Dave's Feedback:

So far I am really pleased with this system. I have it running at 4.5Ghz stable overclock  RAM overclocked as well using the XMP Profile in the bios and this machine is quick.

The Finished System

Built: February 2016

This eye-catching PC comes from Dave, who started with our $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Buyer's Guide, as published in February 2016, and took it up a notch! While the case and components start off looking good, he added custom lighting strips and a controller box to really make his system one-of-a-kind!

Below is the parts list for Dave's PC:

  1. CPU: Intel Core i7-5930K
  2. Motherboard: Asus X99-Pro/USB3.1
  3. Video Card #1: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Hybrid
  4. Video Card #2: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Hybrid
  5. Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 4x8GB DDR4-2666
  6. SSD: Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2
  7. Case: Corsair Graphite 780T
  8. CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i
  9. Power Supply: EVGA Supernova 1000 PS
  10. Lighting/Fan Controller/Temp Monitor: Corsair Commander Mini plus 3 Corsair Lighting Kits
  11. Operating System: Windows 10 USB
  12. 4K HDTV: Samsung UN65JU6700

Front View Blue

Dave clearly wanted a system that would deliver an all-around exceptional experience. Sweet looks, awe-inspiring power, and cutting-edge tech. Not a single component in this build is run-of-the-mill. For instance, while Dave kept it simple in the storage department by going with only one drive, he went all the way to the top, choosing the ultra-high-end Samsung 950 Pro. Here's his thinking on that choice:

I opted only for the M.2 drive because the speed is amazing. I have no other drives planned ATM. I figure I will wait for the 2tb or 3tb SSD drives to come down in price and run two of them in RAID0.  Around Summertime there will be 6gb SSD's released which I assume will lower the prices of the smaller drives. 

The other quality component that "speaks quietly but carries a big stick" is the EVGA Supernova PS power supply. This is actually the very same unit TBG uses in its ultra-high end benchmarking system, and you really can't do much better than 1000W of Platinum-rated power. Note that even at full tilt with a big overclock, this system won't put the hurt on this PSU. It has more than enough power in reserve to keep the system going, and more importantly, puts out extremely clean power. In other words, quantity and quality in equal measure!

Of course, you're probably wondering how he got his system's lighting set up. Well, Dave shared all his secrets with TBG:

I put the RGB LED lights in by using Corsair's Commander link mini, and also their light kits. You need both.  The RGB LED's can be contolled through the Corsair Link software.  You plug the strips into that and the very thin LED strips have an adhesive backing so the install was pretty straight forward. The only issue I ran across was not enough USB 2.0 headers - the X99 PRO only has 2... The USB panel on the front uses one header for two of the 4 ports and so does the the H115i CPU cooler. After getting all frustrated I figured why do I even need usb 2.0 ports on the front I already had 2 3.0 Ports that were there, 2 usb ports are enough from me on he front I only use 3.0 anyway. The best part is the front light that on the case I pulled out the red LED's and disconnected them and then added the RGB LED strip. I think that gave it a nice touch.

The number and type of USB headers on motherboards is a tricky problem nowadays, as the industry slowly moves away from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 (and now USB 3.1). The issue in amplified by the fact that you have motherboard makers on the one hand and case and cooler manufacturers on the other, and they are never the same companies, so matching up how many USB headers of each variety you need is a vexing problem. USB 3.0 headers of course are the current-gen standard, but USB 2.0 headers are what's used for powering up coolers and lighting systems, so you have a demand for both, depending on what the user is doing with the system. Anyway, Dave worked around the issue, but it's one more and more enthusiasts will face in the coming years. 

Back to the fun stuff.... we'll leave you with one last shot showing off Dave's complete system, running Rise of the Tomb Raider in all of its 4K splendor!

System Running

If you haven't played this game yet, you owe it to yourself to experience its great game design. And by the way, if you've got an HDTV that can display 3D (which unfortunately is being phased out in new models!), you need to try out the stereoscopic 3D mode that was added to Rise of the Tomb Raider in a post-release patch. It looks awesome, but takes some fiddling to get running; you'll need to set your TV to "side-by-side" 3D mode. Trust us, though, it looks awesome!