I have been a big Mac user for years. I have every item Mac sells. However! I’ll be honest, I had been patiently waiting for a new Mac Pro to be released and buy a workhorse of a Mac. But nothing, for years. WTF Apple? They are still selling the same Mac Pro that's now years old, using the same old components but still selling it at the same price. This is bull$#!@.
So I decided if I am going to finally convert from a being a long time Mac user to PC…. Go all out and build the ultimate Machine!
Now being a Mac user for over decade, I have always wanted to build my own gaming PC. I have missed out on being able to play the popular games everyone talked about. Having to resort to going to a friends house or bother in-laws house to play games like Battlefield. I decided that if I’m going to kick out the Mac, I want to go all out on my first build.
What I wanted was a rig that can play all the current games with no compromise on settings, and also build an integrated house wide theater system.
I started out my build by selecting the monitor. I wanted an ultra wide with a refresh rate upwards of 120Hz. The Acer Predator x34 was a perfect fit with its overclock frame rate of 100Hz.
Next I was selecting a GPU/s that would consistently provide FPS at or higher than 100Hz. I admit I got in the market at just the right time with the GeForce 10 Series coming out.
To max out a 3440x1440 monitor at 100Hz, with current games on ultra settings. The best choice was SLI Titan X pascals, which perfectly hits around 90-120Hz on average. It seemed as though the Witch 3 games was by far the hardest on FPS.
Next up was my motherboard, for this it had to be MSI all the way for me. I have always love MSI products, and their BIOS screen it exceptionally easy to navigate. Also ever since the Godlike motherBoard came out I have always dreamed of owning it. So hands down the MSI Godlike motherboard was for me.
It was at this point that I started to really thinking about my color theme for my build. And I have to admit I was torn between a White & Blue rig and a Black & Red rig.
The deciding factor was the case, which made it a Black/Red design. Because I fell in love with the Corsairs new Air740. As you will soon find out this was a newb oversight…..
The processor was an easy pick. Some may say that an i7-6850k is overkill for gaming. That is true but I as I mentioned I wanted to create a massive movie collection on a NAS drive for the whole house. Having only the best top quality HD movies. Therefore, I needed the higher multi core for Handbrake to convert all my HD movies, in a reasonable time.
After this was choosing my storage. Speed over capacity was my concern, and the M.2 spoke to this perfectly. This drive would be used as my Boot drive and for my newest most popular games. Secondary to this was to use three SSD in a RAID 0. Now right away people brought up the fact that I would have no data protection and in fact worsening my chances at failure using three drives as one.
This is where my NAS came into the build. The Synology 8-bay was both the perfect fit but also the only fit into my house wide entertainment system. Synology and Samsung, the makers of my TV for my theater have a SmartTV synology app, for playing movies etc… But this is before I discovered Plex…. Yeah, this is a great app. So everything is backup up on my NAS, and it is used to store over 800HD movies 65,000 songs and god knows how many pictures. Of the six 6Tb hard drives setup in a RAID 6 array, I’m already at 44% filled.
Next on my hit list was the Ram. For this I wanted both high performance/ style and capacity. 64Gb of Vengeance LED was perfect. With 3200mhz speed and red LED’s it’s perfect. But why 64Gb? Its way overboard for everything you’re doing they said. But as I mentioned I want fast storage space. And with MSI as my motherboard you can easily set up a RAM drive for some insane storage speed.
Holy hell… it this crazy fast!! more than 12x the speed of an SSD. I set up a 8Gb RAMdrive to load all my bench mark programs too, and anything else that may take long load times.
To power everything I went with 1200 watts of Corsair ipower. Beyond the the Black/Red, the other theme of my rig is MSI and Corsair. I love Corsair and wanted to get as many of their intelligent items, to make use of their Corsair Link. Which includes the ipower, water cooler, mouse, mousepad, keyboard, case and their new maglev and RGB fans.
The deck out the red/black theme of my ultimate machine, I ordered corsairs custom red sleeved power cables and MSI’s red dragon HD bridge.
To protect my investment of the money and time I spent building my rig, a 1500VA UPS was a small price to pay. oh , and to keep my machine dust free and look new, I had custom filters made from DEMCiFilter. These filter are so fine, they keep out the smallest of dust particles.
NOW, this brings me to some lessons learned and Newb mistakes.
First, turns out a 1500VA UPS does not mean 1500W, this unit is only 900W. My rig is constantly maxing it out to over 95% capacity. I will need to sell this and upgrade to the their 1100W UPS.
Second, it is not as easy at it looks right now to set up your Boot drive onto an M.2 drive. Three times I had to start a fresh install. There is just not a lot out there to learn from.
Third, and the biggest! I didn’t check the motherboard size and what the Air740 case can handle. Yeah…. I special ordered this case to only realize the massive MSI Godlike motherboard eATX size won't fit. So I headed to the store to get the full size Corsair 780T. The main negative is that there is such little room in the back of the case for cabling. However, the great thing is that there is a Ton of room inside the case for the future.
I think I hit everything Gents. All-in-all I love this machine…. The first time I played Battlefield 1 and Witcher 3, the graphics just absolutely blew me away. I feel like I have been living in the stone age of computer performance. The intricate details, butter smooth picture and fast loads, holy hell… Yeah, I had to take a week stay-cation just to soak it all up.
The Future plans for my rig that I am already pricing out is a custom water loop. For two reasons, one because I’m now addicted to custom building. And second, these Titan X pascals ran extremely hot!!. Even with a custom fan setting they run at over 90% fan speed to keep them just under 75 degrees, when overclocked to 2100mhz. The beautiful thing with this case is that it has lots of room for one hell of a custom water loop. I’ll keep you all posted.
P.S. **** you Apple.