UPDATE JANUARY 2015 BELOW
Alright, my first build! Been using it for a couple weeks now and finally got around to taking pictures for this post. Here we go!
CPU: Code name Ivy Bridge-e: the Intel i7-4930K. Not that far ahead of the 3930K, but it's not like I was upgrading. Same price for just a tad better, buying everything new, not a big deal. I like that it uses all 6 of it's cores unlike it's predecessor and natively supports PCIE 3.0. Also, 22nm architecture is more power efficient so that's a nice bonus. However, this thing caused me one major problem which I'll get into later.
Cooler: H100i. Good track record, nice look, good for my build. Not much more to it than that. Replaced the stock fans with the SP120s because most reviews said the stock fans were as loud as a jet engine.
Motherboard: Oh boy. Great look, smart use of real estate. Rather than having 8 DIMM slots it only has 4, which let's be honest, rarely does anyone actually use 8. Nice Asus product. HOWEVER, this thing caused me the biggest problem for me this build. In order to be compatible with the 4930K it needed a BIOS update. When Windows 8 came out they switched the BIOS update file format from .ROM to .CAP. So in order to flash the update that made it compatible with the 4930K, it needed to be converted. In order for the conversion to work properly, it needs to restart the motherboard twice. In order to restart it needs a compatible CPU! My guess is that Asus was expecting most people to be upgrading to IB-E, rather than buying everything brand new like I did. Therefore, they figured people would already have a compatible CPU that has already updated the BIOS to .CAP, which can therefore easily install the update for IB-E. Obviously, this was not the case for me. My options were to either find someone with a SB-E CPU to somehow get them to let me borrow it to update, or send in the board for RMA. But then, lo and behold, after calling Asus phone support 3 days in a row, I FINALLY got someone competent enough to know what they were talking about. All I needed to do was visit the Asus eStore and I could buy an already-updated BIOS chip right from them for only $15. THAT'S ALL. Three days of nonstop calling to get that tiny piece of info. Ordered the chip, arrived in a few days, popped it in, and everything from there on went swimmingly.
Memory: Was originally going with 32GB, but a few people on forums assured me that's far more than I really need. So I decided on quad-channel 16GB. Still have to overclock it to all 1866MHz, it's currently only running at 800MHz each.
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro. Need I say more? Great reputation.
HDD: Standard 1TB drive. That'll take me a long time to use up, so I have no use for anything bigger. As you can see in the pictures above I put in extra cables for a hard drive expansion in case I do so.
Graphics Cards: This is the home run swing of the build. Asus GTX 780s in SLI. Originally I was only intending on getting one, but then in a forum post someone suggested two. I hadn't even considered the idea but once I saw it could fit in budget, my mind was blown. Man do these things run well. They cost one pretty penny, but totally worth it. Love em!
Chassis: The Fractal Design Arc Midi R2. The Define R4 is the standard choice for many, but I really don't like the R4. The front door, in particular. I just don't like the idea of having to open and close it and it being able to just hang there that much. I much prefer the look of the R2, and despite the fact it's just a TAD smaller, I prefer everything about it. The shape of the window, the honeycomb front design. I removed the 5-hard drive bay slots for better airflow since I won't be using them! All in all I'm very happy with this decision!
PSU: Go big or go home. That was my mentality for this. Yes, it's more than I needed. But not only am I now far future-proofed, but I'm also power efficient. There's something about Platinum Certified that makes me feel good.
OS: Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7. That's about it. All the stupid stuff about the OS can be fixed with StartIsBack, so I've got no problems with it at all. Buy StartIsBack, it's extremely worth it!
Monitors: This was the hardest decision. I was originally looking into "thin-bezel" monitors since it would be ideal for a triple setup. Then I realized that they had a thin frame, but still a standard spaced bezel (black space). It took me quite a while deciding on good monitors while staying in budget, and I finally decided on these. The best TN panel out there, 120hz for gaming (3D is a dumb gimmick in my opinion), and very high quality with a very slick look. I love them to death, they are fantastic so far.
Converter: The converter is so I can run all 3 monitors at 120hz. Monitor 1 is plugged into one 780s DVI-D port, monitor 2 is plugged into the other 780s DVI-D port, and monitor 3 is plugged into a DVI-D cable which is plugged into the converter which is plugged into the DisplayPort of a 780.
Keyboard and Mouse: I couldn't fit new ones into my budget. I've had the Logitech MX Revolution set for a few years now which has treated me nicely. Next month I'll be upgrading to the Corsair K70 and (probably) the Corsair M60. These will do for now.
Custom Sleeved Cables: Went with red and black since that was the color scheme I ended up going with for this build (even the monitors). Ensourced was referenced to me by another guy who I saw using custom cables on this site. He was very helpful with which cables to get and his prices are very nice! I definitely recommend him, check him out!
Canadian taxes are a ***** to pay.
Explanation behind the build name: Soundwave is my favorite Transformer (I'm a very big fan of the 80's cartoon), and Soundblaster is his later version who's color scheme is red and black.
Been almost a year and a half since I built this beast. Had a few updates since then!
Keyboard: I wanted the Corsair K70 w/ Cherry MX Browns. But I wanted the black keyboard with red LEDs, which at the time of needing a keyboard upgrade they didn't have. All they had were silver and gunmetal with blue LEDs, which I didn't like. So I ended up getting the Logitech G710+, which has brown switches and it's mostly black in color. LEDs are boring white, and less selection then the K70, but oh well.
Mouse: Corsair M65, good mouse all around. My everyday use DPI is 2550. Doesn't really stray far from there.
Speakers: I was looking around online, trying to find a good set of speakers. Nearly everything I found that was somewhat affordable looked like trash, and had a lot of mixed reviews. The latest Logitech speakers had bad reviews, too, in comparison to their older product: The Z-5500. From my research online, these speakers are absolutely fantastic. They released back in 2004, and many people STILL have their sets from then, working fantastically. Every product released since then has faded in comparison to the no-longer-available Z-5000 speakers. You can find some at high prices online such as ebay. While I didn't end up finding any affordable Z-5500s, I did find the next best thing: The Z5300 set. The set that was one notch down from the Z-5500s. I found them not too far from my city on Kijiji (Canadian Craigslist alternative) for $100. Not bad! They are fantastic, the sub is great and the augmented surround is really good!
Headset: I had some aspirations for some really cool YouTube video ideas, but I never got around to actually doing it. But in my excitement I upgraded my headset significantly! This is the same one Sips used to use, the Audio Technica BPHS1. Oh boy, this was a hassle. I ordered it alongside the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. However, I didn't realize that I had bought the BPHS1-XF4 version. XF4, it still hurts to think about it. I was stupid and just assumed it was some extra numbers tacked on to the end for no reason. So when I got my 2i2 and headset, I couldn't do crap. The XF4 uses a five pin XLR female input. Whereas the standard BPHS1 uses a three pin XLR male input. So when I tried to plug the female input into the female 2i2 connection, you can guess what was going wrong. I ended up having to wait over a month longer and endless emails to purchase the correct cable to change out for my headset, and by that time I had lost my motivation for the YouTube video idea. Either way, I have it now and it's great!
Headset Padding: Now, the BPHS1's biggest downfall is it is VERY uncomfortable! The standard padding it comes with is very thing, and hurts the head very quick. I was watching a Tek Syndicate video about headphones from Mayflower Electronics, which used good headphones and added custom padding onto it. So I shot Mayflower an email, and asked if I could send in my BPHS1 to get custom padding. They sent me a quote, I sent them the headset, and a few weeks later it came in a VERY, VERY comfortable state! I can't recommend Mayflower enough!
Air Purifier: Okay, I know, this isn't really much of a computer item. But I did actually buy it for my PC. I figured it would collect dust and help retain as much dust getting into my PC. I also ended up using it to cool me down in the summer. Either way, I don't know how well it's actually worked for what I bought it for. But I assume it's working.
BACK-UPS: I bought the APC Back-UPS Pro 1500. It's got a power capacity of 856 Watts / 1500 VA. It is awesome, I gotta say. It was the only one that had enough output capacity to handle my huge build and monitors and speakers and so on. However, it has "Master" and "Controlled by Master" outlets. So my PC is the Master, and all 3 of monitors as well as my speakers are "Controlled by Master". So when my PC goes into sleep or shuts down, all my monitors and speakers are automatically cut off from power. It's a very nice time saver. The Platinum PSU and the Back-UPS work very well hand in hand to save my electricity bill!
Printer: Just bough it on Boxing Day 60% with a gift card from my job. It's good, pretty standard for a printer. It connects via wi-fi to my router, and my PC is wired to the modem so it connects wirelessly to the printer.
As you can see, I've also upgraded my desk chair to the Platinum Stripe Edition! It's some serious top-notch quality we got right there.
And that's my current update! My SSD is almost out of space, I plan to hopefully buy a 500GB 850 Pro. We shall see.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core||$599.99||(Purchased)|
|CPU Cooler||Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid||$99.99||(Purchased)|
|Motherboard||Asus Rampage IV Formula ATX LGA2011||$375.00||(Purchased)|
|Memory||G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1866||$164.98||(Purchased)|
|Storage||Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" SSD||$248.99||(Purchased)|
|Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM||$67.99||(Purchased)|
|Video Card||Asus GeForce GTX 780 3GB DirectCU II||$729.99||(Purchased)|
|Asus GeForce GTX 780 3GB DirectCU II||$729.99||(Purchased)|
|Case||Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black) ATX Mid Tower||$79.99||(Purchased)|
|Power Supply||SeaSonic 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V||$259.99||(Purchased)|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit)||$139.99||(Purchased)|
|Monitor||BenQ XL2420T 24.0"||$304.00||(Purchased)|
|BenQ XL2420T 24.0"||$304.00||(Purchased)|
|BenQ XL2420T 24.0"||$304.00||(Purchased)|
|Mouse||Corsair Vengeance M65 Wired Laser||$54.99||(Purchased)|
|Custom||Corsair Air Series SP120 120mm PWM Quiet Edition High Static Pressure Fan (Twin Pack)||$39.99||(Purchased)|
|DisplayPort to DVI Video Adapter Converter||$23.99||(Purchased)|
|Ensourced Custom Sleeved Cables||$86.08||(Purchased)|
|Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Digital Recording Interface||$107.86||(Purchased)|
|Audio Technica BPHS1||$201.44||(Purchased)|
|APC Back-UPS Pro 1500||$199.95||(Purchased)|
|Sharp Plasmacluster Air Purifier||$189.99||(Purchased)|
|Mayflower Custom Headset Padding||$91.81||(Purchased)|
|Date Built||Sept. 17, 2013|
|Performance Preset Score||P18784|