ivan bondy

my adventures with microsoft technologies

Ultimate Developer Workstation 2015 – Part 2 Building

This is the second post of a 4-part series:

 

  1. Ultimate Developer Workstation 2015 –  Part 1 Planning
  2. Ultimate Developer Workstation 2015 –  Part 2 Building
  3. Ultimate Developer Workstation 2015 –  Part 3 Performance and tuning
  4. Ultimate Developer Workstation 2015 –  Part 4 Software and tools

Over the last few days Fedex delivered all of my parts needed for my new workstation. You can read my previous post for all the components I choose.

Here are all of the components, but case, on my workbench.

First thing I noticed since my last build 3 years ago was the quality of packaging.
Clearly, competition is working and vendors are trying really hard to start the experience with their products when you open the box.
Lot’s of thought and design went into most of these packages. G.Skill Phoenix Blade package really stud out for me. G. Skill used one of the highest density foams I ever seen, perfectly cut to fit product and accessories. This not only provides excellent protection for the product, but also looks great.

Here is the Corsair 750D case I choose for this build.

 

This is the first time I choose this case for a build as on my previous builds I used Antec Nine Hundred case. I really liked that case, but it was time to move on.

Corsair 750D is a definite upgrade, quality of the case is amazing, it is completely tool less and provides room for Corsair H110 water cooling radiator. This case also provides plenty of room for additional coolers, hard drives, SSDs  and has great solution for cables.

First, I installed Corsair H110 radiator into the top section of the case. I love sealed water cooling systems, there is no need to mess with air-bleeding, replacing coolant fluid and monitoring coolant levels.  I had Corsair H50 sealed system in my last workstation with no issues for last 3 years. Just install it and forget about. I used 2 included 140mm fans in push mode and added 2 Corsair AF140 fans in pull mode. This gives me push-pull air flow in the intake mode.

Installing this radiator was likely most difficult part of this build. The screws could be little longer to make installation easier but after employing my wife’s two hands I was able to secure radiator in the case. Definitely, lot easier to install if someone can hold radiator in place for you.

Next, Asus Rampage V Extreme motherboard goes in. This is large EATX format board which exactly fits into the case. There is pretty much no room to spare between the motherboard and the radiator with 4 fans. Wish there was extra ¼ ‘’ or so to make everything little easier during install. This board has pre-installed backing plate for the heavy cpu cooling components so that save me some time.

Following motherboard is the Intel i-7 5960x cpu which slides right into the socket and water cooling block with the build in pump is installed on the top. After the cpu is secured in the place 8 G.Skill DDR4-2800 memory sticks are installed into all available slots. These memory stick have built in blue heat sinks to handle the heat and also looks awesome.  Starting to look like a computer.

Time to install 2 Asus Strix 970GTX video cards in PCIe slots 1 and 3. These are factory over-clocked and I can’t wait to see how well they will perform. Next, G.Skill PCIe Phoenix Blade SSD goes in between the video cards into PCIe slot 2. Make sure to install this card into 8x PCIe slot otherwise the performance of the drive will not be optimal. After that, only part left to install into motherboard is the TPM module.

Lastly, Corsair HX850i power supply and 2 SP120 Quiet Edition fans are installed on the bottom of the case. Hey, I almost forget to install Asus Rampage V Extreme overclocking panel. 5.25-inch bay filler goes out and OC panel goes in. This panel allows for controlling your CPU’s speed, fan speeds and other functionality by hitting button(s) on the face. It also has small LCD to provide runtime info about the system. Looking great.

Time to connect the power cables. Great advantage of modular power supply is that you can run only power cables you need, and you are not stuck with all other cables, polluting your case. One of the reasons I choose Corsair 750D case is the cable solution. Case provides plenty of opening to move the cables out of the way and have unrestricted airflow throughout the case. Next, let’s make sure all fans are connected. This board has 7 fan connectors, but I have 9 fans in this case. Quick trip to my spare computer parts box and fan power split cable is installed. Now, I have all 9 case fans wired up. Motherboard power cable is run, cpu power is plugged in and power cables for video cards are connected. Power cable and SATA cables are installed and routed for future SSDs install. What else have I left? Yes, I need to connect OC panel cable to motherboard, case control panel and video cards SLI cable.

Here is the business side of the finished workstation.

One final check and recheck of all connections and it is time to power up.

It’s alive! Post screen comes up and this part of the build is done. Next time I will test how this workstation performs OOTB and how far I can push it.

 

I uploaded additional pictures of this build into my One Drive. Go check them out.