Help with new computer

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Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:15 pm

So, I made the decision - I am going to build my own PC with parts I'll be buying one by one.

I want my PC to be able to handle new games and to be very fast with Cycles (and generally Blender).

Now, question is, should I go for Intel or for AMD and should I go for nVIDIA or for AMD when it comes to GPU.

I've always been a loyal Intel fan. Every PC I've had so far is an Intel PC, but there's one thing to consider: the price. The cheapest i7 is almost twice the price of an equal AMD CPU. Also, today I had a talk with one of my co-workers and he said that when it comes to CG, any AMD with 8 cores will be much faster in graphical processing than the best i7 out there. Also, by buying the AMD unit, I'll be able to save money for a better GPU.

So, i7 + 680 vs AMD FX 8-core + gtx780? i7 + gtx780 is an impossible choice for now - I'll have to spend too much money for it. Or maybe I should buy a Radeon instead of an nVIDIA? What do you think about this?

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  BnBGobo99 on Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:19 pm

I highly recommend taking a look at the GPU benchmark: http://oenvoyage.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/blender-cycles-best-hardware-using-the-benchmark-spreadsheet-analysis/

GTX 580 seems to outperform 680 (if you can get your hands on one!) There doesn't seem to be any info on the 780's... but 580/680/780---either way you'll be cycling through those renders crazy fast!

Good luck on your rig, and let us know how the build process goes. Very Happy 
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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Xraygunner on Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:06 pm

Keep in mind the VRam on the video card. Your entire scene cannot be larger than that... unless you cut it up into bite sizes and composite it later. I've been able to eat up 2gb pretty quick, so I'd say go for more VRam vs Cuda cores... unless you don't mind doing some piecing scenes together. Now that I think about it, I might have another go at a scene that made me opt for CPU.

As far as the CPU question, I'd have to look into that one. It seems that there are definitely plenty of benchmarks out there and your friend might just be right.

BTW, has Cycles managed to get to grips with the whole AMD problem? Does it work (well) with GPU acceleration?
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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:56 am

Thanks, I'll dig further into it. From most of the benchmarks I see, the Intels beat the AMD FXs. But you still have the low price of the AMD units at one hand. Plus, most of those benchmarks are testing mostly single/dual core operations on the CPUs, which gives advantage to Intel. I think AMD FX would shine in all of its glory in Blender, unless most of the processes in Blender are still single core Neutral 

As for the GPUs, I checked out the Blender documentation and some videos on the net about Cycles on Radeon 7970 GHZ Edition and it seems that they are very poorly supported. They are also not much cheaper than nVIDIA GTX770 with the same ammount of Vram. So I am going to cross AMD GPUs out of my list for now...

Btw, I got my eyes on this one:
http://outmax.bg/dmz/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=49874
It's within my price range (actually it's at the very maximum of my GPU price range Laughing ), it's got 4Gbs of Vram and it's better than GTX680 in all of the benchmarks I checked. And I don't seem to be able to find a GTX580 with over 1.5Gbs at this price point in Bulgaria. Sad

Btw, 8GB DDR3 1866 RAM should be more than enough for running Windows 7, Firefox, Winamp, Photoshop and Blender at the same time, right?

EDIT.
Damn! Now looking more thoughtfully at the benchmark that Bunny posted, I'm seriously considering dual-booting with Linux. Of course, my second OS will be W7 Smile

EDIT2.
I like this CPU so far. It's completely in my price range and it is faster in multicore operations than the Intel CPUs at the same price (i5s):
http://outmax.bg/dmz/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=43998

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Xraygunner on Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:21 pm

Now, that's what I'm talking about! Looking good!!... oh and 8 gig of ram will work nicely, just make sure that you plan for the future. If you have 4 slots, I'd try to dig deep and get a pair of 8's. I know it could break the bank a bit, but it's better than going back and replacing the 2 4's in order to have a matched pair of 8's like I'm working toward. I have two 4's and am wanting to max out the ram (video is hell on it) so to get to the 32 I'm going to replace the set I have with the 2 8's and then later go for another 2... Sounds ridiculous, but it is what it is.
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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:04 am

Why the actual hell would you need 32GBs?? Are you going to host servers?? Shocked 8Gs now and 16 sometime in the furture sounds more than reasonable for me.

Btw, here's a list of parts I made up yesterday:
Code:
CPU:
-AMD FX-8320
-AMD FX-8350

GPU:
-PALIT GTX770 JETSTREAM 4GB GDDR5
-GIGABYTE (N670OC-4GD)- GTX670 4GB GDDR5
-Gigabyte GV-N770OC-4GD

RAM:
-Corsair 8GB 2x4GB DDR3 1866MHz CMD8GX3M2A1866C9
-Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB DDR3 1866MHz CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9
-Kingston 8192MB (2 х 4096MB ), DDR3, 1866MHz (Hyper Predator)
-Kingston 8192MB (2 х 4096MB ), DDR3, 1866MHz (Hyper Beast)

MB:
-ASUS Sabertooth 990FX
-ASRock 990FX Extreme4
-ASUS M5A99X Evo
-GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5
-ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0

PSU:
-Corsair HX850 CMPSU-850HX CP-9020032
-Corsair TX850 CMPSU-850TXV2 CP-9020043
-Antec High Current Pro HCP-850
-Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid Modular 850W Active PFC RS850-SPHAD3
-Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 850W RS850-SPM2D3-EU
-Cooler Master V850 SACM850AFBA RS850-AFBAG1-EU

CASE:
-Cooler Master CM 690 II BLACK
-COOLER MASTER Centurion 6 BLACK USB3
-Thermaltake Chaser A31
-ANTEC GX700

SSD:
-Flash SSD Kingston V300 2.5", 120GB, SATA 3
-Solid State Drive (SSD) Samsung 840 EVO Basic, 2.5", 120GB, SATA III
-A-DATA SSD SP900 128 GB SATA 3
Depending on user reviews on the net and price drops in the next few months, I'll be scratching parts off untill there's only one part of each category left... And all combined would be my next PC configuration.
Now, some of you might ask "Why 850W of juice for a GTX770 and FX CPU?" Well, that's because I'm not planning on leaving the PC the same through the years. I'm planning on a couple of things sometime in the next years and who knows when I'm going to need the extra juice. Plus, better be sure than sorry Smile

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Xraygunner on Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:28 pm

Looks like you've got it covered! Kill it!! Oh, and 32 does sound extreme, but it does help with RAM preview during video editing.
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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:19 pm

Oh, yeah, well that sounds cool if you're doing that kind of stuff. For a minute, I thought that you were going to use all that RAM to host the next BlenderNewbies Razz

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  BnBGobo99 on Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:23 am

I have 24GB RAM and video editing takes it all up!

Good choices you have there, I'm excited to see how fast it blazes once it's all together. Very Happy

I've been dual booting Ubuntu and Windows since 7.10... Ubuntu has always been faster, but more and more that difference is getting less. I would say just off my experience that CPU rendering is about 20% faster and GPU is negligible (also, each time you first fire up Cycles and do a render in Ubuntu it has to compile something-or-other which can take a few minutes.)
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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:18 pm

And so it has begun!






The first thing I did was to see if all the fans (there's 3 of 'em) operate smoothly, so I just took out the PSU from the old rig, put it into the new case, hooked up all the fans and kickstarted the thing with a paperclip bridge on the green wire and one of the black wires.



After seeing that everything works as it should, I thought to my self, if I had already swaped the PSU from the old case into the new one, then why not install the other parts into the Cooler Master as well. And so I did. Now I have one ugly white empty case and some 12 year old parts into a brand new case. Laughing 

Don't get any wrong thoughts, though, once I collect all the parts from my build list, which should happen in 2 or 3 months, the old parts are going back to the old case where they belong. Smile

Btw, the model is Cooler Master 690 II Advanced (USB 3)... and it is awesome by every degree! If anyone has specific questions about the case, feel free to ask, because I by myself don't know where to begin explaining how great it is. Embarassed 

Funny thing is, the only measurement in which the old case beats the new one is that I can fit a 45cm video card in it Laughing 

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Strangebloke on Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:00 am

Wahey. This is looking like it's going to be one hell of a system Smile Keep the pictures coming.

Just to weigh in on the RAM debate, I've got a system with 32 GB in it. At least I have now the supplier has finally given up trying to find the mystery problem the old one had and build me a replacement!

I was doing a tutorial with grass in cycles last week and watched in horror as the memory usage went past the 22GB mark as it prepared to render. So yes, it is possible to use that amount of RAM depending on what you are doing. For reference I think the bulk of the memory was used when it was dong the calculations for the 8 million blades of grass on the lawn.

That's the problem with nature, there's a hell of a lot of it Smile

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:26 pm

Strangebloke wrote:Wahey. This is looking like it's going to be one hell of a system :)Keep the pictures coming.
Hehe, it will be pretty awesome by today's standarts :)I'll make sure to keep the photos comming.

Strangebloke wrote:Just to weigh in on the RAM debate, I've got a system with 32 GB in it. At least I have now the supplier has finally given up trying to find the mystery problem the old one had and build me a replacement!

I was doing a tutorial with grass in cycles last week and watched in horror as the memory usage went past the 22GB mark as it prepared to render. So yes, it is possible to use that amount of RAM depending on what you are doing. For reference I think the bulk of the memory was used when it was dong the calculations for the 8 million blades of grass on the lawn.

That's the problem with nature, there's a hell of a lot of it Smile
Wait a second! What you're trying to say is that if I have that much particles in my renders, I won't be able to render with GPU because 32GB video cards don't exist yet?

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Strangebloke on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:30 pm

Ah. Has no one mentioned this? I'm afraid it's a bit worse than that.

You can only use GPU rendering at present if your ENTIRE SCENE fits into the RAM on your graphics card. This includes mesh, textures etc etc. It fills up very quickly. If you overflow it you can still use cycles but you have to drop back to CPU rendering.

You can get round it I suppose by rendering parts of the scene and then compositing it together. But at the minute at least that's how it stands.

As far as the particles goes I'm not sure if Blender would use system RAM to do calculations then pass everything on to the graphics card. Even that might be a problem, I've had driver crashes which are down to windows bombing out the operation because it took too long to load stuff into the graphics RAM. Having said that there aren't actually any particles in that scene so I may be talking rubbish here Smile 

I'll try some test renders tomorrow and let you know what happens.

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:26 pm

Well, I already knew that when it comes to GPU rendering, my scene can be just as big as my video RAM is, but I didn't know that particles take up that much space! Seriously! Heh, guess those 4GBs on the soon-to-be-mine Gigabyte GTX 770 OC will really come in handy Smile

Btw, tomorow I'm expecting my PSU delivery Very Happy

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Strangebloke on Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:25 pm

Hello Again

As promised I've just tried a few test renders with the cycles grass particles. The main use of system RAM is when the rendered says it's building BVH nodes? It then packs them and there's a brief mention of strands before it tries to copy across to the video RAM.

I've got 4 particle systems but the grass is by far the dominant one so I only changed settings for that one. It died (i.e. overflowed the 2GB, or however much of that is useable on my graphics card) between 68000 and 70000 grass particles. But that's with 20 child particles too so total grass strands was 1.36 million.

Sounds like a lot but it isn't, a rather patchy and unhealthy looking lawn even with 800 low poly flowers, 300 dead leaves, 200 clovers and a partridge in a pear tree.... no wait I lied about the partridge Very Happy 

You'll be a lot better off with 4GB, but I think if you're doing smoke or grass you'll end up rendering on the CPU in the end. Hope that helped.
Cheers

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:29 pm

Thank you, man. I appreciate it. Yeah, those 4GBs will come in handy for sure. But still, the 8 AMD cores will be there when I need 'em Smile

Slow but steady, this beautiful case starts filling up with some pretty nice parts Twisted Evil

http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=623&u=12953306

http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=624&u=12953306

http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=625&u=12953306

Now, before you say that this is the worst cable managing you've ever seen... I know it is - it is my very first try. Plus I didn't want to try too hard with all of those old parts still being there. My second try will be much better! Smile

http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=626&u=12953306

http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=627&u=12953306

What you see is a SeaSonic X-Series SS-750KM3 PSU, which comfortably pumps out 750W of juice through all of the rails combined. It has some grade-A Japanese capacitors, grade-A San Ace fan, it is fully modular, 80+ GOLD certified, high-quality all around. Now, that thing has the most silent fan you will EVER see. It has 2 modes to choose from - normal, when the fan spins all the time and hybrid, when the fan starts spinning only at high loads. Currently, I'm running it in normal mode, just so I can break it in and see if it is defective, but so far it is more than amazing.

Aaah, darn it! I just can't wait to complete the list of parts. The rig is already looking awesome, wonder what it will be like when it is completed... Shocked

Btw, I went for 750W instead of 850, as I initially wanted, because I figured out that even IF I put two 770s, more RAM and overclock the CPU, I still won't be over 730W, so why go for more power when I won't be needing it. I also saved around 80 bux by going for 100 Watts less.

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Xraygunner on Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:04 am

Loving this!! I'm a sucker for a fresh build!!
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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:14 pm

Xraygunner wrote:Loving this!!  I'm a sucker for a fresh build!!
Well, you better hold still for now. Intel are working on a new socket. Development for AMD's AM3+ will not last for much longer neither AND memory prices have sky rocketed in the last month because of a fire accident in a facotry of a major chip supplier. Damn, if I have started building my rig earlier, I might have missed the increase in RAM prices. The spikes in memory prices are as big as 40%, damn it! Oh... and let's not forget that DDR4 is on its way. Yeah, not a very smart and certain time for building a rig...

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Xraygunner on Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:36 pm

Hang in there. It seems that every time I go to do this that there are always little caveats everywhere you look. Eventually you have to take the plunge! Just look at Intel's CPU roadmap. The 7nm process is pretty much just around the corner, not to mention Nvidia's roadmap with Volta coming in pretty quick as well. After a while your head begins to swim and it becomes apparent that a bleeding edge is always in motion.
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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:23 am

Well, my biggest concern is the global shortage of memory chips, which leads to the prices we currently see. Not that RAM was expensive to begin with, but it helps with building rigs when prices are lower. And if I started my little project earlier, I could've gotten some of the last deals on cheap RAM we had not long ago.

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:20 pm

BUMP!

Just got this goodie: http://www.lg.com/us/data-storage/lg-BH16NS40
At first I was wondering if it would work with my 10 year old motherboard, but I had a free SATA hub on it anyway, so I decided to try it. Now, at first the LG didn't want to read at all. It made weird noises, it tried spinning whatever disk was in it, but it didn't want to work. After almost getting to the point of desperation, I decided to try one last time to put a DVD in the poor thing and make it read... And it finally worked! I played a DVD video from it and it was flawless; then made it copy a big file to the HDD and finally popped in an old MTV Summer Hits CD from 2007 and I'm currently listening to music from it. Smile So basically I just had to let the unit burn in, which is weird because I've never had to wait for an optical drive to burn in - they always worked out of the box for me. Anyway, now that it works, that doesn't really matter, I guess.

Btw, it looks GORGEOUS sitting in my Cooler Master case. Really beautiful front panel with brushed-like detail. Also, the color of its LED is the same blue color as my power and HDD case LEDs, so it blends perfectly with the looks of the case.

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:38 pm

BEHOLD!




MY PRECIOUS! I love you 

Now, here's a little funny story for all of you. You know how this world of ours works, right? Nothing can ever be perfect and it is just ironic how sometimes stuff works out. So, imagine this, just one day before my GTX770 arrived, I started hearing a weird fan noise from my case. When I opened the case, to see what the problem was, I saw that the fan on my good old XFX GeForce 6800GT wasn't spinning at an even pace. So, I took it out and upon inspection, it turned out that the bearing was done for (hence the noise), the fan was cracked and the lubrication was almost gone. That's a 9 year old GPU fan for you! Basically from all of the thousands of days in those 9 years, it decided to break down just the day after I ordered my GTX770!
But, that's not all! So the next day I went to buy an aftermarket GPU cooling and I got a pretty awesome DEEPCOOL V90 kit. Here's how it stands on the 6800GT.


Yeah, it is pretty huge. And that was the problem. So, me being a pretty dumb human creature, before buying, I didn't check if the aftermarket kit wouldn't interfere with the PCI network adapter I have on my mobo. And it did, because the AGP slot was too close to the PCI slots! Also, the fan from the kit is a 3-pin fan and the 6800 has only a 2-pin hub; and I don't have any free 3-pin hubs on my mobo left, nor a molex-to-3-pin adapter to use, so I had to MAKE things fit the hard way.
First, I made up the most redneck-ish 3-pin-to-2-pin solution ever. I had a broken 2-pin fan at my place, so I took that and cut away its wires, together with the 2-pin connector. But then... behold... another problem! The 2-pin connector from the broken fan was different from the 2-pin hub on the GPU! (we seriously need a facepalm smiley here) So, I used a needle to seperate the connector from the wires. OK, but now I had to figure out which wire where to connect in order to make things work. For this, I used my good old all-around-electric-stuff-measuring-tool (don't know how it's called in English) to determine the propper configuration betwean the wires. When everything was all planned and put in practice, I had 2 wires plugged into the connector of the aftermarket fan on one side and tied to the pins on the GPU fan hub on the other side. To make sure everything stayed solid and to prevent short circuit, I wrapped the wires with sticky transparent tape.
To install the whole thing, I had to remove my network adapter, because the new cooling was too big and it covered every PCI slot that was left on my mobo. But then, guess what... my onboard LAN controller wouldn't work no matter what. I tried enabling it in BIOS, I tried installing original ASUS drivers... nothing worked! So I guess that's why I had that additional PCI network adapter installed in the first place... because the onboard one was busted! Who would know. (once again, a facepalm smiley is needed here) So, I removed the fan from the cooling kit, just to clear up some space to put back the PCI adapter, leaving only the heatsink to cool the GPU. I made some 3D Mark tests to see if the 6800 would overheat with just a heatsink on it... no it didn't. It stays cool enough without a fan.

So, I guess I'm all fine for now. Whew! Now I just have to wait to get the rest of the parts and build myself a propper PC. Can't wait! Sorry for the tl;dr post and cheers! Stay smart and not dumb and unlucky like me, plan ahead and... yeah, just be smart Very Happy

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:33 pm

Woohoo! Today I got my storage drives.

Yup, that's a Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB for data storage and a Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD for loading stuff quick. Smile 

I only had the "pleasure" of testing the WD so far. What happened is that I decided to copy my partitions to the WD. What happened is that PartitionMagic messed up somewhere in the process and I ended up with a System partition that was bootable, but couldn't get past the Windows XP Welcome screen. I installed a fresh copy of XP on the WD just to see if the drive was OK (I still didn't know that PartitionMagic had messed up). After seeing that everything is OK with the Caviar Blue, I put it back in the anti-static bag it came in and hooked up my 500GB Hitachi drive back to the system.

Oh, and I also got these: http://www.geniusnet.com/wSite/ct?xItem=55433&ctNode=148
I got sick of using headphones all the time, so those speakers are a nice addition to my desk. It is really a sweet set of active bookshelf speakers. Now, calling them "HiFi" (as they do on the Genius webpage) is too much, as they are just a better and more ballanced alternative to all of the cheap 2.1 audio systems out there. A pretty good deal, I say. I also didn't want to spend too much money on something I would only use temporarilly. I'm planning on redesigning my room somewhere in the near future and the redesign would include a bigger desk, a subwoofer (an 8'' one ATLEAST, prefferably 10'') somewhere in the room coupled with some nice bookshelf speakers and a good amp.

So yeah, that's all for today. I'm happy with the items (althought I still haven't tested the SSD). Next stop for me is: RAM, CPU and mobo Smile 

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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Xraygunner on Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:56 am

Woohoo! Can't wait to hear how this puppy churns out a nice render!!
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Re: Help with new computer

Post  Dobi on Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:06 am

Yesterday was a big day followed by quite the long night. :)Had to go to a shop to get my mobo and RAM, wait for the couriers to deliver my CPU from another shop, take the old parts back to the old PC case, build the new rig and go to the hairdresser. Finally after midnight I docked the old HDD on the new rig to transfer my data.



Here you can see quite the funny sight - a brand new spankin' PC hooked up to a monitor from '95. Laughing The reason was that I wanted to keep my old rig running while I'm preparing my new one, so if something bad happens in the process of installation on the new one I can quickly google whatever is the case through the old one.


And as I promissed, here's a pic of my cable managment. It could be cleaner, but still it's not like there are cables hanging everywhere. Smile


Here's a full list of parts:
- Cooler Master 690 II Advanced
- Seasonic SS-750KM3
- AMD FX-8350 Black Edition
- ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0
- Corsair Vengeance 2x8GB 1600Mhz C10
- MSI TwinFrozr GTX770 4GB
- Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB
- Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
- LG BH16NS40

I'll see what it can do later this day  Twisted Evil 

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