Building Sparrow - a water cooled workhorse

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jethro's picture

I have upgraded my main workhorse machine.

Components are:

Some of my design and specification choices.

I have had some poor experiences with watercooling before. However this time I had no choice, the CPU and motherboard combination required it. The Corsair watercooling kit is much more robust and foolproof than my previous system. I am confident that it will do the job. Currently my CPU core temp is 39 degrees C so I’m pretty happy with that.

The 32 GB Ram is on the basis that you cant have too much. This enables me to run virtual machines, a lot of other memory hungry apps like Photoshop, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Outlook and a lot of tabs open in Chrome simultaneously with no system lockups or spinning blue donuts.

The 2 VelociRaptor drives are for system and system backup – ensuring that my application and system load times are fast, and backups are also performed quickly meaning that the load on the machine during a backup is short. My storage drives are large 24x7 rated drives for durability and long life. This machine will run 24x7 for 3-4 years.

I originally wanted a different video card but i couldn’t fit it in the case so switched to the GTX560 Ti. I meant to get three so i could run 6 monitors but stuffed up on my order. I will get a 3rd card at some point. This Motherboard will actually take 4 cards if necessary.

The case is excellent modular case with space saving back channels for cable tidy and good airflow – Lots of super large super quiet fans, and great drive storage. Both sides clip off for easy access.

The Logitech gear is the only input gear i will ever use – it is reliable, takes a pounding, designed for gaming and that makes it awesome for business use. I have 3 G15 keyboards on older machines all still going strong after around 2 million words on each. The hyper scroll function on the mouse is an amazing time saver.

Of course Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate is the only OS to run on a system like this.

Total cost $5820.

For the Mac fanbois – an equivalent machine would have cost around $9,700.