Description

Prior Machine: Core 2 Quad Q6600 eVGA 680i SLI motherboard 8GB DDR2 RAM 240GB Sandisk SSD Plus + 2x1TB SATA RAID 4GB GTX 960

Simply, that system has served me absurdly well for the best part of ten years (!!!). It was high time to update.

What do I intend to use this machine for? Gaming at 4K. While I had considered stepping down on resolution to better suit the single 980 Ti, the most important metric for me was input lag, and there are simply no 1440p or 1600p monitors that remotely compared to the Asus PB287Q for that.

Just finished assembling, and getting everything up and running. Going to see how good I can get at stock before I go overclocking. I was intending on using liquid cooling, but NCIX US was one of (many) snafu's with this build. First motherboard was DoA, and for the second, I needed to find and purchase a smaller, cheaper stick of DDR4 RAM in order for it to POST, so I can update to the newest BIOS for the GA-X99-SLI.

What works well? Certainly the I/O. Even with the Microsoft NVMe driver for the 950 Pro, it is being handy as my intended, dedicated pagefile/temp/scratch drive, freeing up space and granting me the maximum available use of the MX200 SSD's as the boot RAID. CrystalDiskBench was already showing Read and Write of right around ~1GB/sec from them, which is a fantastic jump from the ~160MB/s or so of the old system's SSD.

I also can't get over how quiet the system is, even with the air cooler I had to use as a stand-in. So far at stock, using AS5 in a pinch, the 5820K with the SilenX cooler was only getting up to about 40C at load.

At first, I was worried about the keyboard when I saw the stupid Fn key on it, thinking it would be like those laptop keyboards with a miserable Fn key that you had to use for anything. Mercifully, my F# keys remain enabled by default, so props to Rosewill for doing that right.

Part Reviews

CPU

Even at stock, the 5820K is a beast, enabling the performance for gaming at 4K while still being able to easily handle encoding via OBS for broadcasting the goodness for all to see. With the temps I'm already seeing with air cooling, it's giving me plenty of motivation to find some better cooling and get to overclocking this bad boy.

What's the downer? It seems silly to chip down PCI-E lanes from this CPU, personally. Especially for a CPU that still sells for around $400 on the market. Until AMD can come up with a solution to compete, however, this is what we have to deal with.

CPU Cooler

Color me surprised to find an air cooler that was able to keep at least a 5820K at stock at no more than 42C, as well as packign the mounting hardware needed so I could even slap it on an LGA775 CPU later. Even came with some mounting stuff to dampen vibrations for two fans for a push-pull setup. Thankfully, just manages to not interfere with the 4-stick RAM setup on my X99 motherboard, so props for that.

Motherboard

One of the things that makes this motherboard so good, is a very intelligent PCI-E lane layout. Most X99 motherboards seem to have such an awful lane allocation when using a 28-lane CPU like the 5820K I currently have, wherein PCI-E slots are setup as x16/x0 or even x8/x4 if using multiple GPU's. This, on the other hand, is one of the few that will go to x8/x8 for two-GPU systems. It could do x8/x4/x4 for three-card CF, but that won't be enough for SLI. Still, given my plans to SLI/CF as soon as means allow, this board's layout and design choices are the smartest companion to my 28-lane CPU.

Only downer, was that first one I received was DoA, and the second required buying a separate, cheapo stick of RAM to boot the thing long enough to update its BIOS. Otherwise, it's been a solid choice. 4.5/5

Memory

Flawless operation, stupidly fast, and from a company that has already given me great warranty service. It's hard to go wrong, especially with this speed rating, the rated timings, and the price.

Storage

Using two of these in a boot RAID 0 on a Gigabyte X99-SLI motherboard, and getting about 1GB/second reads and ~990MB/second writes. Solid speed regardless of content, and none of the "old data" problems that plague recent Samsung SATA SSD drives.

Video Card

Blazing fast card. How fast? At least every time that I'd been able to measure its GPU clocks, even at default behavior, it's boost clocking into 1,400~1598MHz on GPU core. So clearly, it's doing something right.

We have PhysX, Shadowplay available, and even by itself, it has been running every game I've thrown at it thus far at 4K resolutions. What's not to love? Simply, its nonreference design means no waterblocks available. Neither from eVGA itself, nor from EK.

Case

Lovingly understated aesthetics. Integrated USB 3.0 headers. Excellent Cable Management. Absurd amounts of ways to customize the internals. Integrated dust covers. A great cap stone to my newest build, giving it the understated look I prefer. The hide-away SSD brackets are great. Unfortunately it came with two spots for them, but only provided one. Still, an extra is like, $8~9 to get, but figured I'd bring it up.

Optical Drive

Perfect series for assorted DVD burning duties, as well as one of the few that can burn Xbox 360 backups, as long as you use the right media.

Operating System

Purchased this becfause it was strangely less expensive to get a full copy of the game on a USB drive than the expected DVD images.

Glad I made the choice. the USB 3.0 drive makes setup and installing the OS refreshingly fast over the optical drive, and I didn't have a drive to spare for an OS install. Fresh install, drivers, and a run through of ShutUp10, and Windows 10 Pro has been a fantastic OS for this new hardware.

Sound Card

Simply put, after the X-Fi, this series of card is pretty much necessary for complete, and full hardware audio acceleration for both modern (OpenAL) and legacy (Directsound / Creative EAX ) games.

Since the Core3D based sound cards all have to do EAX in software, and are a net downgrade, this is pretty much the latest card that can do it in full hardware. And it's much cheaper. Still don't know how this model can do 7.1 audio output, though. Apparently it has something to do with Creative specific adapter cables.

Monitor

Bought this on the cheap way back. That said, this has been an excellent gaming monitor, and has a fantastic competition worthy 10ms input lag as measured from displaylag(dot)com.

Just DVI and VGA inputs, so be aware.

Monitor

Picked this display because it was literally the fastest measured 4K panel on displaylag(dot)com's database. Superfast, great colors, and one of the cheapest 4K60Hz panels.

Only caveat I must bring up is that out of the box, the monitor is configured for DP1.1... you'll need to both change it to DP1.2 in its OSD to enable 4K60Hz support (as well as use its supplied displayport cable), but also make sure to update your resolution choice in your display drivers to ensure you're using 4K and 60Hz rate. After that, you're golden.

So it does take some manual tuning first, but if you can afford this display, it would be foolish to pass up.

Comments

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Very well rounded setup! +1

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I have that case, it's quite lovely.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I definitely appreciated how much of the cable management was already done. Oddly though, it was missing a PC speaker that I could have used to help diagnose the problems I was having with its birth. :P

That said, I just wish it had one more of those SSD brackets, so I could hide them both away and open up the front completely.

I suppose the other thing I would need is a program to play BluRays, and/or burn them. Neither VLC nor Media Player Classic want to touch any of my movies. :(

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, the pre-done cable management with the cables was really convenient. I just put my SSD in one of the hard drive sleds instead of the SSD bracket, but I still thought there would be more specific SSD brackets than just one.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, contacting Phanteks, they're like $9 each off either Newegg or Amazon. So not terribly a lot.

Part of me wants to be able to open up the front fully for when I can fulfill my original plan and get a proper liquid cooling setup, since I definitely want to push this 5820K up some. :p

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Were you planning on doing a custom loop, or just a water cooling CPU cooler?

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Not sure i have the funds to go for a full loop. If it WERE affordable, I would happily waterblock ALL the things!

At the least I would do the CPU, and maybe the GPU if I could find a compatible block.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Newest 3DMark result on this machine, at bone stock: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/11407473?

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Great soundcard choise! Both powerful and inexpensive.

In my opinion Sound Blaster Audigy Rx is much better than Sound Blaster Z/Zx and is equal to Sound Blaster ZxR.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

It was kind of a nobrainer. That said, just recently moved and still haven't been able to unpack my surround sound speakers. :(