my rig has evolved over the past few (5ish) years. It was a light gaming machine, built around a second hand i7 920 and a Fractal Design Define R2.
It was quiet, but not amazingly so. I had a 560ti in it for the longest time.
Fast forward to today and It has cooling issues.
Fractal Define R2
Xeon X5650@3.2ghz Gelid Tranquillo rev1
MSI Gaming GTX 970
PSU Coolermaster Silent Pro M (600watt)
Asus Xonar DGX
Crucial MX100 512GB
Samsung 2TB HDD
WD 512GB HDD
DGM 27" 1440p cheapo IPS monitor
I have two 120mm fractal stock fans in the front and BeQuiet Silentwings Top 140mm (disconnected extra fractal 120mm, as it was buzzing).
An out of date photo here:
Silent wings is no longer on the side, but at the top exhausting.
My main issues are:
- Insufficient cooling when heavily loaded, like with Dragon Age Inquisition (though that cooks my mates machine also, so may just be that game)
- USB 3.0 support pretty awful, even with an extra card. I just can't run an external HDD off it. Also USB2.0 is a smidge less reliable.
- Poor fan control, the -E is nothing like the old Deluxe on the SPCR test bench. I bought some Phanteks fans and had to stop using them as I couldn't knock them down to a reasonable level in the BIOS and Speedfan is ignored by the -E. (1x 140mm PH-F140HP and 3x 120mm PH-F120S_BK)
- itchy feet (at least I am honest)
Things I like:
- The X5650 even OC'd is more efficient than the 920 and really never gets too hot and nothing the Gelid can't cope with
- MSI 970 is silent on older games even at 1440p
- I got so much mileage out of system.
So one solution would be to re-shell the machine a better case, something like the RV05. Get some sort of fan controller and a guaranteed solid USB3.0/1 card.
Another is to replace the motherboard and CPU to a newer model with Asus's newest fan control, USB3.1 and house that in an RV05 and move the rest over. Probably a Scythe Kotetsu at the same time.
I'd probably consider dumping the HDD's and getting a big SSD, making cable management that much easier and the main chamber very open.
If it wasn't for Skyrim, it probably wouldn't have gotten so out of hand.