The Wind Tunnel . Workstation, Gaming, Compiling & Private Server Tasks
- . Original Prebuilt by iBuyPower YouTube
- . Original Prebuilt by iBuyPower NewEgg
- . Madman Build Variant is CODENAME: Daemon-eyes using SLI and more insanely priced parts to give some performance that will last.
- . Coolman Build Variant is CODENAME: All Style Points using better priced parts for stellar performance.
- I will be gutting the last of the old prebuilt iBuyPower parts. I will use spares to make legacy machines for people I know in need of good desktops.
- . A Basic Benchmark: Before New GPU
- . A Basic Benchmark: Still Pretty Good Considering The Age of The Base Parts
My favorite Tools On The Internet When Starting A Build
- Any Search Engine: Usually a Google Variant. I like StartPage or AV search engines (they do all the filtering and add a little bit of security and/or anonymity, especially for Windows users)
- . Product manufacturer support page and specifications for safe operating temperatures
- . Build Cheat Sheet: HardwareSecrets.com some home grown or general information sites for PC building are good. It is a bit of everything to get you into the right field of view. There are some that get right into the science and engineering (if you like that) and others that skim and basically just sell you stuff. I like this one because it is mostly spec and the important build concepts.
- . CPU Temp Gauge
- . GPU/CPU Temp Gauge
- There are hundreds of common Bench Mark tools, but I was happy enough with User Bench Mark.
- . User Benchmark
- . Pass Mark
- . Heaven Benchmark
- . I found purchasing to be the thing I spend the least amount of time on, but that could mean I am not seeing the best deals or waiting for them. The build and spec research is where I dedicate the workload.
- . Build/Cost Generators are common but I like Here pcpartpicker.com and User Benchmark as they both have different features benefits or weaknesses
- . Mostly I stick with amazon (.ca for me) & newegg (.ca for me) & I have looked at some Canadian retailers, but their pricing is really similar to the previous two and I have yet to have a real reason to try them yet. I assume it is all American resale anyways.
- . Financing is just from my own funds, but I might build for others if they need high performance builds from my expertise in electronics or from what I learn during my own builds.
- . I have experience in electrical cable runs so it is not so different. This build was left a little messy because I knew it was going to be a redo, and to be completely honest the case is beautiful but not completely functional because it is so large. It is the kind you mount on your wall and largely forget about.
- . I absolutely hate RGB because if you decide to do it, there is not one software that fits all.
- . I will look into a bigger wide-screen display or a clean multi-monitor setup in the future so it looks less disorderly.
- . Not sure what the heck is else would help the build after all that. Max of all possible things I would need for a standard single socket, one-person, manageable, common, movable build.
- Purchasing can be super long a tedious if you're trying for deals, or quick and painful if you don't care. Personally I like to get components when they are stable at least, but I need to performance build sooner rather than later.
- Read reviews and forums and anything you can. Find a large enough amount of information to be happy with your decision to buy an honest product and then cross your fingers you are not in the matrix. Careful about buying from sketchy retailers. Go with track record. Some companies are smaller but have been around forever and you can trust.
- Warning though, sometimes people will gang up and make false comments on a product to keep the price where they want it and buy up all the product for themselves (or possibly for resale). When it spikes they sell and turn a profit. Much like scalping tickets. However you need to go with your facts and make a decision.
- . MOBO: P8Z77-V LK a tad old, but stable enough for a re-purposing.
- . CPU: i7 3770k a tad old again, with an annoying temperature threshold, and kind of weak performance considering the graphics card.
- . GPU: GTX 680 old gpu was ok, but run full load to play most games.
- . GPU: GTX 1080 Ti gets the job done every time, probably a least 2-3 years future safe. My guess is after 3-4 years the next best thing will crush my GPU.
- . RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB old again, but OC is pretty good for it's day, and compatibility was enough, but even if upgraded I would still need to work with outdated high speed data drives.
- . SSD: SS 840 Pro is dated again, but gets the job done for now.
- . SSD: OCZ Vector x2 are sluggish for SSDs
- . HDD: WD 3TB
- . Gaming: COD4 is jumpy, ACE Combat Skies 7 is stable, Fortnite is stable until a get in close range to other players or certain high resource times, my newer XP games run perfect
- . Workstation: good enough for basic development, business applications, basic CAD software, basic code build and compile. Poor multi-tasking after a few applications get opened. Not ideal.
- . Desktop: Same as above, but way overkill for regular day-to-day stuff.
- . UPS: APC SMT2200C 40 minutes of backup time for saving and working if it's time sensitive work. About 1-2 hours if I downscale the UPS power draw.
- . Furman M-8X2 Power Cleaner power cleaner for all my electronics is used as the main power outlet for everything I use including the UPS. I know the UPS has one, but I think for my already battery powered stuff it helps.
. Does everything required for component support. I over sized the UPS to 20 amps but it has greater battery capacity. I used a simple amazon converter to change to the 20 amp outlet style. Be careful you don't use the 20 amp outputs. It should matter too much but just to be safe.
- . Keyboard: ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO a bit unusual although once you get used to it, it is super fun to use.
- . Mouse: Razer Naga Trinity configurable and solid. Super comfortable, but I would suggest getting a really good mouse-pad.
- . Programmable KeyBoard: Razer TARTARUS V2 a bit clunky sometimes, but if you are going programmable and mouse only, it's perfect during gaming.
Peripherals have lights and good looks. The Razer products are stellar and so is ROCCAT, but I would say that the ROCCAT is loud, like an old school typewriter, but really easy to clean. I would recommend becoming a quiet typer or using noise canceling headphones. Also soundproof your room or just don't bother visitors or people around you. No late night programming or gaming when not alone with this keyboard. I added some of those storefront LEDs inside the case for ambiance. The setup is decent but requires too much work to reconfigure the color scheme I would say.
- . Monitor: Dell used for gaming, really does everything your games need. Covers all the basic gamer needs. People really complain about the stock coloring though.
- . Monitor: Asus Zenscreen Go has a battery and functions without power on the device, great for shutdown and when the power goes out with your UPS.
- . [Monitor: Acer] Older power hungry and low res. Good for the time it was relatively new, but has a lot of negatives these days when compared to newer cheap models.
All the scrap will be used to build people I know some decent desktops or basic workstations.
- . [OS: Can Change] If Linux had all the features and control software I would do all Linux, but since Wine really annoys me, I use Windows with Virtual Machines or Linux Subsystem for Windows. Mac is nice but is always hardware specific. I have tried Mac OS on VM but it is laggy.
- . [Security: close to none] Basic Anti-virus, No physical locking mechanisms, No built-in encryption, No hardware isolation (all performance), No virtual locking mechanisms or encryption mechanisms, Secure boot and the basics, Optional bit-locker, Optional network and more security techniques I have not tried, the network itself is not really safe. It has been said, "You need to dig a hole 10 feet down, turn off your machine and blanket it in frequency blocking material, and even then there's no guarantee your machine is not being remotely accessed." The joke is basically, if you want security, stay off-line or do not use computers. lol
- . [Anti-Virus] I won't say which, because that's how confident I am in Windows and Windows AV. I have heard some horror stories...
- . [Game Stores] Blizzard, Steam, Windows Store (heck if you know any better ones let me know).
- . [Games] H1Z1 Battle Royale, Ace Combat , COD 4, CS GO, Fortnite, Gears of War 4, LOL, Minecraft, MKX, Project Cars, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Stronghold Crusader HD. Most games run half decent, but the new ones struggle on the older components. GPU is hugely different performance wise.
It's not top of the line, although it looks really nice from what I used to have. It's ready for any long term workstation needs with component support.
CONS Reconfigured pre-built.* cons are none really when I consider it logically. Performance is what I paid for and the build components all functioned as advertised when properly configured. Does not compile medium/large programs quick enough. Let's just say my CPU is not industrial enough for the ultimate gaming/workstation combo.
:: Gigabyte software is a huge headache, if you have a few older components or your mobo won't play ball with it, if it does not install properly or has bugs. It really drives people off the wall. Currently trying to understand if it is a dependency or version issue. 2 seconds ago before some basic updates, it was working fine. Currently it is kind of working for me, but I read it might be my old mobo or the rgb is just not working.
:: Make sure you physically check your AIO tube lengths and case dimension perfectly. One wrong move with sizing parts and the whole build becomes a guessing game or patchwork. My 280 radiator is above the case like a pipe-stack. It keeps it cooler but the fins are bare and susceptible to accidental damage. FIX: I will be making my own custom water loops from now on.
:: Make sure your MOBO and case are future ready. I find prefab companies skimp on the basics to give you current performance. If you want future-safe hardware (which is not always possible if something changes suddenly) I suggest having a strong base for building your PC. FIX: I will be buying a X399 board once the markets stabilize or at least the X399 comment sections do...
:: NVMe incompatibility. My desire to have a solid workstation is hampered by the fact that my Motherboard is old and does not have many of the newest features and functionality. It is good enough really, but to push the future-safe concept, I guess it's been 10 years and my old board was somewhat basic in the first place. FIX: As above a new X399 mobo should have the newest everything and lots of functionality.
:: Original AIO low coolant. The AIO I removed before this one was either leaking or something because I could clearly hear it moving with air pockets through the parts. I think it was too old and I hadn't maintained it properly. (One cool thing about more open cases, you can see and clean dust before it collects and blocks cooling). FIX: Installed EVGA 280 CLC. (note, some CLC don't radiate as well b/c of aluminum parts, radiator in my case)
- . Verify Component Compatibility 100%!!!
- . Do your measurements before buying. I mean every little detail you can think of. Depending on the case purpose, decide where you will bring it and what you will be doing with your build. Mine is mostly stationary, so smaller or compact or mobile is not really a concern. Using some basic 3D cad software with simple blocks might even work.
- . Future-safe products with the newest functionality can be dangerous but do your research and talk to bleeding edge owners or read as many specs/manuals/reviews/forums as you can. Bleeding edge usually has the latest and greatest and is great for doing slow builds, but comes sometimes with a slight risk.
- . Personally I think investing in a solid motherboard is key. If you do not know what kind of CPU, memory limit, graphics card and data transfer/storage devices you will be using, these are the heart of your build and should be your focus when choosing the right motherboard. After that I would start merging your worst case scenario size components list with a large enough case. Make sure to leave enough room for cooling and read the manufacturer product manuals and cad schematics or visuals BEFORE buying, no matter how boring they might seem at first. This will save you the headache.
SUMMARY $7g+ dollars later and I still cannot play COD 4 yet :( ..oh well :P However the system has lots of component support, and all the top notch extras ready to go.
Loved it while the newest games were performance compatible with it. Kind of poor temp threshold and load fluctuations once she's old are pretty bad.
Gets the job done at least. I wouldn't rave, but you get what you pay for. As a newb to cooling I didn't realize the importance of an all copper radiator and really good thermal application. This device comes with pre-applied paste. If you are not sure or it was sloppy, remove the original to use your own stuff, re-apply a good amount of paste, mount it as evenly as you can and carefully tighten down evenly. Only slightly better than my old Corsair CLC, which is actually a pretty bad sign when I think about it. the corsair being really old and much smaller in size.
She was a beauty in her prime. I like it for a professional station but it is not really meeting a modern workstation benchmark even with it's components fully maxed.
For the price it is good. I am not fully sure I trust all of G.Skill products but these RAM sticks really did mostly what I needed. An old model for a good enough price.
Great until I realized it was slowing my overall performance sometimes. SS makes mean product. Value for many of their products is top notch. Great SSD for SATA 3. The newer SSDs with express and NVM blow it out of the water though. Really wish I could upgrade all my sub-components, but it is not cost-effective for these manufacturers to make fully modular products. Once core sub-components would be replaced it is peanuts to replace the rest, so why not just buy new components right?
Not sure what is wrong with mine, but they did not perform well at all. Wildly overpriced when compared to Samsung products.
Western Digital always makes a pretty good product and it usually has a fair price. No complaints.
I have not been able to test it to the max yet as my build spec has not changed in about 6 years. I am going to change that in the next few weeks though. Most prices for the 11 gb memory nvidia products are still pretty outrageous in general though.
Pretty, but not absolutely functional. Feels like a trophy case, not a working man's PC. Like where my beautiful new parts go to die. lol Don't get me wrong, it is very adaptable locally. However I cannot really bring it along.
Everything you need if you do not need extremely high efficiency.
DOS-box... gamer's paradise, security nightmare. 4 stars for features. -1 star for Winducks. Power-user's/Programmer's typical nightmare rig. The security potential of this device is negative. The customization is horrible when compared to some OS'. The privacy potential of this device is impossible. If you are a security expert, you'd probably blow your brains out before you found a way to make this machine truly secure.
It's a bargain, nothing flashy.
Has not died yet. I notice many 140mm start to make noise early though.
Really enjoyed this purchase. After messing with the coloring a bit, she's a beauty.
It's a love hate relationship. I should say 4 star about the noise of typing. Although most mechanical keyboards that aren't on a laptop or used in public can be wicked noisy. It's perfect except a small noise complaint. Super easy to clean.
Solid, just solid. Worth every penny for the feel.
Smooth and modular, but not too modular and not too smooth.
Literally the best headset I have ever had with the best price. The sound quality is good. They feel lite on the ears. The removable microphone piece is great.
I have always had a big fear of Seagate because I used to read about them failing all the time. So far no problems.
I could barely find the product page for this guy. Has not failed or gotten bad sectors yet.
Nice little product. Does what you pay for.
Barely use the thing. (It's probably a configuration issue.) However I have installed the drivers and it still tries to fry my usb sticks sometimes or when I put certain brands of USB 3.0 or sd cards. Linux support is almost negligible.
Great except be careful and inform yourself. It does not work exactly with older motherboards. Also I can see the lighting pushing from outside the screen sometimes. I understand this is sometimes common on certain devices but kind annoying I guess.
Pulled off an old Corsair CLC. Still runs at high RPM and pushes air with ease in a more quiet manor.
Extra features are almost annoying, but cool either way.