Discussion RTX 3090 Build, 225 Days Later


Aug 11, 2021
Well, it took 225 days to be “complete” but here sits the first PC I’ve built for myself since 2007. If your RTX build doesn’t have a holographic RTX sticker, is it even a finished build?


What started off as an iterative hobby PC became fairly futureproofed overkill, and it only took almost a year to get all the parts. Rate/flame my build or whatever.



· Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL

· Motherboard: Asus Maximus Hero XIII

· CPU: Intel Core i9 11900K

· RAM: 64GB G. Skill DDR4 G. Skill F4-3600C14-16GVK

· GPU(s): Dual Nvidia RTX 3090 Founder’s Edition cards linked via 3-Slot Ampere NVLink Bridge

· PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 1600W T2

· Storage: Two Samsung 980 Pro 2TB drives, and one Samsung 870 QVO 4TB

· Capture Card: Elgato 4K60 Pro

· Cooling:

-Waterblocks: EK Momentum for CPU/VRM, EK Monarch and Modules for RAM, two EK Quantum Vector blocks for GPUs along with one Active Backplate

-Distroplate: EK Quantum Reflection and Pump

-Radiators: Two 360mm Corsair Hydro XR5s for top/side, one 360mm Corsair Hydro XR7 for bottom, and one 120mm Corsair Hydro XR5 for rear.

-Fans: 11 Corsair ML120 Pro RGB fans with 11 RGB adapters to avoid using iCUE

-Fittings: Various BitsPower fittings with Water Temperature Sensor

-Tubing: EK ZMT

-Water: 2000ml of EK CryoFuel Clear

· Misc: Two 10 Port RGB Splitter Hubs and two 10 Port PWM Fan Hubs

· Display: Three Samsung Odyssey 27” WQHD Curved 240Hz Monitors


Q: 11900K? Why not just go Threadripper/5950X? Why not 12900K? Or 10900K?

A: I don’t need Threadripper levels of CPU, I will utilize the two GPUs but I’ll likely not be saturating that much CPU. I use some pesky virtualization features that simply work better on Intel vs AMD (I’m doing an all AMD build for my wife later this year, this build I stuck with Intel/Nvidia)

12900K until recently was genuinely tempting, but-

A.) wasn’t out when I bought the initial build components

B.) not practical to watercool the way I wanted, when I wanted (waterblocks are still only taking pre-orders)

C.) 12th Gen is still riddled with DRM issues, no official AVX512 support (which I use), and overclocking P/E cores along with DDR5 is something I’d prefer to do once data has matured a little more.

D.) Overclocking 11th Gen is relatively simple/straightforward and can achieve some impressive (albeit hot) results

As for 10900K, the two extra cores would have been nice, but the memory controller on 11th gen is superior, and I utilize PCI Gen 4 for SSD speeds, so a 10900K was always a non-starter for my needs.

Q: Who the hell needs two 3090s? There aren’t even that many games that utilize SLI, or saturate both cards, you’re just throwing money away etc.

A: A guy who feels like buying them mostly- but also someone who saturates both cards regularly, runs games in 7820x1440, still helps build SLI profiles for dated games, does video rendering, mining, and likes to dedicate one GPU to certain tasks whilst the other is free to game/use.

Q: Why founders edition 3090s? Aren’t boost clocks better on AIB partner cards?

A: Availability mostly, but with basic, Googleable overclocking knowledge and liquid cooling, you can achieve the same (if not better) average boost clocks under gaming loads. Additionally, the waterblocks for AIB cards didn’t look as clean as the FE blocks. Here are the clocks after the system is fully up to temp, and has been gaming for an hour:


Side note; no surprise that 4000 series cards are rumored to draw 6-800 watts, they are allegedly dual die, and 6-700 watts is right around what I draw under load with overclocks applied.

Q: Why liquid cool the RAM? Overclocking? What are your timings like?

A: Samsung B-Die is capable of some seriously impressive frequencies and timings, as long as you can keep it under 50C. I was running closer to that temp threshold than I’d like on passive cooling, and opted to watercool since I’m cooling the rest of the system. Here are my stable timings as of now (at 1.558V 3733MHz - still very much a work in progress)


Q: Are 240Hz monitors worth the hype? Do you even get to utilize that refresh rate on this setup?

A: It’s obviously game specific, but yes. I used 165Hz monitors for most of the last year, and the jump to 240Hz was well worth it in the games that can output 240fps or more.


Q: You mine? Don’t you know you’re part of the problem? Also what’s your hashrate and temps for my friend who’s curious

A: Yep, wasn’t sold on it given the current market, but electric is cheap in my area, and I made one 3090 pay for the next. It’s nice to have a PC that can pay for its own upgrades over time, and the $10-$15 a day that it generates would be a waste not to use during my off time. I generated a few simple batch/vbscripts to toggle the “modes” that I use (work, gaming, mining, eco etc) and it works quite well for toggling what the PC does at the touch of a button. If there is enough interest, I can make a post on how it works. For now, here are the temps and hash rates after leaving the PC mining for ~17 hours:


Q: Why only one active backplate?

A: Couldn’t fit two, would restrict access to my preferred M.2 NVME slot, and also, from the screenshot above, even under mining loads, the temps on the top card aren’t too crazy. For the lower (primary) card, I wanted the additional cooling on the rear VRAM chips, but it likely wasn’t necessary. If you have room in your build, definitely recommend it for dropping temps by 10-15C.

Q: So, how much did this build set you back?

A: Hard to recall specifics, but more than I wanted it to. I saved cost on many of the parts being on sale, and was scalped on others (didn’t pay more than ~$2200 for GPUs though) After all is said and done, I’d say north of $10K between the little things adding up (battery backup, accessories, cables, anti-sag bracket, cable sheathing etc.) but it has been a labor of love, and I hope to not need to spend any more money on it for a long time to come. While it may have been more time, money and effort than I would have liked, I think I can comfortably say I’d do it all again 😊

Q: Is there any particular reason why you went for a negative pressure build, with 2 intake and 9 exhausts ?

A: Yes, the back of the little area where I keep the PC gets the least amount of dust, and with my cats constantly sleeping on the top of the PC, and the screens being clogged, this was the only way that I could get decent temps without having to clean out the inside of the case every week with my mini compressor. Ideally if I didn't have pets, I'd have done top and bottom as exhaust, and the rear/side as intake for the best airflow. Played around with everything else, and either the fans scooped up too much dust into the case whenever the robot vac went by, or the vents clogged super fast from cat hair. with the rear IO area being intake from the fan as well as the negative pressure, it doesn't trap the hot exhausted air in the enclosed area, but forces it out into the rest of the room

Q: Any regrets/things in the build you would change?

A: Nothing major- the case despite being massive was actually barely adequate for what I crammed into it, so maybe a bigger case. I toyed with hard line tubing initially, but didn’t want to be forced into draining the loop to do things that required unplugging the GPUs such as swap an SSD. With the admittedly messy cabling I have now, there is more than enough slack to lift the cards up and move them out of the way without needing to drain the full loop. I also wish that I had researched fans more beforehand – I initially bought Lian Li fans for easy daisy chaining, and while they were pleasant to look at, the performance wasn’t nearly as good as the maglev fans I ended up with. Several of the bearings failed, the static pressure was inadequate, and the noise levels were fairly loud at full speed. Here is a pic of what the build looked like in the early days of its life:

If I had know better, I wouldn’t have wasted as much time and money on fans that didn’t suit my purposes, and just shelled out for higher quality fans.

Here are the remaining pictures of the build, setup, color modes and interior, I’m not sponsored by them, but shout out to MicroCenter for having most of the items I needed in stock. Makes being an enthusiast a pleasurable experience.




Thank goodness for cable management bars.







Now I can finally start doing some actual overclocking.. been running a 5.1Ghz all core while I was waiting for all my parts to come in. The benchmarks I have now are great, but there’s a ton of room for improvement. If you have any critiques or suggestions, I'm all ears. Cheers to actually being able to get components!
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Apr 25, 2020
That's one amazing PC!! Well done indeed.

I have the feeling you won't need to upgrade anything for many, many years (well, unless you want to / just for the heck of it!!).

Have fun!

PS: What game is that with the scoped rifle? It looks familiar.
PPS: Nice cats too!


Aug 11, 2021
That's one amazing PC!! Well done indeed.

I have the feeling you won't need to upgrade anything for many, many years (well, unless you want to / just for the heck of it!!).

Have fun!

PS: What game is that with the scoped rifle? It looks familiar.
PPS: Nice cats too!

The game is Halo Infinite XD