Built and Tested: PC Buying Guide Machines Benchmarked
Page 3 : The Luxury System & The Extreme MachineBy
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The Luxury System & The Extreme Machine
The Luxury System has nearly $2,500 in core components including the Intel Core i7-4790K, Corsair Hydro Series H100i closed-loop liquid cooler, the Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512GB, Western Digital Black 4TB, the GeForce GTX 980 and the massive Corsair Obsidian Series 900D to put it all in.
As you can see this budget buys you a lot of nice hardware, though the key components are the Intel Core i7-4790K, Gigabyte GTX 980 Gaming G1 and Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512GB. Granted gamers would be better off saving $100 by opting for the Intel Core i5-4690K, but we can't assume everyone who is interested in the luxury build is a gamer.
Furthermore this is a 'luxury build' and we certainly consider the Core i7-4790K a luxury item. Again the Creative Sound Blaster Zx certainly isn't necessary, especially with Asrock's Purity Sound 2 onboard. Still for those that want a dedicated sound card this is what we went with and were happy with the results.
It is hard to truly understand just how big the Corsair Obsidian Series 900D is until you get it out of the box and then stick an ATX motherboard in there. Without a doubt this case is overkill for this build in its current form, but then this is what luxury is all about.
Although we have only started with one Western Digital Black 4TB, the 900D could easily be turned into a monstrous file server. Additionally we have gone with just one GeForce GTX 980 but there is always the possibility of adding another two with the Asrock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer/3.1 motherboard.
A component that really impressed us was the Creative T4 Wireless 2.1 speaker system. The clarity out of this tiny speaker system at a very loud volume is remarkable. The SLAM (Symmetrically Loaded Acoustic Module) subwoofer provides deep clean bass that we just couldn't get enough of.
Before we began building the luxury system there seemed like so much hardware that had to be installed. However once everything was installed the 900D still looked quite empty.
Please note that when taking this photo we didn't have the GTX 980 Gaming G1 on hand, forcing us to use a reference card instead.
The 900D's tinted window looks great and we love peering in at the Asrock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer/3.1 motherboard's red highlights. Likewise, the illuminated GTX 980 logo looked great once the system was turned on.
The Extreme Machine
The Intel Core i7-5960X seems like an obvious choice for a system aiming to be extreme as the most expensive and fastest Core i7 processor available, packing 8 cores, 16 threads and a massive 20MB L3 cache. The only thing faster would be a Xeon server grade processor and that wouldn't be totally out of line given the motherboard we are using.
Besides the Core i7-5960X, it's worth noting the inclusion of dual GeForce GTX Titan X graphics cards and the Asrock X99 WS-E/10G motherboard. Unfortunately, while we were able to temporarily acquire two Titan X cards for testing, we couldn't keep them long enough for the photos.
Initially our Extreme Machine included the $310 Asrock Fatal1ty X99 Professional and while this is a great motherboard, the X99 WS-E/10G is a step up.
The Asrock X99 WS-E/10G motherboard comes with dual 10GBase-T support out of the box and it is the only desktop/workstation motherboard to do so. The full menu includes server-grade 10G LAN (Supported by Intel X540), Intel dual LAN (I210AT) with Teaming Function, 4-Way SLI and 4-Way CrossFireX, Purity Sound 2 using the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec, a dozen SATA 6Gb/s ports, SATA Express, Ultra M.2, SATA DOM, loads of USB 3.0 ports, USB DOM, eSATA and support for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 64-bit.
One thing is for sure, you're going to need an extreme desk to match this build, especially if you go for the Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q 32" monitor.
The Logitech Z906 5.1 speaker system features a large sub along with five satellite speakers and a rather large control box. At a little over $300 this setup offers loads of bass and volume.
The Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable is one of, if not the best gaming mice available right now and the G910 Orion Spark mechanical keyboard is also popular. That said, we suggest you check it out in as much detail as possible before buying, as it has a custom key cap design that you are likely to either love or hate.
As we just mentioned, unfortunately we had to return the Titan X graphics cards before we had time to get all the hardware together and build the Extreme Machine. For the photos we threw in a pair of Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X cards just to give an idea of how the system looks with two full sized cards.
The final product looks great and as with the Luxury System, we enjoyed seeing the high-end hardware behind that tinted window. This time the X99 WS-E/10G's blue highlights were the most noticeable features, as much of the hardware was gray or black.