Description

This is my primary home computer. I work from home, so most of the time it functions as a workstation, but in the evenings and on the weekends it turns into a quite capable gaming rig.

Display: Dell U3014

For work-related tasks I prefer using two monitors in pivot mode. However, since this rig is supposed to double as a gaming computer, vertical monitors would be quite impractical (I know, since in my older, work-only setup I have two 27-inch Dells). The 30-inch Dell U3014 is awesome as a gaming display, and provides plenty of screen real estate for my regular work-related activities. The colors are great, the screen is huge and I can't imagine going back to gaming on anything smaller.

Keyboard: Das Keyboard Model S Professional (Cherry MX Brown)

I'm really happy with this keyboard. The build quality is spectacular, and there's no comparing of typing on a mechanical keyboard to a regular rubber-dome one. I only wish those came in a wireless variant.

Speakers: CreativeLabs Gigaworks T40

I'm not an audiophile or anything like that, so most speakers sound pretty good to me. However, the difference between my old, cheap ones and those was quite noticeable. These speakers are pretty large, but they don't take up a lot of desk space because they are much taller than they are wide.

Mouse: Logitech Performance MX

Wireless, lasts a couple of weeks on a single charge, feels comfortable.

Gamepad: Xbox 360 Wireless Gamepad

Makes gaming in titles like Assassin's Creed or Watch Dogs much more fun. I was quite upset that it comes with non-rechargeable batteries and no charger whatsoever. I had to buy some after-market replacement with two rechargeable batteries. Now when one of them is empty, I just switch them and can continue playing without having to connect the pad to a USB cable or something similar. I highly recommend buying this gamepad if you play a lot of non RTS/strategy games.

Case: Corsair 350D

I originally planned to build this PC in mini-ITX form factor. Then I realized that if I do that, I'll have to keep the box on my desk, because it will be too small to turn on/off comfortably when it sits on the floor. That's why I went with micro-ATX.

Corsair 350D looks good, has plenty of space for cable routing and overall was pretty easy to build in (it's pretty large for a micro ATX case after all). It also has some nice extra features like toolless SSD drive slots. The only thing it's missing is a dust filter for the top fans.

Power Supply: Corsair RM 850W

This is a semi-passive PSU, which means that under normal load it doesn't use its fan, only when over 50% capacity. It has pretty hard cables which don't bend easily, so cable management wasn't as simple as it could be, but I wouldn't count that as much of a con. It has modular cabling and Gold efficiency rating to boot.

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K

I can't believe this one is already a previous generation CPU;) I chose this part because it offered top of the line performance in micro ATX form factor.

I tried overclocking it, but I couldn't find a stable overclock. I could get 4.4@1.24V running for a couple of hours in Prime95, but I didn't find a combination of settings that would last overnight and after a week or so of trying I finally gave up. My mobo already overclocks it to run at 3.9 on all cores in Turbo mode, and for now that's all I need.

I'm a bit disappointed with how badly my CPU sample overclocks. If I expected that, I would probably buy a cheaper cooler.

Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Gene

I originally bought a Xonar DX sound card for this build, but after listening to both the integrated audio and the discrete sound card I decided to move that card to an older build of mine, where it would make a much bigger difference. The sound quality is really quite good (perceptibly better than in my old rig), and to my ears the differences between the integrated and discrete audio were way smaller, than between different sets of speakers. There are some other bells and whistles here, like a mPCIE extension slot, but I haven't used it.

RAM: Kingston Beast 32GB

If it looks like an overkill, that's because it is. As of now, I can easily get by with 16G of RAM (the RAM usage tops out at about 12-13G with a couple of VMs running). However, I have never owned a computer where I didn't end up maxing out the RAM at some point in time, and I figure that since DDR4 is on the horizon, I can save myself some hassle 2-3 years from now by buying the extra RAM ahead of time. While I'm not using it, I can still run a RAM disk on what I don't need.

GPU: GeForce GTX 780 Ti

I didn't want to spend this much on a GPU (it cost around $800), but with 2560x1600 screen resolution, even this card is not enough to max out all the settings in titles like Assasin's Creed 4 or Watch Dogs. With micro-ATX form factor SLI wasn't an option (at least as long as I need at least one other expansion slot) and even if it was, my budget allowed at best for dual GTX 770, and those would only have 2GB or VRAM per card, so no high-res texture packs for you!.

I picked the version of the card with stock cooler because I thought that a blower-style cooler would be better for the thermals and I don't mind the little extra noise when gaming, especially since I usually play at night with my headphones on.

Storage: Crucial M500 480GB and WD Red 2TB

M500 might not be the fastest SSD around, but I know from experience that the performance differences between SSDs are mostly theoretical, so I didn't care about a few dozen Mb/s as much as the $/GB ratio, and M500 was definitely the top choice for that. The mechanical storage is mostly for stuff like movies, and WD Red is fast enough and big enough for my needs.

Cooling: Corsair H100i

I bought this cooler mostly with overclocking in mind, but that didn't work out so far. I hoped to install in in pull configuration on the top of the case (to make cleaning easier), but the screws included in the kit were too short for that. I replaced the stock fans with Noctua NF-F12s, which run pretty quiet and seem to do a good-enough job overall.

Case fans: Noctua NF-A14 and NF-P12

The P12 is used as a rear exhaust and the two A14s are used as front intake. Most of the time they are practically inaudible, but they can ramp up a bit when doing things like stress testing the CPU. Under no circumstance are they ever emitting any unpleasant noise, so I'm quite happy with the set up.

Were I to build this computer again, I would probably skip buying the expensive fans though. They almost never need to run at higher RPM under normal operation, and the only time they need to do that is when I'm gaming and have headphones on. I could have saved some money by buying cheaper, louder fans (or maybe even keeping the stock ones).

Wi-Fi card: TP-Link TL-WDN4800

I originally bought an ASUS PCE-AC66 card for this build. Unfortunately, it turned out that that particular model does not work with the Z87 chipset (it works with Z77 just fine), so I had to exchange it. This one does not support the new AC standard, but it cost half as much as the other one and it works, so it has all I need for now.

Chair: Steelcase Leap v1 (reupholstered)

Very comfortable and ergonomic chair. It's pretty high (which makes a difference for my desk). I especially like the soft cushions, which make it much more comfy than the Aeron which I previously had in the office.

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Comments

  • 66 months ago
  • 3 points

Do you like the case? Is it good with cable management?

  • 66 months ago
  • 3 points

Yes this is a great case with quality cabling options and ample space :)

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

That's great :)

  • 66 months ago
  • 2 points

Great job on this build. You did really well with the cables.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks:) It wasn't that hard thanks to the pretty big case.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Love that chair.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Me too:) I added a note about the chair in the description.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 nice build

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 nice chair

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

what type of work do you do?

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm a Ruby/Clojure/JavaScript developer.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful build, beautiful cable management, and beautiful pictures. +1

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Wonderfull build! Great pictures and cable management! :) +1

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Great job, clean build with top-of-the-line components! +1

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

That thing has to be like dead silent. :)

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for the awesome build.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a very impressive build.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Noctua fans match your chair and speakers :)

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

770s do come in 4gb. In your case I would've gone with that or something until the 880ti comes out in a few months.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

980* they are skipping 800 series

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

I need the extra PCIE slot for the wifi card, so in order to go with dual GPUs, I'd have to upgrade (or downgrade, depending how you look at it) to a full ATX mobo and case. Between SLI scaling issues, the extra heat, power consumption, noise and extra case size I decided that a single GPU was the way to go for me.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! http://imgur.com/a/VLxgD <--- Doesn't the 350D come with sound dampening foam like the Define R4 or 750D? Also I have a Xonar DX as well and would like to talk audio with you, if you didn't mind :) Plus gaming in general, especially since you just joined the master race. PM me if you have Skype and are interested :)

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm not sure about the windowed model, but mine does not have any sound dampening material. I'm not sure how important it is though. Using a sound meter in my phone, on the desk level, I measured around 45dB coming from my old PC (Define R3, GTX 460 some Scythe cooler) and only 35dB from the new one, which makes it twice more silent (it's quite noticeable).

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

You got a great deal on that motherboard! EDIT: Just noticed that's its the Z87, not the more expensive Z97... Still, great mobo.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, actually I didn't update the prices - I bought all of the components where I live, in Poland, and computer hardware is more expensive here than in US.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice setup indeed, although i have a couple question:

  1. do you really need 32gb? any games won't max 8GB at the current generation, and it won't be the amount of ram that will be a bottleneck but it will be the clock speed. have you considered getting 16GB/3000Mhz instead?

  2. How is your PSU? I love corsair stuff but RM series PSU are known for high failure rates. Here is one of the example: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/11/13/corsair_rm750_750w_power_supply_review/9#.VAZoSfldV8E

  3. I have the bigger brother version of the case which is 750D. It's a massive case, but i still have a problem with the back cable management space since it only gives me 1 inch width. it was hard for me to organize the 24 pin cable as it is a really thick cable. Do you/did you have the same problem with the 350D?

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Ad 1. Like I mentioned in the description, I don't actually need 32G, so it's most definitely an overkill at the moment. However, experience shows that I always needed to expand RAM to fill all of the available slots around 2-3 years from the original purchase. I bought the extra RAM because I think that in 3 years Kingston might stop making those modules and DDR3 will become rarer and pricier than DDR4.

Ad 2. It didn't fail on me so far and it works as advertised, so I have no reason to complain:)

Ad 3. The 24 pin was one of the first ones I routed, so I don't recall having any trouble with it. A whole bunch of cables had to go though the middle hole above it though, and that bundle became too thick to close the case initially. However, after a bit of fiddling around I managed to distribute them so that the case closes comfortably.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

This my friend is a work of art lol. The cable management is great and the case looks beautiful but... I would DEFO have it on its own seperate stand..Open so i could admire it.Prob wouldn't get much work done in all fairness lol. Kudos. Liquid.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. Clean.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

My first comment on this site. I thought this might serve even better/longer:

1) Asus Maximus VII Hero 2) Corsair 2400 Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3) SanDisk 480GB SSD 4) Western Digital Black 4TB 7200RPM 5) Corsair A760i PSU 6) EVGA Nvidia GTX Titan Black (not much diff. between MSI 780Ti card) 7) Intel Core i7-4790K (similar price; bit better performance) 8) Asus 27" ROG SWIFT PG278Q

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

This build was completed half a year ago, which was before the Z97 chipset and Haswell update processors were released. I'd buy those for sure if I was building my rig today. I don't see a point in buying a GTX Titan Black though - unless you need the double precision operations (which for games you don't) it's the same performance for double the money. I also wouldn't buy the Asus PG278Q - I'd much rather have the nicer colors and view angles of a IPS panel and the screen real estate of a 30 inch 19:10 monitor, than a smaller, faster TN panel. The lack of G-Sync definitely sucks though, so I understand the appeal.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Still figuring out this site, I get it now. My apologies.

Well, Titan Black is a super card comparable to some of my Quadro cards. Never mind, just presumed you're into heavy encoding etc. Asus monitors are great. IPS products are cool but not suitable for gaming if you're into it (mostly). I use both types, but not much into gaming.

I hope you're having a memorable time with your build.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't see it mentioned, what kind of work do you do with this rig?

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for the legit [reupholstered] chair

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't expect you to read this seeing as it was posted more than half a year ago, but that desk is BEAUTIFUL. I mean your build and setup are phenomenal respectively, but that desk really caught my eye. Out of curiosity, did you purchase that somewhere, or did you build it yourself? Amazing work.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I wanna know this too. What a grand, minimalist desk.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

wered you get that desk?

  • 66 months ago
  • 0 points

350D+RM850+Noctua fans are the ultimate combo!!!

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