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Build

1080p Gaming, A/V Editing, and Streaming Desktop

by Draekhost

15
6 Comments

Details

Date Published

May 19, 2015

Date Built

April 23, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4.0GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

24.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.18GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.0GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

24.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

54.0° C

Description

This rig runs like Seabiscuit. Coming from my old laptop, I feel like I've upgraded from 2D to 3D. Everything was easy to install. There were a few small hiccups but nothing major.

Here is what I use the computer for:

  • 1080p Gaming: I don't have any goals to go beyond 1080p right now. 4K looks great and all, but it's a tier or two above my ideal budget, and I'd rather just make sure I can play at a resolution I'm happy with at full FPS. I play games like Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, Bioshock Infinite, Pillars of Eternity, and eventually Crysis 3, BF4, COD, and Civilization 5.

  • Audio/Video Editing: In addition to gaming, I'll sometimes record and make videos about them. To go along with that, basic audio and video editing will happen. I use to dabble in FL Studio and might get back into that as well, and this rig should handle that nicely.

  • Streaming: I wanted something that could play games and stream at the same time. This rig stays cool even during game play at peak graphics settings. Streaming shouldn't be a problem.

  • Much Multi Tasking: This is also my work computer, and I'll often have plenty of applications and Chrome windows/tabs open. My laptop would choke a bit from too much of that, but this handles everything quite well.

The Parts

  • i7-4790K runs smoothly and was easy to install. I may eventually get a water cooler for it if I ever decide to OC, but for right now it's running at stock and handling everything just fine. I would have been happy with an i5 if they had integrated graphics and hyper threading. For the general level of use I put this through it might be a bit overpowered, but I'd rather over than under.

  • Hyper 212 is working well. I'll eventually put a second fan on it, but for right now it's keeping the CPU at a good temp.

  • MSI Krait Edition is awesome. I love how it looks. This is the simplest motherboard at the lowest cost that I could find which still allowed for overclocking. I just wish the top PCI-e slot was in a different spot, or the main SATA cable ports were moved up or down. When the card is in there I cannot reach in to pull out the SATA cables, which wound up being necessary when both storage drives had a few issues. All in all, great mobo at a great price.

  • G.Skill Sniper RAM was an easy pick. The price was great, their head spreaders weren't too big (which I read could be a problem with Hyper 212 Evo coolers), and they gave me plenty of performance. I may eventually get 32GB but 16 has been more than enough.

  • Samsung 850 EVO is awesome. I regret not getting a 512 since the main drive now only has 115GB of free space after a few games. That will be fine for now, but I'll probably upgrade to a 512 or 1TB down the road.

  • WD 1TB HDD works wonderfully. Plenty of space, especially since most of my files are in the cloud. More room for video recording and audio files.

  • Gigabyte Windforce runs everything quite well. And I got Witcher 3 for free! The fans keep the card very cool under load.

  • Phanteks Enthoo Pro was love at first sight. I was going to go with an NZXT S340 for a while until someone pointed this case out. It's perfect, looks great, and cable management was very easy. Although the fans they provide are nice, I may remove the 200mm one and put in two 120mm of the blue SickleFlows I'm using elsewhere in the case. All in all, I would recommend this case to anyone willing to spend ~$100. I even managed to snag the windowed version on sale. Win!

  • XFX 550W may have been too low. It's running fine right now and this build is estimated to run 374W, which translates to a 68% load on the PSU. If I'd gone 650W I would have gotten closer to the ideal 60% load. For now, it's running wonderfully and the modular aspect is awesome. Cables were a bit stiff but otherwise this is an awesome PSU.

  • Samsung DVD Drive is the perfect way to install Windows 8.1. Thus far that's all it was used for, but sometimes I have a CD or DVD come my way so I figured it'd be worth having around eventually.

  • Windows 8.1 is great. I do love Windows 7, but wanted to try out 8.1 before 10 came out. Though plenty of complaints exist about Windows 8, it seems 8.1 made things a lot better and I had no issues making it my b****.

  • Gigabyte Wifi Card works great. I can finally see and interact with the 5G internet I've been paying for (last laptop and current phone cannot). I wish the extending antennae was longer as I use a standing desk.

  • CM SickleFlow 120mm Fans were chosen because they were only $5 and came in blue, which I love. This was the only aesthetic decision made in the building process, and I'm happy with it. I have 2 x SickleFlow fans plus 1 x 200mm case fan pointing inward, and 2 x SickleFlow fans plus 1 x 120mm case fan pointing outward. I've removed one of the HDD cages and there's plenty of air going in, so I'm pretty sure I achieved positive pressure. Down the road I'll have 4 x SickleFlow fans pointing in to guarantee positive pressure, and might replace the existing 120mm with a blue as well as put two of them on the CPU cooler for a total of 9. Lots of blue. (They all run at a slightly higher than average rate to make sure everything stays cool. So far they've never had to run very high and stay quiet at most speeds.)

  • Acer 24" and LG 23.6" are both great monitors. I'm tempted to give my LG to my girlfriend and get another Acer down the road. The display from the Acer is beautiful and immediately became my default for gaming, which the LG nearby for quick reference stuff or temp monitoring.

  • Logitech G430 is superb. The audio on the microphone is quite clear for recording, and the virtual 7.1 channel surround sound is fantastic. I'm upgrading from in-ear phones and prefer these by far.

Eventually I'm getting a Logitech G110 keyboard and and the G600 mouse because it has a ton of shortcuts, which I'll use for gaming as well as quick application launching during work.

I'll also add a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for audio adventures, but that's down the road when I've dug further back into music. There might be a Yeti microphone in my future, as well as some studio monitors and high end headphones, but that's also down the road. And maybe a fan controller.

Other than that, I can't think of anything I'll be adding in here. I don't need a 2nd graphics card, the RAM is fine for now, and everything is running beautifully. All in all, an epic rig. The best I've ever had.

Part Reviews

CPU

This is an awesome CPU and it's not terribly expensive at MicroCenter. If you need integrated graphics and hyperthreading, this is the right choice. If you don't need to OC, I bet the non-K version runs well, too.

CPU Cooler

Runs wonderfully, wasn't too hard to install, and stays quiet. If you get this CPU cooler make sure your RAM heat spreaders aren't very tall. I chose the G.Skill Sniper Series RAM which is low enough to not interfere with the Hyper 212 Evo.

Motherboard

Most cost effective mobo that allowed over clocking and SLI. Looks great, too.

Memory

Easy to install, great price, awesome power. The heat spreaders aren't a problem for the Hyper 212 Evo, which is a nice plus.

Storage

So fast. Great SSD. I only wish I'd bought the 512 but it's still a great price.

Storage

Works quick and is very cheap. Great HDD for file storage.

Video Card

Runs everything at 80 - 140 FPS, which I'm quite happy with. Looks wicked cool with a WINDFORCE blue glowing decoration on it.

Case

This case is beautiful, its cable management is a breeze, and it has every feature I needed. Its screens make it easy to clean and if you have positive pressure going on via fans it should stay quite clean.

Power Supply

Cable management was a cake walk thanks to this modular system. The cables were a bit stiff but everything worked out fine.

Optical Drive

Read the Windows 8.1 installation disc like a champ. 10/10, would install OS with it again.

Operating System

It may not be as well received as Windows 7, but after playing around and getting use to it this OS is awesome.

Wireless Network Adapter

Fast, stable connection. I just wish the corded antennae was longer since I use a standing desk.

Case Fan

These fans were super cheap for a fair amount of airflow, plus they are blue which I love. They are quiet even under higher load. I've set them to run a bit higher than default, which keeps the whole environment nice and cool.

Monitor

Beautiful display. Managed to grab it on sale, and it's now my main display for gaming.

Headphones

Epic headphones. Highly recommended. Perfect for gaming, decent for recording, and great for music. Comfortable, and it's blue which is always a plus in my book.

Comments Sorted by:

bigg_critter 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

good for you man. you did it up right! hope you are lovin it.... +1

Draekhost submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Runs like a dream! Plays everything beautifully. Much excite :)

collegekid2k 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Nice rig, except those books as monitor stands :)

Draekhost submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

It positions the monitors at the right height, and I have plenty of them. Why not put them to use? :P

I was thinking about building some stands, but I've been traveling quite a bit this year and haven't been home long enough to make that happen.

This is a standing desk, too, so sometimes the monitors need to be several inches higher when I'm not sitting down. Books, thus far, are the best solution (unless you know of a cheap, adjustable monitor stand)

Axees 2 points 31 months ago

The blue light looks a bit blinding in the center of the window. As a lot of the parts are black/white it could look cool with a lil bit of white leds around the inside of the case especially around the enthoo logo.

Draekhost submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

I agree! I do like the black/white. Blue is my favorite color and although I didn't choose the Windforce GPU due to its blue light, I'm happy it's there.

The other blue is from the four SickleFlow fans I got, but they are very dim. At night, there's a general blue glow from the fans, but you're right about that Windforce blue light. It's bright, but since it's under my desk I don't consider it much of a problem.

The white LEDs sound like a nice touch. I might spruce up its lighting down the road. White and/or blue all the way!