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The Obsidian!

by TechyinAZ



Date Published

Jan. 25, 2015

Date Built

Dec. 25, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

4.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.425 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6.2 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C



My slow laptop wasn't cutting it, so i decided to build a new machine that will last me a long time.

For my build i wanted a hybrid system, a light gaming system/multitasking/virtual machine system.

Motherboard: I picked the Z97-A because it was built specifically for my needs, it was a work and play motherboard and had all the features i needed. Biggest one was Fan Xpert.

The AI Suite 3 is probably the coolest piece of software that you can have on a mobo. Ton's of features, overclock support in windows (though I don't recommend that). And the ability to choose different profiles for different programs/games. What I like the most is the special Away Mode. When this mode is on (it enables when monitor turns off, I have my PC turn off all non essential fans (specifically, the front intake and rear exhaust fans) which allows my PC to suck up way less dust than normal.

CPU: I bought a i5 over an i7 because I don't need that much performance yet, and i also wanted an excuse to upgrade to a i7 broadwell CPU in the near future. I'm glad i bought the i5 4690K, it is very fast, and good enough for my needs for now.

CPU Cooler: I originally bought the H100i because the H105 which is what I wanted was too expensive at the time i bought my rig. But unfortunately (or in a way fortunately lol), my H100i was defective and i had to RMA it (pump issues). So instead of getting another h100i i bought the H105 instead because it was on sale (i believe). The h105 is defiantly better, my temps are around 10C less than with the H100i.

RAM (Memory): I bought 2400mhz RAM because I like to multitask a lot and use VM's which suck up a lot of computer resources. This RAM defiantly delivers, great speed and no slow downs. RAM disks run crazy fast also. (I plan to upgrade to 16GB in the future so i can run more VMs and/or run bigger RAM disks).

Video Card (GPU): At first, I was going to wait until the GTX 960 came out to get my graphics card. But, relooking at the games I play, Portal 2, War Thunder, Hawken. The GTX 750 ti was more than enough to pump out ultra on all these games (1080P). So i bought the gtx 750 ti FTW edition from EVGA because it is the fastest model on the market.

Now that the GTX 960 is out, i'm now even more glad that I bought the gtx 750 ti because I was a bit disappointed with the gtx 960s performance. Because I was expecting the gtx 960 to be at $250 and replace the gtx 770. (Summary, not worth the wait for the gtx 960.)

Case: I always loved the Corsair Obsidian Series, sharp, high quality, and not too much bling. This is why I picked the Corsair 450D. The top and bottom dust filters are very nice. The front of the case has a type of dust filter. But it only filters about 50% of the air coming in. However, it's better than nothing. :)

PSU (Power Supply): I would of bought a Corsair CX or HX series psu if i bought this rig a year earlier. However a few months ago i researched why CX was a bad model from Corsair. This is because they use extremely cheap capacitors that aren't designed for high performance systems. Plus, Corsair HX psus use Seasonic parts which is why they are so much better. So why didn't I go with HX? Because they don't have a 550W HX PSU, and Seasonic did. So i got the G series 550w from SeaSonic and it has not let me down.

Update: While this PSU is very good, it's non modular cables are SHORT!!! I could barely fit the 8 pin CPU header cable from the psu to behind the mobo tray to connect it. And not have it showing. If you have a Full tower or Super tower, don't even think of getting this PSU.

I bought this rig and built it in late December 2014.

Notes: I already bought the Corsair Force GT a few years ago (when it first came out), and got Windows 8 Pro when it was on sale for only $20 (also got Media Center Pack for free)!


In my first pics, the cable management was in my opinion terrible, so a few months later I spend a hour and was able to clean up a lot of the "mess". Your thoughts on the update would be much appreciated.

(Sorry if one of my pics is really blurry, i was struggling to get good shots with low lighting and not using a flash.)

UPDATE 2: GPU Overclocking

Since this card is somewhat meant for overclocking in mind, i decided to see how far i could get. The unfortunate thing about the gtx 750/750ti is that only some get really high frequencies while most don't as much. I got one of the middle type of gpus, and was able to land 1410mhz gpu clock with no voltage increase. But i kept getting constant throttling by the power target which really hindered performance.

So, i decided to go "NUTS"! The GTX 750 TI FTW actually only has a 52W TDP. Which brings up the question, why a 6 pin PCIE connector? Well, when i dug deeper you actually use NO Power from that 6 pin connection! Since PCIE can deliver 75W, it seems like that connector is for show. But, if you do it right, you can turn that 6 pin into an advantage.

I dug deeper into what's called BIOS modding, it's a special way of modding the bios so that you can play with the cards power target, voltage, core clock, boost clock, GPU boost 2.0, vram voltage, PCIE voltage, 6 pin Voltage etc. I was helped by a master of this type of overclocking on the evga forums (send me a PM if you want more info).

Anyways, long story short I was able (ok rather helped) to get my gtx 750 ti of a final overclock of 1425mhz and memory clock of 1550mhz. Compared to the original 1189 core, 1275 boost, and 1350 memory clock, that was a good increase. And i got a good amount of extra FPS too.

Part Reviews


Pros: Absolutely everything.

Cons: Doesn't warm my room up as well as my old Q9650 rig.

But in all seriousness, I wish there was an option to buy the chip without the cooler. This would reduce the price (not to mention waste) by a non-trivial amount. I'm sure most of the people who purchase at this level toss the stock heat sink in favor of superior solutions, especially for the "k" series processors which imply the intent to overclock.

Other Thoughts: I have this running with an ASUS Z97-A and a Cooler Master Seidon 120V. I was able to overclock the turbo from 3.9GHZ to 4.6GHZ and REDUCE the turbo voltage from 1.2V to 1.12V. Idle temps are around 26C and full load (Prime95 small FFT test) temps are from 60C to 65C. This was truly a great purchase, and I would highly recommend spending the extra $$ for this CPU.

Comments Sorted by:

NinjamanJosh 1 Build 2 points 49 months ago

Your CPU block is rotated wrong...

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I know, but the tubes fit better by doing so. Once I change the CPU for a new one, ill flip it back to normal and see if that looks better.

PointsPotions 1 point 51 months ago

For that price r9 270/r9 280 is better

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Yeah I know, but I got my GTX 750 ti for only $120.

And I also wanted nvidia physX, because one of the games i play exclusively has that and i wanted to take advantage of it.

PointsPotions 1 point 51 months ago

that should have been included in your description :)

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Good point. Though i did say light gaming system.

PointsPotions 1 point 51 months ago

But you might reconsider buying a new gpu tho :) There are tons of good games out there that needs a lot of GPU horsepower. And your cpu's potential too. Try the rebranded version of r9 270 in q3 2015 alongside r9 380x. It was rumored to have 3gb/2.5gb vram and upgraded tonga cores.

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Thx again for the advice, but i won't be playing any new games. I'm just sticking to portal 2 and war thunder. That's it.

However if i was going to play battlefield hardline and all the other FPS games then a r9 370 (whatever its going to be called) would defiantly be a very good option.

Ntress 1 point 50 months ago

How's the cooler? did you have problems with it? do you recommend it?

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

The H105 is a very good cooler, it cools very well.

The only problem i'd say I had with it was fitting it in the 450D. Because the 450D is only a mid tower, the H105's fans can touch your VRMs and if your vrm's on the motherboard are too big then you'll have to put the h105 in the front.

Besides that, it cools very well. When video converting the maximum temp i get is 52C (at stock), and when overclocked to 4.5ghz it gets to around 57C max.

I would defiantly recommend it for somebody who just needs a simple but powerful liquid cooler. But if you like corsair link then I suggest going with a H110I GT or H100i GTX.

Ntress 1 point 50 months ago

actually i got a full tower nzxt phantom 530, you can check my build.. and i consider to take one of the liquids: Corsair H105\H110 Nzxt kraken x41

or the air cooler Phanteks PH-TC14PE

what do you think?

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 2 points 50 months ago

Nice rig btw. :)

I would get the H105 (or h100i GTX), since i don't see any support for the h110's 280mm radiator. And the Nzxt kraken x41 is only a 120mm rad.

Ntress 1 point 50 months ago

I see. Why not air cooling btw? Isn't it more reliability?

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Yes it is more reliable. But i personally perfer liquid because it's a lot smaller than it's air cooled counterparts. Some air coolers are so heavy that you can risk breaking the mobo of you move the case around too much.

However, i doubt that phanteks is that heavy. Good cooler though from what i've heard, however i haven't heard much about phanteks coolers.

I personally like the nocula coolers, while a little more pricy they are very good.

Malik959 6 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Nice, i have got to Purchase one.

noahsgalaxy 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

I was thinking of getting the same case! Nice build BTW!

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Yeah the case is nice. I plan to add some led fans very soon.

JoelKim 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago


This guy here... 1600 comp but a 99 cent camera.

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

I'm trying to figure out if that was a joke...

JoelKim 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

Just jealous :)

CmHoops 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

i came here because i saw your comment and advice on my first build, and you mentioned you had the 450d and i had to see it... good thing i did because this machine is beautiful!

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Thanks sir!

BearCS 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

I'm a huge fan of that case also looks really good. The whole build overall, I like the stealth aesthetic!

[comment deleted]
TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

Hey man, thx for the comment!

My next white and black theme won't be another PC, rather I plan on upgrading my parts on my current rig. So far I want to use the SP120 fans and white sleeved cables. :)

flamingchicken4 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

Hey! We have the same CPU, motherboard, and case! Awesome parts! Ever get those LED fans? I did and I love them. They look so damn good in this case. Highly recommend the Corsair SP120s!

TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Cool! And no, I didn't get the LED fans, at least not yet.

I really need to start saving up for other things, including my next rig in the next 2 years. Which hopefully can be X109.

[comment deleted]
TechyinAZ submitter 14 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

Thx a lot! I was aware of such an option, but newegg.com didn't have it in stock at the time.

Plus, I'm actually glad I had the stock heatsink on hand because my h100i's pump was going out. So while i was waiting for my H105 replacement to get here I used the stock cooler for a few days.