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An overhaul of my main build Aurora. Aurora was on my initial account but with my move to this new account I was going to repost it, much like my “White Fusion” HTPC, but I was pretty much overhauling it from top to bottom so figured I would post the new build. I am happy with the outcome and more excitingly In Win will be including it in their monthly newsletter, coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled :D
From Aurora few parts were kept, the case, some of the water cooling components, 2 SSD’s, 2 of the Titan X’s and the keyboard. Everything else from CPU, motherboard and monitor, down to the mouse, fans and sleeved cabling is new for this build. In a way it allowed me to keep the aesthetics of Aurora while upping pretty much everything else.ome compromises were made as the case is all form over function, but I love it too much so was willing to make said sacrifices.
The priority for this build was to essentially be able to play any games (not that I actually even game much now days) thrown at the pc while remaining fairly quiet but also looking aesthetically pleasing to myself. For the most part it does that plus some, it can get a bit on the loud side when I overclock things, but that's why you invest in speakers / headphones :D
CPU - 5960x - 4.8 Ghz / Motherboard - ASUS X99 E-WS
So off the bat I knew I wanted the X99 E-WS. Aesthetically it's been my favourite board and the silver and black only theme looked amazing and fit the build perfect. It is slightly wider than an ATX board that meant cable management was somewhat harder, but after I custom sleeved my own cables for the build and done away with the heat shrink, it gave enough flexibility.
The board unlike most is targeted at workstation user with their 12k black chokes and PLX chips and so on, but feature set wise has pretty much everything the ROG line has. For those unaware, PLX chips provide Extra PCI-E lanes. This board has a pair of PLX chips so the board actually has 48 PCI-E lanes. Combined with the 40 on the 5960x the system has a total of 88 PCI-E 3.0 lanes. Gotta admit, seeing all three Titan X’s @ x16 is pretty cool even if irrelevant.
But what of the CPU. I stumbled across a J-Batch 5960x. For those unaware, these are the golden samples of 5960x’s and supposedly overclock well, so took the plunge. The retailer did not know or care what the J-Batch was so went around and dug out their last sample.
I set up an initial raw overlock of just setting the voltage to 1.35 volts and seeing how far I could get just changing the multiplier. 37, check, 42, check, 44, um check, 47 check WTF, 48, fail. At this point with just a raw overclock I was beyond amazed. most 5960x’s land in the 4.4 Ghz region tuned, but this sample was going straight to 4.7 Ghz :O so after some further tweaking and some extra voltage, 4.8 Ghz stable was reached, very happy.
For normal use however I set the memory to 3000 Mhz which set the BCLK of 125 which basically means it becomes the multiplier * 125. So I work in increments of 125. For synthetics I therefore use 38*125 = 4.75 Ghz which although behind 4.8 Ghz obviously, is more than made up for the fact that the memory is running at 3000 Mhz vs 2133 Mhz.
Daily use is at 1.3 volts @ 4.625 Ghz which is multiplier of 37 * 125 BCLK which is fine. Temps at idle are 35 or so degrees as the fan RPM’s run low and under load 55-60 degrees stress test thanks to its own 360mm rad.
Monitor - ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q
The final piece to arrive for my overhaul. An ultra wide panel recently only been released in Asia and Europe and still TBA elsewhere. I had this buet pre-ordered for a while as I do love the ultra wide format. I have actually used the format since my first build in the form of the LG 34UC97-S and amusingly this panel and the ACER X34 use the exact same panel found in that monitor.
So you may wonder why upgrade. Well simply put, G-Sync + 100 hz. These two features really do improve game play experience and after helping my brother build his skylake rig with the X34 I found. G-Sync smooths out the fps on occasions when FPS drops a notch while being able to run up to 100 fps makes the game feel very smooth indeed, games like witcher 3, Shadow of Mordor play amazingly.
Aesthetically the monitor does look sweet. I admit I do like the classy look of the prior LG, but the aggressive look of this panel does have an appeal. The stand does sit far forward however and on my smaller desk while my games room is being built, so it's a bit in your face. I expect that is to make way for the ASUS ROG laser the shoots down on to the desk which does look sweet.
Either way 3440 x 1440 + G-Sync + 100hz = Amazing
GPU EVGA Titan X SC
The Trio of Titan X’s are probably the most important part of the PC from a performance point of view and work hard to pump out FPS on to the ROG Ultrawide. All 3 of my cards run on the stock EVGA SC bios, which basically allows them to run at 1450 Mhz no issue. This may sound low compared to 980Ti’s and this is because by default Nvidia puts a restrictive limiter in place on the BIOS. One reason why aftermarket 980Ti’s seem to perform so well is because they have modded BIOS’s already loaded thanks to aftermarket cooling solutions. Putting on a similar unrestricted power envelope on the Titan X’s allows my best sample to hit 1575 Mhz / 8000 Mhz on the memory and the other two coming in at 1550 range. However the power draw and heat generate is massive.
With 3 on aftermarket BIOS’s the power draw is close to 1350 watts from the wall, so testing had to be done on my brothers EVGA 1600 watt model and for daily use I need to put the shackles back on, if not for the power limit, definately for the extra heat these BIOS’s generate with high OC’s.
For those curious why they are not under water. Simple fact is the case is limited to a 360mm radiator. Putting the 3 Titan Xs and 5960x on a 360mm rad....... As I noted earlier, love the case, so a compromise had to be made, this is one of them.
Case - IN Win Tou
Tou- Transparent in Chinese and an apt name for a case’s exterior made of 16 individual tempered glass panes. Love this case and it really adds a whole unique factor. When off the case is effectively a giant mirror, but once on and the internal lighting turns on, it becomes fully transparent which is an awesome sight to see.
While in my opinion it looks lovely in the aesthetics department, it does so at the cost of functionality. The case has a fairly large footprint, but the main work space is quiet small. It made the build somewhat challenging to do as getting the cables for all that squeezed in plus a custom loop was extremely difficult.
In all love the case but it does have an ongoing expense in keeping it clean. Jeeze does it get dusty easily. Invest in a window cleaner for the thing :D
PSU - HX1200i upgraded from the HX1000i. I needed a 22cm PSU to fit in the tight space which ruled out higher watt units. It came down to the EVGA line and Corsair line. The HX1200i has a better and quieter fluid dynamic fan and quieter profile thanks to raised grill rather than stamped grill on the EVGA so was chosen. Issue was it only has 6 PCI-E / CPU cable slots. I like however clean running PSU cables rather than daisy chain look, so hand made these ones. the GPU cables split 5 CM after leaving the PSU into a 6 and 8 pin cable with 1 going to each Titan X. As its single volt rail, works fine. Sleeved cables are Carbon Telios cables
Watercooling - D5 pump, Bitspower fittings mostly with Alphacool compression fittings and Brass plated chrome tubing all in a black chrome / black silver finish. I think it fits the build perfect using metal tubing for this. I did revise my tubing runs from Aurora now just using simple and straight clean runs, which look neat. As the loop is simple Mayhems Aurora - silver is used.
Lighting - as before I am using the Aquacomputer lighting kits which connects the lighting system to the custom loop with fittings to automatically read and adjust lighting based on temperature. For the overhaul, a couple of new strips have been placed adding a stronger illumination.
Storage - currently the mix seems abit odd. The two MX 100’s were some of the initial components in Aurora as at the time. In that time 2 more 850 EVO’s have been added to the mix. I plan to throw in some M.2 based drives once the 1TB’s are out as the 500GB models are not worth the hassle of moving windows. The current amount of Storage at 2TB while not loads is going to be backed up by a NAS shared by this and white fusion.
Overall quite happy with the build. It's ticked all the boxes, except for power efficiency hah. I expect most the components to last a while, partly thanks to getting quite lucky with the performance of the 5960x it will be a while before it will need to be replace.
For GPU’s on the fence, but at this stage I will likely take a look at the Pascal replacement and see if I like. Though to be honest at this stage it would be a waste as I am expecting to keep this monitor for a while.
So next upgrade will likely be around Volta and Skylake-E. We shall see if I am still alive by the time the GF figures out the total cost to date :O
As always thanks for reading, if you did manage it all heh, any comments or questions as always welcomed.