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Dark Horse

by soumik


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Dec. 23, 2015

Date Built

Dec. 21, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

50.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.14 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

39.0° C


I told myself that I would build a gaming/productivity machine as a reward for finishing grad school. So, after many years of patiently waiting, here it is.

Dark Horse. Silent and deadly.

Rationale for the parts I chose...

CPU: I wanted something that can handle AAA games. While there are plenty that can do this (for much less), I wanted to get full 40 PCI lanes for future expansion. The 5960x was far too expensive for me (not to mention the price/performance ratio doesn't justify the cost) but the 5930K is just right.

Motherboard: I fell in love with the R5E as soon as I laid my eyes on it. It had all the right features for me and the location of the fan headers were an added bonus. Since the motherboard is the heart of any system, I was willing to spend a bit more to get a top notch motherboard. I was not disappointed.

Memory: OK, so I bought the TridentZ only because of looks. I mean, just look at it! It's gorgeous.

Storage: Unlike most people, I wasn't concerned about adding gobs of storage space on my PC. I have a 12TB Drobo (NAS) where I store all my media, documents and backups and a gigabit wired network throughout my home. However, I wanted to get something that would be fast without occupying too much space. The Samsung is a thing of beauty and its performance is unparalleled (for now!).

Video Card: The 980Ti is the graphics card to beat for price/performance. For me, one of the biggest concerns was acoustics. So I wanted to get a hybrid that would help with the GPU boost and at the same time keep noise levels low. Overclocking is good but I wasn't willing to sacrifice noise for overclocking capability.

Case: The Corsair 750D (which I was considering at first) was perfect in terms of fitting in my den but I was always concerned about the lack of proper ventilation. When the 750D Airflow edition came out, there was no question, this was the one for me. It has plenty of room for future expansion and the side window panel was located perfectly for my setup.

Power Supply: EVGA power supplies (especially the P2) were very highly rated. Yes, 1000W is overkill for my current setup but I am planning to add a second graphics card in the future (if the wife allows!) so some future proofing is in play here.

Case Fans: As mentioned earlier, acoustics was a key build principle. When it comes to fan noise, nothing beats a Noctua (though the EK Vardars are equally good these days). And I wasn't disappointed. After tuning the fans through the Asus software and setting up the right profile, all three fans are deadly silent.

Monitor: Mother of gaming gods... this thing is a stunner! I overclocked it to 100Hz and the thing is buttery smooth in games and Windows. Games that support this resolution are absolutely gorgeous and immersive. The colors are bright and sharp. Windows runs natively at this resolution and the real estate on the screen is very much appreciated. Absolutely no regrets on this purchase.

CPU Cooler: I went with the EK Predator 240 AIO. What an amazing cooler! The fans are super quiet (comparable to the Noctua) and the cooler itself is solidly built. I was concerned about fitting it into the case but as it turns out, it fits perfectly.

I still have to clean up some of the cable management around my den but for now, I'm just admiring and enjoying the base system! Once the initial euphoria dies, I will look into overclocking this beast and pushing it to its limits!

Part Reviews


Amazing! Overclockable to 100Hz. Supported natively in Windows 10. The color accuracy and sharpness is absolutely stunning.

Notes: Use a displayport cable to overclock and get the full benefits. OC is disabled when using HDMI and due to HDMI limitations, you will only get 50Hz maximum using HDMI

You can use a mini-displayport to displayport cable to connect your mac to this display. That's what I did and I am able to get native 3440x1440 resolution in Mac OSX (El Capitan). You are still limited to 60Hz because that's the max that Macbook Pro (retina) can output.

The on screen display on the monitor is total garbage! It WILL take you a while to get used to the menus. The good news is that once you set it, you can forget it so the OSD menus are not a deal breaker. One suggestion (strongly advised): increase the OSD timeout menu to something like 15 seconds so that you can fumble around for the right buttons.

No dead pixels or bleeding issues. There is IPS glow but that is expected and only viewable on dark backgrounds.

Comments Sorted by:

adimitriadis9 3 Builds 2 points 40 months ago

Awesome build and congrats on finishing grad school. I've actually been been doing something similar, upgrading components of my build after every semester. Working on my tower is great stress relief.

soumik submitter 1 Build 4 points 40 months ago

I know how you feel. Keep at it! Education is always a good investment! :)

Fsylar 1 point 40 months ago

Oh glorious! You do know there is a black noctua fans equally quiet.

gamerred 3 points 40 months ago

I can't imagine why noctua thought that tan would be a good color. I'm going to be getting some and custom painting it

soumik submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

I think Linus did something similar.

The hard part is of course trying to get into the nooks and crannies and making sure that the paint job looks professional. I certainly didn't have those skills so I stuck with the tan ones.

gamerred 1 point 40 months ago

Try try try again :/

soumik submitter 1 Build 2 points 40 months ago

I think you're referring to the Industrial PPC line from Noctua. Those have higher RPMs so they will definitely make more noise. I was looking at those but the higher noise was a deal breaker for me. That being said, they do have PWM version so you might be able to tune it in your fan control software.

There are IP67 versions as well but you're really paying a lot more for dust and water protection. Unless you're doing a very exotic build, I don't think it's worth paying that much more, in my opinion.

nuked24 4 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

No- the Redux line is gray/black. They're less expensive(for Noctua) PWM fans that aren't the normal ugly Noctua tan/brown combo.

soumik submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Oh yes! The problem is that it doesn't come with any of the fan accessories. The tan ones are pricier but only because they have all the parts as well - extension cables, low noise adapter and most importantly, the rubber bumpers on the fans which reduce vibration. I would have to order those separately

The colours are certainly better than the tan ones but it still wouldn't have matched my build anyway.

Kimchi 1 point 40 months ago

Woah that monitor is looking nice.

soumik submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

It really is an amazing monitor! Highly recommend it

Kimchi 1 point 40 months ago

I plan on using freesync, instead of G-Sync because the monitors that support G-sync are just really expensive, if it was cheaper I would get it.

dabasepc 1 point 40 months ago

Weird airflow and fans orientation. Nice parts.

soumik submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

It's mainly due to the hybrid GPU. I had to put the radiator out front as an exhaust.

The 140mm is an intake as well as the two 120mm fans at the bottom.

The CPU cooler exhausts from the top.

There is a LOT of room in the case so ventilation is not an issue, even with a second graphics card in the future.

Bor3alis 1 point 40 months ago

Every time someone posts a build with the acer predator x34 I cry a little. It's almost perfect

mb67 5 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

That monitor is glorious. The build is nice too.

philphaser 12 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Crazy build…but that build stand is far beyond…freaky!

soumik submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Haha! Yes, I built it from the 750D cardboard box but it turned out to be a little creepier than I anticipated

philphaser 12 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Where did that creepy pic go?! : /

auldae 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Forget OSX, this build is El Capitan. +1 Why the pricey AIO tho? Are you going to try and retrofit an EK monoblock on it? (Strokes chin)

soumik submitter 1 Build 2 points 40 months ago

Very intuitive. I am planning to dabble in water cooling at some point in the future. As per EK, the cooler is upgradeable to a water-cooled setup.

Sxcbeast 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Are you able to max out the frame rate on that monitor with a single 980ti on most titles? I figure Witcher 3 might take a 2nd 980ti to max out, but what about everything else?

soumik submitter 1 Build 2 points 40 months ago

I haven't tried all the games but certainly for most of the recent AAA games, you will get a very good framerate. There are plenty of videos on YouTube where people have played recent titles with just one 980 Ti. I can tell you that it is definitely playable. A second 980 Ti will help for sure but some games just don't take advantage of SLI as they should be

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soumik submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

That's the plan! :)

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soumik submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

I haven't had a single issue with this monitor. I think the newer batches are much better. Based on the reviews I saw online, the newest batches have no problems whatsoever. No bleeding, banding or dead pixels

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