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Build

Blazing Blue 2.0

by EpIckFa1LJoN

12
13 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Feb. 28, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.7 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

2 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11.198 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C

Description

NOTE: Prices are what I paid for them new plus tax (some even gouged that I bought right after release).

So I have been putting this beast together over the last several months (Starting early August 2016). Started out with a 3770K and an MSI MPower Z77 board with the stock cooler and barely overclocked along with Patriot signature 8GB 1600MHz RAM. The 650 Ti was quickly replaced with the (then) pride of my build... My Zotac AMP! Extreme 1080 (Late August 2016) as well as starting out with the basic Acer G257HU. After about another month I upgraded the CPU, RAM and MB, with significant increase in performance despite what anyones says about them being so close as not to warrant an upgrade. In CPU intensive games such as WoW and Battlefield it made a HUGE difference. Over time I have upgraded and added every part of my starter build found here; https://pcpartpicker.com/list/BL8GxY .

In January 2017 added the X34 and started gaming in 21:9 (with the G257HU now a side monitor) and quickly set the X34 to 100Hz mode, very easy to do. The setup is fantastic but some games do not really work well in Windowed mode so it doesn't help in every situation having dual monitors, but the X34 and the 1080 I had at the time are a great combo. The 6700K @4.6GHz has no trouble running anything (that's well optimized) and stays at a cool 55C or so under gaming loads.

Now onto the 1080 Ti. Not only is the card fast, but it is MUCH quieter than the 1080 AND much cooler. The stock fan profile is perfectly fine as far as cooling goes and my card tops out about 65C. The stock clock speed hits and stays at 2000MHz under load (out of the box) and will occasionally hit up to 2012-2025MHz no problem. From everything I have seen this card also has plenty of OC headroom and will overclock up to an additional 5-10 fps. The LED's are hands down the best of any rig out there. They are similar to the ones on my Corsair MM800 Polaris Mouse pad, and are BRIGHT. They also can be tuned to any color on the RGB spectrum, can be set to a rainbow color wave, or a color cycle. Other than that you are limited to simple breathing and static one-color solutions. However you can also change the LED's based on the card being in idle mode or active mode. So once the card boots up proper, it will change to whatever option you program it to. Pretty awesome even if limited.

The only thing wonky with this card is the fan profile. Booting in and out of its "idle/active" modes for the first few times gives a massive rev of the fans, but after a day or two it stops. Furthermore is the very easy to miss option to turn the stop fan profile off. And there are two fan profiles running together basically. Under "Spectra" (for whatever reason) there is a down arrow on the side of the middle panel which reveals a hidden option to turn the stop fan tech off. This allows you to use manual, advanced, or any custom profile without issue.

This card definitely needs to be "broken in" a little (weird right?) Firstly the CD is utterly useless, it has an old version of Firestorm which renders the LED's unusable, and the driver is not up to date either. So you definitely need to get those from the internet (Zotac's website and GeForce Experience, respectively). Once I did that the LED's were completely unresponsive at first but as soon as I started messing with them they loosened up (seriously weird) Now they work perfectly. The other issue,as mentioned, was the fans. They were completely unresponsive when I first got the card. MSI: AB simply would not work. Changing the fan speed in Firestorm also would not work. So I decided to fire up the one game I knew would test the card; Battlefield 1. As soon as the game fires up the fans spin up to a crazy 120% speed and make this massive VOOOOM noise. And then proceeded to work perfectly fine. Quit BF1, fired up WoW, as soon as I get to the login screen same thing, VOOOOM, then back down. It did it about 3-4 times over the first few days and has not done it since (COMPLETELY WEIRD).

Gaming is great, in Tomb Raider (2013) benchmark test on Ultra settings min 98fps, avg, 136fps, max 158fps. Battlefield 1 is a slightly different story. The game is quite intensive but is still not much of a match for the mighty 1080 Ti. Settings are maxed (Ultra, 100% Render Scale) On "The Runner" mission it will drop as low as 60fps but will stay pretty stable around 80. On the "Avanti Savoia" mission it will drop just above 90fps but will stay stable as high as 110fps, which would also be similar to the multiplayer matches. Every other game in my arsenal with the exception of WoW (and Fallout 4 due to being unlocked (screwing with my CPU) is rock solid at 100fps or whatever it's locked to. In any case, the GPU can handle anything I throw it, the CPU, not so much, but not because it is a bad CPU, rather it is not enough to power through bad optimizations of games.

I do prefer playing with V-sync on as it does 2 things. 1) it prevents the game from tearing, which it will still do with only G-sync. and 2) It will prevent the card from overworking needlessly.

I mentioned preferring V-sync still but some people are confused as to why. With V-sync (or G-sync because the drastic changes in frames) by itself the game is much less smooth, it almost looks like a lower refresh rate is being used. G-sync makes the game buttery smooth but will still tear if going over the refresh rate. Which is why I opt to use both. Try playing with G-sync for a while then turning it off. You will notice it looks a little clunkier and not at all as smooth as with it on.

I do plan on upgrading the side monitor to another Predator, the XB271HU bmiprz. Don't really need it for gaming I just would like to have it for the slightly larger screen and the same Predator quality I have come to love with my X34. But that is quite a bit to spend for a gaming monitor that will not be used for gaming. I guess I'll just have to wait and see if I really want to go that route. In addition I plan on adding another Samsung 850 Pro (a 1TB this time) as I am getting a bit full and want to keep the fantastic speeds of these SSDs intact.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Very cool and completely quiet, no pump noise whatsoever, possibly the best AIO cooler available.

Thermal Compound

One of the highest performance tested thermal compounds commonly available.

Motherboard

Great board, easy overclocking, very easy to use BIOS, LED's could use some work.

Storage

Super fast SATA SSD, probably the best SATA SSD available. Affordable. CON: not much better than the EVO, longer warranty offsets that.

Storage

Blazing fast, amazing SSD all around.

Video Card

Absolutely Incredible, easily the best 1080 Ti on the market. Cool, super quiet, and FAST. Oh, and drop dead gorgeous!

Case

Fantastic case, not too big, good airflow, plenty of room for upgrades/cooling loop.

Power Supply

Fantastic PSU, dead quiet, solid performance.

Case Fan

Awesome fan, very noisy at high RPM's but very very quiet up to 900RPM, can go to 1000RPM easily at ambient noise level. Decent airflow at quiet level. Decent fan for the price, there are much better fans out there, but none that look as good in a rig.

Monitor

Probably the best $250 monitor in existence. I love this thing. Very clear, and color accurate for the price, IPS glow is kinda bad but you get used to it.

Monitor

Simply amazing monitor. Has a bit of IPS glow, but nothing horrible. Easily overclocks to 100Hz, G-sync is awesome, UW is definitely a standard for me now, I will never not have an UW monitor again. LED under lights are awesome, I didn't even know about them when I bought the monitor, added bonus. The UI kinda sucks but I am used to it thanks to my other Acer monitor and you really only need to use it once. I will be interested in seeing what the X34P has to offer when it comes out.

Keyboard

Great keyboard, LED effects are very fun to play around with. Macro buttons come in very handy for MMO's. Corsair Utility Engine is very easy to use and set up.

Mouse

Great minimalist style mouse, with added RGB's it's a great mouse to pair up with any Corsair peripherals.

Headphones

Decent headphones for the price, occasionally have audio glitches such as noise/popping, the sound is great though, the microphone is also very good for communicating with your raid/team. A great addition to the Corsair Peripheral lineup.

Speakers

Surprisingly amazing speakers for the price. They sound really great, and the bass comes through very well. I was utterly shocked with the quality of sound these little speakers produced. Very highly recommended for someone who doesn't use speakers that often but still wants them.

Comments Sorted by:

EpikMark0123 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

Blue with a splash of yellow, i like it. Not to mention that price tag, you got my +1 man.

I recommend looking into custom cables and getting a new case with a PSU shroud.

EpIckFa1LJoN submitter 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

I fiddled with the idea of getting a 570X RGB case, but there is not CD drive support, and I actually like the way the PSU looks in my case, and it also moves the SSD slots to the back of the case, I like showcasing as much as I can. Custom cabling would also be nice but it's not a priority right now, as I am about to spend $800-900 on a 1080 Ti. That would also get rid of the yellow as the 1080 Ti AMP! Extreme is blacked out with a dark grey stripe so any cabling would be plain black. The plan was to make the whole thing neutral with all the parts having RGB lighting with RGB fans but that is postponed until Corsair makes software controlled RGB fans instead of the stupid hardware controlled fans they have now. The plan still stands with everything really neutral in my case so far and everything but the fans have RGB LED lighting, so eventually the fans are also getting replaced once Corsair gets with the program.

I do need to fix the cable management though, I am still thinking about putting two more fans in the bottom so that would force me to adjust some things.

It's still a work in progress but for now I am pretty happy with it.

EpikMark0123 1 Build 2 points 25 months ago

And i like ur name :p

EpikMark0123 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

Damn u the man wit a plan, i like it.

seanbarkley 2 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Impressive build dude, Love it!

I have the same mobo and I’d like to know if you have had any compatibility or, most of all, temperature issue with the Samsung 960 (most of all seeing that you keep the cover on). I’m thinking about buying one and I’ve seen some temperature issues resulting in HD throttling... thanks in advance and congrats for ur piece of beauty!

EpIckFa1LJoN submitter 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago

Thanks!

None whatsoever.

I've since upgraded to Z370. Same board (Maximus X Formula) it tops out about 50C but it takes a lot more than that to throttle.

It should also be noted that I only use it for gaming, i'm assuming under heavy r/w loads it will probably start throttling.

Going off reviews the 960 Pro starts throttling around 2 minutes in any rig unless you put some active cooling on it, i'd say in an enclosed space like that it would start throttling sooner but since mine is restricted to gaming it never even gets close to throttling for me.

So really just depends on how much it will get used. If you do light video editing it should be fine still but if you're doing some serious 4k stuff I'd leave the cover off.

seanbarkley 2 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Thank u so much for the info man, appreciate it.

EpIckFa1LJoN submitter 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago

No problem, good luck with that.

NovaTastical -2 points 25 months ago

WHY VSYNC ON ITS A BAD THING TO HAVE ON IF YOUR MONITOR HAS G-SYNC ALREADY

EpIckFa1LJoN submitter 1 Build 3 points 25 months ago

That's not true at all, there's absolutely nothing wrong with using V-sync, G-Sync works exceptionally well at evening out frames within a certain range of the refresh rate, if you exceed the refresh rate the game will still tear, G-Sync isn't some magical never-tear fairy, it is just incredibly smoother than V-sync, with it OFF in the game and ON in the NCP, it's 100% fine and works when there is no framerate cap. Fallout 4 caps at 25fps with G-sync only, for example, and games like WoW where the fps can range from 50 to 250 the tearing is unbearable.

There's absolutely no problem using boththe way I described.

NovaTastical 1 point 25 months ago

So why not use Vsync only when screen tearing gets unbearable to have more frames if you don't reach 100 frames

EpIckFa1LJoN submitter 1 Build 2 points 25 months ago

Tearing occurs any time the framerate exceeds that of the monitor's refresh rate. V-Sync makes it impossible to exceed because it limits it. But G-sync does not. With regular V-sync only or no sync going above or below the refresh rate results in stuttering or tearing, dropping from 100 to 90 is extremely noticeable with V-sync. With G-Sync you can go under the refresh rate to an extent and it still looks smooth, I can get as low as 55fps before I notice any difference. But if you go over it still tears, so with a combination it doesn't go over and tear and it looks smooth still under the refresh rate.

With V-sync only the game is only smooth as long as you remain within about 5-10% of the refresh rate. With G-sync only games tear and my GPU is working at 100% tyring to remder at 300fps. With both all I get is super smooth gameplay as low as 55fps

NovaTastical 2 points 25 months ago

Interesting. Thanks for the info