TechwareLabs Monster Build Part 2: The Machine
In Part 1: The Gear we introduced the key hardware and drooled over the ridiculous components. Now in Part 2: The Machine, we’ll go over the build and actually see it in action.
As with all PCs, ours started out as nothing more than a pile of boxes (although a very expensive pile of boxes). In part 1 we went over the key components, the CPU, GPU, motherboard, RAM, and SSD. What we didn’t cover was everything else, so we’ll give you a run down real quick before we start.
- NZXT Phantom 410 mid-tower case
- Corsair H100 CPU cooler
- Fractal Design Adjust 108 fan controller
- Thermaltake Toughpower 1350W power supply
The Phantom 410 is an excellent case with plenty of airflow to keep everything running cool and the H100 became wildly popular for a reason, you get nearly as much performance as a custom water cooling loop with none of the hassle.
Being an insane all-out build, we had originally planned to install a full custom loop from Thermaltake, but they weren’t quite available by the time we were ready to build. Keep an eye out for that review later.
We aren’t going to bore you with a step-by-step of how we assembled the components, you surely know how to do that already. Instead, we’ll hit a few key points and then show off the finished product.
If you haven’t seen a socket 2011 chip in person, then you may not realize just how large they are. What this means for a builder though is that you are going to have to put a little more thermal paste on to cover the extra area, so keep that in mind. Another thing is that with these 2011 boards is that the memory is on both sides of the chip and quite close to the socket. This isn’t a problem if you are using a water cooler, but I have a feeling some larger air coolers might have clearance issues with the memory.
And here’s it is fully assembled. We tried to keep the cabling as tidy as possible for good airflow without spending hours upon hours doing just cable management.
Something to note, the 290X is a behemoth. At over 12 inches long you are going to have to do some measuring before trying to throw it in a small case. In our Phantom 410 the hard drive bays had to be removed to make room (which also allows for more airflow).
While the PC was fun to build and looks good, that isn’t why we have thousands of dollars worth of equipment in it is it? No, this machine was built to shred benchmarks and tear through any game we can throw at it. So naturally after getting Windows and our programs installed we went straight in to UEFI to see just how far we could push this chip, and our results were pretty surprising.
With the H100 cooling it down, we were able to push the 4960X to 4.8GHz fully stable at just 1.4 volts. I have a feeling this chip can go further, but we were starting to stretch the H100 past its limits, nudging a little over 80 C on a few cores so we stayed here. This is a seriously impressive overclock and there is probably still a little more left in this chip. With a proper water cooling loop and some more voltage, we’re hoping to break 5 GHz stable so watch for that in future reviews.
With the CPU overclocked to the sky, the only things that could keep up in heavily multi-threaded benchmarks were the 12 core Xeons and multi-CPU setups. And even then in some benches like Cinebench the 4960X was still able to beat them out. Our system made PCMark 8′s “high-end gaming PC” look like a budget build in comparison.
As you can see, the TechwareLabs monster build is truly a beast of a machine. Obviously today we only showed a fraction of the benchmarks, games, and overclocking we did so if you want to see everything you will have to check out the individual reviews for each component as they are released, so stay tuned.