- Intel i7 950 Processor 3.06Ghz
- Asus P6T7 WS Supercomputer Motherboard + Koolance Waterblock
- Corsair 12GB Vengeance DDR3 1600Mhz Ram
- Corsair AX1200 PSU
- CM Storm Sniper Case + Clear Side Panel
- Gainward GTX295 + EK Waterblock Graphics Card
- GTX295 in Quad SLi
- 120GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro Solid State Drive
- 2TB WD Caviar Black Hard Disk Drive
- Asus U3S6 USB3 & 6GB Sata Expansion Card
- Sony BD-Rom
- 2 x 200mm Coolermaster Case Fans + extension cables
- 2 x 140mm Silenx Case Fans + extension cables
- XSPC 750 2 Bay Reservoir + Pump
- Apogee GTZ CPU Block
- P6T7 WS Koolance Supercomputer Water Block
- GTX295 EK Water Block (2 x PCB)
- Phobya 480mm Radiator
- 4 x Noctua NP12F Vortex Fans + extension cables
- 4 Channel fan Controller
- Koolance Rear Radiator Mount
- 13mm ID (19mm OD) Clear Tubing
I knocked this together yesterday and this morning (with the help of plenty of coffee). It has been over a month in the making; due in part to the nightmares which I had with the rogues, scoundrels and scallywags currently frequenting e-bay, but they make for several other stories. Waiting for my adhoc ‘changes to spec’ to arrive in the post also delayed things.
This 1366 X58 motherboard will take the Intel Xeon processor but I decided to go for the more ‘budget’ Core i7 950, this processor will (if you are lucky) overclock considerable higher than the stock 3.06Ghz speed (or so I am lead to believe). The water cooling loop keeps the i7 950 at a steady 32 degrees C in idle (in a very warm room) and around 60 with all 4 cores/8 threads stretched to 100%. Theoretically, I should be able to squeeze another 1Ghz or so with some careful bios tweaking.
The fan controller will silence the case fans but with an 8 degree C motherboard temperature increase. Not too many current software releases will push the processor to 100% – so silent mode will be used for most day to day stuff.
At £100 – 150, the NVidia GTX295 represents excellent value (non-DX11) graphics grunt and they are quite overclockable when tamed with a bit of liquid cooling. The 295 was the fastest graphics card on the planet not too long ago. A pair of GTX’s joined with an SLi bridge puts your gaming up there with a few current and more expensive offerings (at the expensive of DirectX 11).
The 120GB SSD beats a pair of WD 300GB 10,000RPM HDD’s in Raid 0 when batch resizing/watermarking 189MB of photographs – by nearly a minute. With everything in the bios set to auto and the latest Geforce Drivers installed this set-up cracked out a fairly impressive P32000 score in 3DMark Vantage.
Overall (after several hiccups) I managed to source a lot of pre-owned hardware for a fraction of the original retail price… Bonus!
It’s a bit on the heavy side so it will stay there until I can persuade someone to move it for me! I still need to pick up a single PCB watercooling block for the bottom GTX 295 – so that could be some time.