Page 1:Our High-End Build Evolves
Page 2:Graphics, CPU, And Memory
Page 3:Motherboard, Case, And Power
Page 4:CPU And Motherboard Cooling
Page 5:An Alphabet Soup Of Storage: SSD, HDD, And ODD
Page 6:Hardware Installation
Page 8:Test Hardware And Benchmark Settings
Page 9:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 10:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 11:Results: Battlefield 4 And Far Cry 3
Page 12:Results: Grid 2 And Arma 3
Page 13:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 14:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 15:Results: Productivity
Page 16:Results: File Compression
Page 17:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 18:A Gaming Build That Works Hard
CPU And Motherboard Cooling
Processors based on Intel's Haswell architecture can be much more difficult to cool than Ivy Bridge-E. Meanwhile, the Haswell design need less absolute cooling capacity than Ivy Bridge-E. Those two apparently-conflicting statements can be justified by the observation that the lower-power Haswell-based chips respond poorly to increased cooling capacity.
CPU Cooling: Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme
Given the above observations, it appears that anything larger than a 120 mm single-fan cooling tower wastes money. On the other hand, choosing anything smaller than the cooler from my previous build would open me up to criticism if today's setup didn't overclock well. I wanted to play this one safe.
Overclocked Haswell cores are so temperamental that a mere 3 °C drop in temperature can add 100 MHz to a stable configuration. Because of the CPU’s heat transfer problems, that’s about all I expect from Thermaltake’s huge, award-winning Water 2.0 Extreme.
Motherboard Cooling: Antec SpotCool 80
Anyone who thinks that $95 is too much to spend to cool a heat-soaked CPU will be incensed to hear that the expense doesn’t end there. Most motherboards are designed to cool the CPU voltage regulator using exhaust from the CPU cooler, and the fans on a liquid cooler's radiator don’t point in that direction.
Designed to cool nearly any component, Antec’s SpotCool is the perfect add-on voltage regulator fan for motherboards that weren’t designed to accept a fan. I always keep one of these on-hand for liquid-cooling predicaments, but decided to actually include it in my order this time.
The need for a voltage regulator fan emerges at moderately increased CPU voltage. If the CPU isn’t able to support moderate voltage increases before crossing its own thermal threshold, then I’ve wasted money.
- Our High-End Build Evolves
- Graphics, CPU, And Memory
- Motherboard, Case, And Power
- CPU And Motherboard Cooling
- An Alphabet Soup Of Storage: SSD, HDD, And ODD
- Hardware Installation
- Test Hardware And Benchmark Settings
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Battlefield 4 And Far Cry 3
- Results: Grid 2 And Arma 3
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- A Gaming Build That Works Hard