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 Post subject: Build review
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:39 am
Posts: 1894
Location: Up here wishing I was down there.
After using my new PC for a variety of applications, I figured it was time to report on the hardware.

i7-6700K 4.0GHz

Running at 4.0 with 4.2 turbo engaged when necessary, mobo temp LCD says 30C.

Even with triple radiator liquid cooling, overclocking quickly loses its appeal. 50-60C may be acceptable to some gamers, but I want my system to live another 8-10 years (heat = death).

Despite not being able to run "comfortably" beyond 4.5, I am very satisfied with this CPU.

ASUS Maximus VIII Formula motherboard

Excellent motherboard for those that was to use the liquid cooling feature, otherwise buy the cheaper brother. This motherboard is advertised to run just as well on air, but I accepted to pay the extra money for the water ports.

G. SKILL Ripjaws V 32GB 3200MHz RAM

I've been running them at 3200 since I got them. No complaints.

SAMSUNG EVO 850 500GB and 250GB SSD

These are my first SSDs used as main drives so I can't comment on performance. I think they're great; 250 is used for Windows, 500 is used for everything else.

ASUS GTX 950 video cards

I was a bit disappointed that they didn't surpass my aging GTX 560 TI on all benchmarks. But they do require a lot less power, therefore run cooler and quieter. They also have faster memory and newer architecture, which will most likely be more significant later on.

EVGA GTX 560 TI video card

Still working well, never a glitch.

EVGA GTX 280 video card

Sidelined for a project PC. Consumes way too much power compared to my other cards without significant improved performance.

EVGA Supernova 850W G2 PSU

Runs the entire system without fail.

Corsair Obsidian 750D case

Can't say enough good things about this case. Of course competition must have adjusted their designs and provide equivalent quality.

KAZE-JYUNI Slip Stream 120, 120mm fans (SY1225SL12L)

These are now outdated, they were going to be for my old PC but got recycled here instead. 10dBA and 40CFM at 800 RPM.

They had 5 speeds available when I bought these: 500, 800, 1200, 1600 and 1900 RPM. The airflow might increase, but so did the decibels. Knowing absolutely nothing about fan performance when I bought these, I chose the 800 RPM; most likely 'cause of the price, and it was probably the only model available at that store at that time.

Look at 3 specs when shopping for fans:

- decibels (low = better).
- Cubic Feet per Minute (high is better).
- RPM (low is better).

Get the best you can afford, it's worth it. Newer cases now generally support 140mm fans (mine supports both so I was able to recycle the bunch of fans I had on hand).

You can never have too many fans. Ideally, have a flow through your case. It's important passive parts like RAM have air flowing over their heatsinks. Mine enters the front and bottom (2 air filters), and exits the back and top (radiator).

EK liquid cooling

Pump runs quiet, even has its own mini-fan underneath. I hear a bit of bubbling coming from the reservoir, but it's my first liquid-cooled PC so I just find it cool hearing a babbling brook.

I recycled one of the Swiftech triple radiators from my old PC. It's possible newer rads are more efficient at removing heat from the system. I once used a transmission radiator to cool motor-oil on a motorcycle and that worked fine, but what do I know about thermal dynamics.

I used the thermal paste that came with the pump and forgot I had bought some artic silver (came the next day with more parts). Some reviews say "thermal paste is thermal paste", but I would have MUCH prefered to have the artic silver under there. It might have kept my CPU slightly cooler when overclocked, but I'm not taking that apart just to change the paste. It works, don't screw it up.

I'm real happy I ordered a spinner for the liquid cooling. The only indication that the water is actually flowing is the disturbances on the surface of the water in the reservoir and the slight bubbling noise. A MUST HAVE.

I used compression fittings, a bit more expensive but super easy to install. Old style nozzle fittings and hose clamps just do not compare at all.

I invested on rotating compression fitting on a few sharp angles; more expensive but worth every penny. Despite that, there was one short section that took some "maneuvering" to get installed.

I used clear flexible tubing. It is super easy to manage, measure, cut and install using compression fittings.

I was tempted to use rigid tubing, but that requires precision so the bends make the ends align at "exactly" the right distance. It's not good for them to enter the fitting at an angle.


This PC would have run just as well, just as fast on air. I wanted liquid cooling because I expected to be able to overclock without having a huge increase in heat.

The weak link in my setup "might" be the no-name thermal paste. I won't know until I have to take it apart and I'm not planning on doing that unless the motherboard, CPU or radiator fails. That difficult tube section is up there; coming out of the CPU, into the motherboard less than 3 inches away and REAL close to the radiator.

I am happy with liquid cooling for one main reason, it removes heat from the parts quickly and QUIETLY. I haven't spent a hot summer day with this machine yet, that might be where it outshines running on air.

Overall, I love it. The fans occasionally come on, for intense graphics or processing like flying in busy airspace, but usually they run very slow or just not at all.

The drives were not installed yet, but this is the usual noise of the system:

i7-6700K @ 4.2GHz, G SKILL DDR4 32GB @ 3200MHz
ASUS MAXIMUS VIII Formula, EK triple watercooling
ASUS dual GTX950 OC STRIX, HyperX Cloud II headset
SAMSUNG SSD 850 EVO 250GB and 500GB
EVGA Supernova G2 850W, CORSAIR Obsidian 750D
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