Each month here at Guru3D.com we feature one of you guys, your PC, your DIY project. It is quite honestly amazing how much detail and dedication you put into an PC, and every now and then it really shows. Today something simple on the outside, yet scrumptious on the inside, all done by Benjamin Field, a school science teacher. His PC is Guru3D's PC of the Month February 2009.
1. What is your name / nickname /age / occupation
Benjamin Field, 32, school Science Teacher
2. What did you first come here for?
Driver and chipset updates, as well as graphics card information.
3. What do you mainly use the system for?
Living my wife says I love my computer more than her. Gaming, Web browsing, and lesson planning for work. My computer just became self aware and wont let me turn it off -
4. How much money did you spend on the rig as it is right now?
It appears to be just over $2600 or so, but it didnt cost that much out of pocket as I have sold everything in my house that is not nailed down on EBay to finance it. It has been a work in progress for the past year and a half. J
5. How often do you update/buy a new rig?
Well .I update each component as it is on the brink of becoming outdated so I can get the best resale on Ebay to offset the cost of the replacement part. Now, as time goes by I have been focusing on buying parts that will not need replacement as often or at least will have future upgradability, for example a water cooling system and water blocks that I can use on any new graphics card. This prevents my wife from killing me in my sleep.
GPU ramsinks IandH aluminum custom cut for 9800gtx x2
Graphics cooling IandH Ram coolers with Thermaltake Bigwater 850i modified with coolermaster 110cfm fan with fan speed controller, splitters to send cold fluid to each graphics card and relay warm fluid back to the radiator individually. The radiator then feeds air to the power supply. MCW60 waterblocks X2 with Arctic cooling Mx-2 thermal grease
Watercooling Thermaltake Bigwater 850i with additional custom supplies
Coolermaster 110cfm fan with speed controller replaced the radiator fan on water cooling
Power Supply - Coolermaster 850/1000 Watt max
Hard drive Velociraptor 300gb 10,000rpm
Hard drive cooler Zalman aluminum and copper heat pipe hard drive cooler
Headphones Plantronic Gamecom
Sound Card Creative Xfi Extreme
Keyboard Logitech G15 with all mods added in
Mouse Logitech G5
Mousepad Thermaltake multi LED
Case fans liquid ball bearing super silent fans connected to integrated fan speed control switch.
Monitor - Samsung SyncMaster 2220wm 22 inch
7. Why ATI or NVIDIA, why Intel/AMD?
Honestly, price I never intended to get this addicted. AMD is dirt cheap and able to handle games and NVIDIA was outperforming ATI when I bought the cards. I only wanted to be able to play modern games.
8. Does your PC life up to you expectation ?
Beyond, although it had better be good for the 3 - 12 hour days it took to get it up and running!!!!
9. What's the best part of your rig?
I would say the graphics and cpu cooling I wanted cold water to go to both cards simultaneously so I split the flow. Then the hot water returns converge together where they pass through a radiator that has a 110cfm fan. This fan feeds air to the power supply after cooling the fluid. Efficiency!! All this is in separate chambers that do not interfere with the air by the motherboard.
10. What sucks and should not have been bought?
Hmm. Well, the processor is very limited with overclockability although I have been able to get it to about 3ghz and I knew this when I bought AMD quad. This is great overclock for this cpu although I typically run it just below that.
11. Did you modify anything ? cases/video cards/other? Did you do it yourself? Walk us through it.
WOW yes. Just setting this entire thing up took FOREVER!
I bough premium tubing (From Lowes!) to replace the water-cooled tubing that came with the bigwater since it is porous and evaporates the reservoir slowly. As stated above, I set up a completely independent graphics cooling solution providing cool water to each card separately that supplies air to the power supply as well. I replaced the existing radiator fan with a 110cfm fan that has a front fan speed controller. All air entryways are filtered with removable and cleanable filters to prevent dust inside. I sound-proofed the entire case with foam before installation. Case fans were replaced with liquid ball bearing super silent fans. Black lighting was added as well.
12. Your 3DMark06 / 3DMark Vantage score (P+GPU)
14,584 this is great for comparable systems but is the frustrating part for me- My processor cannot keep up with my graphics solution. Every time I overclock my processor just a bit more I get a gain in GPU and consequently 3Dmark. I am bottlenecked right now .until Phenom II!!!! However, I still get 90 fps on FarCry 2 all maxed out so it is not very motivating to upgrade CPU at this time.
Here are some photo's of his PC, and yes .. internals.
Pretty normal PC on the outside ...
Definitively a little more complicated on the inside.
Go to the next page for some more photo's please ...
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