General purpose modern gaming rig, designed to be sturdy and upgradeable for the next 5-8 years. Quiet and low-power operation in mind for 90% of its day-to-day use. Being air-cooled with the Noctuas it makes 0 audible noise when doing anything besides gaming. When the fans on the STRIX kick on at >70% there is some noise but it's super tolerable while playing games.
Love the motherboard but stuffing a SSI/CEB into the mounts on my old ATX Mid-Tower was a mistake long term. The build is housed inside a vintage VooDooPC RAGE original edition case that I like the look of too much to replace. The MB is big enough that I can't install my case's drive cage -- I had to buy a set of 5.25" bay adapters to house my array (but it allows those drives to be hot swappable now without opening the case so that's a nice touch).
WD Reds are configured in RAID1+0, yielding 2TB of fast & highly resilient storage for games, media, and a backup target for the SSD (just in case). I have an 850 Pro configured to 'Accelerate' the array with Intel SRT but funnily enough it benchmarks slower with the feature enabled. I guess I just have to trust that raw benchmarks are not accurate for this technology and over time it will move the hot data to that 'smart cache' area of the SSD.
All my benchmarks are done in 'daily driver' mode. I don't turn the fans up, mess with the Speed Step or otherwise maximize performance in a 'controlled setting' before starting the tests. I cold boot, close any extra programs, and click start. I'm sure I could boost all my numbers quite a bit by prepping the system but that wouldn't be realistic as far as how the rig performs the way it's usually configured.
The stock STRIX fans are noisy, loose, and rattle. I'm looking to replace them with Noctuas as well someday.
Only thing left is a second (and maybe eventually third) 980 for SLi and a nice 4k monitor, then this rig will be complete (until it's time for a round of upgrades, of course).
I stayed at stock clock speeds (CPU & RAM) for now because I have no need for more grunt. This machine is a beast and tackles anything I give it with ease. It's not a competition rig so I have no desire to find its upper limits. I don't feel like I'm missing out by not going water-cooled and OC'd to the nines. Brighter stars burn out faster; I want this rig to last a while. It's about stability and reliability, plain and simple.
Cold boot to desktop in ~8 seconds. Will replace that XP941 with an NVMe 950 Pro soon enough, can't wait.