It all began when I piqued the interest of a colleague with talk about a gaming build based on the slowly-phasing out IVB-E processor/ X79 chipset. I wanted to prove that with a little tweaking, it could be made to last and prove to be more economical and stable than the upcoming Haswell processors when it comes to high-end gaming.
I wanted this system to run as cool as possible without getting into the complexities and expenses of a custom cooling loop, so I abused the Corsair Air 540's 280mm radiator room by shoving a push/pull configuration into the tiny clearance between the top of my Rampage IV GENE and the case. (PS2 Mouse/Keyboard jack caused a world of problems)
After installing all my currently in-hand components, I realized that the motherboard did not come out of box with a BIOS that could be used with the IVB-E, so I had quickly learn to flash in the updated version...and all the other drivers required for various cards and accessories.
After about a month of meticulous re-installations, and at least a hundred failed RAM overclocking attempts, I finally settled on a stable overclock. My only regret is not knowing why my LP sticks won't OC as well as they have been shown to on the related full ATX Rampage board...but I'll leave that to the RoG community to mull over.
I can't say this was a bad investment. For a first build, it has everything I desired. Had I a few hundred more dollars when I began this project, I probably would have gone for a full ATX board (and the increased PCI slot headroom it provides. (Afraid to use SLI with fan-cooled cards due to slim spacing between slots)
Will update description with relevant benchmarks as time allows me.
CPU-Z Validation: http://valid.x86.fr/pps99i
3D Mark 11: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/8508906
Current expansion plans include adding a second ZOTAC GTX 780 AMP! Edition card and a witty doodad for my other 3.5" bay (sideways on the Air 540 case).
Ideas and feedback greatly appreciated!
Solid cooling performance for my well-overclocked system. Only issue is finding corsair 140mm fans. Had to purchase sleeves to mount SP 120s to this baby, but I haven't seen any performance issues since day 1. Will stick with corsair for all my cooling needs.
Not sure where the overclocking review are coming from, but my particular kit doesn't cooperate with increased frequencies or tightened timings. Will be upgrading to a proper quad-channel kit in due time. Only advantage of these is the low voltage and low profile (great for small form-factor builds, not for workstations)
Good for the price. A few hiccups with overclocking, but solid performance otherwise. Should have frankly waiting a few months for the 900-series to come out (and the price drop of the previous generation). I'm still not complaining!
Excellent quality and efficiency...but died after approximately 18 months of operation, last 6 of which was near continuous operation due to participation in Folding@Home. Will execute warranty and stick with the EVGA brand. -1 star for the early product death.
Excellent clutch performance in a push-pull configuration. So hard to find a narrow fan, as required due to limited internal dimensions. I swear by this fan for all 140mm configurations.