June 15, 2017
Getting a new computer must be something every nerd like me fantasies all the time. Well today my fantasy finally came true. Even all the misfortunes which occurred in ordering the parts can't put me down now.
My new system mainly comes for development use. It has to have enough computing power and storage space for demanding programming needs. I intend to write my bachelor's thesis and master's thesis about machine learning and neural networks so not any CPU nor GPU will suffice. I was thinking all kind of crazy two-way SLI Titan XPs but reality spoke and I had to "settle" with the more "student priced" 1080 Ti.
Secondly the new rig comes for gaming, including VR. While I play games less often nowadays and make them more, once in a while I love to fire up Fallout 4 or Civilization V and just relax and game. Then I want my games to run with the best graphical settings available and steady 60fps.
The core of a PC is motherboard, and for that I chose Asus ROG MAXIMUS IX CODE. Motherboard has always been the most difficult part for me to choose and I can't really say why I ended up with this one. Asus is a great brand and CODE had everything I needed for the right price.
In contrast choosing the processor was really easy: the best one I could get. Intel i7-7700K is the best processor available in consumer price and it's natural continuation to my old i7-2600K.
For RAM I chose G.Skill's Trident Z RGB; 32GB of that in 2x16GB setup. It is no doubt the fastest and coolest looking RAM available with whopping 3200MHz clock speed and only CL14 latency, under the Asus Aura Sync compatible RGB lighted heatspreader. There is still room for two more sticks.
I was sold immediately when I saw this beauty: I had to get it. Samsung 960 EVO, 3,200MB/s read and 1,900MB/s write speed. I couldn't even think about getting any other SSD after laying my eyes on it. And of course I had to buy the biggest one, 1TB.
For bulk storage I got 4TB WD Caviar Black. It's OK, I guess.
To cool my processor I got NZXT's Kraken X62. I'm not too worried about the cooling performance since I'm not going to overclock too much anytime soon. More importantly the looks of this cooler are just simply amazing.
The home of all the components is beautiful NZXT S340 Elite. Sleek simple design combined with tempered glass panel covering one whole side of the case looks absolutely fantastic. The VR-ready IO at the front of the case should make it a perfect partner for HTC Vive, but unfortunately the short power cable of Vive doesn't let me use the case's full potential. For power supply I chose EVGA 850W SuperNOVA 850 G3, it should handle two GPUs if I ever decide to go SLI.
Finally the part I'm most excited about: the graphics processing unit. As I previously said, I would have liked to get Titan X, or two or even four of them, but I decided to go with the more rational and practical way and get the almost-as-amazing 1080 Ti. As Asus is my brand of choice, Asus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti STRIX OC is the version I went with.
Wiring brought some problems. I had to remove one cable management clasp from the case because it interfered with the cables to USB 3.0 header. IX CODE also only has one USB 2.0 header, so I had to choose between processor cooling and front USB ports (the choice was obvious). I plan on getting an USB header hub or splitter to get both of them working, but now I just need to live with only two working USB port at front, one of which goes pretty much always to HTC Vive.
Once everything was connected I booted up the machine and happy rainbow color flow greeted me through the tempered glass panel. Windows 10 installation didn't work seamlessly but after some tweaking and fixing it installed. Next I downloaded some games and benchmarks to see those numbers in papers in action. And the numbers didn't lie. Everything worked beautifully and I scored 20,921 from Fire Strike and 8,913 from Time Spy.
Setting color effects was expected to be a bit of trouble. Asus Aura and NZXT Cam doesn't seem to work too well together, so I had to disable Cam from startup and manually open it every time I boot Juiz. Also the Trident Zs needed some bios tweaking before I get them synchronized with other components.