Description

Built primarily for ARMA III but also to replace a 7 year old ASUS based 9550 Phenom build.

It can be a pain to set up the ROG RAIDR for the first time, trying to get its RAID array created, but still install Windows 8.1 into a native UEFI bootloader. It took a lot of trial and error and watching lots of JJ's PC DIY videos, but I finally figured it out. I started out with 16GB of RAM, but added another 16GB when I decided to experiment with the DIMMDrive RAM DISK software. Pretty neat stuff; I'm getting almost 6,000 MB/s large file read rates, prior to any system optimization. Hopefully that will translate to some real-world benefits in ARMA III. The Aerocool Strike X case is very unique, and has its own quirks, but the final product looks great. Fairly poor workmanship though - the back plane of the case was not perfectly 90 deg square to the floor, so I had to remove some screws and bend it more vertical, then drill new screw holes...otherwise there was a big gap between the mobo rear interface panel and the Strike X panel opening. The right side was riveted, so I just left that alone. Really like the ASUS Maximus VI Formula board so far. ROG Striker 760 GTX Platinum will be the GPU, once it is released in a few days [NO, SEE UPDATES BELOW]. Also enjoying the ASUS AI Suite III software and other bundled apps. The 500 GB WD drives are in RAID 0 for swap files, cache files, and DIMMDrive images. There is also a single 320 GB drive for pictures and data. The Cooler Master V8 GTS is ungodly huge, but no problems installing RAM or fitting into the Strike X air case. Still waiting for the ROG Front Base to arrive, it will be installed above the optical drive. Track IR Pro head tracker installed onto Razer Tiamat 7.1 headphones, also pictured is the Mad Catz F.L.Y. 5 joystick.

5/22/14 UPDATE: Apparently the WD Black desktop drives don't like RAID...the array has failed. So I have reformatted them to standard data drives. I've also deleted the swap file all together. Just don't think I need it with 32GB RAM. Also yanked out the old 320 GB drive...after running speed some tests, it's just too slow for anything- it's going back into my old tower. Maybe I will replace with a SSD in the future. Looking back, buying the two WD 500 GB drives for a RAID0 array was a waste. But at least I have a Terabyte of reliable storage space.

Just purchased the Corsair K70 (with red LED backlighting of course). I choose Cherry MX brown switches. Had to ditch the wireless Logitech K800 softdome keyboard for this rig!

5/26/14 UPDATE: 1 month after ordering from an outfit in Korea, the ROG Front Base is now installed (see new pics). Due to the odd 'terraced' stacking of the 5.25 drive bays in the Strike One case, I had to drill my own mounting holes to get the alignment I wanted. I also remounted the DVD drive to be in vertical alignment with the front base. That leaves some nice room to place your cell phone for charging off the Front Base.

Also added another small red LED interior case fan so now all 4 motherboard controlled fans are active (AI Suite III).

Just waiting for the ROG Platinum Striker 760 GTX to become available...should be any minute now. [SEE UPDATES BELOW]

5/28/14 UPDATE: Thanks to some very helpful builders here on PCPartsPicker.com, I have decided to 'up the ante" and get the ASUS GTX 780 TI DirectCU II GPU. Been waiting patiently for the ROG Striker, but it appears to be delayed...which has given me time to rethink things. The 780 GTX Ti DirectCU II card makes the most bang for the buck sense, and will pair nicely with the rest of the hardware. Yea, I wish it was a Matrix ROG card for this build, but I have a feeling the price point on that card will be quite a bit higher than what I got the DirectCu II card for.

5/30/14 UPDATE: ASUS GTX 780 Ti DirectCu II video card is now installed and running fantastically. Ran over 100 FPS (average) on the Heaven benchmark, and I am getting around 60 FPS on ARMA III with everything maxed at a decent draw distance. New pics added. Note that one of the green lights on the first power plug is not lit up... I believe it's just a bad solder joint on the first green LED. Both red LEDs work fine, and the card seems to be running as normal. BTW, with this beast of a video card installed, you can no longer completely close the lid on the Aerocool Strike-X-Air... You have to run it propped open horizontal (table top)...which is no biggie, or let it rest on the video card (which looks fine BTW).

As a side note, I got a pretty good ground loop buzz when using the ROG Front Base headphone jack with the new 780 Ti video card is running hard. The buzz is directly related to the FPS of the video card...probably because of the separated nature compartments of this non-standard case design. Regardless, I just plugged the headphones into the rear panel and the buzz went away. If I were to pursue using the ROG Front Base headphone jack, I would try adding some ground lines from component to component, chassis piece to chassis piece. It's a shame too, since the Front Base comes with that fancy-dancy shielded connection cable.

Corsair K70 is an awesome keyboard and suits this build perfectly...great to type on too. Best keyboard I've ever owned. Thanks guys!

5/31/14 UPDATE: Painted the video card's fan shroud candy apple red (to mimic red anodizing)... it's all ROG'd up! Came out pretty decent. Also re-soldered the green LED on the power plug status light, and it now works! The LED was not soldered down on one side. Build is officially complete!

7/5/14 UPDATE: I have ditched the Razer Tiamat 7.1 headphones and purchased the V-MODA Crossfade LP headphones (with add-on boom mic). I bought the chrome version, so that I could paint them with the same paint as I used on the video card. Great headphones, outstanding sound quality, comfortable, and not too pricey. Highly recommended.

Comments

  • 67 months ago
  • 15 points

I like it cause it's original. +1

  • 67 months ago
  • 3 points

That was a big part of my goal here, I like being somewhat unique...but I'm sure a lot of other guys are using the same hardware as me...I've been loving the ASUS ROG line. This seemed like the perfect case to show off the armored Maximus VI Formula board.

  • 67 months ago
  • 4 points

Its gotta be a pain in the @$$ to keep the dust off though

  • 67 months ago
  • 4 points

We'll see! Let's hope my wife doesn't go poking the vacuum attachment or feather duster in there! A lot has to do with your environment, I'm in the dusty desert, with a dog in the house, so I am going to keep a close eye on the dust build up. If you think about it though, a tower can get pretty dusty too, but who wants to take it all apart to clean it? At least with this set up, you can get to everything very easy. I've hear some guys put a box over it at night, but I'm not going that far.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

True. I have kind of a similar set up with a Half XB (lots of air flow and open vents.) I tried to run it with out the stock dust filter because it was such a pain to take of and clean. I was shocked at how fast the dust and dog hair built up. Anyways, cool build and hope you enjoy it.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

A simple can of compressed air should make cleaning much easier. They aren't very expensive either.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes indeed, always have those on hand...So far the dust hasn't been too problematic...I can see a bit on top of the big fan perf screen (in the shape of a circle)...It will be time for a dust-off soon!

  • 67 months ago
  • 6 points

That is a badass case! +1

  • 67 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks man, it sure is fun to look at, and really easy to work on everything. It's a nice change coming from a giant (and ancient) Thermaltake Kandalf case, which has gone through 3 rebuilds!

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 67 months ago
  • 6 points

no Asus DVD drive?

  • 67 months ago
  • 4 points

At this point I probably should get an ASUS optical drive to make everything match! That Pioneer is actually pretty new, and it came out of my old tower (which still has a non burner Blu Ray drive in it). Just couldn't justify the purchase of a third BD drive in the house!

  • 67 months ago
  • 3 points

Great build! I love the look of the case(is that what I should call it?)and I'm glad to see that someone chose to build with it :)

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

I think most people are calling these "Open Air Cases" or "test bench cases". But this Aerocool Strike X Air is not really a heavy duty test bench case like some I've seen. It's not really transportable, and I think it would need more heavy duty/precision construction to be considered for hard core bench testing. Thanks for the good words!

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

I can't help thinking it would be a cool little mod project to change that blue power led to red...

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

That's a great idea, and I've got some Red LEDs in my electronics box. The blue does stand out! Good thing about this case, I should be able to get at the power switch easily. Cheers!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

no problem!!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

WOW this is really awesome

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks much for the good words!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

dat case...meesa want

+over 9000

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Let me know if you have any problems with it, I'm pretty familiar with the oddities of it now...

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

A GTX 760 for this machine? instead of the expensive version of the 760, just get the normal DirectCuII 770 for better performance.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the input man - I know there are better choices out there for the money, and I even asked JJ if I should hold off for any other ROG cards coming soon...but right now, for this ROG show-off rig, the newest 760 GTX Platinum Striker is going in. If it sucks hard, I will sell it. I have a ASI 7970 laying around that probably is slightly better than the Striker, but I can't get myself to install that old thing into my new PC...LOL

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Nah- that's a ridiculous statement man. There are easier gains to be had by newer graphics cards that come out over time. Why the hell would I handicap myself right off the bat by not building a system around a higher level Intel chip that is more gamer/tweaker orientated? The price difference between an i5 and an i7 is a whopping $84 bucks. The ROG Striker will be $309, and the Matrix GTX 780Ti is almost $800! That's a much harder choice to make than "i5 vs i7"! You aren't thinking in the long term. I don't plan on building another $3000 computer next year when the newest, greatest Intel chip comes out. However, I have no problem upgrading video cards over the years. The GPU can easily be changed out in a few minutes, but the CPU, motherboard, and its peripherals cannot. Believe me, if the Striker 760 GTX isn't up to the task, then I'll sell it, get a good chunk of my money back and re-invest it in ASUS' next newest GPU offering. JJ wouldn't tell me what that is, so for now, this will hold me over.

  • 67 months ago
  • -2 points

More "Gamer/tweaker oriented". You clearly don't understand CPUs at all. The only difference between the i5 and i7 is hyperthreading, which virtually no games take advantage of, and even the ones that do don't get much of a gain from it. Both are overclockable (the 4670k and 4770k, that is), so both are "tweaker oriented". The reality is that an i7 will only really be beneficial once you already have two high end GPUs, and even then it isn't necessary. You are blatantly throwing away money, as for the price of the "uber-nuclear-gamer-bling-covered" 760 you plan to get, you could grab a mainstream model 280x or 770, for FAR superior performance. Bottom line, an i7 isn't practical when paired with a medium-end video card.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

BTW, I do in fact perform other CPU intensive activities besides gaming. Regardless, is the i7 in anyway shape or form a worse choice than the i5 (disregarding price)? For the price difference it's an obvious decision to me. Thank you for your concerns though, on how I spend my money. Maybe I should just get two Strikers in SLi to make you happy (or fully pissed off?). Anyways, whoever said building a $3000 'bling' PC was practical? :)

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I think he's talking about the ROG MARS 760. The dual GPU card.

  • 67 months ago
  • 0 points

That's already out. I think he just might not have much common sense, and is pairing an i7 with a 760.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah he is wasting his money. I would honestly get the ROG Matrix GTX 780Ti if he really wants an ROG build. 760 just doesn't make any sense.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

This. And the PCI-E SSD. Just.... Whaat?

[comment deleted]
  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't see the front base in any of these pictures.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

He is waiting on it. :-)

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Ordered it from a Korean outlet a few weeks ago...it's taking forever to get here! I will update with better pics once it and a few other little things are installed (another small chassis fan and some LED lighting).

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Pictures added!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Forget the platinum, get dat Mars card, that would look nice! And wow what a price for an ssd, although it wasnt as fast as thought it would be, still fast though, but for 3x price i want 3x speed. This is a cool build, very different. +1 wait you mean the rog matrix 780ti, right. if so get dat.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Just for a novelty, a really small open itx case would be cool, tiny little case with a d-14 comin up out of it.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea, the Mars is still on the table (no need for the Poseidon since I'm not doing any water cooling), but the cost of the Mars is double the Striker Platinum 760 GTX...gettin broke quick on this build! I'm only doing 2560x1080 right now, so I think the Striker will work...plus, it's the latest red n' black model out for the ROG fan-boy in you...Latest isn't always greatest, but at least it's the latest! hahaha

Yea, the RAIDR is a pain to set up for UEFI, and it's expensive no doubt. It was another ROG marketing success on their part. Looks great, does a decent job at being a storage device, and did I mention it looks great too?

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

That case is sick

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man-

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

ok... if I buy that test bench, where does the PSU fit in there, and is there any place to mount a little closed loop water cooler?

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

PSU goes in the lower rear section of the hard drive tunnel. It's kinda weird but you attach a quick-release bracket to the PSU and slide it in until it clicks. It comes with three of these brackets so you can swap out various PSU's quick. There is a rail on the back edge of the case for mounting liquid cooling stuff or anything else.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for the case. I've seen it locally and was immediately stuck by how unique it looked. Has to be noisy though. It's good to see someone using it and who took the time to match the appearance of so many parts.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

THANK YOU! Unique indeed! And with the ASUS AI Suite III keeping the processor and fans in check for basic browsing etc... it is DEAD quiet. When things kick in to an OC state, it still isn't that loud, and I'm usually wearing the headphones at that point anyways... but yea, this isn't the kind of computer you bury under your desk to muffle the sound LOL...talk about dust bunny issues!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

how fast is the pci e ssd?

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

The RAIDR is getting 414 MB/s writes, and 690 MB/s reads for large file sizes (8192k test). As a matter of comparison, I'm getting 1741 MB/s writes, and 5689 MB/s reads on my RAM drive for that same test. It's fun to have extra RAM!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm sorry Im not very with these stuff but how fast does the os boot

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

From pressing the power button on the case, I am into windows in about 17 seconds. I don't think that it is fast as it should be though. That said, sometimes I do a reset to get into the UEFI to make a change or something, and if I snooze on DEL/F2, it's already back into windows before I know it. Reboots are crazy fast.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL all of them are expensive as *** and then when you look to the right. YOU SEE A MOTHERFUDGING TRACKBALL!

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Hahaha, I switched over about 13 years ago, haven't looked back since. I play inverted mouse control too. LOL blows people's minds. Too much flight simming back in the day I guess - pull back is up! :)

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

That case has inspired me. +1

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent Build sir! Master Pls show me your Ways! lol

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Why thank you very much! It's been running great! Enjoying some 21:9 racing some now!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

You made a beautiful build and all I can focus is on that fantastic mouse... The Logitech Trackman Wheel. Why not paint that too? a black and red trackman would fit in just nice.

Now for the build, 500 GB HDD? Is there any particular reason for such small drives?

Something that would bug me is that the psu is not Seasonic or Rosewill... but that's mostly due to me being a fanboy.

In September, I would suggest either a ROG strix 780 or 780 ti for similar price (780 is 6 GB as the reasoning)

I think that if you wanted a strictly ASUS build you could have gone a bit farther with an ASUS blu-writer as the only improvement to go strictly ASUS. Otherwise it's a great build and will serve you well if dust is not a problem. For upgrades an 6 GB 780 ti would be useful whenver those come along (A 780 could be considered an upgrade too if 6GB) SLI would be viable but 3 GB Vram may hold it back.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for your comments!

I actually ditched the wireless trackman mouse because it has that nasty double click defect, and I cannot cure it easily. So I went back to the wired version which is in fact red and grey! It's too bad about the wireless version being so painfully flawed and no new version on the horizon.

Regarding the hard drives, I bought the two small 500GB hard drives to RAID 0 them as I have done in the past...but these WD blues don't like RAID and the array collapsed. Now I am just using them as independent storage drives for photos and docs. The games are now being installed on the OS hard-drive, the 240GB RAIDR drive...and I usually load them on to the 32GB of RAM with the DIMMDrive software anyways. It's working really well I must say.

I believe the power supply that I have is actually made by the same company that makes the Seasonic power supply, and I heard they are identical inside.

I have not heard about the 6GB 780 Strix ti yet, but that sounds interesting. I think I am OK for now, as the 3GB 780GTX Ti DCuII card is running fine with my single 2560x1080 monitor.

I understand about the bluray writer, as I just took the Pioneer out of my old computer since I had recently purchased the drive... it seemed silly to buy an ASUS burner in this case...but I may get an ASUS drive for this new computer anyways, since my old computer has been rebuilt into a ARMA server and I still use it for some photo editing.

I don't think I can SLi with this motherboard, because I have the RAIDR installed. I would prefer to keep it as a single video card solution too, as to bypass any technical issues with SLi systems (been there before!)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Just something to know about Seasonic; They are an OEM manufacturer and also sell their own units. There is a fair chance you have a rebranded Seasonic-made PSU inside.

My reasoning for considering a 6 GB version of the card is: a while ago this card called a GTX 580 came out. It had 1.5 and 3GB versions with 1.5 being cheaper. Many went with the 1.5 and... you know how much VRAM games use nowadays. Though with all of these rumors being released about the GTX 900 series I suggest waiting and letting the 700 series drop in price or get the new series. This applies to those who are making a new rig or upgrading.

I guess a 2 TB Raid 0 would work though by the time you fill up the 500 GBs 4 TB raid would be better yet.

I wonder if People will dislike this comment when I say this;

Trackball Master Race.

As a tip for your Master Race Mouse; (the wired one) Buy some micro switches for replacement, Those I found will go bad after about 3 years and 1000 hours of games, (All types basically) The part # is Omron D2FC-F-7N I found 10 for $3.47 Not bad for resurrecting a dying mouse.

I am not anticipating a wired version to exist sadly... yet. Logitech seems to not realize how great the wheel was.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for your comments. I did indeed by the XFX power supply knowing it was a Seasonics inside, and their good reputation included.

I haven't had any probs with the wired Trackman Wheel. I've got three of them at home, and two more at work which I've been using for at least 10 years now. No button failures. I can tell you though that the wireless trackman (that they still sell today) is a steaming pile. I'm sure you've read all the issues they have with bad switches and double clicks. Nobody is really sure what the underlying problem is, and the current ones sold are also defective. Damn shame, but I'm fine with wired, especially for gaming. Thanks for your comments!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

That paint job on the video card looks BAD A*S. +1 for that

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Did the fan come with thermal compound?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Good money wasted on those HDDs. No point in that if you already have a ssd. Shoulda bought a single 1tb hdd for like twice as cheap.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes a RAID 0 failure for sure, but nice safe, reliable hard drives for photos and stuff.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

whered you get the front base

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Yummy rog

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

You need to do some cable management around the desk but it's an awesome looking build.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

why the 780ti 3gb for $600? that seems very stupid. i know u are going for the asus ROG red theme but still man, a msi r9 380 or msi r9 390 is the answer at half that price u get a solid 8gb of VRAM!!!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

should've paid for a 27" 4k or 2560x1440 for $100 more, but sexy sexy build

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

a bit late to the party i know but are you not worried about creating an insulation layer with the paint on the graphics card panel?

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope not at all. Not any more insulation than any other coating a manufacture places on their parts.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

All I can say, is that it was a pain in the ***. I think I had to enable RAID in the system first, to establish the RAID 0 array. Then after MANY reboots and re-installs trying different combinations of settings (Windows secure boot on, off, Winows OS, non Windows OS option, RAIDR UEFI switch on/off), I finally was able to see the windows 8.1 installation screen show the RAIDR as a single UEFI installable drive. It took me 2 days straight to get it installed properly. I'm getting 414 MB/s write speeds and 690 MB/s read speed on large file sizes. What speeds were you expecting? My DIMMDrive RAMDisk numbers were about 8 times faster than the RAIDR (just FYI).

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't think UEFI had anything to do with read-write speeds? I think UEFI is just a new type of "BIOS", although I know you're not supposed to call it a "BIOS" per se.

[comment deleted]
  • 67 months ago
  • 3 points

He says he is getting the ROG GTX 760 when he can order it

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! ASUS GPU coming soon! http://www.asus.com/ROG_ROG/ROG_STRIKERGTX760P4GD5/ I will order the day it is released...should be any day now!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Kind of a waste to spend so much on a "gaming" PC and then only get a 760... I don't like it, but to each his own.

  • 67 months ago
  • 3 points

ASUS GTX 780 TI DirectCU II has been ordered... I came to my senses :)

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Ti is a tad overboard hahahaha!

You definitely won't be disappointed. Nice stuff :) It'll serve you well.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL you guys are killing me - thanks though! Hoping to be gaming by the weekend....onboard Intel graphics ain't cuttin' it!

[comment deleted]
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