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Codename: "Durandal"

by Killawatt


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

July 16, 2016

Date Built

June 24, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

40.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

2 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

45.0° C


Codenamed "Durandal" after the invincible sword of Roland the Paladin, this is a workhorse/production/gaming rig. I am a streamer on Twitch (twitch.tv/sirkaze) and built this with the support of my viewers to allow me to stream PC games off of a single rig and provide better visual quality overall with a slower encoding setting. Previous, to stream PC games, I was using my most recent build from 2014 featuring an i5 4690k OC@4.5GHz and a GTX 970 to stream the game and capturing the signal from an older Sandy Bridge (i5 2500k OC@4.2GHz) build that was actually playing the game. The dual rig build often caused syncing issues because I had to have captured sound repeat to my streaming PC which was playing all my sounds and generated significantly more heat than this current build.

I opted for an 8-core figuring "Go big or go home". I was considering the 5960x for a long time, but by the time I was ready to actually start purchasing parts for this PC, the 6900k was right around the corner. It does perform slightly higher at stock speeds than the 5960x and costs roughly the same, so I went with it instead. I would have been happy either way. I was going to overclock it, but decided against it. I have run into no performance issues doing anything. Maybe down the road I'll give it a shot, but even then it will be a mild one. Maybe 4GHz.

The GTX 1080 I purchased was due to supply and demand. To be perfectly honest, I could have purchased a $600 generic card and would have been just as happy since my video card is part of my loop, but the EVGA SC card was available first. Plus the slightly higher factor overclock guarantees at least that much OC potential, so why not? I was going to purchase 2 of them until I started seeing the benchmarks on the 1080 and realized that even with a 1440p, 144hz monitor, 2 GTX 1080s was overkill. All of the games I play at where 144hz matters, this thing knocks out of the park. I've also OC'd the card to 2050MHz on the processor and 10500MHz on the memory. I was originally going to get the 1000W version of this PSU for both cards, but noticed that the 1300W version was only $4 more at the time. So yes, the PSU is insanely overkill for this build, though a higher wattage PSU will mean less voltage ripple in theory. I would have been comfy with an 850W PSU.

I decided to do a hardline liquid cooling build because I felt it was time. I've been building custom PCs since around the time Intel shifted from the "Pentium" line and moved on to the "Core" line and still never done any custom liquid cooling. I've enjoyed the recent flurry of pastel coolants on the market so I went with pastel white as my color choice because I like the idea of greyscale in my themes. Originally, I started using 1/2" OD Primochill tubing with Revolver fittings and opted to bend the tubes. While I had some success, I wasn't enjoying the aesthetic. Before purchasing too many fittings, I switched to Bitspower 12mm OD fittings with their None Chamfer PETG tubing with compression fittings and angled adapters to make my bends.

Even with OC'ing my 1080 as far as it will go and having it in the same loop as my CPU, the GPU has never broken 45C doing anything and the CPU has yet to break 40C under load. The only issue I have is that my fan hub doesn't control speed through PWM like I imagined it would. I may opt for 5.25" controller since I have the room for it. I absolutely love this rig and see myself using it for many years to come. I may swap out the GPU in time, but the CPU has blown everything away that I throw at it in terms of my general usage (streaming and gaming simultaneously with several background applications).

EDIT: Added a few more pictures due to popular demand. Glad you guys like the build!

Comments Sorted by:

bworkman90 1 Build 6 points 33 months ago

I'm reading through the comments and people are saying why didn't you go with this, you should overclock this, you made a bad call on that OS. Give the man/woman credit, it's a sick *** build with some top of the line hardware, you wont need a second GPU until 2030, and an 8-Core intel CPU...there's no need for overclocking it.

Awesome build, awesome hardware, great job!

manquake 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

need more commenters like you. "Give the man/woman credit, it's a sick *** build". Killawatt built the pc they wanted not for anyone else and I agree great build and I've been thinking the same thing on the tubing for my next build. I tried bending and its not for me plus the connectors give it a real nice touch.

GloriouSGabeN 3 points 33 months ago

Send nude PC pics +1

death9251 2 Builds 3 points 33 months ago

(picks up the bottom of my jaw off the floor) Wow aint she just sexy!

pa..pa..pa...palus 1 (+1). LOL love the custom loop its clean and done correctly which isnt seen often any more to be honest i miss custom loops.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago


georgethedreamer 2 points 32 months ago

I love those bends, super nice build

joshzpants 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

dang this rig is really awesome! I'm glad you enjoy it

TedTheOperator 2 points 33 months ago

You profile picture is just... :')

joshzpants 3 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

ty ty

I take pride in it

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Thank you!

Zman123 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Awesome PC, definatly feature-worthy!!

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Thank you very much!

zion_89 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Moar pics!

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Posted a few more, hope you enjoy!

zion_89 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Ahhhhhh yyyessss

Epicness937 1 point 33 months ago

2 things 1st more photos 2nd i think a 2nd gpu or the next titan card will compliment the cpu well ;)

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

I don't see myself adding another GPU near term, the reservoir barely allows that one GPU. I may opt for a 1080 Ti when that comes out though. More photos added though!

Epicness937 1 point 33 months ago

its a very nice build its just for me i invest in better hardware and then a custom look nothing more than that

Zachfive 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

You can see his stripes but you know he's clean!

Seriously nice build. Really like the look of the non bend hardline.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Thank you, I'm glad I went with it instead of bending everything. I don't feel bends would have worked with the aesthetic I wanted.

SmartWolf 1 point 33 months ago

Piping looks like pita. Kudos on execution though, well done.

6900k gotta be overkill, but yeah streaming and gaming would be taxing i suppose.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

It really was, especially with BitsPower's compression fittings, it's hard to get the tubing in there. Can't speak highly enough about Primochill's Revolver fittings, they were an absolute breeze to get the tubing and secure it, but it wouldn't have worked for the aesthetic I wanted and sometimes the best things in life are a challenge. :)

I'm really enjoying the 6900k. Fortunately for me, any extra processing power can be put into a slower encoding profile which makes things look even better! My i5 was screaming trying to encode while gaming even on the lowest settings.

Mpd_ 1 point 33 months ago

No, two 1080s is definitely not overkill for 1440p 165hz. How's the monitor? As amazing as everyone says it is?

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Monitor is absolutely incredible, especially after fine tuning the settings. Overwatch gets me max FPS which is the most demanding game I play right now where 144Hz matters to me.

commodore64 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Will you be getting another gpu anytime soon? Overkill PSU if not. Awesome rig anyways.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

No, not anytime soon. I completely agree the PSU's overkill. I originally bought it thinking I would potentially be putting 2-3 GPUs in this thing, and even then I went with the 1300W PSU because it was basically the same price as the 1000W PSU.

lambo117 1 point 33 months ago

Running Windows 7 on that hardware? Ew.

Sick build, though.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

What's wrong with Windows 7?

Zachfive 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

No DX12 for starters. Not supported by Microsoft as of a last year, so no non-security updates. Noticeably slower boot times when compared to Win 10.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 3 points 33 months ago

DX12 means little to nVidia GPUs, I don't need anything else updated on Windows that isn't security-related (which is supported until 2020 I might add), and the "noticeably slower boot time" is negligible when you're talking an NVMe drive or even an SSD. The 1-2 seconds I might save on boot time is negated by having to take the time to block microsoft's telemetry applications and de-clutter the OS to a condition I'd like it in, not to mention it reverting the telemetry settings every time it updates! I've used Windows 10 on another build, I was so unimpressed with it that I went BACK to Windows 7.

ThePcBuilderFTW 1 point 33 months ago

all that is true, but windows 7 is still and always will be my favourite os, as it was the first one i ever really used much. Very simplistic and beautiful. i only recently got win 10

Zachfive 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

I hear you, but nostalgia isn't a good reason to stay with old software. It doesn't take much to make win10 look and feel like win7.

OccamAsylum 15 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Pic 3 tho


Jake762by39 6 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Having a 6900K with no overclock is a cardinal sin, you know...

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

I may do it in the future, performance-wise I simply don't have a need to do it and my schedule is so packed that it's difficult to find the time to get a good overclock. Maybe I'll just punch in a mild one because I can.

Jake762by39 6 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Asus has excellent OC presets from my experience. Just select your clock and F10 out of the BIOS.

xxswindlexx 1 point 33 months ago

you don't need 2 cards to run ow at 1440p, unless u are at above 100% render scale, or 4k res. I get 144fps easy max setting 1440p 100% render. g-force experience makes me run at 100% render, and 4k res. I get about 80 fps. good for g-sync at that low frame rate I suppose. awesome build I cant wait to add a second gpu, just for fun though. and to see what it can do ;) (and to water cool them of course). I like that you went with gpu>rad>cpu>rad. configuration the only smart logical way of doing a water cooling loop.

Eeyooree 1 point 33 months ago

What made you go with a 1tb SSD? To be clear, I'm new to building PCs and am really just a stupid idiot who threw money at it, but I always heard 500gb+ SSD have short life.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Space more than anything. Would have done a traditional HDD for storage but with the way I built this there would be nowhere to mount it. All SSDs have a similar lifespan.

AddisonKwong 1 point 33 months ago

To be perfectly honest, I could have purchased a $600 generic card and would have been just as happy since my video card is part of my loop, but the EVGA SC card was available first. Plus the slightly higher factor overclock guarantees at least that much OC potential, so why not?

A factory overclock doesn't guarantee better OCs, and neither do custom boards, cooling solutions or even cherry picked GPUs. It all comes down to the silicone lottery. I'm not saying those factors don't play a role in OC potential, but it's down to how good your silicone lottery luck is firsthand. By going with a cheap generic card you can save more money, but if it's because of supply and demand (which u mentioned), I totally get why you would want to get your hands on a 1080 first lol.

P.S. I absolutely hated gaming on my iGPU after selling my 980 to a friend and waiting for the 1080 lol.

AddisonKwong 1 point 33 months ago

I also forgot to mention how gd ur build looks, job well done man. Too bad I don't have the money, guts and hardware high-end enough to justify the high price of watercooling :(

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

I may have incorrectly phrased this or maybe I'm just bad at explaining this. You're absolutely right it comes down to silicon lottery, but I'm saying that by buying a GPU that's +100MHz out the box, I can guarantee that my GPU will have at least that much higher than the stock speed GPUs. It could be that by purchasing a reference board card without factory OC, I could have gotten the golden GPU that went well into the 2000's, or maybe I'd get complete garbage. I'm saying I can at least get a guarantee at those speeds, which are higher than stock.

AddisonKwong 1 point 33 months ago

Oops I might have misunderstood your wordings, but those GPUs with custom bioses and coolers don't guarantee speeds faster than the founder's edition, as like you (we?) said, the GPUs in both founder's edition and all cards (right now) aren't cherry-picked, and manufacturers actually state that the card's speeds may vary depending on system config and usage scenarios. And like I said, if you don't mind paying a slight bit more for the availability of the card, by all means you do what you did. I for one cannot bear that itch that needs to be scratched. I would just like to point out the fact that when it comes to pure OC potential, it is solely determined by the silicone lottery (unless cherry-picked GPUs come out).

Check this out: https://youtu.be/0rHjgnBtxhM?t=8m53s

ibm5150 1 point 33 months ago

Excellent rig.


Shame I don't have the money to build something crazy like this.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 2 points 33 months ago

I saved a lot of lunch money to afford this, plus as I mentioned, my viewers supported me enough to make it happen. If I wasn't a streamer, I wouldn't have gone with such a build.

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

I saved a lot of lunch money to afford this,

Really.. How many years have you been saving? :)

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

I can send you the 0.27....


Well we can at least dream.. lol

DeltaForceGM01 1 point 33 months ago

1tb ssd? lol

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

I intended to get a traditional HDD for storage, but there wouldn't be any room to mount it in this case with the way I have things laid out. SSDs also have a far longer lifetime than HDDs due to a lack of moving parts.

Berfs1 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

ur 6900K can already hit 4 ghz out of the box just saying

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Probably. I mentioned this in another comment but it has more to do with my not having the time or need to dial in a precise overclock combined with the fact that BSOD or system instability isn't a simple reboot to me when I'm hours into a stream. I may just dial in a basic OC and call it a day.

NepenthesLucas 1 point 33 months ago

y u so rich? :(

jk but lovely build!

damcrac 1 point 33 months ago

Wow, amazing job and budget! +1 for replying to so many comments!

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 2 points 33 months ago

I try to respond to comments questions because I had a lot myself going into this. It's nice to know I can help people out!

ThunderCls 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

"Gorgeous Beast" +1

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Thank you!

Znait 1 point 33 months ago

If you decide to get that second 1080 out of generosity, you know who to call! Just kidding, it is a beautiful rig you have here. I wonder where the technology will be 6-8 years from now when I am out of college and a DPT, I thought the 980ti I won was the cream of the crop just a few months ago. How much work is it to plan out and design that custom waterloop? I am using an H100i because the custom loop seems so confusing.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

The liquid loop took quite a bit of planning, though the final tube layout was done impromptu. The location of each of the components was very carefully thought out to make sure I had the right and enough of each type of fitting. A lot of the annoyance came from the limitation on how I could orient and place the radiators and the pump/res, since the GPU and CPU blocks have pre-determined positions. This build was months of thought and slowly accumulating parts.

colinreay 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

I see that Bawls container in the back :) +1. In all seriousness though, great build man, I love seeing non-bend builds, as the tubes are always very precise, not a degree or 2 off, which can be really distracting, especially in a longer run.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Funny enough, I was able to "eyeball" most things. I had a lot of extra tubing though since it's very cheap. And yes, I do enjoy some Bawls!

joelhowell 1 point 33 months ago

Intel Core i7-6900K 3.2GHz 8-Core $1064.99

Well, I knew 69 was good, but I didn't know it was this good.. +1

ASUSTECHMKTJJ ASUS 11 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Kudos on the build. Always great to see another build based on the X99-A II, Kudos on being #TEAMASUS.

A couple of tips one you are doing a disservice with a NVMe SSD and not running Windows 8.1 or newer. Within 8.1 and newer including Windows 10 offering much better native file performance for newer controllers supporting UASP protocols like USB 3.0 as well as NVMe. With that in mind you also want to ensure you are installing the NVMe driver for the M.2 SSD to ensure it's best performance.

Additionally there are some benefits in how processor affinity works especially if you look to leverage Turbo 3.0 tech present in the CPU you have.

Beyond that, if you are looking into overclocking simply consider using the Auto Tuning feature of the board. I would target a 4.0GHz clock speed ( ensure you set the stress test to enable AVX and memory testing ) I would also extend the stress test interval. This ensures you are testing for the highest level of stability and load which occurs during transcoding / encoding tasks.

You can see an example of how this utility works https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLkzMamoRbA

The video covers z170 but the functionality is the same for X99.

Hope this helps and best of luck with your build.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 2 points 33 months ago

JJ, I'm honored you'd comment on my build, I've seen you all around Youtube for quite some time now! I may just plug in a basic OC using the tuner software, why not? Regarding NVMe drivers, I was forced to install them anyway when installing the OS otherwise Windows 7 wouldn't have recognized the drive at all. Good to know on the Windows 8.1 or higher thing, but to be honest it's just a boot drive not a storage drive. Maybe I'll upgrade to Windows 10 down the line, just not a fan of Microsoft's telemetry usage and to be honest I wasn't impressed with Windows 8.1 when doing client builds, very messy OS.

Regarding ASUS mobo's, any word on potentially allowing a user to replace Qcode display with something more useful once booted into OS like CPU temperature? It was a nice feature on the MSi boards I've used in the past. "AA" is a bit useless once I'm booted. Enjoying the motherboard otherwise, very nice UEFI.

ASUSTECHMKTJJ ASUS 11 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Thanks for the feedback. We have considered it but as of now see little value. Like most onboard readout displays most users do not use them as their chassis internals are not directly visible and many times the chassis is out of direct line of sight. I will discuss with our team again. Realistically most users reference temperature using an application in the OS or within the UEFi or even through mobile monitoring. If you want dynamic alerts as pre caution consider using the included push notice functionality. Regardless appreciate the feedback and best of luck with the build!

Wi1dCard2210 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Noice elgato, I use it too. It's so tiny against the graphics card lol

rpmcnama 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Fantastic job! Looks great! What do you stream?

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Typically I stream Destiny, lately I've been dabbling in other games like Overwatch, WoW, Witcher 3, etc.

SquareOreo 1 point 33 months ago

Referring to the anime Durandal or no? :D

Anyways great build +5

Wi1dCard2210 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. I want to do a custom water cooling loop for my CPU and my GPU, which will be a Galax HOF GTX 1080 when it releases. I don't really know where to start besides getting water blocks, so could you explain to me the parts needed? I'm using an ASUS TUF Sabertooth S motherboard.

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Loops break down to 4 main parts: reservoir > pump > blocks + rads. Reservoir size is just for show, get whatever you think looks good and fits your case. I recommend a D5 pump for most builders, especially first time builders. You can find some really nice res/pump combos which include a D5 pump, but you can also do it separately. Ideally you want to get as many radiators as will fit your case, but it's up to you. Rule of thumb is 240mm rad space for every OC'd component, I went with 600mm for a CPU and GPU for good measure. Blocks are whatever fits your card/CPU. Motherboard blocks are just for show, passive VRM heatsinks work just fine and don't see too much of an issue with stock on those. Lastly, you need tubing to connect all those parts and the fittings to secure the tubing.

I would just buy things one at a time. I can't know what you need for your build, I would say just prepare to spend a pretty penny. Watercooling parts can add up really fast. Do tons and tons of research. I did about 4 months of daily research before settling on my parts list and that was on top of being a system builder for many years now. Take your time. You can narrow down your list of possible parts to pick from by selecting certain parts that you know you want in your build. I knew I wanted a Corsair 750D for its size and I wanted an X99 CPU with a 1080. Take your time, find things on sale. I bought most of my watercooling stuff at performance-pcs.com, they're really nice.

Wi1dCard2210 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Great! Thanks for the help, I heard that all reservoirs do is help get rid of the occasional bubble :P so I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit 240mm for either my GPU or CPU, my best bet is 360 for both. Think that would suffice? I still have fans set up in a barebones configuration so it probably should be fine.

Yeah I've spent about 5/6 months working out the plan for this, and with the crap GPU on my current PC becoming unbearable I decided I should make the jump now. I was about all set when I noticed all these funky water cooling loops and had my heart set on one too because I wanted to have a water cooled pc and custom loops look really cool too

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

I would recommend against anything less than 480mm for a GPU and a CPU, 600 is good for both, more if you put in another GPU.

Wi1dCard2210 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Well ok then, in my case (which I'm not planning on changing) I can do two separate 240mm and 360mm rads. Would this be sufficient?

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Yes, when I say "480mm" or "600mm" I mean total rad length of all rads. I have 1 240mm and 1 360mm. What you're describing will be plenty.

nsj7762 1 point 31 months ago

Clean build bruh... I like the choices for storage.

DrWallaceBreen 1 point 31 months ago

That custom loop got me like +-+

IAEInferno 1 point 30 months ago

Can it run minecraft?

Milopita 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

Great build, looks fantastic. There are so few custom cooling loop builds with an optical drive in them, so this build is great inspiration for me. I am thinking of building something very similar, but I am stuck on the case, wondering if you can offer some advice.

Case choices are: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe or Phanteks Enthoo Pro M (but tempered glass version) or Corsair 760T V2 or Corsair Air 540 Would you have trouble fitting your build or something similar in any of those cases? Does one of them stand out for you if you were to re-do something like this build?

Aikido_s 1 point 23 months ago

No cpu cooler?!

desuemery 1 point 7 months ago

Are those fans truly white or are they actually a little bit blue like in your pictures? I'm trying to find a true white fan.

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Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Glad you enjoy it! Yeah, I'm really enjoying the monitor myself. I may take more photos but I feel like this gives a good idea of the build so far, plus I don't exactly have a great place to take pictures of it LOL.

iRaidZero 1 point 33 months ago

xD one question I an new to custom loops with water cooling what coolant did u use?

Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

I used Mayhem's Pastel White, it's been working great for about a month so far. Be very careful with pastels though, they are VERY sensitive to pH imbalances, I highly recommend flushing your system with their blitz flush kit first if you go pastel. Other than that, you can just get very pure distilled water and pt nuke it or kill coil it (not both, bad reaction that way) and then add dye later.

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Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

No real point in watercooling a 960, would recommend getting a higher end card before looking into custom liquid cooling, that's why nobody sells blocks for x60.

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Killawatt submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Just posted a few more. Glad you like it!

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