Ok Twitches, it’s once again that time of year…
The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, the animals are fucking like there’s no tomorrow, and us Alpha-Geeks are dreaming dreams of PC upgrades and rebuilds!
In that spirit, I’ve decided it’s time to do what will be at least a partial rebuild of the *cough* “critically acclaimed” *cough* #BlindDIYPC!
There are a couple of time-tested components from the old machine that will make the journey to the relative “Land of Milk and Honey” of the new build, but not many. After debating how I wanted the write-up for this build to go, I decided to write it up as I would any new build, denoting which components were new and which came from the old build. This serves two purposes:
1. It gives the documentation here a more natural flow by being more organized.
2. It will be more informative for those of you Twitches who, for whatever inexcusable reason, weren’t reading this blog back when the original #BlindDIYPC was being built.
So, with no more gilding the lily and very little ado whatsoever, I give you the #BlindDIYPC 2015:
The Black “Soft Touch” iVector Mid-Tower ATX case from our friends over at EnerMax was the obvious choice to attempt to contain the raw awesomeness of this rig. Have I mentioned lately that my modesty is one of my best features?
Sporting 3 5.25in external drive bays, 3 dedicated 3.5in internal drive bays and 4 more internal HDD bays that can convert between 3.5in and 2.5in bays in a matter of seconds, the iVector can easily accomodate almost anyone’s storage needs and it definitely won’t have any issues with the storage setup in the BlindDIYPC rebuild.
The front of the iVector not only sports a pair of USB 3.0 ports, but also has a pair of USB 2.0 ports alongside the standard HD audio jacks. A fan speed controller to control the speed of the 2 120mm cooling fans included with the case also resides on the front panel.
Speaking of cooling, the iVector not only includes a pair of 120mm cooling fans, but it also has room for 4 more 120mm fans or 2 fans and a 240mm liquid cooling reservoir in the top two 120mm fan slots. This fact, along with the rubber-grommeted openings in the rear, make me consider possible future upgrades to a liquid cooling system.
Also, the case is designed for a bottom-mounted PSU, another design consideration I find particularly endearing.
Check the full details on this awesome enclosure and watch the NeweggTV feature here.
PSU (Power Supply Unit)
The Rosewill RX850-S-B Xtreme PSU from the original #BlindDIYPC is still going strong and produces more than enough clean, reliable power for my needs. It, therefor, will be sticking around until someone pries it from my cold, dead hands!
Now to the real fun stuff!
For the rebuild, I’m doing something almost unheard of in my history of PC building… I’m actually choosing an Intel based system over an AMD based option. Weird, right? I assure you Twitches that I’m ok and am in full control of my mental faculties.
That said, I, as always, am building this beauty on an ASUS motherboard. I only build on ASUS boards for a number of reasons:
* ASUS is the absolute king of the motherboard industry
* ASUS uses the best, most reliable components in all of their products, from the extreme models down to their budget lines
* Their firmware, software and integrated solutions for everything from peripherals to overclocking are better than the industry standard
* And finally, They have best in the business customer support
With that said, My choice for the #BlindDIYPC 2015 is the ASUS Z97-PRO LGA1150 ATX motherboard.
Some features of this board:
* Socket LGA 1150 with support for Intel’s 4th-Gen Core i7, and i5 CPUs
* Supports 4x DDR3 DIMMs up to 32GB of RAM overclockable to DDR3 3200
* 2x PCIe 3.0\/2.0 x16 (x16 mode)
* 4x SATA 6Gb\/s port(s), by Intel Z97 chipset
* 2x SATA 6Gb\/s port(s), by ASMedia PCIe SATA controller
* 1x SATA Express port, compatible with 2x SATA 6.0 Gb\/s ports
* 1x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2260\/2280 storage devices support (both SATA and PCIE mode)
* Multi-VGA output support: HDMI\/DVI-D\/RGB\/DisplayPort ports
* Realtek ALC1150 Audio with 8 channels
* Intel I218V 10\/100\/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
* 8 USB 3.0 ports (4 on I\/O, 4 via internal headers) and 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 on I\/O and 4 via internal headers)
* Integrated 802.11AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
* Support for the extremely cool ASUS NFC Express (Video)
I could go on all day, but you can just check the rest of the specs here.
As stated above, I veered from my normal course and built this rig around an Intel CPU. Not only did I choose an Intel based CPU, but I said \”What the hell!\”, and went with Intel’s latest 4th-Gen LGA1150 chip, CodeName:\”Devil’s Canyon\”. Specifically, I went with the Intel Core i5 4690K Quad-Core 3.5GHz version of this rather impressive offering from the processor-manufacturing giant.
Some features of the chip:
* L2 Cache: 4x 256KB
* L3 Cache: 6MB
* Manufacturing Tech: 22nm
* Integrated Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4600
This CPU has insane headroom for overclocking, and should be able to run stable at over 4GHz on air cooling!
You can read the rest of the details on this beastie here.
To keep that pretty little piece of silicon cool, both before and after I overclock the shit out of it, I chose the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler
* Fan Speed: 600 – 2000 RPM (PWM) +/- 10%
* Airflow: 24.9 – 82.9 CFM +/- 10%
* Noise Level: 9 – 36dBA
System Memory (RAM)
A rig this badass deserves badass memory, and 16GB (2 8GB DIMMs) of Kingston‘s HyperX Fury DDR3 1866 certainly lives up to that expectation!
* Type: 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
* Speed: DDR3 1866
* Cas Latency: 10
* Timing: 10-11-10
* Voltage: 1.5V
* Intel XMP support for 1st through 4th Generation Intel Core Processors
The best part of Fury is it’s auto-overclock capability. It automatically recognizes its host platform and automatically overclocks to the highest frequency published, providing plenty of power. Yay for XMP profiles!
I’m going with a 3-tiered setup of sorts for the storage array in this rebuild. I feel this configuration gives me an excellent mix of space and performance with as little pain to the old pocketbook as possible.
- 540MB/s Sustained Sequential Read
- 410MB/s Sustained Sequential Write
- Up to 300 MB/s Sustained Sequential Read
- Up to 230 MB/s Sustained Sequential Write
- Significantly faster performance once they’re setup in a RAID0 array
- 2TB Capacity
- 64MB Cache
- 7200RPM Drive Speed
- SATA 6G Interface
Comments And Pre-build Thoughts:
While there are a few other facets of the overall system configuration I could have discussed here, I felt they were superfluous to the overall system. The DVDRW drive from the original #BlindDIYPC is making a return appearance in the rebuild, as what I use it for really doesn’t warrant a mention here, let alone any thoughts of an upgrade.
As a blindie, the choice to go with integrated video, even if it is Intel HD 4600, was an easy one to make.
And while the integrated Realtek ALC1150 Audio is certainly no slouch, it also didn’t really warrant it’s own section here.
I’ll be doing a follow-up post as I build the system and another with relevant benchmarks once the rig has been up and running and passed the requisite stress tests.
Want your own version of this badass rig, or just an awesome, custom-built #BlindPC? Hit up either @BlindSarcasm or @BlindPCs, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a personalized quote.
See you Twitches in Phase 2!