Description

Just finished tweaking/building this desktop earlier this year. I've been slowly adding on and replacing parts as time has progressed, finally finishing it just a few days ago.

  • CPU (Intel i7 4770K) : Seeing as I do a lot of development, compiling, hosting servers, virtual machines, and planned to try streaming/recording; I figured I could put an i7 to good use. I thought it cliche to list "gaming" as a reason for owning an i7, when it only marginally boosts performance numbers. It runs very well at a moderate 4.2GHz overclock, and smooth as silk.

  • CPU Cooler (Corsair H80i) : I wanted to go water cooling as I'd heard it was generally quieter than air cooling. While I've since learned this to be a bit of a misnomer, I still quite enjoy having it over a massive air cooler. It fits relatively easily into my case, provides good cooling potential, and looks nice with the back-lit Corsair logo.

  • Motherboard (ASUS Maximus VII Hero Z97) : I had originally had an MSI Z87-G45, but it burned out on me after a few months of use, so I decided to opt for a good ASUS board. I had heard great things about them, and they've held true thus far. It looks great and performs just fine. (I'm not sure how one would go about rating a motherboard's performance accurately. It either works well or it doesn't. Lol.)

  • Memory (Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB) : While the frequency is a bit overkill (My motherboard/CPU throttle it by default, although it is disabled currently I believe), it works fast and efficiently. 16GB works well for compiling big projects, and performing elongated and resource hungry tasking. Also doesn't hurt when doing some photo/video editing as well.

  • Storage (Crucial M4 256GB) : Ironically this is the exact drive I put into my laptop a few years ago. It worked so well I couldn't help but get another one, however small, for this build as well. Like many others I have a traditional HDD installed as well for inessential files (Photos, Videos, Projects, Applications).

  • GPU (GTX 780 x2) : I bought the second GTX 780 as a complement for the main card a few months back. You might be wondering why I've opted for SLI 780s for a dual 1080P monitor setup, when gaming will be constricted to only one monitor. With the resolution shift from 1080P to 1440P and beyond in full swing, it's my hope that it will continue to serve me well far beyond these technological advancements. I'd like to be able to upgrade to 1440P, or even 4K, in the future and be able to handle it without problems. Also I really hate frame lag. 3DMark 11 Firestrike Score: 15524 (Both 780s are at stock frequency. I could probably break 17-18K with a solid overclock.)

  • Case (Graphite 230T) : I'm not really one for over the top flash and pizzazz, thus I thought a more subdued case was in order. At this point I'm probably beginning to look like a Corsair fanboy. Lol. I couldn't find a mid tower case that had enough room to fit an H100i comfortably so I decided to stick with the small ATX mid tower. Cable management was good, it looked decently enough, and it fit the overall theme I was going for (Red/Black).

  • PSU (EVGA 1000G 1000W 80+ Gold) : I needed a PSU to supply enough power to dual 780's and a 4770K, while providing enough overhead to allow for overclocking. EVGA has a good reputation for quality and it was among the few GOOD power supplies at my local Micro Center (Aside from select EVGA, and Corsair units, MicroCenter has crap for PSU selection).

  • CD/DVD/BR Drive (LG Blu Ray) : I wanted the ability to play my Blu-Ray titles on the PC, and even though I don't use it's BR writing functionality very often, it's Blu-Ray decoding libraries (which came with it) have come in handy. I currently have to rely on it's decoding libraries and an older version of VLC to play Blu Ray titles as the Cyber player is god awful. In retrospect the trouble probably wasn't worth the hassle of buying it, as my Blu-Ray playback is abysmal and very lacking in quality.

  • Monitor (ASUS VG248QE x2) : LOVE these monitors. Perfect size in proportion to resolution, good color (took some configuring), 144hz capable (with DP/DVI-D), and it's Lightboost capability is second to none - absolutely the best feature about it. While I can't say I truly recognize any discernible difference between 60hz, and 120-144hz, it's peace of mind knowing my frames aren't being wasted by a 60hz monitor. Lightboost, however, provides a night and day difference with the right demonstration. It turns an LED monitor into what is essentially a CRT grade monitor -- eliminating blurring almost entirely.

  • Wireless Card (ASUS PCE-N53) : Well seeing as my desk is located a fair distance from the router I opted to keep things neat and clean with a dual band wireless card. I know it cuts down on internet speeds, but my speeds are ample enough it doesn't bother me. Very simple piece of hardware, although ASUS insists on trying to get you to install their wireless manager to override Windows' built in network manager. It doesn't work well and makes jumping networks a pain in the *** really.

  • Speakers (Corsair SP2500) : If my affinity for Corsair products hasn't been made abundantly clear by now let this serve as indisputable proof. As for the speakers they are one of the best 2.1 PC speaker setup I've come across thus far -- impressive considering Logitech and a few others have dabbled in audio for years, and the SP2500 is Corsair's maiden voyage. Sound quality is crisp and clear, and bass is deep and throaty without being overpowering - although it can be if you wish it.

All-in-all, it handles anything I use it for gracefully. Whether that be coding, gaming, streaming, recording, hosting servers, virtual machines, etc.

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Comments

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Dang, if you waited til september, 980s would have kicked ***! But nice build. I like the case. Just would want a window to show off stuff like that.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I thought about that. When I bought the first 780, the 900 series were but a pipe dream. Picked up the second one a few months back on the cheap. It's more than I'll use anyhow. As for the case, it sits on my desk so I just pop the side off. :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

You let dust enter the case easier with the side off, but it does let more air flow in i guess.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Also, EVGA's ACX version 1 on the 770/780/ti is just the sexiest, but 970/980 ACX 2 looks like ****. Besides, 2 780 is enough for just about anything.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I would take that case, but nope. No window, I personally Like windowed cases

  • 62 months ago
  • 0 points

that makes ur temp rise tho beacuse theres no airflow going over the video cards

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Chunky... nice build.

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

I love it. +1

Do you like the monitor and the motherboard? I plan to get both. Also, is the onboard sound good? I plan to get a Xonar DGX but it would be nice to know :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The monitors are fantastic. I can't say I truly notice a discernible difference between 60Hz, and 120-144Hz modes. However, with Lightboost enabled they do an excellent job of eliminating blur/drag from fast movement -- similar to CRT.

The motherboard is great. Not much to say about it really. It's got good overclocking, BIOS, and hardware features. Alongside physical buttons for about any critical BIOS operation which is helpful (Power, Reset, BIOS flashback, etc).

As for the sound, it has quite as few software options for tweaking and emulating sound setups. All that aside it outputs as good of an audio signal as can be expected. Not quite par with a dedicated sound card, but that's to be expected.

Good luck on your build. :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks a lot for the help!

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

When a person makes an awesome and very powerful build and names it after one of my favorite comic book characters and my favorite bounty hunter...well, I +1 (especially when it is this pretty)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

PNY's gtx 780 clocked @ 1.0ghz is 200+ now. Check it out!!!

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  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Good enough to get my downstairs neighbor's attention should I crank it up. Lol. It's very good for a high-end 2.1 speaker system. I'm rather impressed with the sound quality, crisp bass, and lack of distortion -- even at high volumes.

Unrelated, but it also fixed a quirky issue I had with my last sound setup (Eagle Arion) which would BSOD my desktop if the audio signal hit a certain frequency.