“gZilla” Z68 Gaming System – built for speed and fun

Posted by Paul Braren on Oct 1 2011 (updated on Mar 14 2012) in
  • CPU
  • Efficiency
  • Gaming
  • Motherboard
  • Storage
  • MSI560

    Mar 14, 2012 Update: For more pics, see also TinkerTry.com/gzillacompleted.
    For more backstory, see also tinkertry.com/boyobio.
    For boyo's new site, see boyostarcraft.com.

    Back when creating vZilla, I decided to standardize on this same motherboard I've become quite familiar with, for a gaming system project. With ESXi 5.0 running on one system juggling many OSs, and another system to run just Windows 7 x64 SP1 Ultimate. Nice bonus is the convenient comparative look at the motherboard's features and performance, while operating in two very different scenarios, concurrently.

    Once again, the trusty ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 has served our family's needs quite well, coupled with a nice MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II Video Card for excellent framerates, even when playing SCII at 1920x1080 and streaming live with XSplit. The young gamer dMBoyo is leveraging this system's speed quite nicely, as you can see from his streams and Grand Master ranking.

    And the start up time for games, wow, that 3rd generation SSD makes a big difference, caching that nice big and convenient 2TB RAID0 C: drive.  40 seconds to start SCII on a laptop, 25 seconds on a single 1TB drive on gZilla, then down to about 5 seconds currently with the below configuration with a 3 drive RAID0 and Intel SRT SSD caching enabled.

    Dec 14 2011 Update: see also new post about this now-battle-proven system, with many more pictures, at TinkerTry.com/gzillacompleted.

    ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3

    Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz

    CPU cooling:
    Corsair CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

    MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
    (2nd identical card added 12/25/2011 for SLI, much better framerates while casting)

    G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB kit (2 8GB kits, 4 DIMM slots = 16GB total)
    (see also ASRock Memory Compatibility List)

    Corsair Force Series GT 60GB SATA III SSD with 3 1TB 7200rpm drives in RAID0

    Intel Z68 chipset's built-in RAID Intel Smart Response Technology SSD caching
    (SC2 starts in under 7 seconds)

    Corsair Gaming Series GS600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified

    CyberPower CP1350PFCLCD UPS 1350VA / 810W PFC compatible Pure sine wave

    Lenovo ThinkPad Black USB Wired Ultimate Compact Keyboard with TrackPoint

    ViewSonic VX2450wm-LED Black 24" LED LCD monitor 1920x1080 using DVI on MSI

    MSI 2nd DVI output duplicated to nearby LED LCD TV with DVI to HDMI cable
    (spectators can also enjoy live gameplay, without distracting the gamer)

    Razer Orochi Black Chrome Edition Laser 4000 dpi Mouse

    Astro A40 Gaming Headset