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ROG "Red Scorpion"

Ntwlf
Level 12
Welcome fellow ROG'ers...and Thanks for stopping in.

I present to you "my best" build to-date.

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What is the reason for doing a new build?...Hmm...Well, isn't it the "same" for most everyone choosing to do a new build?
You might answer with something along these lines...
The current one has been upgraded/overhauled as far as it will go, and I can't play this new game "insert here".

So......we gotta build a new one!


But first I want to give a BIG "Thank You" to all the ROG'ers here on rog.asus/forums. I'll elaborate as to why I'm thanking all of you. It was back during the winter of 2014/2015 when I decided to do a new build. Because my old build was hitting 10 years old, so you can imagine how slow it was getting compared to today's tech. Now I had the difficult task of selecting all the components to make the build. It has been a few years since I payed any attention as to what was going on in the tech industry, therefore a lot of research was needed in order to have a balance between all the components inter-working with each other, such as not having bottle-necks of data throughput between components. The first task was deciding on which of the top tier manufacturers to choose a motherboard from, of course a processor is needed as well since it goes hand-in-hand with the motherboard, so I had decided upon the "Devil's Canyon" Intel i7-4790K. So I pick out a motherboard or two from each board maker and read reviews on each, noting the pro's and con's to narrow down the list. Then I move on to the forums of each board maker and read the members posts and replies as well as noting the whole feel of the forum, such as how comfortable it would be in posting a question or problem to what kind of replies one would receive. Would I feel at home? Or would I get smart remarks in the replies or something to the like? Well you should have guessed the "Winner" by now, huh. I find the members here to be a fine group of people with everyone doing their best to help another ROG'er. So I applaud all of you and am thankful of being a member of such a fine community.

There's one more person in your ranks that I'd like to Thank publicly as well, and that would be NATE152. Many of you know him, as he has helped countless people here on the forums. Nate152 and I have quickly become friends not long after I joined the community. He has been a big help in choosing some of the components of my build, pointing out potential issues and soon will be helping me tune it all in and overclock it into a formidable beast.

Now that a motherboard has been chosen, the rest kind of falls into place.

So lets start with the list of components...


motherboard: ASUS Maximus VII Formula
Processor: Intel i-7 4790K (purchased from siliconlottery.com , binned at 4.8 GHz)
Memory:
32GB G.Skill TridentX F3-2400C10Q-32GTX
Graphics Card /'s: (2x) ASUS Strix GTX 980 Ti OC (w/ ROG Enthusiast 2-way SLI Bridge)
Storage:
(1x) SanDisk Extreme Pro 240GB SSD (
for initial OS installation & testing phase before imaging to 960GB ssd)
............. (2x) SanDisk Extreme Pro 960GB SSD (
one is for OS, other Games)
............. (2x) Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 1TB ST1000DM003 HDD (set in "Raid 0" for everything else)
............. (1x) Seagate Desktop 5900rpm 4TB ST4000DM000 HDD (internal - back-up & imaging)
ODD:
ASUS Blu-Ray Writer BW-16D1HT
CPU Cooler: Cryorig R1 Ultimate (w/ Red Heatsink Covers purchased in addition to)
Case:
Cooler Master Storm Trooper w/ Windowed Side Panel (same as available on the Storm Stryker)
Fans:
(9x) Thermaltake Riing "Red"
........ (2x) Lepa Chopper "Red" (for front case grille lighting affects only)
Other:
ASUS ROG Front Base Dual-bay Gaming Panel
..........NZXT IU01Case Accessory (USB 2.0 Hub - internal to case as add-on)
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate (w/ XP in VM for older games)
PSU: Corsair AX860i (w/ Corsair "Red" Braided Cables purchased in addition to)

Now I have saved the "PSU" for last in the list above so as to explain, because there's a reason I still have it in the build. It had been purchased early last year (2015) with the intent of going with lesser gpu's (GTX980's). I know 860 watts is a bit tight for 2x Strix 980 Ti's, so I'll be watching/monitoring very closely as to how hard the psu is going to be stressed (Corsair Link software and a Kill-A-Watt Meter). I may make a Post here on the forums as to the success/failure of the Corsair AX860i and 2x Strix 980 Ti's, if anyone has an interest. Otherwise it will be noted here in the build log as to whether I need to upgrade it or not.


Just for fun, I thought I'd make this a story/picture show and explain how I came up with this selection of components. To start, I had originally planned a budget for the build, no particular number, just not get carried away. But after a while I got to thinking, "If I get this component now when I prefer that one instead, later I'll have wished to have saved up a little longer and get the one I really want.". So the budget had gotten tossed out the window. This is going to be an investment, so lets not have any regrets.

And without further adieu, here's the pictures you've been waiting to see.
So . . . pull up a mouse and scroll awhile.


They are coming...soon...I promise.


I had originally decided on using the Maximus VII Hero mobo, but I liked the Formula better, but was concerned somewhat with the combo air/water cooler/heatsink on the VRM's. Would the VRM's stay cool enough on air alone? After all there is an empty space inside when on air alone. Then I happened upon www.siliconlottery.com from research and reading over at www.overclock.net . Their binning setup for 1150 socket-ed cpu's was using the Formula with only a AIO Cooler for the cpu, everything else on air. So I contacted siliconlottery and asked them about the VRM temps. They replied back stating, their not experiencing any problems, the temps are fine. Cool...(pun intended), so I got the Maximus VII Formula.

While I was in contact with siliconlottery, I put in an order for their i7-4790K binned @4.8GHz with their De-lidding service added. For those whom hasn't heard of de-lidding, the IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader, the silvery metal plate on top) is forcefully removed from the cpu exposing the die underneath. Then the Stock Intel TIM (Thermal Interface Material) is removed and replaced with a much better TIM, which is Collaboratory Liquid Ultra. The de-lidding process is expected to lower the cpu temps by 10° C. from stock. This can be considered the first "MOD" to the build. Here's a couple of links providing much more info. http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/core_i7_4790k_processor_5_ghz_review_a_silicon_lottery,1.html,http://www.overclock.net/t/1313179/official-delidded-club-guide.

The 32GB G.Skill Trident X Series memory kit was chosen for trying out the RamDisk software bundled with the motherboard. Also, the top heat spreader bar is removable should there be interference with the cpu cooler, and it's "Red".

The ROG Front Base Panel? Well... it just looks so cool, as an addition.

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The only thing to add here beyond what was already said to the Strix 980 Ti's, is that the color scheme is perfect.
Those of you interested in getting the ROG Enthusiast SLI Bridges or think they are to expensive, I would say to regularly check ebay.com. The prices do fluctuate. I had been keeping an eye out for them for quite a while. I snagged the 2-way for $34.53 shipped from "beachaudio".

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Ahh, more color matching, even the label on the PSU. I left the cables that came with the PSU out of the pic showing only the Corsair Sleeved Cables purchased separately.

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One can never have to much storage. I was considering Samsung 850 Pro's as well for SSD's. But after considerable research, I decided on the SanDisk Extreme Pro's. It's performance is on par with the Samsung 850 Pro's, but in some measurements the SanDisk exceeds Samsung by a small margin. Also the SanDisk has a portion of it's capacity unavailable to the OS, so as to enhance wear leveling thus increasing longevity. This explains the odd capacity numbers, SanDisk Extreme Pro 960GB vs Samsung 850 Pro 1TB. 1TB is usually considered as 1000GB.

I have only used Seagate Barracuda Drives and haven't had any problems to note, so I stayed with them.

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My only experience with Blu-Ray is seeing a display setup, playing some movie at Wal-Mart. Haha, I bet that's funny. So I decided on this one, it will be the first Blu-Ray drive in the house (still is). I also picked up the "Fast & Furious Blu-Ray 6-Movie Collection" while I was at Wal-Mart, am still waiting to watch it.

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I think the CPU cooler is a beauty compared to it's contender, the Noctua NH-D15 and a very small number of other air coolers. The reviews show them performing almost identically, or at least close enough to choose the one you like best for top of the line air cooling. Cryorig also has heatsink covers available in a few other colors (purchased separately) besides the standard black, as you see in the pic. Guess what? Red is one of the colors available.

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I'm still amazed at having a carry handle on top of a case, that was the attention grabbing thing for me. Plus the top sort of resembles the engine hatch on a Lamborghini Countach. Anyways, you'll notice the box shows a non-windowed side panel, that is actually designed for (2) 120mm fans that set adjacent to the gpu's inside. This is the "Original Model", however when you open the box and remove the case, this is what you get (rev.A). It has the windowed side panel as available on the Storm Stryker, that is an identical "but" white themed case.

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Here's a show of the Fans powered up. However, as commonly experienced by others, the camera doesn't quite capture the vibrant red color. The Lepa Chopper on the right doesn't quite look that way either, there is a hard to describe pattern that shows to the eye's that my camera doesn't capture. My best description would be what you would think the exhaust end of a running jet engine would look like. The fan isn't much for air flow, I only got it for the light show to have behind the front grilles of the case.

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Here's some of the extra items added for the case mod, the main item to note is the side panel. A bit later you'll see what I'm doing with (2x) left hand side panels. Some spray paint (matte black, medium dark silver metallic, and medium red). Some pin-stripping tape that might be used. A roll of 3M Di-Noc Carbon-Fiber "black matte finish" film. Some fan mounting rubber fastners, Collaboratory Liquid Ultra TIM, and finally some automotive "Red" LED strips.

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I think most of the items here you'll recognize. But here goes, starting at top left, an additional Thermaltake Riing fan, SanDisk Extreme Cruzer 64GB USB 3.0 thumb-drive, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut TIM,
NZXT IU01Case Accessory. Now at bottom left, then moving right, a set of ASUS Thermal Sensor Cables/Probes, ASUS TPM Module BitLocker FW3.19, a new BIOS Battery, and finally the "Red Heatsink Covers" for the cpu cooler.

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This mostly concludes the components and parts used for the build, as I'm sure there are a few more bits & pieces missed.
I'll see if we can catch them in the next round of pics showing the mods to the case.

So, Stay tuned for the next chapter, "Case Mods".

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16 REPLIES 16

drop4205
Level 12
Loots like a nice build. Let me know on the 860 on the sli 980 ti. Im starting a build in the near future and have a spare AX860i but if I need I can switch it with the AX1200i in current build
Maximus XI Formula, I9-9900k, Phantex Evolove X, Seasonic Titanium 850W, Custom loop PE360+SE360 Rad, G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C14 32g, Nvidia Reference RTX 2080 TI, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1Tb, Windows 11

Nate152
Moderator
Hey Ntwlf

It's good to see it all coming together, since you upgraded from two 980's to two 980 Ti's the 860w psu does become a concern, I'm interested to know too how many watts it's pulling too.

I'm looking forward to your pics, I like the theme and with two Strix 980 Ti's it will certainly have a sting !

You can keep the monitor a surprise, I know you haven't got it yet but are about to. 🙂

Ntwlf
Level 12
@drop4205, @Nate152...Thanks for your reply, I'll definitely post the results in how the Corsair AX860i performs.

@Nate152, Monitor? . . . what monitor? :cool:

toronto699
Level 13
Asus Rog Swift PG348Q Monitor is what Nate142 would recommend ill bet u have nice rig Ntwlf
https://www.asus.com/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/ROG-SWIFT-PG348Q/

Ntwlf
Level 12
@toronto699, :)Thanks for your reply. You know him too well, so we will try to keep everyone guessing.:rolleyes:

Code_Frenzy
Level 9
Looks very nice, I'll be following this thread to see how it turns out. I'm very interested to know what issues you have with the ROG Front Base and especially if the audio quality is good on the mic and headphone sockets. Your a way off that stage yet though. Good luck with the build!

Ntwlf
Level 12
@Code_Frenzy, Thanks for your interest. I'll do my best to cover every aspect of the build that everyone notes an interest in.

The build is actually assembled and ready to boot, except for finishing the mods to both side panels. Presently I am preparing all the pics to have the build log up to date, as to what has been completed. I plan to include some detail as to how everything is utilized and set up, plus some benchmarks to show what it can do on "air" cooling alone.

Ntwlf
Level 12
Heads-up everyone, I'll be attempting to add all the updates to the "Original Post", rather than adding as my "own" replies. So this means that the "Original Post" will grow longer, as more is added. Of course this depends on the limits of the (forum) format.

I'm learning how this all works as I go. haha


Edit: I have started a story board with the hardware pics on the "Original Post". It's not complete yet, but am working on it. Then "this" reply may/will morph into the "mods" part of the build. So please bear with me as I would like to make this entire post entertaining and informative. I'm learning a great deal here building/making this post. Such as the strike-thru text above...cool.

Suggestions are welcome too.

drop4205
Level 12
I just started a new case build and am using the thermaltake fans on rads. I do like them so far
Maximus XI Formula, I9-9900k, Phantex Evolove X, Seasonic Titanium 850W, Custom loop PE360+SE360 Rad, G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C14 32g, Nvidia Reference RTX 2080 TI, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1Tb, Windows 11