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THE SUPREME DREAM


MACHINE PC BUILD
By Ari Altman Published November 6, 2015
Updated November 6, 2015

If you' re looking to build the


fastest possible PC, regardless of
budget, then this is the one for
you. Unlike our other builds, we
haven' t included a price target in
the build name, because it will
change month to month as new
products hit the market (this
month it comes in just over
$6,000). The one and only goal
here is to show you what you get
with an unlimited budget.

Of course, we start with the most


powerful CPU ever to hit the
consumer market: the Intel Core
i7-5960X, cooled by the semi-custom XLC-Predator cooler from
EK. Eight cores and Hyperthreading gets you 16 threads in
total, running at 3GHz each, with massive overclocking
potential (4.4GHz should be easy with the XLC-Predator,
translating to a nearly 50% performance boost). Pair it with the
only GPU that matters in the ultra-high-end arena, the GeForce
GTX Titan X 12GB... actually, make that two EVGA Superclocked
models running in SLI! With this system, you' ll be able to max
out any modern game on a cutting-edge 4K monitor, and you
will simply never run out of VRAM. Throw in the brand-new and
brutally-fast Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 SSD, which was
released in mid-October, along with a Samsung 850 Pro 2TB for
data duty, pack the parts into the gorgeous Phanteks Enthoo
Primo case, and you have the absolute best PC money can buy.

To see how this build compares to previous Dream builds, flip


over to the Supreme Dream Machine Archive. You can also see
how it compares to all of our builds by visiting the TBG Build
Comparison Page. And once you' ve reviewed the parts list, feel
free to also check out our step-by-step Guide to Assembling an
Ultra-High-End PC for tips on putting your system together. By
the way, if you' re looking for a new 144Hz or 4K monitor to go
along with your PC, check out our Monitor Buyer' s Guide, and if
you need some new gaming gear, see our Peripherals Buyer' s
Guide for all the latest and greatest gaming accessories.

Because we use real-time pricing engines, you' ll always see


up-to-date U.S. prices in our guide. To help support the
continued development of this guide, please use the links we
provide if you purchase products we recommend. Note
that many of these parts are hard to find outside of the U.S.,
but we' ve done our best to link to similar products in Canada,
the UK, and Germany. One more special note to all our readers
in Canada and the EU: you may find that purchasing
components from B&H Photo Video, based in New York City,
will end up being less expensive than buying locally in your
own currencies, due to their low-cost international shipping
and ultra-competitive prices. They don' t have every high-end
part we list in this guide, but they have most of them!

If you have questions about this build, feel free to post them in
our Forum. And if you decide to build this system or one like it,
let us know so we can add a profile page for your PC in
the Gallery.

THE NOVEMBER 2015


DREAM BUILD
CPU:
Intel Core i7-5960X

Intel delivered a special gift to enthusiasts


when the Haswell-E line of processors arrived.
Sure, the potent six-core Core i7-
5820K brought the performance of the previous
$1,000 Extreme processor below the $400
price point, but it' s the 5960X that completely
changed the computing world. For the first
time ever, eight cores were available in an
unlocked form, allowing incredible speed out
of the box and nearly limitless performance
potential. The 5960X has a core clock of
3.0GHz, but a 4.4GHz overclock is well within the realm of
possibility, assuming you get a bit lucky in the silicon lottery.
And the great thing about the 5960X is that it will still seem
fast at the end of the decade. Consider that Intel has only
increased performance of its CPUs about 50% over the past five
years, and the last time it increased core counts was with the
six-core 980X of 2010, a processor that is still quite capable
today.

THE GURU'S TIP:

While the six-core 5930K will perform about as well as the


5960X in most of today' s games, in any other demanding task,
it will be seriously outclassed. And in future games, the eight-
core 5960X will only pull further ahead. Note that Amazon
often sells out of the 5960X, so also consider buying it at B&H.

MOTHERBOARD:
Asus Rampage V Extreme/U3.1

The RVE is hands down the best board available to enthusiasts.


Featuring unmatched power circuitry and UEFI controls to allow
for the very best overclocks possible (it holds multiple OC
world records), it will allow you to get everything possible out
of your 5960X processor. And it delivers in the graphics
department as well, with the ability to support insane quad-SLI
setups at x16, x8, x8, x8 speeds. Also on the list is a sweet red-
on-black color scheme that goes perfectly with this build' s red
case and RAM, along with built-in triple-stream 802.11ac
networking, dual SATA Express ports, an M.2 PCIe x4 slot,
eight fan headers, and an incredible 12 USB ports. And don' t
forget the awesome OC Panel, giving you external monitoring
and control of your overclock. This new model even throws in a
USB 3.1 expansion card!
THE GURU'S TIP:

The patent-pending " OC socket" on Asus X99 boards uses


additional pins to deliver extra power to the CPU for unmatched
overclocking. It will support Broadwell-E processors, arriving
in 2016, and there are even rumors that the OC socket pin
arrangement will allow Asus X99 boards to support " LGA 2017-
A socket" processors, aka Skylake-E, coming appropriately
enough in 2017!

VIDEO CARD:
EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X Superclocked
12GB

The Titan X in a dual-card SLI configuration delivers flat-out


amazing performance - there is nothing faster on the market
today. EVGA' s Superclocked model comes with a huge factory
overclock. Combined with 12GB of VRAM, the Titan X will never
be memory-limited at 4K, which is already happening with 4GB
cards in next-gen games. That means you can enjoy incredible
gaming performance on a 4K or 1440p monitor without ever
worrying about hitting a VRAM bottleneck.

THE GURU'S TIP:

Last month, we recommended the rare EVGA Titan X Hybrid


liquid-cooled model, but alas, that model now appears to be
discontinued. It was the only custom GTX Titan X on the
market, and Nvidia probably decided to pull EVGA' s
authorization to market it, as Nvidia officially does not allow
custom-cooled versions of the Titan X.
VIDEO CARD:
EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X Superclocked
12GB

Don' t forget - you' ll need a second one of these cards to make


your build complete!

THE GURU'S TIP:

To enable SLI, you simply install both cards, connect them with
one SLI bridge, which is included with the motherboard (not the
video cards), and enable SLI in the Nvidia drivers. By default,
the drivers will use only the first card, so make sure you
remember to enable it before giving it a go!

MEMORY:
Corsair 4x8GB Dominator Platinum
DDR4-3000

The X99 platform used in this build requires the use of DDR4
memory. We go with an incredible 32GB for the Dream
Machine, which should be enough for any possible task. And
with this kit' s four sticks, you' ll get quad-channel bandwidth,
one of the X99 platform' s big advantages over lower-tier dual-
channel motherboards. At 3000MHz, this is among the fastest
32GB kits on the market today, and also happens to feature
tight CAS 15 timings. Note that it needs 1.35V to hit that spec,
and will default to DDR4-2133 until the XMP profile is selected
in the UEFI.

THE GURU'S TIP:


Keep in mind that hitting DDR4-3000 on the X99 platform
requires running a 125MHz motherboard strap, but that' s done
automatically for you once you enable the XMP profile.

SOLID-STATE DRIVE:
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB NVMe

SSDs basically come in three flavors: fast, very fast, and the
brand-new 950 Pro. With sequential speeds of 2500MB/s read,
1500MB/s write, along with blistering random read and write
performance, this SSD is truly in a class of its own. Ditching
the old AHCI bus standard for the cutting-edge NVMe standard,
and packing Samsung' s class-leading 3D V-NAND technology,
this drive is mind-blowingly fast. Simply put, there is no
alternative if speed is what you' re after.

THE GURU'S TIP:

Unfortunately, unlike SATA drives, you can' t easily add a rack


full of M.2 drives to your system. The Asus motherboard
supports one, and optional PCIe adapter cards, will allow you
to add a few more. Another thing to keep in mind: you can' t
install the OS off of a DVD drive, due to how PCIe devices like
the SM951 interact with the UEFI. You must use a USB drive -
luckily, Microsoft conveniently provides instructions here.

SOLID-STATE DRIVE:
Samsung 850 Pro 2TB

We considered a mechanical drive for the Dream Machine' s


bulk storage, but honestly, this system just wouldn' t be all that
dreamy saddled with an old-school drive. So we add the
biggest, fastest SATA-based drive ever released, the 850 Pro
2TB. Together with the SM951, it brings the Dream Machine up
to 2.5TB of blazing-fast storage.

THE GURU'S TIP:

If you have a lot of data to store or a large media collection,


you might still need a spinning hard drive. We recommend
the Toshiba 5TB 7200RPM drive, which is reliable and fast.

CASE:
Phanteks Enthoo Primo

When you' re building a dream machine, you want a


case that' s more than just functional. You want a
work of art. And that' s what you get with the Enthoo
Primo. Aluminum exterior panels, LED lighting, and
all sorts of custom touches inside make it really
stand out. Plus, the sweet red-on-black detailing
matches the motherboard used in this build perfectly. Of
course, The Primo also comes ready to perform, with five
140mm fans, plenty of options for liquid cooling, and a built-in
fan controller. By the way, the Primo is also available in a
stunning white-on-black color scheme, shown to the right, in
case that' s more your style.

THE GURU'S TIP:

Phanteks got its start in ultra-high-end CPU coolers, and its


line of high-end cases has really taken the PC world by storm!
POWER SUPPLY:
EVGA Supernova P2 1200W

1200W. 92% Platinum-rated efficiency. Eight PCIe power


connectors. A hybrid fan system for silent operation. A 10-year
warranty. The best customer service in the business. That
pretty much sums it up. If you want rock-steady power and
unbeatable reliability for your Dream Machine, this unit will
bring it.

THE GURU'S TIP:

There are higher-wattage power supplies, but honestly, they


won' t make your rig go faster. You couldn' t possibly come close
to the limits of this PSU with the rig spec' d out in this guide,
even if you ran three Titans in Tri-SLI! What' s that you say? You
want to run four Titan Xs in Quad-SLI? Ok, that' s pretty crazy,
but if that' s your goal, step up to the awesome new Titanium-
rated Supernova 1600 T2, the very best power supply on the
market!

SOUND CARD:
Creative Sound Blaster ZxR

While the motherboard used for this build has fantastic built-in
audio, to really call this a Dream Machine, you need discrete
sound. And the very best add-in sound comes in the form of the
Creative Sound Blaster ZxR. With a 124dB signal-to-noise
ratio, 24-bit/96kHz surround playback (or 24-bit/192kHz stereo
playback), and the vaunted TI Burr Brown DACs, this card has it
all.
THE GURU'S TIP:

With its included daughter-board, the ZxR will even allow for
studio-quality content creation!

CPU COOLER:
EK XLC-Predator

If you want to push your 5960X to the limit, you need serious
cooling potential, and that means nothing less than a high-end
240mm liquid cooler. Enter the awesome new XLC-Predator
from the water-cooling experts at EK. It' s the highest-
performing all-in-one cooler available. EK made its name in
custom water cooling equipment, and is now bringing all of its
high-end gear together in one kit with the Predator. Despite
using dual 120mm fans rather than the dual 140mm fans of
other top coolers, EK' s Predator outperforms every competitor
on the market due to its finely-tuned design.

THE GURU'S TIP:

While all coolers come with thermal paste, it' s always a good
idea to use the best product available for something you won' t
be changing often. The options we recommend are Noctua NT-
H1, Arctic MX-4, and Gelid GC-Extreme. To remove pre-existing
paste, just use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

OPTICAL DRIVE:
LG 16x Blu-Ray Burner

With most games being delivered via download at this point,


you don' t actually need an optical drive to play games. But
because they have so many other uses, we still include one in
this build, going with Blu-Ray for a system of this caliber. Of
course, since this is the Dream Machine, feel free to pick up
two!

THE GURU'S TIP:

Note that you' ll need separate software to play Blu-Ray


movies. One of the best packages out there is PowerDVD 15
Ultra.

OPERATING SYSTEM:
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Finally, the OS that Windows 8 should have been has arrived,


and it will hopefully erase the memory of Microsoft' s botched
release of Win8. As they say, Microsoft operating systems are
like Star Trek movies - every other one is a stinker (although
we actually liked Star Trek III: The Search for Spock!). Yes,
indeed, Win8 was a flawed product, and never overtook Win7 in
terms of user base, but not for any truly technical reason. It
was just that silly Start Screen that Microsoft foisted on
everyone, thinking we' d all be using touching screens by the
year 2014. Uh, huh. Anyway, Win10 fixes that, and more
importantly, brings the truly revolutionary DirectX 12 to the
table, which over the next few years will usher in truly ground-
breaking new graphics capabilities. How will it do that? By
vastly simplifying the CPU calls for every render routine,
meaning much more can be displayed on screen before hitting a
CPU bottleneck.

THE GURU'S TIP:


Luckily, with the return of the Start Menu, builders don' t have
to modify Windows with add-on utilities right out of the box
like they did with Win8!

GO TO THE ARCHIVE

SEE THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO


ASSEMBLING AN ULTRA-HIGH-END PC

DISCUSS IN THE READER FORUM

BACK TO THE DIY PC GUIDES

Total Cost: $6298.00


(as of November 6, 2015)

1. CPU
Intel Core i7-5960X ($1049.00)

2. Mot herboard
Asus Rampage V Extreme/U3.1 ($480.00)

3. Video Card
EVGA GeForce GT X T itan X Superclocked 12GB
($1030.00)
4. Video Card
EVGA GeForce GT X T itan X Superclocked 12GB
($1030.00)

5. Memory
Corsair 4x8GB Dominator Platinum DDR4-3000
($426.00)

6. Solid-St at e Drive
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB NVMe ($350.00)

7. Solid-St at e Drive
Samsung 850 Pro 2T B ($867.00)

8. Case
Phanteks Enthoo Primo ($250.00)

9. Power Supply
EVGA Supernova P2 1200W ($231.00)

10. Sound Card


Creative Sound Blaster ZxR ($205.00)

11. CPU Cooler


EK XLC-Predator ($200.00)

12. Opt ical Drive


LG 16x Blu-Ray Burner ($50.00)

13. Operat ing Syst em


Microsoft Windows 10 Pro ($130.00)
Learn How to Build an Ultra-High-End PC!
Need help building your ultra-high-end PC? Fear not,
because you' ll learn everything you need to know from our
step-by-step assembly guide!

THE PC BUILDER'S GUIDES: ASSEMBLING AN ULTRA-HIGH-END PC ›


Looking for more options? See all of
TBG's PC Builds!
We offer component selection guides for fifteen
separate builds, ranging from $400 all the way up to $5,000
and beyond, and from palm-sized to full-tower.

THE DO-IT-YOURSELF PC BUYER'S GUIDES ›


The Monitor Buyer's Guide
A gaming PC is only half of the equation when it comes to
the gaming experience - a new monitor can really take it to
a whole new level. Check out the full range of G-Sync,
ultra-wide, and 4K monitors in our Monitor Buyer' s Guide!

THE MONITOR BUYER'S GUIDE ›


The Peripherals Buyer's Guide
Looking for the best keyboards and mice at every price,
including gaming-specific models? Then check out our
Peripherals Buyer' s Guide!

THE PERIPHERALS BUYER'S GUIDE ›


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