Here we have my FX-9590, 32GB DDR3-1866 RAM, Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z, Firepro W-7000, "can do everything I throw at it", AMD machine. I have named it P-22 Panthera, after the Lepa Aqua Changer, the 140mm Cougar fan, the PNY “flaming tiger” CS2111 480GB SSD, and my neighboring IRL big cat, Griffith Park's own urban puma, P-22.
The 1TB 7200 RPM Seagate Barracuda and the 5TB 7200 RPM Toshiba hard disk drives are for long term storage, and the 480GB PNY CS2111 solid state for fast temporary storage of files. Windows 7 Professional, and most of the program files are running on a 256GB Transcend340 solid state drive. I also have a small 2TB WD Elements external hard drive to transport files.
I can live my "leave everything running at the same time, work and play at the same time" lifestyle, due to the fired-up 8 core FX-9590 processor, and the fast PNY 'XLR8' 1866 CL9 RAM. The processor stays “cool” (27-31c idle, low to mid 40s full load) thanks to the Lepa Aqua Changer 240 (exhausting out the top), and everything else stays relatively cool with the four (140mm front, 120mm front, 120mm bottom intake , 120mm rear exhaust) case fans. The fans on the Aqua Changer are a bit loud, but I keep them turned down to an acceptable level... plus, these fans revving up to 100% while booting means this beast literally roars to life.
Programs and games install from an LG 16x Blu-Ray Burner; and I can watch 3D Blu-Ray movies thanks to it and my HP 2311gt monitor.
The Corsair Carbide SPEC-02 case is the perfect height to align my monitor with a wall mounted HDTV for a two monitor 1080p setup, the interior room fits all the components, cables route behind the MB, and air easily flows through the case. The side window shows off the traditional AMD red and classic black colors of the Crosshair MoBo, and FirePro VC; and the industrial style of the Lepa cooler, and the PNY XLR8 RAM; as well as the pulsing LEDs of the Lepa Chopper fan. An unforeseen plus of the case is that it places the Aqua Changer's radiator in front of the insanely bright red "start button" on the motherboard, so, while still having room to easily reach the button from below, it allows the Aqua Changer's deeper red LED to really stand out. You can also easily read the 2-digit, Q-Code LED on the top of the MB through the top grate of the SPEC-02 (the 30 in the photo is it coming out of sleep). The case does have slippery, hard plastic feet; but, I was able to fix that with a pack of #211 O-Rings from Home Depot, which fit perfectly in the circular grooves of the case feet.
Power is provided by the semi-modular, Tough Series, Thermaltake 750W 80+ Gold Certified PSU.
I planned the build, assembled the parts right out of their boxes, and everything worked like a dream... reliable, with no problems or cooling issues. If I decide to throw more money at it, I might get a 4K monitor, another W7000 to crossfire workstation graphics cards, or liquid cool the W7000 with a Kraken and a Corsair H55, as its high pitched fan noise can be a bit annoying at times. However, the W7000's design is slim and elegant, and its power usage to performance is sweet.
Fast right out of the box, it handles the simultaneous running of multiple demanding programs flawlessly. This is the AMD processor most focused on performance; and I have faith in the reliability of AMD CPUs. Never has an AMD machine died on me. My very first computer, a Windows 98 AMD Compaq Presario, STILL works.
The stock cooler retail boxed with my CPU is a liquid cooler... so, I knew I needed to go with liquid cooling. The LEPA Aqua Changer is more competitively priced than other similar coolers, has thick and durable tubing, the radiator looks equivalent to other AIO liquid coolers, and I didn't need additional monitoring software.
The mounting plate and the screws don't firmly fit to the motherboard with the standoffs (or really even stay together) until the thumb screws are tightened, but, once assembled, it's solid. The included PWM Fans are a bit loud at 100%, but, when you turn them down, the sound level isn't bad and the grooved blades (similar to a Cougar fan) work great! It's keeping my FX-9590 27-30c at idle and mid 40s at heavy load. The waterblock/pump has a more industrial style than most AIOs, with a pair of deep red LED “parentheses” (matches my Asus MoBo).
It is an older MoBo. But, I was worried about the power needs of my FX-9590, and this MB has both an 8-pin and a 4-pin power connector. Booted up perfectly the first time and every time. It has 8 fast Sata6G connectors for HDDs, SSDs, and optical drives. I can connect up to 8 fans, more than enough for my 6 fan case. It does have two pretty fast PCIe 2.0 x16 connectors to crossfire video cards with, one PCIe 2.0 x16 running at 8, one PCIe 2.0 x16 running at 4, and two PCIe 2.0 x1 connectors for blazing fast PCIe SSDs. But, I do wish it supported PCIe 3.0, and had more than one USB 3.0 connector (although it does have four USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, and 2 eSata ports).
I wanted to be able to run lots of programs at the same time, and this RAM was competitively priced and on sale. AMD doesn't support DDR4, but this DDR3-1866 CL9 RAM is fast; and it has solid black, low profile heat-sinks, so it fits in my small-ish mid-tower case like a glove. It was easy to install and setup in the BIOS. It works great with no problems.
I did a clean install of Windows 7 and all my program files. The machine boots in seconds and everything runs fast.
I wanted to keep my other SSD drive just for program files, so I bought this drive because its specs showed it was fast. I use it to load large files from, before I move them over to my 7200 RPM HDDs. You can open and write giant files with ease. Games loaded onto this drive run like lightning.
Every computer I have ever had a hand in putting together has had a Seagate drive. They are the originators of the 7200RPM drive, and there always seems to be one “on sale” somewhere.
As it is the first “consumer” 5TB 7200RPM HDD, I was a little worried about buying this drive. Then I found out that Toshiba bought the manufacturers of those old Hitachi drives. I have a 80GB Hitachi drive that has worked unceasingly for over a decade and a half, so it made me feel better about getting this drive. So far, it's quiet enough, fast enough, and has lots of room.
I didn't want to skimp on performance but, most importantly stability. I also didn't want to have a large card making a lot of heat and sucking a lot of power. I am already running a power hungry CPU, and didn't want to add too much to that. The slim and elegant design means I still have access to the other expansion card slots, and it doesn't obstruct the airflow in the case too much. The maximum power consumption for the card is 150W. It has 4 display port 1.2 connectors and a stereoscopic 3-pin din, for active 3D and high-end monitors. I'll really have to get a new 4K display to test out this card; but, it works great with my dual 1080p setup, and everything looks a little... shinier. The only drawback so far is the annoying whine when its tiny fan really gets going.
The best case I've ever had... it isn't huge; air flows easily through the case; it isn't ugly; the top is flat; everything fits; the USB connectors are USB 3.0; it's inexpensive; and it has a nice side panel window!
This is a great power supply. It doesn't make a lot of noise. It is small and can easily fit into a mid-tower case. Most of the power connectors are modular (except for the 8 and 24-pin) and the power cords are flat, so cable management is pretty easy.
Great drive: a little noisy, but works perfectly without any problems. This drive is OEM, and doesn't come with any cables or software; but, my motherboard came with extra SATA cables, and I already had the software bundle from an earlier purchased external LG Super Multi Blue drive. Though it can't play or write Blu-Rays without the additional software, I had no problem using it to install Windows 7 and play and write DVDs straight out of its packaging. It does what it's supposed to do... but for my build I wish the indicator light was red.
A pretty good 120mm fan, though I wouldn't choose it as my only fan. Despite the LEPA site listing its speed at 900rpm, mine runs noiselessly at a little over 1010 at the bottom of my case, adding some movement and interest inside , as it also reflects light underneath it. However, you can't mess with the speed on this fan. If it runs at anything less than 100%, the LED dims then shuts off.