CPU: I7-6700K: This is probably the best price-performance CPU on the market, hands down. With a base clock of 4GHz and 4 physical cores, which can be extended to 8 cores due to Intel’s hyper threading technology, this processor is guaranteed to be efficient in gaming and fast in CPU-based cracking, which are my two main goals. I also managed to overclock this CPU to a stunning 5GHz! That is 1GHz more than it’s base frequency! All of that is possible thanks to the cooler I’ll talk about now.
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i v2: This liquid CPU cooler is an excellent successor to the already successful original H100i. This cooler comes with 2 fans mounted on the radiator that can move 70.7 CFM or 200.2 cubic centimetres per minute through it, giving it superior cooling performance while making little to no noise. The only thing that can make some noise is the pump when the CPU is under full load, but it doesn’t bother me with my headset on. The cooler also has a cool feature that allows it to connect to your PC like an USB device so you can change it’s LED lighting settings and monitor live temperatures inside the pump and it’s RPM.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX: This ram looks stylish with it’s heat spreaders and underneath that style is a powerful DDR4 module with a frequency of 3200MHz, making it excellent for gaming, where fast memory is required. It can also increase cracking performance a lot. I got the 2x16GB version, totalling 32GB. I chose this much ram so I can run many VM’s at once (I’ve ran 6 instances of WinXP at the same time in VirtualBox with no issue).
Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VIII Hero: This motherboard is everything you want to look for: has a high speed built in network card, great built in sound card that can emulate 7.1 on 2.0 speakers (!), can support up to 64GB of RAM, and the BIOS is a breeze to update.
SSD storage: Samsung EVO-Series 250GB: Nothing special to say about this one, it’s just a plain simple SSD that I boot my OS’s from (150GB reserved for 'doze, 100GB for Parrot), aswell as programs I frequently use.
HDD storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB: This is a simple 7200RPM magnetic hard drive that I use to store my games and large files (like leaks) on. Again, nothing special.
Graphics card: MSI R9 390X: This video card has a memory clock of 1500MHz and a core clock of 1100MHz, but I managed to crank it up to 1570MHz and 1180MHz. Not that much of an improvement really, but I like to push things to the limit. Overvoltage required for this clock. They say AMD cards get hot quickly, but I never got my card over 100 degrees celcius with this overclock. Maximum I got as of now is 92 degrees celcius. This might be because I made a custom airflow path in my case for excellent cooling and I blow out my PC every two weeks. It has 8GB of VRAM and due to it’s many shaders it is not only good for gaming but also for GPU-based hash cracking.
Case: Corsair 450D: This mid tower sized case can house 2 SSD’s and 3 magnetic drives in total, but I didn’t use all of them yet. There is plenty of room for cable management. The case comes pre-included with 2 140cm wide front intake fans that keeps the inside supplied with fresh air, and one 120cm fan at the back as an outtake for hot air, but I replaced that one with a slightly more powerful fan and used this one on the bottom as an air intake to my graphics card. I said earlier that I made a custom airflow path. Here is what I did to achieve maximum cooling efficiency:
CPU radiator mounted on the top of the case, with the two fans blowing air inside. This assures that the CPU radiator will always receive cold air without being influenced by the graphics card’s heat, and if the CPU isn’t hot it will blow this cold air through the radiator onto the graphics card for extra cooling efficiency. Fan speed depends on CPU demand.
The two front fans are kept. The lower one serves no real purpose other than to cool the magnetic drives and the PSU a little, as well as to add some extra airflow to the bottom fan. I keep the fan percentage at 20%-45% depending on what I am trying to cool: cool magnetic drives & add extra airflow to bottom fan = 10%, Cool the PSU = 35%. PSU cooling is only needed during summer because the PSU has it’s own dedicated fan. The upper front intake fan is of much higher importance because in my build it serves as the main air supplier to the graphics card. Therefore it is always kept at a 75-100% fan speed. I put it in 30% when I’m idle or not doing graphics-intensive tasks.
The bottom fan is my second supplier of cold air to the graphics card. Therefore I always keep it at a 35-50%, and 80% in overdrive mode when my GPU gets really hot. This fan is inversely proportional to the lower front intake fan: when the bottom fan’s speed increases, the other decreases, and vice versa.
Finally, there is the upper outtake fan, which is placed on the top-back of the case and it’s task is to remove hot air from the inside of the PC. We know that hot air rises, so that is why it is mounted up high in the case. This fan has an important job of keeping hot air out and because hot air rises, it will always blow out the hottest air from the PC. That is why this fan runs at a constant 100%, no exceptions (I even cut the cable and connected it directly to the PSU)! Now you may think a constant 100% is unhealthy for the fan, but it is actually more healthy for the fan, the PSU, AND the motherboard, and actually uses less energy than when it is shifting constantly! For this reason I also try to keep the other fans at a constant speed.
Furthermore, the case also has dust filters on the front, top, and bottom side, which are a breeze to clean!
Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Power Supply (fully modular): This power supply is fully modular, meaning I can just plug cables in when I need them and I don’t have excessive cables laying around the case, thus meaning better airflow! It is rated for 750W in case I add any extra drives and it is also gold certified, meaning not much electricity will go to waste!
Extra fan: Cooler Master R4-L2R-20AC-GP: This is the extra 120mm fan I bought for the hot air outtake, mostly for looks.