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X99 Sabertooth that doesn't Purr

by Zveir



Date Published

May 8, 2015

Date Built

May 7, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.313 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.4 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

73.0° C


She's a quiet kitty.

Well, I finally got to say goodbye and farewell to me ol trusty FX 8350', a good CPU she was.

But out with the old and weak, and in with the new and destructive.

Anywho, this is a PC upgrade, rather than a whole new build. But it was enough of an upgrade for me to want to bring this back to the front page again, considering I changed the major parts. I changed out a total of 4 parts as of now. At the moment with a fully sealed Define R5(as in the Moduvents), without the 760 in it I can BARELY hear it at max fan speeds, and I can't hear it at all once it's under or at 80%. It's the most quiet PC I've ever heard without a question. With the 760, I can hear its hum. It's annoying, but it's going to go to the chopping block(eBay) once the 980Ti/990 releases.


Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor $384.97 @ NCIX US

This was the inspiring point of change. I needed to put my old warhorse to work elsewhere, and I needed a new pointman processing thing. This CPU is going to do a lot of Gaming, Editing, Streaming, and programming in Java, C#, HMTL/CSS/Javascript, PHP, and eventually C++ and C. This is going to be a PC for college + game development, and the CPU/Mobo platform needs to last me a minimum of 5 years. This won't be changed, as all the warranties cover for this period of time. Compared to my old 8350, this thing gave me 20+ extra FPS in BF4 and frame rate drops practically DISAPPEARED. 60+ all the time, usually at 80-120, on full Ultra 1080p, while the 8350 usually gave me 60-70. I haven't even OC'd this thing yet.

This is my second personal Intel PC, and the second Extreme Edition PC I've gamed on, but to see a direct comparison with my parts, and my overclocks, and my settings , my mouse/keyboard and screen, it's amazing to see the kinda difference it makes. And to be honest, I don't think I'll be buying any AMD CPU any time soon. Maybe they'll destroy with the Zen CPUs in 2016, but that is far too long and way to late, so my heart went only to Intel.


Type Item Price
Motherboard Asus SABERTOOTH X99 ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $309.99 @ Amazon

This system was planned to be purchased a number of months ago, but I purposely held off once I heard of this motherboard. It's just so beautiful, sleek and black, while hiding all it's poo color. But no really, in this specific iteration and with my case/CPU Cooler it's super easy to hide all that nasty poop color. It's a really deep black, with a dark gray everywhere else. As of now, it's 100% stable, the fan control is great(though I'd love to be able to shut fans all the way off), it should overclock well and it's absolutely worth the money with a 5 year warranty. Even came with a certificate of reliability too! Totally worth the wait.


Type Item Price
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory $189.99 @ Amazon

Uh, I needed memory. 16GB 2666Mhz low profile memory was perfect for my needs. Enabled XMP and it all works smoothly and up to full speed. Though it did change my CPU Strap to 125Mhz, so be mindful of that.

CPU Cooler

Type Item Price
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler $88.99 @ NCIX US

This was my first Noctua cooler. I never want to install any other kind of cooler ever again.

But for realsies, this thing...was actually smaller than I thought it'd be. Huh. And to be honest, I'm not a fan of how it feels in my hand, the metal blades feel like they can be bent and crushed in the palm of my hand. It's the kind of weak metal feeling, oddly enough the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo I had felt a lot more sturdy than this thing. Strange, but this thing certainly makes up for it in performance numbers. 49-50C max on stock clocks, dead silence with the 2 Noctua fans, and a super easy install. A note though, normal sized 140mm fans don't fit flushly on this cooler. I decided to put a Fractal Design 140mm fan up to it for a comparison, and there's about 10mm of width difference. Certainly modable with different mounting mechanisms, but don't expect immediate support.

I bought this cooler purely to get my AIO out of my system. This is going to be a long term system, and I absolutely can not risk it dying by the PC electrical chair due to a water leak. I don't and won't have the money to replace something this expensive, and the AIO I had(CM Seidon 240M) probably wouldn't have lasted me 5 more years anyways. Heat sinks are forever. Also, this is a performance increase as well, cause dat NH-D15 doe.

I should mention, this thing cut it absolutely close with the GPU in terms of cleareance. With the Sabertooth X99 there is maybe 7mm of room in between the card and the cooler. It is so close, but it also makes it look really clean. I have a ASUS GTX 970 Strix that fits perfectly fine in here with about 4mm to spare, so that is compatible but barely. It should be compatible with any other card that has a similarly sized backplate/PCB location.

Additional Notes

This PC is not 100% finished in terms of upgrades that I want to do. There are 4 things left:

1: A GPU upgrade to the GTX 980Ti/R9 390x(whichever is better)

2: A case mod that will bring the hard drive cage where the optical bays are

3: An addition of an M.2 PCI SSD + 3TB Hard Drive

4: Custom Sleeved Cabling (The current VGA Extensions are $8 Silverstone extensions, but ay they work and are better than the red cables you see at the bottom of the case)

Those will all be updated here with new Pics and Descriptions in the future!

Final Thoughts

Dead silent computing, amazing aesthetics, and a power monster of a kitty she is. A powerful kitty indeed.

Sorry for the shotty picture quality, I only have my cell phones camera (HTC ONE M8)

UPDATE 5/20/15

Completed overclocking, the 5820k is now running at a stable 4.3Ghz @1.1975 Volts @70-75C with a fully closed Define R5(as in Moduvents). The system retains its dead silence, even under these conditions. I found out that if I open up the Moduvents, open the front door and remove the side panel, and put the fans to full blast without the LNAs, I can get this CPU to 4.7 @ 1.3V @80-85C. Performance is important to me, but dead silence is even more important. I am content with 4.3Ghz, as that is a whole Ghz increase and I need this chip to last so I don't want it to run on the bleeding edge. Also, I've already noticed tremendous increases in Guild Wars 2, which is my current game of choice for a while. The game is super CPU dependent, so I actually jumped from an average of 70~FPS to over 110~FPS. Definitely a worthwhile OC.

UPDATE 5/31/15

Made the decision to grab another Asus STRIX GTX 970(have one in my other PC) since I am doing 1080p 144hz gaming, and everything over that seemed like it would've been overkill. I was considering getting a 980Ti for it's 6GB of VRAM and raw GPU power, but was concerned if it was gonna be too much. Which, it would've been. With this GPU oc'd to 1538Mhz I am getting over 120FPS in GTA 5 maxed out without AA, over 120FPS in BF4 without AA and a few unimportant settings on low, and every other game has ran excellently in 1080p with max textures and optimal detailing. The GPU is ridiculously quiet even under full load. My Xbox One is louder than my entire system now. Do recommend.

UPDATE 6/2/15

Added two more pictures and a screenshot.

UPDATE 6/21/15

Added a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD to specifically hold my games and alleviate my space issue on my HDD. I don't want to go dual HDD yet, so this SSD will allow me to free up 250GB worth of games and give me about ~300GBs to spare on my HD.

Also, added a Bitfenix Alchemy LED Strip to light up the inside of the case. I want to grab another smaller one to put on the side to stop the creation of shadows under(and light up) the GPU, but that can come later. Will add pics later.

UPDATE 8/14/15

College is starting for me soon, so I grabed 2 1TB WD Blue Hard Drives to throw into Raid 1 to archive all my notes/projects/important things. Had to re-install Windows 7 because the raid controller on my Mobo used the entire first SATA Controller for Raid, and Windows refused to boot. So, re-install. Works great now!

UPDATE 3/17/16*

So, I decided to go the GTX 970 SLI route, cause I threw in my other GTX 970 from my HTPC that is now my Home Server. So now I have a lot more GPU performance than I will need for simple 1080p 144hz gaming. I think I might actually end up skipping Pascal/Polaris depending on the VRAM status of next gen games, the 3.5GB of VRAM is worrying me a little bit for long term stuff, since I like to keep textures and other settings up high. It'd suck to have the GPU horses to push it, but not enough space to keep textures.

Part Reviews


$400 for 6 cores, 12 threads, easy OC ability and amazing performance!? Get me one!

Oh wait, I got one.



Absolutely beautiful board. Totally stable, weighs as much as a Sabertooth tiger, and eats children for breakfast. Would recommend. Would not recommend if you own children.

Comments Sorted by:

brok249 2 points 48 months ago

Thanks for a great looking/running build and a chuckle from the reviews.

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 2 points 48 months ago

No problem! Thanks for reading.

UnclePaul57 1 Build 2 points 47 months ago

Looking through my prospective parts, and you have purchased a fair share of the same ones I've been looking for. How has everything stood thus far?

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 2 points 47 months ago

Excellently. It's been a super stable experience and the power is everything I could ask for. All the parts are a pleasure to own and were a breeze to work with. The R5 is really quiet, the Motherboard is great for overclocking and the features are nice(especially the Qfan control feature, most of my fans are actually off when idling). The colors are easy to hide too. The NH-D15 is doing good, though my temps are a bit high right now cause the case is essentially sealed off with a single exhaust. At 4.3Ghz @1.2V my 5820k is getting anywhere between 70-80C under 100% load through Prime 95. A touch high, but I value silence over extreme overclocks so I don't ramp the fans up or open up my case. Though I feel like I have a really good OC chip so I might borrow a X61 from a friend and see just how high I can OC this thing, but I prob won't.

My 970 hits 1518Mhz Core and 7750 Mem when OC'd, and remains totally quiet. With a fun mix of Very high/high settings with msaa x2 (MFAA x4) I get over 110FPS constant in GTA 5. Maxed out BF4 runs at 130+, and The Witcher 3 runs at a stable 60-70FPS when maxed out and when outdoors with AA. 75+FPS when indoors.

Any specific questions?

UnclePaul57 1 Build 2 points 47 months ago

Not particularly, I was mostly curious about how well the case handles all the beefy hardware, but you touched on that pretty well. I was recommended that motherboard by a friend, and was delighted with your sparkling review.

You and I differ a little where quietness and performance are concerned (I'm probably going to be opening that door up more often than not, and as far as cooling is concerned, I'll probably go with a high end closed loop water pump). It was extremely uncanny to see how close a build yours is to mine, I just had to say something :]

Edit: did not realize the carrots actually applied the superscript. : ^ ]

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 3 points 47 months ago

Lol :p

Well I love my R5, and I'm sure it'll do perfectly fine for a high performance/OC system too. However a Define S might be a bit better since it has more fan slots and space for a triple rad/fans in the front + no optical bays. Another thing, my R5 handles all the hardware fine too. The motherboard is planted firmly, the GPU doesn't sag, the cables were easy to hide and control, and all the fans don't jiggle around. So it gets an A+ from me. It should serve you just as well.

NateHartman 2 points 46 months ago

I upvoted for the Sabertooth ;)

No really, I am glad to see people using this beautiful beast :) It's a really nice board. I am releasing a build soon with a 980 Ti and the Sabertooth so I am really excited

Gooberdad 10 Builds 2 points 38 months ago

Dang. That cooler is so close.

I was reading the overclock records on one site and am surprised this chip fights at 4.7. Great job. Im with you better to not put the cpu running balls out (steam engine reference for max pressure for those who get confused easily) all the time.

Anyway nice build +1

stevengibsonXD 1 point 48 months ago

what sort of FPS do you get on games with the 960?

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

I have a 760. But usually around 40-100FPS max depending on game. I haven't been able to test this specific system in a variety of games quite yet so I can't say anything accurate.

Cypher7 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Very nice. I was considering the R5 for my similar build. Went with the Silent Base 800 instead, hopefully I don't regret going with a brand new case manufacturer.

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 2 points 47 months ago

Hopefully so.

Without my GPUs installed this build is literally inaudible to me. I need to grab a Maxwell GPU that can turn off fans to fully get the silence from it. But, it's super quiet anyways.

sponix 6 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Appreciate the Build Log and also the bits of Humor..

Was looking at the MSI X99A Boards, but after seeing this board in your rig, and reading up on it (and watching a few FailTube Videos) it really looks like it needs to be in my next box.

It is Highly Likely (although probably not well recommended) that you can take off the annoying little Fan and run without it as mentioned with OC3D TV OR drop one of those Fan Voltage regulators in there to give it less juice and force it to run a little lower rpm. Noctua calls them Low Noise Adaptors and has them for 3 and 4 pin Fans.

Anyway.. Thanks for taking the time to publish the Build Log !!

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

No problem!

The fan actually doesn't even come installed, which is good cause I'm not using it anyways. Extra noise and I'm not even sure what it cools that isn't already cooled well enough. And I love this board when I got it, and I still love it today. Awesome motherboard. I recommend it over MSIs X99 stuff.

Rufious 1 point 46 months ago

How have you taken to that stealth keyboard?

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Love it! I've had it for over a year, and it's great if you're a touch typist. When I was selecting keyboards I was considering going with the Stealth version of the Das keyboard since it is 100% unmarked, but I decided with this incase I ever have those moments where I forget where a key is. Which isn't common at all, but it has happened so I made a good choice. The keys feel great and I don't use a num pad so I appreciate the smaller size. Plus, it's heavy and tough too. I quite love it.

bestwestern 1 point 44 months ago

Very nice. Think I will copy :-) PSU: wouldnt a fanless 520Watt be enighed?

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

I've had that PSU for about 2 years and I've thrown a quite a variety of hardware in a system being powered by that PSU, and I prefer to have more power than I will ever need so I won't ever have to replace the PSU just to add a second GPU or more power hungry CPU or something. It's insurance :L Plus I got it for $130 when it first released, so it was a good deal.

diancecht 1 point 41 months ago

Did you have to move the cpu fan to make clearance for the memory? looking to get some low profile ram so i can keep the fan in standard position for maximum cooling and wondered which was the best to buy.

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 2 points 41 months ago

I didn't have to move it at all. The LPX is really low profile RAM. The fans as low as it can go in the pictures. It's actually more obstructed by the 24 Pin cable, rather than the RAM.

Philk3D 1 point 40 months ago

Hey there, first of all, awesome build and I mean it, not because we seem to be going for pretty much the same thing haha

But since we're looking at nearly identical machines for workload as well as some gaming, I have a small question, I see you overclocked your 5820k to 4.3, how is it running? I'm going for a workstation but I didn't go the xeon/quadro route as it didn't seem truthefully worth it and I might as well keep some flexibility to game when I feel like it. But how does the 5820k handle long computing like rendering? Do some frames get lost from errors or does it runs through the pack like a hot knife in warm butter?

Thanks and cheers man!

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 2 points 40 months ago

Thanks for the compliment. I actually downclocked the 4.3ghz OC to 4Ghz, just cause I wanted to slow the fans down on my cooler even more and I was already happy with the performance I was getting at 4.0Ghz. I do have 4.5/4.3/4Ghz profiles saved on my mobo though. All of them run stably.

Honestly speaking, I've only rendered one video with my 5820k. I don't do much video work. But when I did render it, I did two passes at 100Mbps(I think) 1080p60FPS and it chugged it out in about 30 minutes. A bit excessive for a youtube render, but I was curious as to what it could handle. The output video didn't have any noticeable hitches. I did this at 4.3Ghz.

For games it's great, and when I do web design and other programming work it does everything near immediately. Lovely processor I'd say.

It hasn't crashed on me since I did Overclocking testing last May.

ben.toast 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

This system looks vaguely familiar. ;)

Xorex64 1 point 37 months ago


LonghornAlamo2040 1 point 33 months ago

I'm in the same boat as you. College, gotta hold me up for the next five years if not seven. Though I'll need it after wards for freelance work so I'll need a real enduring rig like a multi-champion boxer.

I hope your rig serves you faithfully for a long, long time.

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

So far it has been flawless. The GPUs will soon be replaced with whatever AMDs VEGA has in store for us because I'm a GPU upgrade snob, but the remainder of the system is staying for a long time.

To extend the life of my PC, in about 4-5 years, I'm gonna buy a 18+ core Xeon v3/v4 for cheap in hopes of a massive increase in Multi-Core performance for future multi threaded workloads that are not present now.

I'll probably pick up another 16GB of RAM at the end of summer just for the hell of it.

LonghornAlamo2040 1 point 33 months ago

Wow. Hope all that works for ya. I'm going straight to a 32GB kit myself.

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

16GB has been enough for me for the last year, but lately I've been getting into VMs and Linux and what not, and I'm starting to see my RAM usage hit 14-15 on average when I have a number up + other things. I haven't experienced any slowdowns or prolonged loading times due to RAM, so I don't think I need to upgrade just yet, but I'll do it anyways cause I have the cash to do so and it couldn't hurt.

LonghornAlamo2040 1 point 33 months ago

Agreed, couldn't hurt. I would have gone with 24GB but I wouldn't have an even number of sticks so it was either 16GB and pay less or have a overkill kit 32GB which costs way more.

Eh, I need it to last a long time. Getting 32GB :3

Zveir submitter 9 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

The best part about buying more RAM later, is that it doesn't feel like much cause it'll only cost me around $65 to get to 32GB.

Even though I spent about $110 on my 16GB kit back when X99 first came out... :(

[comment deleted]
Zveir submitter 9 Builds 3 points 48 months ago

I do too man, I do too :D