Description

General home use, primarily gameplay.

Here are the notes I've attached to the build - not sure if others can see them:

There is no graphics card listed in this build since my current card (nVidia GeForce 9600GT from BFG) is not listed on this site. It is several years old. It still operates quite well, but will be replaced at some time in the near future - the card is undetermined at this point, but will likely be a Radeon card - possibly a Titan. This will be necessary when DirectX 11 becomes the norm.

My DVD/CD combo optical drive by LiteOn is not listed either - and the exact model of my power supply (STS-ST750ZF) is not available, the one I listed is the closest model.

Additionally, one of the Western Digital Caviar drives failed - and has been removed from the system.

The system runs very fast and cool. The CPU averages around 25-27 degrees celsius, with the GPU at approximately 30-32 degrees celsius.

Benchmarking unfortunately only comes in at approximately 4400 only - due to the graphics card being older. I'm ok with this right now since I do not see any issues at all during gameplay.

--

As promised I have added more pictures of the build.

I know that folks are sure to point out at least 2 things:

1) The cabling job is not the best, mostly due to the power supply not being modular - so I have a bunch of extra unused cables to manage. I've wrapped them up and placed on the bottom of the case next to the PSU.

2) The mass of yellow/red and black SATA connections going to the drives is rather ugly, I totally agree. Normally I would have the drives turned around and cable from the other side of the case - thereby hiding the cables and moving them away from the visible side of the case - but the large majority of work I do in my case is on this side, so it just made more sense.

Not pretty, but FAR better than my previous case that was just cramped. I will take any suggestions on how to improve it though...gladly.

I currently have the top fan pulling air in past the memory and out through the front fan. I'm considering reversing the flow to see if it cools the GPU a bit better. The only other fan in the case is the back, which feeds directly into the radiator for the Seidon 120M liquid cooling block. I'm also thinking about adding a 120mm fan on the side panel, which would blow directly on to the GPU - I'm not thrilled about the idea though, since it means the side panel is somewhat harder to remove.

Temperature-wise the system is running very cool under normal load - CPU averaging around 24-27 degree celsius, with the GPU somewhere around 30-33 degrees celsius. I have not run any temp tests under load, I plan on doing that this evening...any suggestions on good benchmarking tools I can use? Keep in mind that this video card doesn't support DirectX 11 -- too old :(

Thoughts? Thanks!

I welcome any and all comments or suggestions.

Comments

  • 70 months ago
  • 3 points

if you are going to get a new card for gaming please dont get the titan, it is beat out by the 780ti. and the ti costs less.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

why not titan black?

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

you pay an extra 200-300 bucks for not much performance. the best price to performance for nvidia would be the 780. the 780ti is one of those cards if you have money to spend and you want the best of the best . the titan black would just be bragging rights at this point.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

True. However, he suggested the Titan and I figured he could get that money and wouldn't mind buying it.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

If you want to be completely honest a good 770 could cover games really well and that is quite cheap.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the comments folks. When the money becomes available to me I'll likely spend a reasonable amount to get the best performance. Of course by the time I'm able to do that (ie. my wife stops griping and watching) I'm sure there will be better GPUs available. :)

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

That extra 200-300 bucks in my opinion is worth it if you do CAD work. Double precision and 6gb of VRAM are worth the extra price tack on.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

yes if that is what you are going to be doing then yes you should get the titan black, but i did say gaming when i said not to get the titan.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't do, nor do I ever see myself doing, any CAD work - gaming and general use only. :)

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

OK, thanks. Due to the now very stringent monetary constraints I won't be getting a new video card any time soon. It seems that I spent a bit more (Ie. I did) than my wife had anticipated - so the wallet is now under heavy scrutiny. :)

By the time I gather the funds for a new GPU they will likely be even newer and better ones available.

I will be posting more pictures and benchmarking stats in the coming days.

Any suggestions on benchmarking and recording the temps under load? It has been a while since I've done any of that work.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

well the titan black came out yesterday which should be better than the previous titan and the 780 ti, which should cost aroung $1,000

[comment deleted]
  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Why not just buy 2 sticks of 8GB RAM? You could upgrade to 32GB later this way... and also, it's better to buy RAM all in one package...

Otherwise this is pretty good except for there being only 1 picture and a very short description...

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

I know, but unfortunately I was under monetary constraints (imposed by my wife) that limited my memory configuration. Obviously 32gb RAM would be optimal, but I'm ok operating with only 16gb.

Regarding the pictures, I have not taken any others yet but will do so this in the very near future.

My description is short, because I didn't really have much more to say. What would you like to see? I've done only minimal benchmarking at this point.

Thanks for the comments.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

I also hope that you RAIDed all of those hard drives together... it seems a bit overkill to have all of those...

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

The Hyper-X SSDs are in RAID0, and the Seagates are running as RAID1.

Overkill yes, but if you saw the amount of pictures and videos my wife has you'd completely understand. :)

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

@ClassicHenbo - new pictures and a larger description added.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

+1

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Add the GPU as a custom part

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah! Thanks, I'll do that.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

The integrated graphics in the 4670k are actually better than the 9600GT. Don't know if you knew that or not.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Pardon me? The CPU has integrated graphics on it? <scratches his head>

I just looked, and I'll be damned but it DOES have integrated graphics. Of course that means I have to use the HDMI port on the ASUS Sabertooth Z87 motherboard --- but my monitor is not HDMI. SO...that will have to wait.

Thanks for the tip though. Do you happen to know how MUCH better the integrated graphics are when compared to the GeForce 9600GT?

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

It's almost triple, but that's just a guess. You can actually get Crysis 3 to run at the lowest setting with 30ish FPS, but the 9600GT can't. And that's a shame about your monitor, finicky things.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

@Royced - Triple?!? I looked at the benchmarks on Passmark's site and if you factored everything in they looked pretty damn even - with the 9600GT possibly having a slight edge.

I was reading up on this comparison, and found that the issue lies with the drivers for the Intel 4000, which simply can't hold a candle to the ones provided by nVidia for the GeForce card.

Thankfully my monitor has a Display port, so I can use that...or I can just get a converter for DVI-D to DP. Honestly, I'm still not sold on the integrated graphics to make the change - my 9600GT benchmarked pretty good with PassMark -- and I really don't want to mess around with installing/uninstalling drivers over and over again to test this out myself.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

It's all good man, hope you get a better GPU soon with whatever you pick. I'm currently about to buy the GTX 750 for 120$ and wait for a better card later on.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Meh, if I only had some cash left. The GPU is the weakest link in my build. The 9600 GT is still good enough, but I just want better. :)

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build. But yeah, don't go titan. If and when you get the cash,GTX 780 will rock it or GTX 780 Ti to really push dem fps.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I'll keep those in mind when the time comes.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Why the Zalman Z9?

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Price point and availability quite honestly.

I had waited about 8 days to get all of my parts for the rebuild (SSDs, CPU, mobo, memory) and had originally intended to save on costs and reuse as many components as I could. This included my Zalman CPU cooler (air) and my Thermaltake full tower case - with the intention of going to the Seidon 120m liquid cooling at some point in the future.

OK, so remember that this is my first build in about 5-6 years. I need to rebuild as best I could with a budget of around $700-800 with maybe another $100 for wiggle room. Keep in mind that my wife was monitoring the budget closely. My initial costs came in around $740 or so for the SSDs, CPU, mobo and (8gb) memory, which left me very little room to manuever if I needed.

Stay with me now. :)

About 8 days after my order (thanks to a fierce snow storm) I get all of my parts. I take the old computer downstairs and tear it apart. I removed everything and cleaned it completely to prep for the new build. I quickly realize that the Zalman air cooler for the CPU is only for LGA775 and will not fit on my LGA1150 motherboard. Uhm....damn. I guess I need a new CPU fan fast. Don't forget the main computer is completely apart now and the entire family (including me) is really bitching that we have to use our older crappy laptops. I can't afford to order something and wait for it, and possibly risk it being wrong. So I look at BestBuy (yuck) nothing reasonable or even decent. I have to go to Microcenter, where I could get a decent air fan for the CPU around maybe $30 or so...but for another $30-40 I can get liquid cooling which WAS my plan all along. So I commit to that decision right then (budget now around $800-810 and into the wiggle room) -- some research shows that the Seidon 120M (and all liquid coolers actually) only use 120mm fans and bigger...nothing 80mm - and guess what? My Thermaltake case is about 10 years old and only fits 80mm fans. Oooops! NOW I need a new case too. UGH!

Cases I looked at while in Microcenter tended to be more expensive, $70-120 and a bit higher. Many were either Full Towers or too flashy - one thing my wife didn't mind was getting rid of the old large Full tower case. She called it "Franken-puter" because it was just so big and sounded like a jet engine with 7 cases fans going non-stop. I simply couldn't spend $100 on a case - I wanted to use my wiggle room for new HDDs since my existing ones were failing, which is what started the entire rebuild in the first place.

I settled on the $37.99 Zalman Z9 since it was cheap, small, still stylish, easy to access with all of the features I needed. To be totally honest, I love the case. The drive days are nice and easy to use, the panels are easy to remove, and it has more than enough room and airflow. My build actually runs pretty cool in my opinion.

Are there better cases? Absolutely, but this one is good enough for me - and was priced right.

Oh and I destroyed the overall budget a week later when I added the 2x Seagate Barracuda 3TD HDDs....oh and another 8GB of Vengeance RAM. :)

My wife is pissed, but she can't complain that the computer is running badly or anything of the sort - she likes it a lot. :)

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahh, I see. I don't have anything against it, I just thought seeing it in a build over one thousand dollars was weird. The only thing I don't like is the window of it. It is a great case but would be even greater if it had a clear window and still maintained the thirty-seven dollar price tag. But that's just my opinion. (oh and mind taking the language a step back? There are kids, like myself, that come on here.)

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

OK, I'll bite - what part of my language has been inapppropriate? I'll gladly take it back a step - if I knew what was offensive.

  • 70 months ago
  • 0 points

Just talk like someone who is talking to a kid, that's all :)

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah! Ok. I'll try. Thanks.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

You should get the Titan black edition or the gtx 790 when they come out.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

As promised I have added more pictures of the build.

I know that folks are sure to point out at least 2 things:

1) The cabling job is not the best, mostly due to the power supply not being modular - so I have a bunch of extra unused cables to manage. I've wrapped them up and placed on the bottom of the case next to the PSU.

2) The mass of yellow/red and black SATA connections going to the drives is rather ugly, I totally agree. Normally I would have the drives turned around and cable from the other side of the case - thereby hiding the cables and moving them away from the visible side of the case - but the large majority of work I do in my case is on this side, so it just made more sense.

Not pretty, but FAR better than my previous case that was just cramped. I will take any suggestions on how to improve it though...gladly.

I currently have the top fan pulling air in past the memory and out through the front fan. I'm considering reversing the flow to see if it cools the GPU a bit better. The only other fan in the case is the back, which feeds directly into the radiator for the Seidon 120M liquid cooling block. I'm also thinking about adding a 120mm fan on the side panel, which would blow directly on to the GPU - I'm not thrilled about the idea though, since it means the side panel is somewhat harder to remove.

Temperature-wise the system is running very cool under normal load - CPU averaging around 24-27 degree celsius, with the GPU somewhere around 30-33 degrees celsius. I have not run any temp tests under load, I plan on doing that this evening...any suggestions on good benchmarking tools I can use? Keep in mind that this video card doesn't support DirectX 11 -- too old :(

Thoughts? Thanks!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you have problems with your mobo and ram when trying to post?

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the VERY late reply -- but no, no problems for me at all with this configuration.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you mount the SSD, do you have to buy mounting brackets or does that hardware come with the case.... I looked at Z9 case pictures with out anything in it and I don't see anything to mount a SSD... I just need some info, I am going to be making my first build in a couple months.

[comment deleted]