Ivy Bridge platform.Current rig.
Moving the specs to the top of this post because of how incredibly large it's gotten.
Removed deprecated things, you can see them in my previous posts.
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Processor: Intel i7-3770K ~4.5GHz @1.28v (bit higher than I like)
Memory: G.Skill 16GB (4x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 7-8-7-24 2T
Video Card: ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU2 @1050MHz
Hard Drives: Storage: Seagate NAS 2x 4TB RAID1 | OCZ Vertex 3 120GB (OS), OCZ Vertex 4 512GB (Games), Samsung EVO 1TB (Games), Seagate 600 240GB (Misc storage, Windows 7)
Monitor: ASUS PB298Q / HP f2304 (mfg in 2004: 1920x1200. STILL waiting for a 120+Hz 16:10 monitor.)
Sound Card: X-Fi XtremeGamer (PCI is killing my motherboard choices)
Network Card: Killer 2100
Speakers: Creative T40 II (I hate bass)
Headphones: ASUS Vulcan / Steelseries 5Hv2 [Do not use]
Microphone: Blue Yeti
Keyboard: Logitech G710+
Mouse: Steelseries Sensei
Mouse Surface: QCK Mass
Operating System: vLited Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP2
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V Pro
Computer Case: HAF-X
Power Supply: Seasonic X-650
Optical Drives: Lite-On LH-20A1S, Lite-On iHAS422 [Do not use]
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D14
Accessories: Scythe Kaze Master Pro fan controller
Just a minor upgrade after a failed motherboard in just over a year of ownership. Bad ASUS.
The new board is a joke. 2 USB 2.0 ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports on the back? Useless Wi-Fi? 4 useless video outputs? Display Port and HDMI is all we need, okay? Converters exist. No E-SATA, no dual-LAN, no POWERED ports as far as I can tell. No power/reset switches or debug LED on the board either. NO CLEAR CMOS BUTTON!
Lost a bunch of things and gained a bunch of useless things. System actually is using more watts when idle now because of this, despite the TDP of the processor being 23W lower, and I'm not even in an overclocked state anymore (at time of writing). So much for power savings, ASUS.
The ONLY reason I'm forced to choose from these shit boards is because I STILL need a PCI slot which is usable with SLI'd GPUs. Why the fuck did ASUS not make a P8Z77-EVO?Edit
: Talked to ASUS rep over twitter briefly, maybe that incident will get them to bring a P8Z77-Evo into production, but I doubt it.
*sigh* Even when I upgrade to a single 670/680, I'll still need the PCI slot, which still doesn't exist on the higher end boards that I want to use. And if you're going to ask, NO. I'm not switching over to a PCI-E sound card; they are the ones that have all the problems. If you want to buy one for me out of pity, then I'll use it as gratitude.Edit2
: Couldn't wait anymore.GTX 670, DAS keyboard, and the ASUS Vulcan headset
Went with the MSI 670 over the ASUS for varying reasons.
The headphones are the FIRST headphones I've ever put on and immediately feel comfortable wearing. AND they're noise canceling, both passive AND active. Amazing.. now I have to hope they don't break within a year and don't sound like shit.Edit
: ANC is useless if you're trying to listen to anything. The effect when it's active really messes with my head as well, so I avoid using it. Sound quality is so-so; seems like the sound is being dampened by the passive noise canceling. Audio quality doesn't sound as good as my 5Hv2. Oh and they rest on a terrible spot on my head which makes me feel really nauseated after an extended period of time (less than 2 hours).. then again I think my head just isn't made for headphones. No pair of headphones I've ever worn in the last 7 years has been a good experience.
Picked up a DAS keyboard out of desperation... I hate it. The keys don't really feel any different, except louder (brown switches), still making mistakes. I honestly don't feel the tactile feedback. If I slow down I can push it and see it activate, but I don't feel it when I'm typing normally. Guess I should return it and get the blue version instead, but I thought brown would fit my needs, guess not. Keyboard repeat rate is slower for some reason.
The keyboard is a LOT smaller than my old one, has NO backlight (my old had customizable backlighting, I chose red of course), media keys, macro keys, windows key lock, mute button, soft touch keys, and most importantly: CONTOURED KEYS.
The DAS? 100% standard sharp edge keys. It's like the keyboards of 20 years ago. I can't use this shit anymore. Sure, it may be built like a rock, but I can't use this old style anymore.
I am fucking up my typing 40% of the time, up from 2%. And when I go to do stuff in windows (hotkeys), I fuck up 90% of the time. I go to look at the keys so I don't hit the wrong damn button while I try to get used to the changes, but I got the blank version, so I'm looking at the position of my hands and it's fine, but slower than normal. Even just a backlight so I can see the shadow of my hands would help me out.
Damn, this thing is loud.
OH, AND IT HAS NO WRIST REST
. YEAH. CHEAP SHIT.Edit3
: Went back to my old keyboard after 2 days. I couldn't stand making so many mistakes and not being comfortable using the keyboard at all. Returned the DAS. Guess I'm picking up some other keyboard now..Edit4
: Managed to reach my old 4.5GHz OC with reasonable voltage (1.28.. more than I'd ike). CPU has hit a max of 94C on core 2. I sometimes crash doing extremely intensive things like running Prime95 along with Heaven, but windows itself and all games I've played have been stable, so I'm considering this my 'stable' limit within reasonable temps/voltage. My D-14 barely exhausts hot air. Ivy Bridge is so terrible for overclocking. I cannot believe Intel is getting away with this thermal compound bullshit. Even third party thermal compound replacement drops temps over 6C; that shows how fucking SHIT their choice of paste is. *sigh* Can't wait until IB-E is out so I can be fucked out of more of my money to get a CPU that isn't an overheating piece of garbage.
Edit: My temps are far, far more reasonable now for some reason. I generally don't go over 80C when running stress tests and stay under 70C when gaming. The chip also can't seem to get over 4.5GHz, I just tried throwing 1.32v at it and a mass of power/current increases and it's still unstable. What a goddamn shame.Major Edit 5; 11/28/2012
: Picked up a Vertex 4 512GB
for running games off of and recording 1080/1200p60 footage to. It's the M model, so it has a bit less write IOPS and potentially some reliability issues compared to the regular version, but I am not using it for my OS or critical files, so I could care less. Still better than the Agility 4.
Oh and I have no more SATA ports left, because Intel's chipsets are garbage for SATA connectivity. Going to have to plug one of my drives into the garbage Marvell port; guess it's going to be my really old HDD I use only to keep really old stuff on due to old habits and memories. A shame, hope it doesn't cause any issues with the IDE to SATA converter I have on it. Going to hate having my boot time slowed down EVEN MORE due to the controller having to initialize and waste 3 seconds.
Edit: Turns out it's an ASMedia controller and doesn't add an additional boot screen. I am more pleased than I was before. No noticeable controller issues yet, can even run my DVD drive off it too.
Along with that, I also decided to tryout the Logitech G710+
, the only mechanical keyboard (along with the Corsair K90) to be enough of a custom design to warrant replacing my Alienware TactX. I am having issues with it, as expected, but it's a lot better than the DAS in terms of usability, since it actually has fucking media buttons, LIKE A MUTE KEY, and backlighting. Only problem is the backlighting is a blinding white. Even at 25% brightness it still causes issues with my eyes when looking directly at my monitor in a darker environment. I'm forced to turn the lighting off, which is thankfully possible, when watching videos or if playing an intensive game (which is where the WASD lights come in handy for keeping my hand placement in the right area). My old keyboard had any color lighting I wanted, 'cause Alienware is good like that. It was a pleasing red and in no way distracting since it was a darker, warmer color. They say white is neutral, but it's a bright obnoxious piece of trash to me.
The O-rings are okay, makes the keys a bit more sensitive than I'd like, but does decrease the noise a fair bit. Might try to remove them and see which way I like it better. Only problem is that they didn't include a goddamn key remover OR a cleaning cloth. Come on Logitech, stop being so fucking cheap.
The main issue I have with the keyboard right now is the spacebar. It is incredibly sensitive, causing me to space at times I don't want to, especially when reaching for backspace as I put a tiny bit of pressure down with my thumb when doing so. I was forced to take the o-ring out of it to lessen the sensitivity, along with turn the entire thing around because the idiot designer thought it was a good idea to have the slant going away from you rather than towards you, resulting in the bottom edge of the spacebar to be raised up quite a bit, further adding to the increased risk of unintentional input. Luckily, it still works like that and feels more comfortable, like my old keyboard. Shame that this causes an increased gap between the spacebar and the main keys due to the way it's slanted.
Another quality control issue is the fact that the lighting isn't even, at all. Some lights are far dimmer than the others and some are far brighter. This is noticeable on every brightness setting, especially the dimmest (25%) setting.
As for my ability using it, I made 4 typos in the last sentence. That should tell you how un-used to this thing I am. (Made 7 mistakes typing that too)
I don't plan to send it back because it does have a mute button, which is all I really wanted, and a wrist wrest, something the DAS didn't have. Unfortunately, the wrist wrest is half the length of my old one, so it's far more slanted than I'm used to. It also pops the fuck off incredibly easy. I used to lift my old keyboard up by the wrist wrest to clean it. If I do that with this one, it snaps right the fuck off and causes the keyboard to smash down onto my desk; lovely. Terrible quality compared to my older one.
And don't get me started on the aesthetics. There is also branding ALL OVER THE FUCKING KEYBOARD. There are 3, THREE, G710+ logos plastered on the keyboard, one in plain view right above the arrow keys. Logitech's logo is also plastered on the bottom ridge of the keyboard, accented by a metal piece. The wrist wrest even has an indent to make sure that part of the keyboard is completely exposed. Know what branding my old keyboard had? The Alienware alien logo; you know, a head, and it was part of the design in between the media keys; it fit and was not obnoxious in the slightest. No other branding. This is shit. The colors are abysmal as well. The main part of the keyboard is a glossy black (which is why I bitched about not including a cleaning cloth. The outer sides of the keyboard are a dark grey. The wrist wrest is black (didn't think about that did they?). The WASD and arrow keys are GRAY. GRAY! They look hideous. IF that wasn't bad enough, there is an OBNOXIOUSLY BRIGHT NEON ORANGE ACCENT AROUND THE MEDIA KEYS AND ON THE USB PLUGS. WTF? Someone commented that you could remove it, but I see no way to do so unless forcing it out with a screwdriver and potentially breaking part of the keyboard.
Oh, and they also did a shit job painting the keycaps. The didn't even bother doing the insides.
Aside from that, there's one last thing I don't like which ruins the keyboard.It pings.
The DAS didn't ping.
This again makes it feel cheap. It really irritates me. It's worse near the top of the keyboard and in certain other spots. The backplane is metal, but apparently it 's a cheap piece of garbage.
Very overpriced at $150, but so far it's the closest mechanical keyboard to the design I prefer, so I am planning to keep it. Hate giving Logitech money for this half-assed piece of shit, but oh well, what can you do? I'm not a Vine freeloader who doesn't even know how to review a fucking mechanical keyboard (Yes, I'm looking at you Amazon reviewers).
But hey, for something positive, I only need one USB port for the keyboard and backlight, yay. No more having my keyboard/Windows go crazy when I put a feather on the cord thanks to this terrible motherboard. (Edit: It still does it; need a fucking replacement motherboard that doesn't have fucked up USB ports.)
Displeased, but also feel slightly positive. *sigh*[7/13/2013 update]:
Well, well, well.. I've now finally obtained my first x80 graphics card; notably ASUS' DirectCU2
version of the GTX 780
I spent quite a lot of money and pre-purchase expectations lead me to believe that it was going to be a great investment; especially comparing non-reference cards to the $1,000 Titan.
Still.. nearly $700 (Actually paid $727 because lol tax); that's the cost of a mainstream gaming PC. With such a pricetag comes the expectation that this card will last 2 generations; which is not really something you can say about the last few generations of x80 cards. The 780 and Titan are quite big exceptions, as their single GPU performance is out of this world compared to any other graphics card ever released in their respective generation. While the 690 still beats it out in raw performance, it still is SLI'd 680's, whiich if you know me by now, I refuse to go back to SLI due to massive inefficiency (and microstutter/frame skipping issues) in applications that don't take advantage of SLI; which is mostly every non-AAA game or benchmark utility.
I've only run Unigine Heaven 4.0 so far.. and, well. You be the judge:
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Min FPS: 15.3
Max FPS: 81.7
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Min FPS: 30.0
Max FPS: 112.9
Yeah; it's damn good, especially considering my 670 was clocked above reference 680 performance.
This 780 is more powerful than the Titan (or so I'd initially assume; haven't actually seen any benchmarks of it yet), and it will get even better once I start overclocking it.
This is the first piece of real hardware I've bought in a year. I'm happy I finally have something, but sad that my 670 only lasted a single generation. Hopefully I can still put it to good use, but until I get my own place (for more space), I think it's just going to sit in storage. Could sell it, but I'm never dealing with Ebay and their scamming asses again.
Now to wait until Ivy/Haswell-E is out.. really need a 6+ core CPU for encoding. Hurry the fuck up Intel; stop being so lazy and stingy to improving the enthusiast CPU world, you monopolizing fucks.
Edit: Lol Ivy-E is out and it's the most worthless possible upgrade you can imagine. Barely any IPC improvements and the chipset is old as trash: I couldn't even switch to it if I wanted to because of how outdated the chipset is.
Intel gives no shits about enthusiast community anymore.Please AMD, come back into power, you're our only hope.
Some edit in November: Hey look, NVIDIA were assholes and released a better top end card shortly after their top end card release, which they haven't done since the 8800 Ultra a decade ago. They also dropped my card's price by $200 and added tons of bundles to new purchases of their cards.
Lost a ton of respect for NVIDIA now. I had to fight Newegg over getting a shitty Blacklist promotion (added the day after I purchased) and paid $722 (tax) for the card; more than the MSRP of the 780 Ti, which is like 10% faster than the 780. Never forgive.
Seems my 500GB Seagate drive died and took all my older games, saves and screenshots with it. I didn't use it much after getting a 512GB SSD and having a lot of space on my 1TB WD Black, so I mainly used it for legacy things already installed there, MMOs I didn't really care about, and all my old saved data from said games (screenshots, some game saves, settings, misc other files).
I've had it unplugged for a while now and dread seeing if it's really dead. If so, that will be my second failed hard drive ever, my first being a refurbished WD Raptor which WD sent me after finding my BRAND NEW one was partially DOA (mass bad sectors), which I've never forgiven them about. First Seagate that's ever failed me, and it wasn't that old either. I still have my 7200.8 with nearly 8 years of run time recorded on it; shown no signs of dying, but I'm going to finally replace it with an SSD since I'm removing all my mechanical drives shortly; full SSD system now, tired of dealing with 7200RPM platter whine and slower than normal boots (and higher power consumption).12/12/13 edit:
The drive is actually dead. I had a few years worth of data on it I never backed up.. because I used the drive as a backup. I didn't have the room on my RAID to mirror the data, which I do now, and it's too late. All my old games, game saves, screenshots and game music are gone; waiting for a time when I can spend $1,000 to recover it.
I picked up a Seagate 600 240GB SSD and a 1TB Samsung EVO to replace my very old 250GB storage drive and 1TB WD Black (because of the noise). I thought about getting a 512GB EVO to replace my 500GB drive that's now dead, but I didn't know if it was in fact dead. I don't really need the space right now since I moved over everything off the 250GB drive to my RAID, so I'm fine with what I have right now.
Replaced my 2TB array with a 4TB. Seagate green to WD Red. The reds are so much louder it's unbelievable; louder than the WD Black with their high pitch whine; loudest drives in my system right now. I may end up returning them and replacing them with Seagate NAS drives instead (stopped making greens). This boggles my mind because they spin at a slower RPM than all my other drives.
I'm forced to disconnect my greens because I don't have a RAID card and the other ports don't support RAID (afaik) and I don't have any more drive bay space left. I need to find a replacement for my HAF-X; its age is a big problem.
Will probably remove the Black soon, but I still want to keep it for use as a dump drive; honestly think it's better to just put in my green to stop the noise. I really hate the thought of removing things due to the money spent on this shit ($70 for black, $160 for greens), but I can't afford to build a 2nd PC or buy a NAS or buy a RAID card. That's life.
So, here's the archive: Hard Drives: Storage: 250GB Seagate .10 (IDE) / Seagate Green 2x 2TB RAID1 | Active: 500GB Seagate .12 (SATA2), 1TB WD Black 64MB Cache (SATA3) / OCZ Vertex 3 120GB (OS), OCZ Vertex 4 512GB (Games)
Edit: More archive: Seagate Green 2x 2TB RAID1 [disconnected, no bays], WD Red 2x 4TB RAID1
Now edited above.
Still pissed about the 780 thing; need to try and fight for a free upgrade to a 780 Ti or a 6GB card or something; this is ridiculous.