PCPartPicker

  • Log In
  • Register

Build

My Super Sidegrade

by Retell

53
15 Comments

Details

Date Published

May 11, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.5GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.13GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01GHz

Description

Howdy howdy!

A quick disclaimer: I had absolutely no requirement or need to modify or improve upon my build. This mostly came out of angst and enjoyment of spending copious amounts of money on things that lose their value faster than I can install them. Without further ado, I present my 4th platform PC.

Starting build (Platform 3): PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2697 V2 2.7GHz 12-Core Processor $2479.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler NZXT Kraken X61 106.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $129.98 @ NCIX US
Motherboard Asus Sabertooth X79 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard $299.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 24GB (6 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory -
Storage Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $125.98 @ OutletPC
Storage Samsung 840 EVO 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $436.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Western Digital WD Blue 500GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $42.50 @ Newegg
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) $599.99 @ Best Buy
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) $599.99 @ Best Buy
Case NZXT S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case $67.99 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply NZXT HALE90 V2 1200W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $169.99 @ Newegg
Keyboard Corsair K95 RGB Wired Gaming Keyboard $174.99 @ Amazon
Mouse Logitech G502 Wired Optical Mouse $59.99 @ NCIX US
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $5188.27
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-05-11 01:51 EDT-0400

About All Those Other Components...

Here is the meandering story of how this build spawned out of me having the two Noctua fans sitting around my bedroom for a while.

My system is always on and rests at ear-level next to my bed. It's always been relatively quiet, but still audible to me when going to sleep. I bought two Noctua fans to replace the stock NZXT case fans; I had also been meaning to exchange my Xeon 2697 V2 for an i7 (the Xeon would go into a system dedicated for rendering). The plan was to go to a 4960X, but I managed to get my hands on a 5930K (Solidworks enjoys DDR4).

ADATA did me a great favor with a deal on their XPG Z1. With the radiant red memory in hand, the color scheme was set and it was motherboard time. After spending an hour at Fry's, I found out that one of my buddies had an EVGA Classified X99 he'd trade for one of my previously-used-for-mining AMD HD7990s.

The Story of the Case

It was time now to choose the case – the single thing I know more about than any other component, which makes for indecision. The S340 has been on my desk since it launched, preceded by an H630. The S340 originally surprised me with its silence, so I was open to trying something new again for this build. When I say "something," I really just mean NZXT's Noctis 450. I love the Noctis' look; it was something NZXT refined for over two years. My brain kept telling me the Noctis in black and red would be perfect, but my heart still felt unsure. I grew to love my companion-like S340.

I made the jump and bought the Noctis.

I had already begun the build before recalling that the H440 has low tolerance for over-sized motherboards. Additional fitment issues arose at the USB3 header. EVGA's angled connectors are nice, but the ones in the south of the board are difficult to access on a 7-slot case, much less one with a PSU shroud. I didn't have the patience to wait for the arrival of a low-profile adapter. Mid-build, I realized the build (still) wasn't fitting together the way I'd hoped. Beyond just the over-sized board, the 440 chassis was showing its age.

Tangent Time

NZXT chassis suffer from a rather short life-span inside their own ecosystem. Starting with the Switch 810, NZXT has pushed the limits of chassis design well beyond what anyone else in the market could do. The Phantom 820 was then launched using the 810 chassis and was still a completely formidable – albeit pricey – contender. From then on, each subsequent NZXT chassis fronted vast superiority over its predecessor. Oddly, each subsequent NZXT chassis also found vertical positioning below its last. The newest chassis was always cheaper and better than its "superior.”

  • The Phantom 630 was smaller and more capable than the Phantom 820.
  • The Phantom 530 was smaller and more efficiently executed than the Phantom 630.
  • The H440 was a significant evolution, more efficient, and better featured than the Phantom 530.
  • The S340 was an even further evolution and highly more efficient than the H440.

The descriptors above are used simply as a rough comparison, with “efficient” meaning “better use of square volume and unit cost.”

Moving Sideways

Citing the tangent above, the 440 chassis felt old to me. I even got a little emotional and drummed-up memories of just how ecstatic I felt when I first built my S340. (More specifically, the cable management method of the S340). I've always despised the use of cable management cut-outs. It feels like a very static way of routing cables and wastes significant space; moreover, the look of the S340's interior adds a touch of personality, as if to set the stage for the components.

To help settle my decision, I attempted installing the new motherboard in my old S340. It fit perfectly. The angled connectors on the board matched fantastically with the cable management cover and the USB3 header sat squarely above the cable management hole on the PSU shroud. It was now clear: an S340 would remain on my desk. I returned the Noctis and took home a red & black S340.

Buy More Stuff, Build Computer, and Buy More Stuff.

After all this chassis drama, I grew concerned that the platform leap wouldn't yield much perceived difference. I quickly settled that adding an Intel 750 SSD was the best way to squash that concern.

Done.

There it sat – complete and operational. Life was great... Until bed time. The system was inexplicably louder. In a 3AM frenzy, I began stuffing clothes around the various openings on the case. Plugging up the bottom seemed to make the biggest difference. When I blew out all the dust from my PSU (S340 dust filter isn't that amazing), it must have caused the PSU to be slightly louder. Not as if it were broken, just like it ran 10% faster and was slightly less tolerable. I never truly believed PSU fan noise was all too audible, but it wasn't anything I ever explored. After ordering a Corsair AX760i as a replacement (and finding installation to be breezy), I booted it up again and had my mind blown: my PC was dead silent.

All these years of "suffering" through PC hum during bed time, upgrading fans, upgrading coolers, and I had never once thought to upgrade my PSU. I was ecstatic.

Lessons Learned

  • The NZXT S340 my favorite case on the market and I highly recommend it for builds of all sizes.
  • The NZXT S340 and EVGA motherboards are a match made in 90 degree heaven.
  • Dust filters need to be cleaned to work effectively.
  • The power supply can be an unsuspecting generator of noise.
  • The Intel 750 SSD is stupid fast.

Final build (Platform 4): PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-5930K 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor $552.95 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler NZXT Kraken X61 106.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $129.98 @ NCIX US
Motherboard EVGA Classified EATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $376.79 @ Mwave
Memory A-Data XPG Z1 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $219.99 @ Amazon
Storage Intel 750 Series 400GB PCI-E Solid State Drive $408.99 @ Mac Mall
Storage Samsung 840 EVO 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $436.89 @ OutletPC
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) $599.99 @ Best Buy
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) $599.99 @ Best Buy
Case NZXT S340 (Black/Red) ATX Mid Tower Case -
Power Supply Corsair 760W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $150.69 @ Newegg
Case Fan Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM 78.7 CFM 140mm Fan $19.85 @ OutletPC
Case Fan Noctua NF-S12B redux-1200 PWM 59.1 CFM 120mm Fan $15.49 @ OutletPC
Keyboard Corsair K95 RGB Wired Gaming Keyboard $174.99 @ Amazon
Mouse Logitech G502 Wired Optical Mouse $59.99 @ NCIX US
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $3766.58
Mail-in rebates -$20.00
Total $3746.58
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-05-11 01:56 EDT-0400

Many, many pictures!

Thanks, Rob

Comments Sorted by:

Magnumpies 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

De_dust2 m7, Get that cleaned!

+1 for quality +69 for dem 980s

WillieTheNelson 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

"enjoyment of spending copious amounts of money on things that lose their value faster than I can install them"

Couldn't have put it better friend. Grade A build. +1

mshafi1001 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Very interest read, I enjoyed it :). Great bulid +1.

AGamingTree 1 point 30 months ago

Does the x61 in front of the s340 affect anything significant? I am planning to get a x61 in front of my s340, so I'm wondering if it will affect anything.

Gintokki 1 point 22 months ago

naw, it would work the same , if not better than it being on the top of a case: like an h440

sensefa34 1 point 30 months ago

can you build a dekstop pc for me? and how much you are building if ı buy all components?

Titan8881 4 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

Love the whole build! How was the installation on the 750 SSD? I've been curious to see one in action haha.

ITneto 1 point 30 months ago

Dayum ... +1x1010

DTF1129 2 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

you really know how to fill out a case lol, that motherboard is like the exact size of the back plane. this build is awesome man, i actully had the s340 also but it seemed like a cheap case to me even though it was awesome to build it i just grew out of it but its nice to see a badass build it in, thumbs up for that.

Luigiox 3 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Great build! +1

How are your GPU temps in SLI having the radiator as intake?

Falcon 1 point 24 months ago

I've found from previous builds that adding gaskets to the main culprits of loud vibrations reduces audible annoyances to nearly inaudible levels. I love the design of the S340's cable management innovations and overall aesthetics especially in a timeless black and white build but it does have a flaw up top. I don't have it on hand to study but from memory the back, front and bottom are really solid but up top the metal is really thin and flimsy. So regardless of mounting a Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition fan with built-in dampers it will still vibrate against the metal in the center. To solve this I cut out a 3mm circle gasket for the center of the fan and added rubber washers around the screws just to avoid having to remove and add later. In the S340 the PSU doesn't rest on the bottom and that's usually is another loud source for vibrations. If it did as it does in a lot of other cases gaskets there and around the back also remove those vibrations while running under load.

Kozzy72 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

“better use of square volume and unit cost.”

Isn't that an oxy-moron? As volume is a cubic measurement? Area is a square measurement? V=LxWxH A=LxW

PolishXlion 2 Builds -1 points 30 months ago

Build looks real good! I would change the cables going to the GPU to make them line up better.

[comment deleted]
[comment deleted by staff]
seabass121 1 point 28 months ago

Every build I look at you are here. I am making a pc soon, I expect you to be their.

[comment deleted by staff]
seabass121 1 point 28 months ago

YUP.

[comment deleted by staff]