If you haven't already noticed, the theme of this build was inspired by the Joker in The Dark Knight. This is my primary PC that I use for gaming and productivity purposes. My ultimate goal was to keep noise to a minimum while still maintaining adequate cooling performance. Ultimately, I was able to achieve this goal but it ended up costing me more than what I initially intended. lol
Background for this build: This build started a bit after the X99 CPU's came out when I decided to upgrade my X79 setup to an Intel i7-5960X. One thing led to another and my CPU, motherboard and RAM "upgrade" snowballed into an entirely new build with new graphics cards, storage devices, etc. When everything was said and done I ended up spending more than I intended and went beyond my initial intended upgrade path.
My goal for this build is to have a silent gaming/productivity PC without having to resort to custom watercooling. I've custom watercooled numerous builds in the past and I found that a custom setup was a pain to maintain and a hassle when upgrading or replacing parts. As a result, I decided to install AIO's on my CPU and GPU's so I could benefit from the benefits of watercooling without having to deal with a custom setup. This PC can play most games at 2560x1600 at 60+ FPS with all settings on max. I am very happy about how this build turned out even though it put a significant dent in my wallet. I'd love to hear your feedback and will be happy to answer any questions you have.
CPU - Intel i7-5960X: I initially wanted to get the i7-5930K CPU but it wasn't much of an upgrade from my previous X79 i7-4960X setup. After seeing the reviews for the 5960X I was sold! This was the first domino to fall in making me go all out with this build. lol
Motherboard - Asus Sabertooth X99: After using the Thermal Radar feature on the Asus Sabertooth motherboard on my X97 setup, I knew wanted a motherboard that had the same feature for the X99 build, especially if I wanted a silent setup. When Asus released the Sabertooth X99 motherboard I knew I have to have it. With the Thermal Radar feature, I am able to set the exhaust fan curves (the two fans mounted to my GPU radiators) and intake fan curves based on the how warm the PC gets. I have full control on how quiet the fans spin during low usage and how fast they spin when the computer gets toasty.
Memory - Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-2400 32gb: The Corsair Dominators are beautiful and classy looking memory that fit my theme. I love the brushed aluminum and subtle LED glow. I also installed the light bar upgrade kit so it nicely accents the motherboard.
GPU - EVGA GeForce 980 Ti Hybrid SLI: I went with the EVGA Geforce 980 Ti Hybrid in SLI because I wanted my graphics cards to be quiet and cool under load. When EVGA released the 980 Ti Hybrid with a built-in AIO, I had to get a pair of these cards. The cards run are quiet when under load as the AIO does a very efficient job at dissipating the heat generated by the GPU. Also the built-in AIO radiator allows me to mount the radiators in an exhaust configuration so I won’t have to recirculate the heat back into the case. I also want to thank EVGA for giving out the revised GPU shroud for current Hybrid owners. The aluminum on the shroud compliments my build and is more visually pleasing than the original champagne shroud.
Storage - Samsung 950 Pro M.2 512gb, Samsung 850 Pro 1tb, OCZ Vertex 2 240gb, Western Digital Red 4tb: I decided to give the M.2 drive a try because my motherboard supported it. I didn’t notice too much of a difference over a standard SATA SSD in day-to-day use but the benchmarks show that it is pretty zippy.
Enclosure - Fractal Design Define S: Fractal Design must have read my mind when they designed the Define S. They took out the drive cages that I rarely used, they removed excess vents because they were unnecessary, the case offers ModuVents so I could customize the case based on my silence/cooling needs and the case supports three dust filtered 140mm intake slots for optimal cooling. Also, this is one of very few cases in the market that allows me to customize for positive case pressure to minimize dust accumulation, while providing superior noise isolation. To top it all off, the case is watercooling friendly. This case was a no-brainer for me.
Fans - Noctua IndustrialPPC NF-F12 PWM 120mm and Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm: I’ve been a fan of Linus Tech Tips for years and I’ve watched him preach the greatness of Noctua fans many times. I finally bought into his influence and got myself a few Noctua IndustrialPPC fans. I am now a fan (no pun intended) of these fans. These fans have great performance specs and are silent. Unlike the Corsair SP120/AF140’s fans I previously had, the fan motors don’t tick or vibrate at high speeds. Now that Noctua released the Chromax fan mounts, I can customize the Noctua fans to match my build.
Lighting/Cables: I am using two white LED strips from Darkside Computer Modding to illuminate the internal components. The custom sleeved cable extensions that gives this build some pop were made by Ensourced Custom Accessories. I these cables were made-to-order and their craftsmanship and is displayed in their work. Big thumbs up to Ensourced!