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636_Castle's Z68 Build!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
636_Castle's Z68 Maximus IV Gene-Z/2500k Build!

It all started with a video.

I'm a flight simulation fanatic. Microsoft Flight Simulator is Microsoft's longest running franchise, and is 3 years older than Windows itself. For those of you that don't know, flight simulators are sophisticated desktop "sims" that can be used as training aids, or for pure enjoyment. Graphic processing powers required by simulators is moderate, but where the real performance buster exists, is in the processing of aircraft systems, weather, AI traffic, etc.

Flight Simulator X, released in 2007, is undoubtedly the most CPU taxing simulator to date. Only now, after 5 years, is the modern day CPU catching up to be able to handle what the simulator engine combined with 3rd party development can throw at it. I've never been able to experience decent performance in Flight Simulator X, even after building a brand new OC rig two years ago.

Then I watched the video on (click) this (click) page.

To some, it may not look like much. But to someone who's experimented with this software for 11 years, I could tell immediately how impressive the performance was. Flying over some of the most demanding scenery on the market (FTX), in one of the most CPU demanding aircraft (NGX), filming with Fraps in HD, and having completely fluid gameplay.

Immediately I noticed he was using an i5 2500k.

About a week ago a DIMM on my i5 750 P55 chipset motherboard failed. It was a bummer, but I sort of looked forward to replacing the board anyway. I'm always happy about new hardware. However, I found it extremely difficult to shop for P55 LGA1156 motherboards. They had been discontinued on Newegg, and hard to shop for on Amazon. I didn't want to put myself into a poor financial situation and blow over $1,000 on a new system. What made matters worse though, was that I was having to sift through LGA1155 motherboards while shopping.

Eventually I broke, and decided to start loosening up a bit. I highly admired the Corsair 650D case, and if I was going to make a build in the future, I'd be saving myself a hassle by getting the case now. I was using an old IDE optical drive, and new motherboards have phased out IDE, so I might as well replace that too. Soon I had a brand new LGA1155 2500k system, with a high quality motherboard, new case, new power supply, new HDD, new optical drive, new cooler...a lot. I kept thinking about that video. So I ordered it all. Every time I thought about the price, I'd cancel it out, and think about the performance I'd be getting out of it all instead. I did however decide to reuse my video card, and memory, since both are fine for my needs.

So here I am today, building the system I wanted. Here's the specs of this build:

Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500k
Cooler: Corsair H80
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 650D
Memory: 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz G.Skill Ripjaws
Video Card: EVGA GTX 460 1GB
Power Supply: Corsair HX850 Modular
HDD 1 (Primary): WD Caviar Black SATA III 6GB/s
HDD 2 (Storage): WD Caviar Blue SATA II
Optical Drive: LITE-ON iHAS124-04
Lights: NZXT CB-LED20-RD / Logisys Cathode

Originally I wanted to include some fancy ATX extension cables that didn't show any of the ugly multi-colored wires, and had nice red sleeves. I ordered some from NZXT, but they wouldn't ship it to me until April. So yes, I'm stuck with the ugly cables. biggrin.gif

Additionally, I made an error ordering my HDD, so that came a day late. I'll be breaking this log down into three posts. I built the system excluding the HDD. I'll post the pictures and thoughts from that when I wake up.

And I'll wrap it up with the HDD installed, Windows up and running, and some test results.

I was up until 3 AM building, and then spent another hour and a half marveling, and cleaning, and recycling. It's now almost 6 AM and I can't log everything out tonight sadly. But if anyone is at all interested in seeing how it all went, I took plenty of medium resolution pictures and I'll share everything when I can.

Thanks for reading. thumb.gif And goodnight.
Current System
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK GTX 970 Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD WD Black 750 GB HDD 
CoolingOSOSOS
Corsair H100i Windows 10 Mac OS X Linux 
MonitorMonitorPowerCase
BenQ 144Hz 24" ASUS 60 Hz 23" EVGA 1000W Gold NZXT H440 White 
Audio
DT-990-Pro 250 Ohm 
  hide details  
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Current System
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK GTX 970 Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD WD Black 750 GB HDD 
CoolingOSOSOS
Corsair H100i Windows 10 Mac OS X Linux 
MonitorMonitorPowerCase
BenQ 144Hz 24" ASUS 60 Hz 23" EVGA 1000W Gold NZXT H440 White 
Audio
DT-990-Pro 250 Ohm 
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post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
Overnight this thread received 8 views. biggrin.gif

Suddenly I am a bit less motivated to bother sharing, but I'll still post a few pictures. These first pictures will be low resolution. I'll end the thread with high res pics after I get the HDD installed and Windows booted up.

What you're seeing here (from left to right) is the case, NZXT lights, CPU, PSU, H80 cooler, memory modules on top of an irrelevant binder, ODD, video card, and motherboard.
450

The first step I always take is preparing the case. Cable management always comes first, and that includes cleaning up the cables that come with the case itself. I won't go into too much detail, but basically I just routed all of the front panel cables through the holes near the ODD bays. I accidentally wired a few cables through the holes for the side panel latch, so I had to re-wire some things later on. biggrin.gif
450

Got the PSU and ODD installed. I didn't really understand how the toolless installation of the ODD worked. The documentation for the case was non existent. It only included a quick start "guide", that was just a cutaway picture. The ODD wouldn't really slide into the bay with the bay lever unlocked, and after I finally got it in, it easily slid out. So I used some of the included screws to secure it in place. Also I routed the cables through the immediate opening near the PSU. The rubberized protective grommet came off while doing this, but I was able to fit it back into place.
450

At this point I installed the CPU into the motherboard socket. Didn't get any pictures of this, sorry.
Got the I/O shield and motherboard in. I was on the fence at first about getting another ASUS board. They don't usually look as cool as ASRock or EVGA boards. They're *always* blue, and I didn't care for my original ASUS board I had. But people on these forums recommended this board to me, also it's the highest rated motherboard on Newegg currently. I have to say I'm *very* happy with this motherboard. The features on it are amazing, the BIOS is unlike any BIOS I've seen before. It's just a really cool motherboard.
450

Then I installed the H80 cooler and the video card. The H80 was a huge PITA to install. The fan headers on the pump itself did not cooperate at all. I had to really wrench on it, and when I did, the pump rattled and didn't seem solid. This didn't seem like a Corsair product. I know a lot of people say Corsair's H-series coolers aren't "real water cooling", but this is only my second build, and I didn't have $150-175 dollars laying around. It offers a cheap, easy to install cooling option that works better than air. That's fine with me. One day I'll upgrade to extreme water cooling. It was important to note that I accidentally scraped a line out of some of the pre-applied thermal compound. I'm going to immediately check the individual core temperatures of the processor to make sure I get even readings. If things seem off, I'll apply some arctic silver. I also connected some of the power to the motherboard, including the ATX power, CPU power, PCI-E power, and front panel connections.
450

Now it was time for me to install the lighting. As I mentioned up top, I used NZXT's cable lighting to line the case with discretely. I was disappointed by the quality of this product. When I took it out of it's packaging, the circuit board was covered in a dirty grime. I cleaned it up as best as I could, and routed the cable around the entire case in low profile. When I plugged in the molex power, some of the pins on NZXT's end came lose. The pins didn't have wires attached to them, since only 2 of the 4 pins were wired in the connector. So I didn't think anything of it at the time.
I also installed my blue cold cathode on the top of the case.
700

Now I had to find a way to tame this beast...
450

Build complete minus the HDD still to come. Time for a test run...
450

We have power. Booted into the BIOS. Wait...something's not right here...
450

That's right...those NZXT lights aren't working. I was super bummed. I had 27 LEDs mounted in there, and it was going to look awesome. NZXT just failed with the quality of their product though. Considering they also wouldn't ship me cable extensions for a few months, they haven't exactly steered me towards buying from them much anymore. Everything else was great. The H80 is very loud when you first boot it up. It sounds like a vacuum cleaner for about 15 seconds, then it quiets down. CPU temperature was 20 degrees. Not too bad I guess, but I still want to check individual core temperatures in Windows later on to make sure the cooling transfer is working properly. The red LED you see above the ATX power connection is the boot device LED. Expected behavior since my HDD arrives later today.



So today I'll be installing that drive, getting Windows 7 up and running, and posting a couple of high res pics. I'd like to thank the guys over in the 650D thread for answering some questions I had during the build.

Pics to come.
Current System
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK GTX 970 Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD WD Black 750 GB HDD 
CoolingOSOSOS
Corsair H100i Windows 10 Mac OS X Linux 
MonitorMonitorPowerCase
BenQ 144Hz 24" ASUS 60 Hz 23" EVGA 1000W Gold NZXT H440 White 
Audio
DT-990-Pro 250 Ohm 
  hide details  
Reply
Current System
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK GTX 970 Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD WD Black 750 GB HDD 
CoolingOSOSOS
Corsair H100i Windows 10 Mac OS X Linux 
MonitorMonitorPowerCase
BenQ 144Hz 24" ASUS 60 Hz 23" EVGA 1000W Gold NZXT H440 White 
Audio
DT-990-Pro 250 Ohm 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
450

That's the last shot I'll post. Thanks for reading.
Current System
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK GTX 970 Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD WD Black 750 GB HDD 
CoolingOSOSOS
Corsair H100i Windows 10 Mac OS X Linux 
MonitorMonitorPowerCase
BenQ 144Hz 24" ASUS 60 Hz 23" EVGA 1000W Gold NZXT H440 White 
Audio
DT-990-Pro 250 Ohm 
  hide details  
Reply
Current System
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK GTX 970 Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD WD Black 750 GB HDD 
CoolingOSOSOS
Corsair H100i Windows 10 Mac OS X Linux 
MonitorMonitorPowerCase
BenQ 144Hz 24" ASUS 60 Hz 23" EVGA 1000W Gold NZXT H440 White 
Audio
DT-990-Pro 250 Ohm 
  hide details  
Reply
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