Serenity Lives


Yesterday was largely spent setting up a new machine, and with it comes the arbitrary logging in of various games to see how they perform on the new setup.  I should have said “new” in quotes because this system was absolutely another one of my craigslist wheeling and dealings.  Some time ago I saw a system that I was interested in, but I was simply not willing to pay what the guy was asking.  I made an offer, one significantly lower than he was wanting… but something in the range of what I would be comfortable with.  He initially sounded insulted but after a handful of texts went into the lengthy story of why he was parting with the machine.  It turns out he had just ordered all of the bits to assemble what he considered to be the ultimate gaming machine…  and then his wife got mad at him for doing it.  Firstly of note to any of my readers…. you should never purchase anything big without consulting your spouse first because you are just asking for trouble.  I told him that my offer was all that I was comfortable spending on that machine, and that the offer would stand.  Now we scan ahead roughly a month and a half, and I still have not purchased anything… and I receive a text out of the blue from the guy.  He apparently got no offers at all and was willing to drop down to my offer to move it quickly…  and by quickly I guess that means two months later?

The problem with me and a new machine is that I only really felt comfortable building it on Sunday after I finished up the podcast and made sure it was published.  That whole adage of the show must go on and such.  So I sat down a few weeks ago to get things built… only to realize that the power supply that he had in the machine was going to be completely inadequate.  I was swapping over the GeForce 980 that I had previously… which requires 2 8 pin power connectors.  The card he had in it was a r9 380 which required a single 8 pin power connector.  I can largely tell that he assembled this machine through PC Part Picker, and went with the bare minimum power supply the it said was compatible.  The end result was that the “ultimate gaming machine” had a Corsair 450 watt power supply in it, that I needed to upgrade into something that had dual 8 pin power connectors.  Being cheap like I am… I decided to just order something from Amazon rather than run out to Best Buy and pick something up that day.  Unfortunately the PSU that I ordered kept getting rescheduled…  over the course of two weeks…  finally updating from what was supposed to be a Friday delivery this week… to this coming Wednesday.  I gave up, cancelled that ordered and found something available in store local, the end result being a 750 watt corsair modular PSU which honestly was going to work better than the non-modular ketchup and mustard colored setup that I was trying to order on the cheap.


So yesterday I got everything up and running and set it up beside my existing computer so that I could install without having to give up access.  This is my first real foray into having an SSD, and from thumb drive…. windows 10 installed in about 2 minutes.  I was shocked at just how fast that whole process went… what I thought was going to be another screen asking for me to pick some options… ended up booting into windows.  For the time being I have Rift, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Final Fantasy XIV running off of the SSD and everything else off of larger mechanical storage.  The biggest shock with this system is just how well Rift is performing.  That is one of those games that I thought no system would really run what I considered well.  I rarely see more than 40 fps and my last AMD based processor struggled to give it even that.  This new system was running it at 80+ fps with everything cranked up, even under the load of doing intrepid adventures.  So far I am pleased as can be, and while the games I play most of the time are not extremely graphically intensive… they are however apparently CPU locked… and my AMD FX-6300 was simply not performing that well.  This was really noticeable when my laptops with mobile i7 processors started out performing it.  Then again that machine was roughly three years old at this point, so I was prime for an upgrade.  Tonight I plan on getting Adobe Creative Cloud installed because I want to see what this does for rendering time…. which is something that the previous machine struggled at.  For those wondering the final specs look a little something like this.

  • Intel Core i7-5820K
  • ASUS X99-A/USB 3.1
  • 24 GB G.SKILL Ripjaw ram
  • MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 980 4GB OC
  • 250 GB Kingston SSD
  • 2 TB Western Digital HD
  • 3 TB Western Digital HD

The only real thing that I ultimately want to change at some point is the case, which is a budget Antec model.  It was perfectly adequate, but was a bit of a pain in the ass to work on.  Much of the frustrations yesterday were trying to get the cables to go where I wanted them to go for cable management purposes.  I had to disconnect and reconnect things several times to try and figure out the best way to route the cables through the fairly cramped space.  Additionally I have slight concerns that there were minimal case fans, but for the time being everything is running fairly cool.  Ultimately I am going to leave things be for the time being and see how well it runs in its current state before fiddling further.  Basically in its current state I don’t really feel comfortable trying to overclock anything given that there really isn’t the cooling for it.  That said performance wise… I have seen no real reason to overclock anything other than the base overclock that the video card is used to running under.  Of note… to explain the title of the post I decided to name this machine Serenity, because I am a dork.

4 thoughts on “Serenity Lives

  1. On cases, I can’t endorse Corsair cases enough. They can be a bit pricey, but they’re worth every penny you’ll spend when it comes to cable routing and airflow.

    If you’re looking for the king of airflow, the Air 540 is pretty much the best case on the market right now, and can be had for around $120.

    • That is precisely the case I was looking at, mostly for the moment I just want thing to sit for awhile before I uproot everything and move it 🙂

  2. Ship like this… be with you ’til you die…..

    I actually got back in to Rift this past weekend just becuz. It’s slowly coming back to me how to play, how to craft, what all this crap my bags are full of is, etc. And my almost 5-yr old i5 with only 8GB RAM (but with a new(ish) nVidia GTX960 and running the driver’s “optimal settings” (which are pretty close to maxed out) says it’s running over 100 fps. I was always happy with it running anything over 20 fps back on my old laptop when it 1st came out.

    Glad to hear you got everything up and going good. SSD’s are the bomb!
    pkudude99 recently posted..[FFXIV] 3.4 New Dungeons ImpressionsMy Profile

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