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Yin The White Tiger

by Ratlor


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Jan. 18, 2017

Date Built

Dec. 29, 2016

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

51.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

49.0° C


For years I had used older machines for my main rig. For the last year I upgraded a Dell Latitude e6420 with an SSD, extra RAM and a second HDD. All the while I kept wanting to upgrade to something that came close to the latest and greatest. But things never seemed to work out and I remained working with the old laptop.

Then I decided to get serious about my Youtube channel and quickly found that along with an upgraded camera, lights, external sound recorder, I would need an upgraded machine to handle it all.

One day I uploaded a video and the audio track had distinct pops and clicks in it -- a sign that my machine couldn't handle the task asked of it. That, and trying to run OBS or Xsplit with something else at the same time became a frustrating exercise in the clean boot follies. I felt like the guys in Apollo 13 trying to come under the AMP limit before tripping the breakers.

Yeah, not the fun the advertisements would have you believe.

On top of that, browsing around, I saw all the work people put in to make their rigs look cool -- lights and cable kits. I wanted some of that action!

So, I gritted my teeth and put the nickles together to get the parts for this rig.

I chose the R5 because it had lots of room and would be easy to work with by someone not a total pro at this. The video card was a pretty easy choice and bought the EVGA GTX1080....just before the blowup (lol) with the thermal imaging business. I could have returned it but decided to hold onto the card because EVGA offered a thermal mod kit which meant that I could get valuable experience opening a graphics card up to upgrade the thermal grease and apply new thermal pads -- that experience I figured would come in handy when it came time for my to apply the thermal grease to my magic and glorious i7 6800K!

Beyond that I decided to go for a mostly white look -- I saw the Seasonic Snowsilent PSU and I really believe it spoke to me. So perfectly gorgeous in its pristine chrome and white. And then I saw the ASROCK X99 Taichi. My fate was sealed. I had to do it. This was the motherboard! Wow! So understated. So capable.

And suddenly it all came together.

Yes, the Fractal Design R5 in white is understated in character, making no signs of what it is capable of. It merely goes about its business with perfect aplomb. However, while the case badges might hint of what it can do, it isn't until one takes the side panel off and spies the CableMod kit snaking through the case gaskets and back to the power supply does one get an inkling that something unusual is here. The Noctua NH-D15's bulk obscures the RAM sticks and one has to bend close to hear the fans indeed running. There is a slight breeze coming from the open side; a testament of the five case fans working to keep the ambient temperature cool and flowing. That is all secondary however, because what you spy first is the slab of a graphic card proclaiming its heritage: GTX1080!

Ah ha! And the eyes slip to the motherboard where a black stick of gum seems out of place. Eyes squint and suddenly widen: Samsung 950 PRO! Serious I/O chops!
Confused, the eyes focus again on the motherboard and the mind assembles the imagery therein: Gears, interlocking -- a white and black clockwork...

One steps back and realization strikes: One is looking at the light half of the the taichi. The Yin. The White Tiger.

And finally it is ready. The build was an excruciating amount of work -- I literally made almost every mistake in the book, having to do over everything more than once -- the Noctua NH-D15 caused me to lose even more of my already thinning pate, so many times did I have to try and get it right!

In the end though it worked and it rocks!

Well, I think it rocks, lol. I've only OC'd to 4GHz but...I had Vegas Pro 14 rendering and Handbrake encoding with all cores at 98-100% for 5hrs and temps topped at 51C The GTX1080 is stable at 1999MHz, but had zero load on it as I didn't know my NLE (non-linear editing system) didn't, wouldn't utilize it! /facepalm Hopefully a future (SOON) update will fix that. I haven't installed DaVinci Resolve yet but I know that uses all the CUDA cores it can eat, lol.

Here's the build video: https://youtu.be/iP3sXnCBX-4 I warn you that it's long, but I hope that the way I mixed it up will make it entertaining.

Thanks so much!

Comments Sorted by:

vycelord 2 Builds 5 points 17 months ago

Damn son... That build is sick, harness the power of the white tiger and enjoy. 64gb ram, 16.5TB of space, 6800k, Gtx 1080. Not a damn thing this little puppy can't handle. Clean assembly at that... Enjoy it for the rest of us OP!

blockbuster4664 1 Build 3 points 17 months ago

"Little puppy", more like a wolf on steroids

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Aw, wow, thanks man! Made my day!

NickDVL 1 Build 4 points 17 months ago

Nice build! +1 But that case really needs a window to show off your excellent handiwork...

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

I think you're right actually. I checked with Fractal and will see if they get a side panel in the white in stock again. Those hybrid lights from CableMod keep whispering at me....

Wi1dCard2210 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

you mean the half UV ones? I'd just toss in an rgbw light strip and keep it on white/some other subtle color to keep it simple.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

But, but, UV! They glow real nice and with the white I bet that would look super awesome!

Wi1dCard2210 1 Build 3 points 17 months ago

The UV itself is outshined (heh) by the regular light - the point of the strip is to make uv parts glow while shining a normal color.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 3 points 17 months ago

Oh, you're absolutely right. The UV would make my mat board panel in the back glow blue! So, I'll take your advice if I go that route. Thanks!

Vortexxian 4 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

A fellow Fractal Define / X99 user, huzzah! It's pretty, great cable management, I dig! However, out of curiosity, what drove your decision to go with Windows 7 instead of Windows 10, esp. since W10 tends to handle SSDs much more effectively?

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Hmm, I don't want to be glib and I don't want to get into the politics of my decision particularly. I take issue with some of the directions that Microsoft is going toward with regards to privacy and monetizing users of their operating systems when they have expressly purchased a product and thus should be free of that sort of intrusion. Or be able to easily opt out completely.

The sunset date of Windows 7 is what really prompted me to get this off the ground and done. I wanted to enjoy the operating system that I know and have gotten fond of -- in a manner that it was meant to be; smooth, no lag, everything painless -- before I would have, by needs, to give it up.

And I took it as a personal challenge to install W7 in efi mode with gpt drive formatting. This meant some significant pre-prep by slipstreaming in the Samsung NVME drivers into the ISO beforehand and only having the 950 connected so that there wouldn't be any choice for the installer. It took me a significant amount of research and time to get all the OS install bits together.

In the end, I think it was was worth it. I learned a lot, and Windows 7 installed quickly and easily. I chuckle because I had to reinstall it right away again because in order to get the install to format in GPT mode, the Compatibility Support Module (CSM) needs to have UEFI mode only turned on for storage. Once I did that, everything clicked.

Wi1dCard2210 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

honestly if they slapped a windows 10 aesthetic (I prefer the modern look and customization options) on windows 7 and left it as is I would choose that over any other os in a heartbeat.

Vortexxian 4 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Great reply, thanks for taking the time to explain -- seems fair to me! Also, I can sympathize with the slipstreaming headaches, although the last time I had to do that was on a RAID XP machine, heh. Once you do have to make the jump to Windows 10 (which is probably the way things will go with their incremental update strategy), you can at least rest knowing that, privacy concerns aside, it really is a slick OS -- very stable, very polished. Honestly, it has been probably my very favorite version of Windows they have ever made, and I've used every single version for the last 23 years or so.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Thanks for your reply too. I can see the writing on the wall and know that W7's days are numbered. I look at my build as the last, great, W7 machine. W7 epitomized Microsoft's OS in some respects and it always pained me, as I alluded to, never being able to fully enjoy it in a new desktop environment. So, I get my chance, and well, who knows what will happen in the next three years. I hesitate to predict anything, but perhaps Microsoft will see that they overreached. That users do value their privacy - on machines they own and duly paid for.

mcvaulter 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

Great Build!! Please update when you get a windowed side panel. I'm interested to see what it will look like with the UV lights. Would a Black Light make the white components glow? That looks amazing in my head, but most things are better in my head then how they actually turn out. LOL BTW I really like how the Case serves as an end table for your lamp. :)

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

LOL! Yeah, the lamp. It's still sort of in shakedown mode and was supposed to be sitting on the floor. But the thought of it near the dust and stuff made me sort of queasy, you know? And weirdly enough it looks okay on the table, the lamp notwithstanding, and once the remnants of the laptop docking station and the WD Mybook drives are gone it will look a fair bit cleaner.

But yeah, I think in my head the UV would look awesome and glow real spiffy like, not too bright, you know what I mean? Anyway, I will certainly update once I get the side panel. The more I think about it the more it seems to need it, lol.

FL350 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

Nice build! +1 for the Apollo 13 reference

ewhac 2 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

That's one heck of a collection of glass you've got there...

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

:) It's all (mostly) old Minolta A-mount. I just got in the Big Beercan! So now have the, Baby Beercan, The Beercan, and the Big Beercan. I'm planning on doing a series of vids using these down the road.

coolguy562 2 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Beautiful build dude. I would consider moving to an aio to make it look so much cleaner. Or....a custom loop.....

On another note. I have the 1070 FTW and heard about that whole overheating thing, however after doing some research and making a forum post on here, people were saying that EVGA corrected this and now all the cards are shipping with the thermal pads and better thermal paste pre-installed, along with an updated bios for the fan curve or something.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

That's the story. From my following, through Gamer's Nexus, Steve Burke (in conversation with Buildzoid) the conclusion is that there was a small number of cards (200/million, I think) experiencing capacitor failure. The testing they did with the new pads, bios shows that they perform better thermally but that the initial issue wasn't a thermal one and that the cards were within spec.

Here's the vid where the issue is discussed and put to rest: https://youtu.be/mpxQaSjQclo?t=1062

Oh, and thanks for the compliment!

coolguy562 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

OK, so there's really nothing we can do then besides hope that we arent the unlucky few.

SirHalpin 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

nice case ;) this is a really nice build, nothing short of impressive +1. You should check out mine, it's also a white theme using R5 White (Windowed)

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

Thanks for the comment. :) Congrats on your build! I know what's it's like to have to wait and wait before being able to undertake this kind of project. :thumbsup:

SirHalpin 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago


ajmcinc 2 points 7 months ago

Real tight build! Enjoy what your trying to show, both on board and work layout. Thumbs up!

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Thanks man. I'm at a crossroads now though. I decided to go with water cooling because I got to upgrade the GPU through the EVGA step up program and found out that the GTX1080Ti runs hot now matter what you do...unless you water block it. So, I got it into my head to do a custom water loop and have now run into problems.

After installing the loop and being at the point where it was to be filled, I discovered that the PSU had died. I RMA's that...but also bought a second one because I didn't want to wait and then read that these SnowSilents are a little delicate and some are either DOA or lasting only about 7months (it's okay with the seven year warranty) so thought I would get an AC adapter with a molex connector to fill my loop. Well, that took over 2.5 weeks to arrive....and then okay the filling and the leaktest went smoothly and I was all ready to lock it down and fire it up....and no power.

No power....again. What? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I tested the new PSU I had installed, not the refurb I got back for my RMA and it tested fine - the fan spun. Okay, well, I re-install it and try different things to get life. But nothing works. Nothing works. Well, I pulled all the components and tried with just a RAM stick in the first slot. Nada. Tried the others, nada.

So I don't know. I am in the process of trying to RMA the MB but have a feeling that it won't go so well. I have ordered another one and I should get it on Monday... I hope it all works out.

So unbelievably frustrating. I'm pretty sad right now, lol. So weird to have both things die on me like that -- maybe I killed something trying to get the waterloop set up.

Thank God I have the e6420 as my backup still, otherwise, argghhhhh.

Sorry to dump this on you. I really appreciated the comment. Made my day.

ajmcinc 1 point 7 months ago

Sometimes custom loops on tare downs do funny things to systems. Do a test bed on all internals before the loop comes back into play. You may find that the pump voltage being flipped on and off during the fill process gave a surge. Check those connects and test that pump with res. filled of course. Thanks, AJ

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

I RMA's the mother board... I used an AC adapter with a molex connector to fill the loop and that worked great but I still had no power even after the PSU RMA. Pheww. One headache after another.

I'm just waiting on another waterblock I got from ebay -- I decided to try and get the one Asrock commissioned from Bitspower, I think it'll look cool with additional Taichi theme and even has RGB, lol. That should get here next week and then I'll be good to go.

I'm filming the whole ordeal and will have a few vids done up on this experience.

Silferian 1 point 17 months ago

Ah, the beloved EVGA PowerLink. :P

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

:P lol!

Wi1dCard2210 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

such a shame that there's beautiful hardware inside hidden by a windowless side panel, but oh well the build itself is amazing. For a windowless build you didn't leave the inside looking like a rat's nest :D

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

:D I think not having the windowed panel is a shame too. I'm looking to score one from Fractal sometime. The thinking was that it would be quieter while doing recording...but if I have both panels... :D

montiago 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

What monitor arm is that?

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

That's the Ergotron Lx Tall Pole with an extra extension. I made this install video for it: https://youtu.be/J27NPE4UobQ

montiago 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

Thank you! :)

durfynoob 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

I'm loving the build, but I've got a question, what mousepad is that :o

beastmodegaming 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

beautiful build but.... those noctua fans kill me. but nice build besides those fans :P

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

I hear you. :) I didn't know that Noctua made black ones! And chromax anti-vibration pads in white which will cure that tan blah, lol. So, once the dust settles I'll change those out.

beastmodegaming 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

haha alright once you do I'm sure it will look close to perfect (if your anything like me you always want to improve what you do after its done) honestly really nice build I love the minimalistic builds. a pc doesn't need a bazillion leds everywhere to be a nice build the cable management and color scheme is what I think makes a good build.

razerkiller94 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

You better not have spent that much on your ram, you can definitely get that for a lot cheaper. Either way very powerful build!

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

Oh wow! Never noticed that! I got the RAM just before the price went nuts in, um, late September I believe. So yeah, way way better price than that, lol. And thanks, it's truly awesome. I'm completely blown away with it. You know, I'm still doing shakedown but I had the cores maxed out and I could still browse the web, whatever like it was nothing! Any of my old machines would be crippled!

sativas 1 point 17 months ago

Nice setup, I was just looking at builds using the 5tb HGST NAS drive as I just bought two myself and thought I'd comment on it as I enjoyed the write up.

I opened the youtube video but it will probably get lost in a sea of tabs!

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 2 points 17 months ago

Thanks man. :) I had kind of 'thing' going with the write up. I have to say this whole experience was very enjoyable. The community has been really great and I thank pcpartpicker especially for creating a cool place for builders to share the rigs. Five awesome stars, lol!

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

I wasn't happy with how I initially installed the Noctua NH-D15 so changed the orientation...a job that I thought would only take about an hour ended up sucking the better part of a morning! I messed it up so bad that I believe that the video I created will serve as a guide on how NOT to install the Noctua! If you'd care to check it out, it can be found here: https://youtu.be/ykpfTOta-P0

AdorableNinja 1 point 14 months ago

Do you have to remove the cooler to replace or add more memory?

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Pretty much, yes. I'm not sure that's a real big issue though. Memory will hardly ever need to be replaced...and I did buy 65gigs to start with, though I would really like to add the last 65gigs as well just to round it out, you know? But yes, I would have to remove the cooler. I am a pro at that now though since I tried and failed like three times to seat it properly when I changed the orientation. You can check out the saga here: https://youtu.be/ykpfTOta-P0

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

While I dont use me e6420 as my main PC, I still use mine alot. Sick build!

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Thanks! I still use the Dell and now I'm not terrified to take it on the road, lol.

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

I really like mine, it has kept up with my laptop needs, which aren't much since I have a good main pc, it is also really durable, I have dropped it quite a few times and it is just fine, as a matter of fact, I just typed this on it right now.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

I think the e6420 is the bomb, actually. Like you said, durable, like a tank, lol. Easy to work on...really a joy to own.

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

It really is, while mine is not the ATG edition, my friend has the ATG version, and it is a total tank

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Oh yeah, the 'Army' edition. Super bad in total awesomeness!

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

by the way, what voltage did you have the CPU at 4.0GHz

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

I started at 4.0 but finally put it at what the included tweak software maxxed it at: 4.2. Frankly, I haven't made the time to get into the OC-ing because I've been trying to work on my YouTube channel and all the community work I'm doing in RL as well. I uploaded a snippet to imgur to show the current settings: http://i.imgur.com/gT42yTR.png

I hope that illuminates a little? The machine is really a beast. Unfazed by anything so far. :)

Oh, I don't have any of the chassis fans going to headers since I got a fan controller installed -- the minimum setting is 40% at all times and then during a long render job I just max them all out...seems to work alright.

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

thanks, I have been considering upgrading from my z170 board to the 6800k with the Taichi as well, while my 6700k has kept up with my needs, but I want to get to x99 because I want the extra PCIe lanes so I can add a second 1070 and think a general overhaul of the PC would be nice, even though it is only a few months old, the motherboard has caused two powersupplies to have a really bad electric buzzings, so I was going to replace my motherboard anyway, but I figured now would be a good time to test the waters of large amounts of PCIe lanes and more cores than just four of them. Here is a list of the parts I plan to add to the PC in the overhaul: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/svqWTH which is why I was asking about the voltage you had on your 6800k with the taichi.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Ah. Well, good luck with your build!

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

there is a pretty good likelyhood that I will not add a second 1070, but it is a consideration, it really just depends on how much money I have in a month or two, I am mostly waiting for the i9 and the AMD Threadripper because the Broadwell-E CPU's will be much cheaper and I will be able to afford a 6800k.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

I'm hoping the Broadwell-E's come down in price too. I can just drop in a higher spec CPU and boom, pretty much a new machine! And the other cool thing about this board is that it's Xeon capable! That means down the road when this bad boy(https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/xeon_e5/e5-2689_v4) starts getting pulled from servers it will be a good time to be scoping out ebay. ;)

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

That wouldn't be a bad idea at all, all I'm waiting for is the broadwell-E CPUs price to drop, then this upgrade should be under way.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Well, let me know if you post the upgrade, I'll check it out. Lol, based on our conversation, I checked the price of a 6900k and my eyeballs almost fell out! Guess I'll be waiting awhile.

medwa4 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Awesome build! What IKEA desk is that (and what are the dimensions and add-ons)? From what I can tell it's a 59" x 29" desk with the Klimpen Addon. Interested cause the desk also looks really nice. Thanks!

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

That's actually an Ikea dining table we found in the trash, brought home and finally painted. You can check out the painting video here: https://youtu.be/7Kub1vp5cUY and where we build the Klimpen, here: https://youtu.be/9I8ePetr-3c

medwa4 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago


Cruzaz 3 Builds -3 points 17 months ago

why was this featured

ten8yp 5 Builds 0 points 16 months ago

agreed... the only part I would have chosen is the SeaSonic Snow Silent PSU and the Crucial 1TB SSD. Its a nice expensive build but there are better parts by other companies along almost every different piece. Wish I had $3k+ to spend on a computer

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Varan56 3 points 17 months ago


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Varan56 1 point 17 months ago

Lol. Old times.

Sockens 1 point 17 months ago

Flashes of childhood memories creep into my mind.

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SirMints 2 Builds 3 points 17 months ago

Embrace the Noctua! ;)

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

lol, yeah, those fans.

andlaw 3 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

can always purchase the industrial version (NF-F12 industrialPPC-3000) or even 2000RPM fans with the chromax anti-vibration pads in white which would look pretty sharp in an all white case. or they even offer the redux version which is grey.. but if you want performance without giving up aesthetics I would grab the industrial's.

nice build tho! :)

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

I'll check those out. Thanks for the tip!

andlaw 3 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

not a problem! I use the industrial's in my intel build and I leave them set at 1000 RPM which is a decently low audible and they push enough air to keep cpu/gpu temps nice and cold, even under load. and the chromax pads they offer in multiple different colors make them all the better~ http://noctua.at/en/products/product-line-chromax

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

I just finished checking them out. Cool. I think for me it would be the FP14 2000rpm version as they're a little cheaper and rated a little quieter at max. But those chromax pads are the bomb! I've already got a set saved in my wish list! Thanks again, man. :)

Battlefield 0 points 17 months ago

You could look into spray painting the Noctua other casing. Lots of good youtubers have done so. Just make sure you choose right spray.

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Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Thanks a lot! I worked like an animal on it!

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Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

It bothers everybody. Samsung should feel bad for making us feel bad.

Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago


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Ratlor submitter 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Thanks man! I was so surprised, you shoulda heard me whoop when I said casually to my wife, "You know they pick a rig as a feature build," as I clicked to the front page... My eyes popped! "Oh look, look!" Made my day. :)

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