of TUF. It also has a built-in VRM water block. Though it is quite expensive.

For my purposes though, I bought into ASUS' marketing hype over their TUF series. I have no way to verify that the board is actually more reliable, and it may just be ASUS marketing speak, but there is one stone-cold feature about the board that makes it a winner for my situation: the 5 year warranty. Hope this helped!

Knightz 1 point 66 months ago

Thanks for the reply!

I had 3 quick followup questions as well haha.

1) What made you choose the ASUS GTX780-DC2OC-3GD5 over the standard ASUS 780?

2)Are there advantages over the ASUS version of the 780 vs the EVGA (I cant decide here between the two companies). (The standard versions as well as the Direct CU and ACX SC.

3) Although the Formula is a great board on paper, i heard the waterblock was made from Aluminum which apparently slowly degrades and you can't use a H100i because they can react (that's what a few people on some other forums said anyways)

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 66 months ago

1) The reference 780 (which is also the standard ASUS 780) is a fantastic looking card. Absolutely beautiful. However, it falls short in the same areas that every reference design card does: overclocking, temperatures, noise level. Any custom design card will perform better in at least one of those areas, and often all three.

I chose the ASUS DCU2 because it has a better cooler on it. The better cooler results in lower fan noise and lower temperatures. Lower temeperatures allow for higher overclocks and a longer lasting card.

The only reasons for getting a reference card are: personal opinion on aesthetics, bad air flow in the case, or a small form factor case. Refernce cards excel in ambient system heat management because of their cooler design. Shrouds on reference cards are closed everywhere except the I/O bracket and the opposite edge. The opposite edge serves as an air intake, and the fan is designed to blow air across the card and out the I/O bracket. As a result, the hot air is exhausted directly out of the system. Custom cards exhaust hot air out the top, bottom, left, and right of the card. Everywhere. So if your case has bad air flow, your ambient temperatures can increase. And in small form factor builds, where there is less circulation and more clutter, reference cards are also good choices. The tradeoff for this is a noisier fan, higher ambient temperatures, higher GPU temperatures than custom cards, and lower overclocking.

It only takes two or three fans to have enough air flow for a custom design card. Front, rear, and maybe top. Front fan(s) intake fresh air, rear fans suck and exhaust the hot air of the GPU directly underneath, and if you have room for them, top fans suck hot air away as well.

2) The ASUS DCU2 version performs better because it can overclock higher (your mileage may vary depending on the quality of the silicon chip on your card). Overclocking has to do with temperatures, PCB design, and cooling. Generally the ASUS DCU2 performs better than the EVGA ACX SC.

However, the EVGA Classified tends to do better than both, as well as the Galaxy HOF and MSI Lightning. Those cards trade higher overclocking for more power draw (they draw 25% more power with dual 8-pin connectors vs 6-pin+8-pin), higher temperatures, and louder fans.

3) I didn't know that about the Formula. Some quick searching shows that a lot of the evidence is anecdotal right now. However, there are a lot of them, which does raise worries... The difference between the Formula and the Hero: the Formula has better aesthetics (imo), a headphone amp on its SupremeFX portion of the board (used to drive extremely high-impedance high quality headphones), and is more expensive.

As for your concerns about the H100i, you have nothing to worry about. The H100i is a closed loop water cooler. It comes prebuilt and it only cools the CPU. You can't disconnect the tubes and use the pump for water cooling without doing so VERY heavy modding and having a lot of trust in your skills. It doesn't touch the VRM water block on the Formula at all, so corrosion is out of the question.

You can use the H100i for either board no problem. But if you're water cooling, I would not consider the M6 Formula.

Good luck!

dgb1119 1 point 66 months ago

do you have a youtube page?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

I do, but it doesn't have anything on it right now. I created it just to hold the channel name I wanted so nobody else could have it.

dgb1119 1 point 66 months ago

lol. what kinda content are you going to post

Knightz 1 point 66 months ago

I wanna thank you for all your feedback it has helped me alot through this purchasing process. I have one final question (I promise last one :P).

Since this is my first build, I'm not completely familiar with water cooling etc. I know the H100i is a highly recommended cpu cooler, are there any inherent risks with this product? I've had people tell me it can explode and destroy your other parts while others have said it is much better better than any fan cooling. What is your comments on this?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

Once you get your H100i, take it out of the box and squeeze its tubes (but don't go crazy) around all its potential leak points (at the pump block, at the radiator). If it doesn't leak right then, it's almost guaranteed to not leak within its lifespan.

The H100i isn't really water cooling, because it doesn't use water to transfer heat and isn't a modular system. Water cooling involves using distilled water and building your own custom loop with tubing, radiators, blocks, and pumps, and securing that tubing to everything with clamps or compression fittings. THAT is where you need to be very careful and responsible. But with closed loop liquid coolers like the H100i, you have little to worry about.

In the case that something unimaginable does happen, Corsair has excellent warranty coverage for replacing computer parts damaged by faulty liquid cooling units.

In general it is better than fan cooling. However, it's only better at a certain point. Thin-radiator 120mm closed loop coolers like the H60 are easily beaten by air coolers at the same price point. If you want to go liquid cooling, be ready to invest in at least a thick 120mm radiator like the H80i or a good 140mm radiator. That's the minimum I would get, or else your money is better spent on air cooling instead.

Knightz 1 point 66 months ago

Cool, If i were to go with lets say a Noctua NHD14, do you think it would impede at all with any other things plugged into the motherboard? Like the Corsair vengeance pro ram and the ASUS 780 DIRECTCU card (since it is a little thick)?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

Graphics cards have no issue with the NH-D14 if it's facing front-back, (as opposed to bottom-top). However, Vengeance Pro memory cannot be used with the NH-D14. The heatsinks on the sticks are too tall.

If you want the NH-D14, look for low-profile memory kits. Vengeance LP for example. With an NH-D14 you won't be able to see the sticks at all, so if you're considering aesthetics for RAM that will work using the NH-D14, don't.

Hakumisoso 2 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

How do you like those headphones

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

I love them! I originally bought them as recording monitors because they have a relatively flat frequency response. At first the sound seemed lacking in bass because I came from Skullcandy audio, which is bloated with bass. Over time though, the sound signature really grew on me, and now I love the neutral sound. Music just sounds a lot more detailed than with "colored" response headphones. However...

Gaming on them can be a bit dull though sometimes. I would like a little more bass to feel the explosions in games more. So while I will definitely use the M50's to listen to music and edit audio, I am currently looking at headphones like the Phiaton MS400 and V-Moda M80 for better bass.

Hakumisoso 2 Builds 2 points 66 months ago

I would also look into the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro. they have bass customization and audio quality similar to the aht-m50s. I am about to buy them myself.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

Yeah I also saw those. I am looking for something more compact though. And while the COP's have that adjustable bass port, I kind of doubt that it goes too far away from the ATH-M50's once they're wide open, since they're audiophile-grade.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 65 months ago

A little update on this.

I just tried out a friend's Custom One Pros - the bass ports make a much bigger audible difference than I expected, and they are more comfortable than my M50's. However the COP doesn't have as detailed a sound. I found my M50's represented quick, clear sounds such as cymbals and short guitar notes much better than the COPs.

The M50 is more neutral than the COP at the COP's weakest bass setting. The COPs are slightly mid and bass oriented.

Hakumisoso 2 Builds 1 point 65 months ago

How did you do the 3 fan intake at the front. I want to do that to my computer.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 65 months ago

I bought one of these from the Cooler Master Store online. It fits in the top 3 5.25" bays no problem. It comes with an included 120mm fan if you don't want to buy another one. Just screw it in with one of the 4 long thumb screws from your other HDD cages (you don't need 2 per cage, 1 is fine) and it works without a hitch.

Interestingly, this also means that if you remove your other 2 HDD cages while leaving the side plates on, you can use any of those slots as a 5.25" bay O_O Not really on-topic, but I found that kind of interesting haha. They plates have the same construction as the 5.25" grooves.

Hakumisoso 2 Builds 1 point 65 months ago


Mediciu5 3 Builds 1 point 65 months ago

Hey, nice job on your rig. Two questions. Q1) Did the PSU wrapped cables come that way or did you order them from another site?

Q2) In another person's build you mentioned arc'd airflow. At what point in the case does it arc?


LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 3 points 65 months ago

Hi, thanks so much!

For my PSU I got these from Performance-PCs: Corsair White Sleeved 24-pin compatible with AX760 and Corsair White Sleeved Cable Set compatible with AX760.

Unlike cable extensions, they're made by Corsair to fit the specific pinouts needed by their power supplies. If I used extensions I'd have to use the stock black cables or sleeved them myself.

As for your second question, I just filled up the fan slots on the case, but used fans optimized for different airflows to get the flow vectoring right.

I have 3 front fans. The bottom-most one is a static pressure optimized Noctua NF-F12 PWM. I also have 2 fans on the bottom of my case - one is an airflow optimized Noctua NF-S12A FLX and the other is also an airflow optimized Corsair AF120 High Performance Edition.

Airflow optimized fans are meant to move a lot of air and disperse it widely. Static pressure fans are meant to forcefully propel air in a (ideally) steady, pipe-shaped column in whatever direction the fan is facing.

So while more air is blown with an airflow optimized fan, the strength of the airflow in that imaginary 120mm cylinder in front of the fan is weak because the air is dispersed in such a large area. That's why when you stick your hand in front of a desk fan your hand gets buffeted instead of steadily blown against. The flow is uneven.

The flat, strong airflow from my NF-F12 PWM shoots 90 degrees against the airflow from my two bottom fans, which blow air straight up. When the two forces collide, the air is vectored at an angle. That angle allows me to feed air directly to the fans on my GPU.

Since this was posted I've also gotten some full-metal expansion slot plates for the expansion slots underneath my GPU except for the one directly under. Covering the lower slots with hole-less plates means that none of my intake air from the bottom and front can escape out the back. Instead if rebounds into the GPU fans. The slot right underneath the GPU I've left completely empty so that there is a hole for the fan to intake air from the rear.

Using static pressure fans on the bottom would feed the GPU better, because no air would be "wasted" in dispersion to the rest of the case. However I chose airflow fans for the bottom because I also want extra airflow to my H100i, and the dispersion helps do that.

Sorry for the wall of text! If you read all of that, grab yourself a cookie and pat yourself on the back :D

Mediciu5 3 Builds 1 point 65 months ago

That's awesome info. I started reading and was nail-biting because I didn't know how to ask what Static or Optimized airflow meant. The included definitions and descriptions was perfect for helping me get acquainted with internal airflow options. Heck, I bet most of us didn't know there were different types of fans (aside from size and speed and bearing types).

So...in a case mod competition review I saw a CPU Cooler that was already angled (lower towards the front, higher towards the back) in order to help airflow. Would something like that hinder your airflow plan or help it? I wish I had the link handy so I could tell you which one I was talking about.

I really appreciate the info about the airflow and different fan types. I need to start doing more investigations around my planned case modes in order to incorporate the appropriate fans now... :D

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 65 months ago

No problem! This was my first build and I can't tell you how many times I got frustrated when a source didn't explain all the info given lol. Picking up fragments of info and putting them together was the most annoying thing! So I try to be concise, even if it means I type a wall of text :P

That's an interesting CPU cooler setup you mentioned. Whether or not it hinders airflow depends on the rest of the system.

For example:

Since the cooler is angled down toward the front, a rear fan as exhaust would hurt the airflow to the cooler but help the exhaust of hot air from the GPU if the GPU has a dual/triple fan cooler. This would help direct as much of the hot GPU air away from the cooler as possible.

On the flip side, turning that fan around as an intake helps feed fresh air to the CPU, but also blows hot GPU air into the cooler as well if a the GPU has a dual/triple fan cooler.

So it's kind of a mixed bag. I think you would just have to test both rear fan setups in real life to see which worked best for what you want to run cooler - the CPU or the GPU. Or possibly both.

For clarification, dual and triple fan GPUs exhaust air out every crevice in the card, while single-fan, also called 'reference' or 'blower' have closed unibody coolers and exhaust hot air directly out of the PCI bracket (but don't cool the GPU as well as dual/triple fan versions).

Lastly, Noctua has a good diagram that tells you which fans are for what for their 120mm lineup. You can find the info on any 120mm fan page of their website. Corsair also has segmented fans for specific purposes. Their SP fans are for Static Pressure, and their AF fans are for Air Flow.

You can tell a static pressure fan from others because they have either 7 wide, steep angle of attack blades or many narrow blades with steep angles of attack. Examples of the first type would be Noctua's NF-F12 and Corsair's SP120 (incredibly wide blades), while the second type would be something like a Swiftech Helix or a Scythe Gentle Typhoon.

Corsair AF120 and AF140 fans have many narrow blades, but a shallower angle of attack, which is designates them as airflow fans. Noctua NF-S12A FLX fans have steep angled blades, but they're narrower than those on the NF-F12.

In reality though, I think basically any fan with bad static pressure is an airflow fan, because it means the fan disperses air. There are some fans with specific airflow designs though, like the ones mentioned above.

Mediciu5 3 Builds 1 point 63 months ago

Hey as follow-up, the angled CPU cooler I was referencing, was this one:


LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 63 months ago

Wow, that's an incredibly badass heatsink..

GeorgeBD 1 Build 1 point 64 months ago

This looks almost exactly like mine. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ZsS0 LOL

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 64 months ago

Killer system you're setting up there! I have some words of advice though, but only if you want to hear it :)

GeorgeBD 1 Build 1 point 64 months ago

Alright :D XP this is my first rig

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 64 months ago

Alright, I would take out the thermal paste, change the HDD to a NAS drive, and then change the SSD to either an OCZ Vector, Vector 150, or Vertex 450.

The thermal paste won't make much of a difference, if any at all, paired with the Hyper 212 EVO. Don't get me wrong, the H212 EVO is a great cooler, probably the very best cooler for the money, but it's not substantial enough to benefit from high quality thermal paste. You actually would see more cooling improvement from spending that extra money on a better cooler than on thermal paste for the H212 EVO.

The HDD doesn't need to be super fast since it's just secondary storage, so I recommend the Seagate NAS HDD Series 2TB. It's still 2TB, still 7200rpm, still 64mb of cache, but just ever so slightly slower than a WD Black. However, it's a NAS drive, which means it is rated for 24/7 load use and high reliability, which is important if you're doing the kind of work that calls for the power of an i7-4770K, like video editing, 3D modeling, animation, or photo editing. And on top of that, it's cheaper than a WD Black! I would gladly take slightly lower speed for greatly enhanced reliability.

And finally the SSD. I recommend one of those from the OCZ line because they do much better in something called steady state performance. Steady state performance is the speed of a drive after long periods of use. All storage drives degrade and lose transfer speed over time, but some are better than others. The hard part about buying a drive is that advertised speeds are brand new speeds right out of the box, which isn't nearly as important as the speed you'll have down the line. It's only review sites that really get into steady state performance. And for longevity those OCZ SSD lines are some of the very best.

For steady state comparison graphs, see TechPowerup's review of the OCZ Vector 150 240GB. You can select a drive from that dropdown list and compare the Vector 150 to many competing SSDs in steady state performance.

GeorgeBD 1 Build 1 point 64 months ago

This looks almost exactly like mine. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ZsS0 LOL

CannedBullets 2 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

So is there enough clearance between DIMM slot 1 and the tubing for the Corsair H100i?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

Yes, the arc of the tubes gives enough clearance for Vengeance Pro memory. I'm not sure about regular Vengeance, Dominator Platinum, or G.Skill Trident X though - those are all taller than Vengeance Pro.

NeonMane 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

Does the Stryker have fan mounts on the front or did you jury-rig it? The Newegg overview didn't mention front fan mounts.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 61 months ago

The Stryker has a weird front fan mounting system. The 120mm mounts are threaded not onto the frame of the chassis, but into the actual hard drive cages.

The stock configuration of the hard drive cages is sideways, and so the fans are sideways when you take your case out of the box. You can turn the cages 90 degrees so that the fans intake from the front.

That was simple enough for the bottom 2 fans, but for the 3rd fan I had to buy an extra hard drive cage from Cooler Master (available in their online store). The cage provided a mounting surface for another fan.

Looking at the spacing of the triple-5.25" bays at the top of the case, I had a hunch that a cage might be able to fit there. So I took one of the 2 stock cages and test-fit it, and whadya know, it fit! Then I bought the 3rd cage and the rest is history!

NeonMane 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

Thanks for the info! I'm a cooling freak and what I saw from your build, the Stryker has lots of cooling potential.

Damith 1 point 59 months ago

wow man..amazing board....i hope to buy one for 2way sli.can u plz tell me exact length between 1st PCIe x16 slot and 2nd PCIe x16 (2nd PCIe and 4th PCIe)....i really want to Know that...

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Hrm, I don't know exactly, but I can tell you that the total expansion slot coverage from the first full-length PCIe to the second is 4 slots.

You'd be able to fit a GPU in the first and a GPU in the second with room for the SLI ribbon and an expansion slot open in-between for a PCIe x1 wifi card/sound card/whatever.

The second GPU will cover up the PCIe x1 slot below it however, as that slot shares its expansion slot on the case with the lower half of the 2nd GPU (the lower of the dual slots on dual-slot cards). I think this is pretty standard practice on mobos, but its something to take note of anyways.

From the top-most PCIe downward, you will need a case with a minimum of 6 expansion slots in order to run 2-way SLI.

deckeresq 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

How do you like the Asus Xonar DX? I've been debating whether or not it's worth it...

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Glad you asked! To be brutally honest, it was the worst purchase of the entire build. ASUS Xonar drivers really, really leave a lot to be desired. When I upgraded to Windows 8.1 through my university I got crash after crash after crash, all directly related to the fact that ASUS hasn't released Xonar drivers for Windows 8.1! And at this point it doesn't seem like they ever will.

The fact that 8.1 has been out for so long now and they STILL don't have stable 8.1 drivers is very telling about their lack of support for their sound cards.

If I had to do it all over again I probably would have gone with a Creative Sound Blaster Z or Zx. At the time of the build, those weren't available, so I probably would have gone with their X-Fi Titanium HD (which was a lot cheaper than it is now).

LostNinJa 1 point 54 months ago

that 135 dollar case was a waste in my opinion

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 54 months ago

Well, if I wanted a cheap, black plastic box I suppose I could have gone with an NZXT Source 210. Or a Define R4 non-windowed if I wanted some metal...

But nobody gets metal windowed cases for their value. They get them for aesthetics first, and then within that category they try to find the best value. To me it was worth every penny. I like the look and the design of the handle and integrated hot swap, which I use daily. If I were to do it again I might have gone with a Phanteks Enthoo Pro, but that wasn't available at the time and lacks the hot swap bay. Thanks for the comment.

TimbersAnarchy 1 Build 1 point 54 months ago

did the case have fans built in? im getting the case and i want to know if i have to buy any http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KBcXVn

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 54 months ago

Yeah the case comes with 2x120 in the front, a 140 in the rear, and a 200 in the roof

TimbersAnarchy 1 Build 2 points 54 months ago

thank you!

KernelKaramilk 1 point 53 months ago

Where did you connect most of your fans to?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Sorry for the late reply. All of my fans are connected to my motherboard. I put my NF-S12's on a 3-way splitter connected to 1 board header. My 2 SP120's are on a 2-way PWM splitter.

Reconmidget 1 point 52 months ago

Nice build Arthur

CorbeauNoir 1 point 52 months ago

Late to the party, but if you're still around I wonder how did you fit the 40mm noctua fan into the Sabertooth's i/o port? I recently got a killer price on a S z87 a week or so ago with the tradeoff being that the fans you're supposed to mount onto the 'armor' were missing. Checked around online and it apparently wasn't too much of a problem - the stock fans are supposedly crap and dropping in a small noctua appears to be a common mini-mod for this mobo.

However, the fan doesn't fit since the screw-on plate that's supposed to hold the stock fan in place behind the I/O panel has a specifically shaped mounting bracket that is too small for the noctua. Even if I cut the bracket frame off, the noctua still seems like it'd be too tall for the plate to be screwed down over it. I've looked around a few places where this fan replacement is mentioned but I've never heard anyone bring up the difficulty of actually getting the larger noctua fan in place. Do you just leave the fan in unscrewed or do you somehow modify the shield?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Honestly it was a chore and I don't think I'll be taking it out ever just because of how difficult it was to get in. That makes it hard to give you advice, but I'll let you know what I remember.

I do know that I left out that little fan grille thing. The rear of my PC is exposed where the fan is. It just wouldn't work. I remember needing to press down very, very firmly once the protective pads were in place, and I'm not sure that I used all screws.

The fan cable I needed to leave outside of the mount, and the cable is currently tied down to the same hole that my CPU power cable is routed through.

CorbeauNoir 1 point 52 months ago

How did you screw that cover plate back onto the 'thermal shield' or whatever it's called, though? From the pictures it looks like you managed to set it back on over the fan, which I can't imagine being possible short of getting a hobby knife and completely cutting off the mounting framework.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

I'm really sorry but I just don't remember my process anymore :/ I wish I could be more helpful. Don't want to give you my half-guesses as to what I did and potentially lead you down a bad path.

Shaffin8tor42 1 point 52 months ago

My OCD is kicking in.. pls take your ssd off your psu and put it into a proper storage slot

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago


Shaffin8tor42 1 point 52 months ago

could get hot or fall off... and mainly because there should be slots in the case for ssd'd and hdd's.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

It's flat on the PSU and velcro-taped. The AX760 doesn't get hotter than 50C on the inside (meaning the temperature of the PSU casing is even cooler) and the 840 Pro's operating temperature is 0-70C.

The PSU internals would need to be above boiling for 70C to make it through the casing, two strips of velcro, and the SSD casing with airflow already in the case.

There are slots for drives, but that doesn't mean drives have to go there. Putting drives somewhere else doesn't mean it has to be disorderly, either.

Danny21 1 point 52 months ago

Hi mate,

To be able to mount the third front fan, is it necessarily to buy this extra HDD cage or is it somehow possible to screw a 120mm fan without having to buy the HDD cage or mod the case?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

Hi, unfortunately it's not possible to mount a 3rd front fan without getting out your crafting hat. There are no screw holes on the front of the case. The screw holes for the standard 2 fans are located on the drive cages themselves. Really unfortunate to be honest. That and the top handle pull fan blockage are the only real errors on an otherwise great case.

Drizzle07 1 point 51 months ago

Can you tell me how you was able to mount all those fans?

Nightmare_FFA 1 point 46 months ago

Hey, I'm going to be putting together a build for heavy gaming and editing. I just want some opinions on my build. The two fans are going to go on the bottom and will replace the ones that come with it later in time. Should I go for the Trooper or the Stryker? I personal like the Los of the trooper but I really don't know the specifics. Are undividually sleeved wires worth it if I don't care about looks? Can you just take a look at it in a while. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/42NW8d

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 2 points 46 months ago

The Trooper and Stryker are exactly the same on the inside. The differences are that the Stryker has a window but no front panel eSATA, while the the Trooper has front panel eSATA but no window. And obviously the color difference. So it's really just up to your aesthetic taste.

Sleeved cables are not worth it if you don't care about looks.

There are a few things that stand out to me in your build:

  • Avoid the 840 EVO. It has firmware issues that makes retrieving old files extremely slow. No reason to go 840 EVO if the 850 EVO is out. You can also check out the Crucial MX100 or MX200 line, which is roughly equivalent to the Samsung 840/850 EVOs minus RAPID.

  • Both the Trooper and Stryker have built-in fan controllers, so you don't need the Kingwin. Your Gigabyte also has a software utility called "SIV" or System Information Viewer. Within that program is their Smart Fan application, which can automatically adjust fan speed according to speed vs. temperature curves that you can customize.

  • I highly recommend replacing those BenQ monitors with IPS monitors.

Other than those the build is solid.

Nightmare_FFA 2 points 46 months ago

Thanks, the BenQ monitors are just place holders until I find a good but somewhat cheap monitor. I'll be replacing the fans with LED lit ones and I've heard the integrated fan will make the LEDs just flash so I figured ehh why not. I'm replace the 840 evo because I'd rather get a working part. Thanks for the info.

MooshroomForest 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

How did you mount the 40mm on the armor kit? Also, why did you change them out?

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

I honestly no longer remember exactly how I got it in there since the build was so long ago. However I do remember NOT using the weird filter thing that you break out of a plastic mold that comes with the motherboard. I also DID use the little sponge spacer. The excess cabling is just pulled back to the rear of the board and tied down. Wish I could be more particular in my answer but I hope this helps!

MooshroomForest 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks for the help!

Goaterino 1 point 29 months ago

Hey i would love to see more pictures of your fan setup in the rig like where they are all place. thanks :D

scotty35503 1 point 24 months ago

Please tell me this case is compatible with optical drives.

LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 24 months ago

Sorry, cup holders only!

scotty35503 2 points 23 months ago

Wait what? It has cup holders, but no space for optical drives?

scotty35503 2 points 23 months ago

Nevermind, I'm an idiot. I just saw the picture.

Endricane 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

Really appreciate the overclocking tips, I have nearly the same engine under the hood (z87 sabertooth motherboard, 4770k processor, h100i (v1) cooler, 1866mhz corsair ram). I'd love if you checked out my rig too and give me some feedback. https://pcpartpicker.com/b/C4q48d

I have only been able to get to a "stable" overclock at 4.5GHz through the multiplier and the VCore is set to 1.375v, but, it obviously depends on load, and I really stress it.

I often play 6 MMORPG accounts (Dark AGe of Camelot) which stresses my CPU to max, more than prime95. This is what I use as my "stabalitiy" test. I have found that if this doesn't crash it, nothing will. The games run at a demanding 99%/100% constant load.

Do you have any other overclocking tips? What do you normally monitor your temps with? Do you increase the "power settings" or enable pll over voltage when you are overclocking? I'm an overclocking newb honestly.

I have been using Corsair Link 4, through the h100i to monitor my temperatures. Sorry if you mentioned it, so many comments :)

buildabeer 1 point 20 months ago

I am thinking about making a similar build, was there not a drive dock for the SSD that could store a 2.5"

Aquinox 1 point 10 months ago

Hey! Thank you so much for documenting and replying to comments. It's been super helpful for my build (I realize it's an old case but still!).

I had a question re fans. Why use a 120mm fan for the rear over a 140mm? Also, how would you update the fans on your machine with existing newer models available? (trying to decide which ones to buy - I like the corsair vs noctua idea for balance between performance and aesthetics!!!)

Also, the link you provided for the HDD cage is no longer working. Is there anywhere else I can get the cage?

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LeMonarque submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

When I originally built all I had was non-stick pieces of velcro, so I had to tape each half to the SSD and the PSU. Eventually I went out and bought some adhesive velcro tape and so the SSD now actually sticks to the top of the PSU.

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