Description

Hello All! Thanks for stopping in, and double thanks if you manage to read through the whole build log below. If you have questions, by all means ask. I actively check back to look at builds and comment here, and I will answer your question in a fairly timely manner.

This build was built to replace me 7 year old daily driver/ gaming rig (which was a QX9650/8800 GTS 512 SLI). The following list of goals were what I hoped to achieve:

  • Fairly high overclocking headroom with CPU/RAM/GPU
  • Neutral color scheme
  • RGB Lighting to match RGB Keyboard (future purchase)
  • Clean looking cable management & case aesthetic (Tower will sit up on my large desk at some point)
  • Nearly silent @ idle, not very loud @ load
  • Room for SLI (plenty of power, support from Mobo, etc...)
  • Ability to game at 1440p @ 120+ Hz. (after future monitor purchase, and perhaps second GPU)
  • High Storage Capacity - I was constantly compromising with my previous 750 GB Setup
  • $1800 USD Budget

Here is a list of things I will/will not use this machine for:

  • Daily tasks (paying bills, studying, email, youtube, etc.)
  • Gaming
  • Database Design
  • I will NOT be doing any sort of content creation

Here are some of the big decisions I had to make, and why I made them:

1. Z97 or X99 - At the $1800 price point there is simply no reason to go x99. I literally did all the research, and priced out a X99 build, and it was looking like it would be LESS powerful from a gaming standpoint at the $1800 price point. Said in other words, It made more sense to go with Z97 because ultimately I could build a higher performing machine when it comes to gaming as compared to X99 at the same price point.

2. i5 or i7 - Because I am not going to be doing content creation, there really isn't any great need for the hyper-threading that the i7 devils canyon CPU offers. Again, when looked at from a gaming perspective, it just didn't make sense to spend any more on a CPU, all of the benchmarks suggest virtually no gain between the 4690k and the 4790k.

3. RAM Density - I really don't see any point in having more than 8GB of ram. Again, without the need for a machine that can handle content creation, having more than 8GB of ram didn't make sense. There are very few games currently on the market (less than 3 that i can think of) that use more than 6 GB at any one time. There is some room for the "future-proofing" argument, but ultimately, I can always purchase more/different ram down the road in the unlikely event that 8GB is insufficient.

4. Closed Loop/Air Cooler - This one was probably the toughest choice, but ultimately, I choose to go with an air cooler. Again, I wanted a silent rig, and most CLC's tend to be quite noisy at the entry level price point. In addition, most decent air coolers cost less and function just as good as the entry level CLC's out there on the market. The aesthetic appeals to me, but at the end of the day I chose to lean towards lower noise and less cost.

5. Ram Choice - A thorough person might ask why i spent 94.99 on the Corsair Vengeance ram, when I could have spent about $10-15 less on higher spec G.Skill ram. Ultimately, I decided to go with aesthetics on the ram choice. The difference between 1600-1866 is fairly negligible in day to day computing (and at best 1-2 FPS difference in demanding games), so even if I cant overclock to 1866+, i'm fine with having my ram run slightly slower. I try to look at it as the same price as an ugly equivalent part, but with a small up-charge for looking classy.

6. PSU Choice - This was sort of tricky, but again, I wanted to have plenty of room for SLI down the road, which meant that I needed at least 530 Watts. I also wanted a modular PSU with sleeved cables. This was the best power supply I could get that met that minimum wattage requirement. It was on special at the time of purchase so the choice was easy. I've read that running a good margin below your PSU (verses running close to its max) is a great way of extending the lifetime of your PSU.

OVERCLOCK - CPU: 4.5 Ghz @ 1.295V (Cache @ Stock) RAM: 1866MHz 9-10-9-27 2T @ 1.500V

UPDATE 1 - I have had just a little bit of time so far to do some tinkering in the UEFI. I am currently running stable at 4.5GHz @ 1.290 V. Temps max out at about 78 for the Intel stress test, and I have been running 24/7 with it set at 4.5GHz with all the power saving features turned off (it doesn't throttle voltage or clock rate at all) with no issues.

UPDATE 2 - After some more testing, it seemed as though the CPU was in fact quite stable at 4.5GHz@1.295V. I set the CPU back to stock for a bit and started tinkering with ram timings. First I tried 1866 Mhz with timings 9-10-9-27 @ 1.5V, and sure enough, the system managed to post without any issues. For the record, I used the exact settings that corsair lists for their Vengeance LP 1866MHz part. I ran a few tests, and did a few hours of gaming, and had no issues that I could concretely tie to the overclock (I had one system lockup, but it happened while using some poorly written software...). I set my CPU back to the overclock settings above and did some more testing with both CPU and RAM overclocked, and still no issues. =)

Price

After Tax & Shipping The Parts Were $1842.67, Newegg's Iron Egg Guarantee Reduced the Price by $50 (after the fact, in the form of a 90 day newegg gift card), which ultimately resulted in a final price of $1792.67 (OMG Under Budget, amazing!!!!)

------ WARNING ------

Newegg's Iron Egg Guarantee is not to be trusted. You can only use it on one item, and it can only be used once per Newegg account, and they will do their best to find a reason to deny your claim.

In my case, my SSD was $50 cheaper on Amazon AND on Newegg a few days after purchase. In addition, my CPU was $35 Cheaper on Amazon AND on Newegg. I filed both under the Iron Egg Guarantee, and about 4 days later both claims came back as denied due to "The price being below Newegg's cost." That obviously was complete ********, as Newegg was selling the two parts for the same price as Amazon, the same price I was asking them to price match to. After 25 minutes on the phone with their customer support team, they agreed to "Settle this dispute by awarding a one time $50 dollar gift card," but refused to admit that I was in fact correctly interpreting their policy, and they also refused to admit to selling the parts at the same price as Amazon, even though I had screenshots and both PCPartPicker and HoverHound could corroborate my claim. They denied my second part claim (the CPU) because their Iron Egg Guaranshitee can only be used once per account.

Comments

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

I love the lights :o

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks! Its capable of doing 15 + White, and also has several modes like pulsing, color fading, etc...

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

shhhhhhh... be quiet!

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

They are much more vibrant in real life, and adjusting the brightness has an odd effect on the fans, making them look as if they are running very slowely, and sometimes backwards, which is cool.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

That's the CPU cooler I will be using.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

I really wanted to go with the cryorig ultimate, but that's one of the downsides of the case i chose, it wouldn't fit...

The Dark Rock 3 is a solid cooler though. The mounting was fairly easy. The TIM it comes with is on par with AS5.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

That's funny. I wanted the Cryorig too, but I couldn't find it anywhere in Canada.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I was testing with reversed fan, but ended up getting slightly better temps in the traditional mounting position. Its currently mounted with the fan on the same side as the ram pushing air through. Did this because of a review I read...

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome how the white just changes color with the LEDs. Great build, man!

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Right?! the silverstone white extension cables were worth the extra ~20$

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for be quiet!

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

great build! i have a few questions how good are the gelid fans, are they loud? Also is cable management good with the case? ATM i have my motherboard sitting on top of my cpu connector

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

The fans are fairly silent, and support PWM so they can be controlled fairly easily for fan tuning.

The S340 is an amazing case for cable management. It seems like they really had that in mind when building. I will say though, the space under the shroud and behind my tray is pretty much full, it will be a challenge to add a second graphics card cable wise (but this is largely due to my use of the extension cables).

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

yeah I think im going to buy that case... thanks for the reply!

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks like a very nice build, how is the EVGA graphics card cause I've heard it can have some serious noise problems. Love the lighting and cables too. Enjoy the build

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

No coil whine noticed so far, and the sound issues most people complained about early on were not an issue on the acx 2.0 card (or they were fixed with a firmware update). The card's fans are off for everything except gaming/rendering.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Hmm, might consider that over the gigabyte that I have in mind at the moment. Thanks for the info.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I've spent a considerable amount more time playing various games now, and have indeed noticed a bit of coil wine. It isn't as bad as some of the youtube videos out there depicting coil wine from video cards. Its highly situational, and using a frame limiter (set to maybe like 120-144 FPS) should help minimize this issue.

Sorry for potentially misinforming you before. It just took me a while to notice it. It really isn't a very bad example, fairly mild in my opinion...

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem, The information is fairly invalid now as I have finally ordered my graphics card. A Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 970. Looking forward to completing the build and posting it on this website in a few months or so when it is finished.

Thank You

Omnitech_Nz

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Would you recommend the Phobya controller? Where did you hide the control unit and where is your IR sensor sticking out?? I cant see either in the pics which is what I would like to do if I get one!! :D

  • 61 months ago
  • 2 points

It's a decent product, but definitely on the pricey side. Deepcool makes something similar for much cheaper, but it wasn't sold in the US at the time of my purchasing.

I bought an extension with the controller, and then two RGB LED strips, but ultimately did not need to use the extension cable. The sticky surface behind the LED strips is acceptable, but I suspect I may end up gluing down the cable side since the angle of the cable relative to the LED strip puts some stress on the adhesive and pulls it off of the chassis a little bit.

The Controller box is positioned behind the cable management bar (with tie downs). The IR sensor is routed into the front of the case in what I can only describe as the "intake air shaft." It enters the shaft just above the dust filter (there is a tiny handle in the filter that the IR sensor fit through). I am able to change the color by pointing down into the shaft with the remote. I did it this way because the PC will temporarily be located to the left of where I sit on a small pc stand. Eventually I would like to have a desk big enough to display the PC and my monitor and peripherals, but that isn't the case right now.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the explanation. It certainly does the trick for your build!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Newegg really pisses me off. They wouldn't match NCIXUS.com's price for me because it was quote below their bid, and also because NCIXUS.com isn't quote a major seller. Bulls**t. Makes me never want to give Newegg my business.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Same here... I probably won't give them any more business. I spoke with a customer complaint rep regarding my recent experience so that they have a documented account of their actions directly causing an unhappy shopping experience.

If you do deal with them, make sure to make notes or take screenshots regarding amazon pricing and their pricing... They absolutely will do their best to get out of honoring the Iron Egg "Guarantee."

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Pretty awesome build. +1 from me. I'm building in an S340 too. It's an awesome case.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah! I really enjoyed building in the S340. Great concept case.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Ill try to check in on your build, do you have a timeline? I find it interesting to see what other people do with the S340.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Here It's a Christmas gift from my parents. All of the parts are waiting at home for me. I'm still at school taking finals. :/ I'll let you know when I have pictures of the completed build. I plan overclocking the 4790K to 4.5 Ghz and overclocking the ram to 2600 Mhz. Probably won't overclock the G1 much.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I ordered a red LED strip too. It was just a cheap molex adapter strip off of Amazon for $3-4. It's supposed to be really bright.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Thats a nice gift for your parents! Do they play games also?

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, it's from my parents, not for. And no, not at all. I don't game much at all right now either. I will a little with this build, but it's mostly built as an engineering workstation with gaming as an afterthought. That's why i'm not sure i'm going to dump the extra cash into the 970 over an R9 290. I might hold out on the graphics card until February.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

lol oops! That makes so much more sense...

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

what did you use for the lighting and how did you hook it up? it almost looks like led strips put around the inside. if thats what you did, how did you hook them up. i am building my first pc with the same case and similar parts and like the look. thanks ahead of time.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I used Phobya products for the lighting. They are listed in the item list above. They are indeed RGB LED strips powered by a controller that has an IR receiver so that it can be remote controlled. They are powered by 5v Molex with a barrel plug converter (molex to dc barrel), all of which runs off the power supply.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

what LED do you like the most? im loving the green

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

If you want to get rid the the lights projecting through the side widow (not sure the term) you can put black electrical tape right along the edges of the window (from the inside). Then no more bright spots around the window.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey can you tell how much ram clearance the dark rock 3 has in mm by any chance? Need to know for my next build and nice build looks clean.