I've been running the Ultimate PC as my main PC for about 5 months
now. I thought I'd post a few things
The SSD is amazing. While it seems slower now,
I realize that is just my perception and not an actual slow-down.
How? Just go use a machine with a regular hard drive and endure the
wait. I'm very happy with this purchase and would not hesitate to
do it again.
The 980x 6 core processor is great. I run tons
of apps at the same time, so it works well there. I also love it
whenever I encode video. There are already faster 4 core processors
based on the new technology. I love the extra threads, but you may
want to go with one of the newer less-expensive processors.
12gb Memory was definitely a sweet spot. I
don't really feel any memory pressure with the majority of apps I
use. 24gb would be wonderful, but that is also very difficult to
overclock and would stay unused for most of the time.
Water-cooling turned out to be a great choice.
My machine is pretty quiet and has run leak-free. It was fun to do
and it keeps temperatures way down. Love it.
Overlocking. I'm sure this is me more than the
hardware, but I've had much better success overclocking in the
past. On this machine, I can't get all the bits in tune enough to
go above about 4.3ghz. Granted, that's a 1ghz overclock, so I
shouldn't be complaining. The problem is not temperature, which is
really low even at this speed, it's the myriad other voltages,
clocks and settings that the board and 980x provide.
The speed of my memory has also prevented me
from being able to reach higher speeds. In fact, the memory speed
is almost certainly one of the things that is preventing me from
seeing higher stable overclocks. However, 12gb of matched
high-speed low-latency memory was really expensive at the time. It
has since come down a bit, but is still pretty
The ATI/AMD video card. My gut said not to go
with ATI ever again, but lots of folks recommended them as better
than the nVidia boards. So, not only am I out of the CUDA game, but
the drivers have known issues which cause screen flickers whenever
I open up a youtube or other flash video in any browser. I also get
other random flickers from time to time.
Now Scott had separate issues with his nVidia card, so I
wouldn't get what he got. However, there are other nVidia cards
that would do just fine in this type of build.
The Gigabyte UD9 motherboard. Scott and I both
got this because it was on sale - a great deal with the processor.
However, we still don't have non-beta drivers for some of the
chipset. I have one USB chipset that never had any working drivers
(always shows up as unknown in Windows), and the BIOS versions have
issues. In fact, one problem Scott and I both have right now has to
do with cold boot vs. warm boot. My PC, about 2 weeks ago, started
taking several minutes to boot from a warm boot. A cold boot, on
the other hand, is pretty instant.
So, if I were to do this over again, I'd keep the processor,
but I'd get faster memory than the 1600 I got. For the
motherboard, I'd probably change to that beast of an EVGA board,
since that has had really good reviews. For video card, I'd get a
decent nVidia, but not one of the ones with the dual monitor heat
Overall, I've been very happy, but the results of this build
haven't been as smooth as some of the mid-grade builds I've done in
the past. It seems when you try and hit top of the line, you really
end up with hit-and-miss on quality.
(PS: with memory and my knowledge limiting my overlock, I'm
getting WEI scores of 7.8 for processor, memory and disk. SSD
scores vary with processor speed. Also, the graphics scores are 7.7
on this ATI card. All out of a max of 7.9)