Description

Commissioned in 2014, the Normandy is commanded by Commander Michael S. The goal of the Normandy was to replace Commander Mike's outdated Alienware M18x which utilized technology from the year 2011 when it was commissioned. His old rig had seen many battles, but the updated tech of today's games finally brought it down and put the old GTX 460Ms to their knees. Commander Mike needed a new vessel to lead him to victory. He debated on whether to replace the SSV Alienware with another of the same model, but decided that since his old rig was being used as a desktop replacement instead of a mobile platform, that he would instead seek to build his own ship and forgo the mobility his old one offered. The goal of his upcoming build was to absolutely demolish any game he came across for the next 2 to 3 years and allow for updated tech to easily be swapped in when needed, all while looking good doing it. Commander Mike chose a color scheme of black and red to best replicate the colors of his favorite series to date, Mass Effect, and would eventually christen the new rig with the name of "Normandy" in honor of the vessel his fellow Commander Shepard would pilot to victory in that same series.

Much like its namesake, the Normandy is filled with the latest tech. Two of nearly the best GPUs were selected as its main weapons, this machine is able to reach speeds well beyond that of others her size. The twin GeForce GTX 970s each use Twin Frozr V to easily destroy any games thrown at them.

The Normandy's IES (internal emission sink) stealth fan system is one of her most notable features. Comprised of 3 Noctua NF-F12 fans up front capable of pushing 55 CFM of air each, the Normandy is able to cool her dual GPUs easily, even in a mid tower case known for its ability to hold in heat when operating under load.

The build of the Normandy lasted a total of 2 days and went quite smoothly, with only a couple bumps in the road. Most notable of the issues faced was the USB 3.0 location on the motherboard interfering with the angled back panel in the NZXT case which led to a bent pin that had to be adjusted. Even with this interference, everything loaded up smoothly first time. The AI driving the machine is a copy of Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, installed via USB 3.0 thumb-drive. Overclocking is controlled via the provided MSI software, and with the Corsair H100i heat sink the Intel i7 4790k was able to achieve stable speeds of 4.6 GHz @ 1.3v. GPUs maintain stock clock rates at the moment until further testing.

Overall, the build of the N7 Normandy has been a complete success.

Comments

  • 60 months ago
  • 4 points

carpet is not a good place to build a pc...

  • 60 months ago
  • 5 points

Been doing this for 20 years and have never had issues with static. I make sure to properly ground myself and wear appropriate gear. :)

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Rubber boots!

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

When i build pc's i wear my combat boots, everyone is like, get off the carpet, but i've never had a problem with static

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

im new to building pcs well new to pc gaming why is it bad to build on carpets? and what gear is appropriate for doing this

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

Love the Mass Effect theme haha! +1

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

Thank you! I had fun building it and writing about it :D I still plan on covering over the bottom of the PSU cover so that only "N7" glows instead of "NZXT".

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

I feel like I'm reading a codex lol. Nice build!

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow dude very nice build. I went for a red and black theme myself until the gigabyte windforce logo on the 970s messed it up :-D. That h440 is sick lookin makes me think about nzxt for a case where I never have before. What do those msi 970s boost to out of the box?

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

How do you like the MSI Gaming 5? I'm torn between it and the Asus Maximus VII Hero.

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

Personally, I would go for the Hero, but if you really want to save $60-ish, then the MSI is a great alt. I don't know about the overclocking abilities of the MSI, but my Dad's old build has the Maximus VI Hero, the previous gen, and he keeps his 3930k running at 4.4ghz@ 1.2-ish volts.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

So far I'm absolutely loving it. Their BIOS setup is so simple to use and blew me away with how sleek it is. Overclocking can be as simple as clicking a button in the BIOS and the board does all the rest, yet you also have the ability to tweak all settings that you want from within the BIOS as well as in Windows. The on-board sound-blaster audio is fantastic as well. Highs sing clearly and the bass rocks my house.

When it came to choosing a board, I spent nearly a week before I finalized my choice. I poured over stats of all brands, Asus, ASROCK, MSI, etc... and the Asus Maximus VII Hero was a top contender. What it boiled down to was the Asus didn't offer much over the MSI board that was worth the extra price to me. Reviews of both boards are exceptionally positive, but I was finding more DOAs from Asus than MSI. I've had multiple MSI boards in the past and never had an issue with them, so that positive experienced helped ease my mind. Also, it has a dragon on it.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the replies all. I went with the MSI Gaming 7 today mostly because it was on sale today for 149.00... and of course the dragon :)

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

asus maximus vii bro looks awesome and is a beast of a motherboard its the same as i have in this build too

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Bro. Whoa.

+1, love the story, and the parts selection was pretty flawless. There is loads of room for expansion in the Future. I love this Case, but I've been wondering about how hot the 970's get when under load. I'm planning on getting a very simmilar setup, but I don't really have that many good sources. Thanks a lot in advance.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! So far the highest I've seen the 970s get is 70C and ~64C. A little high, maybe, but still not close to their limits. I've been looking a bit into a full water cooled setup which I plan on doing next year sometime and really pushing them.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a lot cooler than my Dad's R9 280X! When playing Tf2 (By no means a game that requires a lot of Strength) the fans are turned up to full speed and the card is 82C+. It's getting anoyying, so could you have a look at my parts list and see if there's anything you would change? It is a $2000 investment, and I want to make sure that it's worth it from someone with experience. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, and thanks so much in advance. :3

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

H440 are crap no optical

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Never put components on outside of anti static bag, it is only anti static from inside!!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

im new to pc gaming/building do you have any tips for myself when building my rig not to kill my components or myself during this procedure

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

What are your temps for this build? Im looking to upgrade my case, add another 970 and as well my Mobo to the gaming 5

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

I need some help, im getting an msi r9 390x, and currently i have an asus z97-a mobo, should i get a msi mobo or stick with the one i have currently