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Build

Soundblaster (The Decepticon)

by 794

133
81 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Built

Sept. 17, 2013

CPU Clock Rate

4.0GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

34.5° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

58.3° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

889MHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6.01Ghz

Description

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.

-UPDATE 2015-

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.

Comments Sorted by:

theonelonewolf 1 Build 8 points 19 months ago

Great build. Sucks about the taxes and BIOS chip... ASUS should just include that thing.

Your PSU needs flipped over, it's currently stealing air from your lower 780 and it's warmer air form inside the case as opposed to cooler air from outside.

794 submitter 1 Build 3 points 19 months ago

Oh, never knew about the PSU thing. Thanks! I'll change it soon.

theonelonewolf 1 Build 2 points 19 months ago

No worries, easy thing to miss when all excited about building and getting stuff in, especially first builds. You got my +1 though!

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks! Glad you liked it =D I'm loving it!

smokerising 1 point 14 months ago

Actually it doesn't need to be flipped over this is choice. While this is warmer air so your PSU won't run as cold(usually not a problem unless you get a POS) it can help with the cooling of your case. Also if you don't have an air filter on the bottom of your case(this one does of course) I would always recommend having it flipped up likewise if your on a high pile carpet.

DjArtifact 4 points 19 months ago

No soundblaster card?

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

haha no =p would be pretty fitting, though!

RyneSmith 7 Builds 3 points 19 months ago

Very nice I've been waiting for an SLI setup in the Arc Midi 2 from someone and I love it! Outstanding job my friend

Congrats on your first build and great explanation on the parts

Starlana 2 Builds 3 points 19 months ago

So, did you send Canada one of your nuts along with those taxes, damn. But nice build, I +1 you.

Really2n2 2 points 19 months ago

Tip one: point the power supply fan down so your video card won't ''suck'' in heat air. Tip two: donate 2,000 to me :D

actually no, it's a very cool build though! got my like

theonelonewolf 1 Build 2 points 19 months ago

Right tip, wrong reason. The PSU exhausts out the back and intakes from the bottom (or as it's currently set up, the top).

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks for the PSU tip. I'll change that soon!

marcokleinrossi 1 Build 2 points 19 months ago

good look getting out of the house now. nicely done, love seeing these extreme builds

TheError66 1 Build 2 points 19 months ago

Wow. I'm at a loss of words. What really got me was your cable sleeving. That ****'s nice. I'm planning on sleeving my cables for my next build. Good tip, flip the psu, other than that,+10 if I could on this. Beautiful build.

794 submitter 1 Build 2 points 19 months ago

Sleeved cables are definitely worth it! Completely for looks but very sexy!

And yeah I'll flip my PSU =p Thanks for the compliments!

JoeyThePCNoob 2 Builds 2 points 19 months ago

wow, simply amazing build. great job. +1

RedPhoneBooth 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Hot sauce

JakeyU72 3 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Holy ****.

Norm101 3 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Stunning!

18hockey 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Wow! neat cable management, I love red/black color schemes. Clean that keyboard :P

WickedRG 1 point 19 months ago

omg this is such and amazing build and im am so jealous because u have the money to but this beast!!! how are those benq's?? they are amazing right? the whole build is co clean other than that keyboard XD +1 bud nice build!!!!

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

The BenQs are very nice! Best TN panel out there, I don't have any issues with viewing angles from the sides. Love em! And yeah the keyboard is pretty old I'll have my K70 soon!

WickedRG 1 point 19 months ago

yea i have a k90 and i ****** love it.. it is so nice you wont be disappointed once again i love the build man!!!

SigBuildsaPC 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

I've been thinking about getting a 120/144 hz monitor. Do you think I should just go with the BenQ? Nice build too :)

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

120hz is only useful for 3D (which I don't care for), or smoother movements (which is what I wanted). However, due to driver issues I seem to not be able to run at 120hz right now. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

As for BenQ, these monitors are definitely very nice! But this doesn't mean ALL there models are nice. I was planning on getting some 27" BenQ monitors that were on sale but reviews weren't the greatest or at least as good as I wanted them to be. I strongly encourage doing as much research as you can when deciding on a monitor! It's one of the most important things because it's what you'll be looking at all the time. So make sure you look up every monitors pros and cons and reviews and make an educated decision. It's challenging to find a balance of budget and quality.

SigBuildsaPC 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks for the reply! I have been looking at different monitors for a long time now. 1080p 120hz or IPS, or 1440p, OR one of those Korean monitors. I still don't know what I want, but I think 1080p is good enough for me, as it'll be an upgrade from what I'm using now (1600x1200 lol). I've looked at the Asus VG248QE which is also 144hz, and it seems to have a better response time, and integrated speakers. Only a few bucks more.

Choosing a monitor really isn't easy though :P

794 submitter 1 Build 2 points 19 months ago

Yeah while 1440p is quite cool, I don't think technology is quite caught up to them yet to be the new standard. Since I was planning on running triple monitors, I only wanted 1080p since running triple 1440p would be VERY costly to the hardware. Soon enough we'll be at the point where running triple 1440p monitors at 120fps or so will be normal, but not quite yet.

Kbur215 1 point 19 months ago

This build is pure awesome. I'm still a little confused about the display port thing. The 780's 2 dvi ports are both dual-link except one is a DVI-D while the other is a DVI-I. From what I understand, the DVI-I also can support analog through the four pin holes around the flat far left-side but also supports dual-link as long as it has the the 6 holes in the middle. but I could be missing something. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface

Also, put your middle monitor as the lone connection to one of the 780's that way, if you want, you can toggle SLI max settings to your one middle monitor and then back to surround.

794 submitter 1 Build 2 points 19 months ago

Finally got around to flipping my PSU and changing up how I had my monitors plugged in. Looks like we were right, I can plug a monitor into a DVI-I port with a DVI-D cable and it can transfer 120hz. So the guy that sold me the converter wasted $25 of mine. Either way, I got all 3 monitors running at 120hz in surround now!

There really needs to be a place on the internet with more information on this. Everywhere you look has no actual answer.

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

I think you may be right, but it's all very confusing. I did hours and hours of research on this subject and nothing ever came up with surefire results. I also discovered the both my monitors and the 780s have DisplayPort 2.0 which supports 120hz.

Thanks for the tip!

cam313 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Sick build my friend! Very similar to mine, but you stepped your game up even more so! +1, I love it. Very jealous of your triple monitor setup

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks! It's pretty awesome =D

thezac2613 1 point 19 months ago

Which guy did your custom sleeved cables?

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

It was Ensourced Custom Sleeved Cables! Unless you mean the specific guy there, I think it was Joe.

ilian11 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

This rig make me drooooool! Glad to see your chair choice, I love mine, lol!

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Haha yeah got the chair at Costco for $120!

chopper4 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Good job man! Nice build! The only thing I would have done differently is going with Radeon GPU's but that's just my preference.

Great job!

794 submitter 1 Build 3 points 19 months ago

I decided to take the Nvidia route because while AMD is typically cheaper and can push harder, Nvidia seems more reliable. But they're all so close anyways, doesn't even matter that much these days.

chopper4 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Yeah, it really just comes down to what you like more

kozarman 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

562.94 in taxes! Almost worth another 780

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

I know, it's completely insane! Bah, government.

kozarman 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Does this case have spot for a SSD behind the motherboard? I noticed you didn't use it. Love this build, good part selection and nice attention to detail. But I bet you had a hard time getting that back panel on lol ;)

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Yes, there is space for an SSD there! I just didn't use it because I'm not exactly running out of space. And yeah hahaha, it was quite a tight fit back there! But the metal is good quality material and does not bend at all!

SnakeBox 1 point 19 months ago

Nice build! What headphones are on your desk?

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

That would be the PlayStation Headset. It's actually very nice, regardless of if you like PlayStation or not! I've been using it for years and they haven't lost any quality to them (besides the ear padding starting to deteriorate after all this time).

Nexodus 1 point 19 months ago

This is an OP build. I was looking to get the same motherboard for my own build, but the BIOS complications you had are disturbing, so i did some research. I can try to use a flash drive "Bios flashback" support system by downloading the .cap file with my laptop, or i can just buy a BIOS chip like you did, which seems easier to me as ill purchase all my parts simultaneously anyway, and add that task to the build. The website lists a bunch of different chips for separate motherboard series though, and i'm unsure which chip is for this particular mobo. Can you advise?

Nexodus 1 point 19 months ago

Also, I will be using W7 Pro OS and Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme CPU, if that makes a difference o_o

Nexodus 1 point 19 months ago

Ifink i solved my own problem lol. I should be buying the "BIOS Chip for ROG/TUF Series Motherboards". I found the chip so ill just add that to my buy list for the build :3

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Yes, that is correct. It should have a drop down list to where you select the specific motherboard. Definitely get that chip! The BIOS flashback won't work because that's what I was talking about having to convert which it can't. Enjoy your build!

imran7799 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Hey, Great build dude. I am planning to build a desktop (for the first time) for myself. I with same CPU(Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core) as yours. I am really confused in choosing motherboard between RAMPAGE IV EXTREME (Same as yours) P9X79 DELUXE SABERTOOTH X79

Can you please tell me why you chose RAMPAGE IV EXTREME over the other two. and does this board have Bluetooth and WiFi built in ?

imran7799 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

This is what my build looks like at moment.

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/1QRxY

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Well mine is the Rampage IV Formula (ATX instead of E-ATX), but no I don't believe either of them have bluetooth or WiFi built in.

I personally like the colors of the Rampage boards better, and the ROG line is more tuned for gaming.

Here is a direct comparison of the two:

http://motherboard.findthebest.com/compare/57-501/ASUS-P9X79-DELUXE-vs-ASUS-Rampage-IV-Extreme

imran7799 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks for the response.

BASSIC_RZ 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

nice sleaving

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks! The guy makes great sleeved cables.

swainey 1 point 18 months ago

How are the benq monitors I heard people say the colours are washed out is this true what do you think of the monitors?

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 18 months ago

I'm not a videophile and personally I see nothing at all wrong with them. They are great!

GMANCLAN 1 point 18 months ago

Great Build but the only sad thing is, that if you had waited a couple of months, you could have gotten those 780's for like 200 bucks less a piece, then you could have gotten some really nice peripherals .

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 18 months ago

I would have gotten SLI 780ti's actually =p But hey, this is a part of building computers! New deals and hardware roll out within weeks if not days of making a new build!

Chuk 1 point 18 months ago

This is Nerd3's computer, only at the size of a Dell Optiplex

Annthrax 1 Build 1 point 18 months ago

im doing a build with the same cpu and mother board in the near future what bios chip do i need to buy so i wont have the same problem

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 18 months ago

http://us.estore.asus.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3890

Just click the model name tab and scroll down and select the Rampage IV Formula!

johndebeer 1 point 17 months ago

how much was that budget u were talkin about? lol.

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Haha well I didn't get 3 titans, huh? xD

adzguy 1 point 16 months ago

Sick build man! Question -- not about the hardware really --, is that a Razer Vespula mouse pad, and if so, how did you get that custom graphic on it? Or did you somehow print it on there yourself?

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

It is in fact a Vespula! It was actually a special item around the time Transformers 3 came out. They had a bunch of Transformers themed stuff, and the Vespula was one such themed item! On the 2nd side it has a picture of Optimus. I just checked their website and it seems they no longer have it. I did, however, just find it on Amazon if you are interested!

http://www.amazon.ca/Razer-Transformers-Collectors-Dual-Sided-RZ02-00320200-R3U1/dp/B0057TG6DE

Josh_Grundon 1 point 15 months ago

gorgeous build, how are those monitors treating you? thinking of getting 1, let alone 3! haha, have fun with that beast! also, getting the same case and wondering what people that actually have it think of it? (yes i've read the description but still, always nice to hear) again, brilliant, clean and very understated build! love it! +1

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Hey, thanks! The monitors are great. The positional customization is fantastic! They slide up and down, rotate 360 degrees, and angle up/down/left/right. Tons of options for positioning it. I'm not much of a "videophile" or whatever, so I can't say much about the really insane details of coloring and balancing. But to me, they all look great.

The case is pretty good, nice and simple! It was easy to work with, and I love the ability to take out those hard drive bays for extra space. Thanks for the +1!

Josh_Grundon 1 point 15 months ago

No problem, and thanks so much for the info, planning on doing my first build soon with that case! Thanks again and no prob man :D

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Looking forward to seeing it!

Josh_Grundon 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks! I look forward to building it! :D

Graestone45 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

You might want to think about wiping that keyboard soon.

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

It's since been replaced with a Logitech G710+. Pretty sweet.

Graestone45 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Haha lol. Nice build +1

[comment deleted by staff]
794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Lovely world we live in, isn't it?

AlexVsGaming 1 point 12 months ago

Thats awesome two 780's can triple monitors

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Definitely! Runs all games pretty good spanning all 3 monitors. Battlefield 4 is pretty okay at ultra settings across all 3, but I get the best FPS playing on medium settings, which is still pretty good.

NovicePCBuild 1 point 9 months ago

I have the same keyboard but I'm going to get a corsair k70 mechanical keyboard

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Oh nice yeah I got the Logitech G710+. Wanted the K70 but they didn't have it in cherry brown MX switches until after I bought the G710+ >_<

frostmourne7 1 point 3 months ago

(if you haven't tried it yet)

you think you can push pull the h100i on the top radiator?

thanks!

794 submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Hmmm not sure! I really need to figure out a better way to cool my system. I should be able to get way better overclock temps with the H100i than I currently am.