This machine was 4 months of Hard work paid off. I was approached by a friend of mine that wanted to upgrade from a laptop that could barely play league of legends without overheating to a MONSTER COMPUTER. My friend let me know that money isn't really an issue, because he didn't mind paying over time, so he wanted to go for the gusto. I was up for the challenge of building my first SLI machine so the brain storming began. I can say that I learned a lot from building this and I am a much more capable builder after the fact. sorry for the bad picture of the cable management, didn't quite realize it was so fuzzy until i uploaded it. double sorry that I don't have any extra spec's for the side bar, it was close to 1:30 AM before it was in a testable state and a muggle gotta work in the morning to pay these bills.
This computer was being built to play games and to do some Photoshop work.
I started out with letting him look at a bunch of cases and he went with full to get that monster feel and we found the Cooler Master Storm Stryker. Now that we have a main color what should the guts look like? I went with a cost effective choice that can do exactly what I wanted, is reliable, Z97 chipset and could hold at least 32GB of RAM. so red and black became our guts. My friend didn't want to go for water cooling so I suggested the V8 GTS (I have a regular V8 in my Rig) since he wanted everything to look as crazy as possible, it didn't disappoint. Matched some RAM, a SSD and a PSU, got a 3 TB HDD for good measure then threw in a blu-ray drive. On assembly day I asked my friend if he wanted to go for windows 10 since he was thinking about buying windows 8.1. my soft suggestion was to install win 10 and see how it feels with all of his new hardware and when the Technical Preview is finished he can choose to go back and buy an 8.1 license or just buy a Win 10 license.
When putting it together I noticed that there was a rattling in the bottom of the case and it turns out that the Stryker has a Hardware drawer in the bottom 3.5" slot, cool beans, we'll leave the extra hardware, SATA/USB cable and some basic tools in there. CONS: -My dealing with Cooler master cases were tool-less and it was a surprise to see that there was so much hardware to attach -2.5" bays were nestled in between the 3.5" bays and the PSU. Since there were screws to attach there was no room to mount SSD's. had to remove the bay just to secure the SSD -For some god awful reason the risers were tough to screw in -The Armor on the MoBo around the CPU made it tough to get the V8 screwed in but that's prob just a V8 thing -the 200mm and 140mm fans didn't have LED's but the 2 120mm's did. probably nit picky but was strange that only half the fans had LED's
PROS: -Hardware drawer -The HDD cages could be moved around to fit whatever you wanted to whatever 3.5" bay you needed. -Covers for PCIE slots on the case instead of punch out slots. -no fan attached to the case doors -sweet visual design -Handle AKA LANdle -bottom mounted PSU -tool-less mounting of HDD's -cable management section behind MoBo
Getting the SLI to work was a bit of a pain. I tried installing everything from the GPU CD and that didnt work, tried the MoBo CD and that didn't work. In the end I just needed the newest drivers and a fresh restart for it to work, but because of win 10 the drivers could not be auto found, I just used 8.1 drivers and it worked flawlessly. The 2 27" Asus monitors my friend bought provide great picture for this SLI setup. He paid somewhat less because he bough some parts from his workplace but the full price of the PC alone is prob close to what I posted.