I'm not much of a gamer, but when I do play, I want them to run well. I recently picked up Bioshock Infinite and Borderlands 2 based on the recommendation of friends. I also like to play warcraft occasionally and use it to make videos about interface design and introductory programming topics. My day job is writing software but I need a UNIX platform for that (cygwin isn't great and vim on windows is an exercise in frustration), I'm hoping to find a Linux or BSD that can run reasonably well at least until the new Mac Pro ships.
Minor Upgrades Since it was Built
When the 840 Evo came out and 1TB versions were available I got rid of all the spinning rust drives and replaced them with SSDs. Right now it's configured with
- 3x 256GB in RAID-0 for the system disk
- 2x 1TB in RAID-1 for data
Samsung's Magician software doesn't work with RAID configurations but PrimoCache will give you the same memory caching trickery that lets you post obnoxiously high benchmark scores.
I found some gold leaf (24k food-grade, left over from a party, turns out it's not very fun to eat metal). I applied to the memory heat spreaders for a laugh so they're gold now.
A little while later added an Oculus Rift dev kit and half a dozen Philips Hue lights. I wrote some custom software to make the room get red if the system over heats and to automatically shut off all the lights in the nerd cave if I start using the office computer or leave the house.
Finally, I bought half a dozen noctua fans and replaced all the stock ones. Two 'air flow' versions on the drive cage + 1 at the back for exhaust. Two of the 'static pressure' versions at the front of the case and a couple more for the radiator. One of the fans that shipped with the case was making an annoying buzzing sound so it was best to replace them all in order to avoid being forced to tinker around inside when another one went bad.
Obsolete // Out-of-Date information
Apart from windows installation being a complete mess (make sure you download the raid, and lan/wifi drivers onto your install media because it didn't work out of the box), and having issues with activation everything was mostly fine.
Asus AI Suite III isn't installing but that seems to be a known issue - other people are having trouble with the version on the website right now. I don't have a CD/DVD/BD-rom so I can't use the version that came packaged with the motherboard.
The hard drives are supposed to be: • 2xSSD: RAID-0 Windows boot/games/etc. • 2xHDD: RAID-0 for video capture • 1xHDD: Local copy of stuff on NAS • 1xSDD: write-through cache for the HDD storage disk, swap file, scratch disk, etc.
The only thing that was tricky was getting Windows to use one of the SSDs to cache the single HDD -- it keeps wanting to use it on the raid-0 set of HDDs instead.
Mostly it boiled down to software issues which I guess is to be expected when you're building a PC. The hardware all did exactly what it said it would. The case window + million glowing LEDs is a bit obnoxious. the graphics cards glow green, the keyboard mouse are blue, the motherboard has red lights, the cooler is blue. Fortunately everything but the motherboard light can be disabled with software.
|Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor|
|CPU Clock Rate||4.6GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||29.0° C|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||57.0° C|
|Extreme Preset Score||X8907|
|Performance Preset Score||P16890|