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.
|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)|
|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)|
|Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor|
|CPU Clock Rate||3.4GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||32.0° C|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||-|
|Performance Preset Score||P18784|