The New DDR4 PC Build

Internal

My new PC has been up and running for a bit. Time to finally hit it with a bottle of champagne and call it stable. One of donttellmetheending’s first blog posts was the creation of my last Desktop, “Building a new PC”:

http://www.donttellmetheending.com/2008/01/building-a-new-pc/

It seems fitting to follow-up with a similar update for this new machine.  I’ve been waiting for DDR4 ram to make the jump into a new PC, and while it does not offer the performance boost over DDR3 that I had hoped for, it’s not a bad box. Here are “Martin’s” specs:

  • Case: NZXT Phantom 530 white
  • Power Supply: CORSAIR RM1000 1000W
  • Mobo: Asus x99-deluxe
  • Processor: Intel i7-5820K 3.30 GHz
  • Cooling: NZXT Kraken x61
  • RAM: GSkill 32GB DDR4
  • Graphics Card: XFX R9-290A-EDFD 4GB
  • HD: WD 4TB Black

Fans:

  • 2 included fans with case: NZXT 200mm in front and 140mm in rear
  • 140mm on the side door
  • water cooling on the top + with 2 140mm fans
  • 120mm for the bottom next to psu

heatsinkinternalviewcaseexternal

I don’t think I’d recommend this build.  It’s quiet, powerful, and pretty to look at, but a few issues with the build process where a major hindrance. The aluminum case feels flimsy (although this is probably my inexperience with a lightweight case). It bends under pressure of the power supply screws as the PSU doesn’t fit.  Most disappointing was combining the motherboard, case and cooling unit. I picked NZXT supplies so I could easily water cool the CPU, since it does not ship with its own cooler and I’d have to buy something aftermarket anyways.  However, there was little clearance between the top of the motherboard and the cooler’s mounting point, which made it impossible to follow the install instructions and mount the NZXT Kraken inside the case. The NZXT case also includes a large compartment at the top, but only for fans with no suitable clearance for the water tubing.  The solution was improvised: instead of setting the fans below to push air up through the heatsink, I moved them above and they pull air through the heatsink.  This allowed the fans to exist in the upper compartment, giving the clearance needed to fit the heatsink above the motherboard in the main compartment.  It seems poorly designed and is especially disappointing as I hoped for an easy out-of-box solution.  Also, the video card was purchased (non-returnable) a mere couple weeks before the Nvidia 970/980 announcement: darn. It runs a bit hot, and has noticeable fan noise when it kicks in.  Fortunately, it’s so powerful, the fans don’t kick in all too often, but I suspect this will grow worse in time given newer video games.

With a 50 foot HDMI cable one-directional cable from monoprice, I’m able to get video output direct to my TV. All in all, PC Gaming is pretty cool.