Dave's Beast computer build.

Update: I have retired this computer after 3 years and I have a new 16 core computer build you can check out

JJ Guerrero from Asus contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I was interested in building ‘a beast‘ of a computer for video editing using the very latest Intel X99 chip set and their new X99 motherboard. JJ liked my “Monster Computer Build” I did about 18 months ago, and thought my viewers would like an update to that build.

He said I could keep the computer for free after we were done building it. While I thought that was very nice of them, I don’t like taking anything for free so I can remain unbiased.

This is not really a review of any of any of the Asus computer parts and computers are really not in my wheel house, but still I don’t like taking stuff for free so I will be donating my old computer and the difference in cost for the new machine to Asus’s favorite charity in their name.

The Build Video

Dave’s ‘Beast’ Computer Parts List

The main reason why I agreed to this build was because JJ knows a ton about computers, so as he was building the computer I was peppering him with questions. To me JJ’s knowledge about computers was more valuable to me than the computer itself, I got to ask him tons of questions for the day and a half he was here.

JJ was at my office for a day and half and I recorded 3 hours of the build. I cut the video down to about 30 minutes with the best content.  This is not a how-to computer build that shows very set, it is more of me asking questions during the build that were important to me.

First question I asked was about graphics card since it seems like my GTX680 is never working that hard on playback.

Filming in my office with two people and a large computer case was a bit tight so forgive my shooting style. I will admit some of the things that JJ told me was over my head and I had no idea what he was talking about. 🙂

Raw Footage from the actual build (new material)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Replaced Fans Noise Test

If you have questions for JJ or want to watch Asus YouTube Channel

Music by ccMixter DoKashiteru

Royalty free music by PremiumBeat.com

Help me make more of these types of videos by purchasing gear from the links posted on my site. It costs you nothing extra, and helps support me to make more videos.


  • Dont like the idea at all, that a manufactuter comes and recommends his stuff on popular channels.

    This whole video is biased, even though you tried it not to be.

    Asus should have dont this video on their own channel, but they didnt.

    Its a pure ad, disguised as something else.

  • @Hmm Sorry you feel that way. like I said in the post I was more interested in JJ knowledge, that is why I agreed to it. I didn’t take it for free.

  • Personally I think you didn’t need to give your computer and money. I do not see anything wrong with you accepting products as long as it’s something you believe In and more importantly you disclose i. Qualify it as “product showcase” and not a review. So people know it just you sharing a product. You are never going to please everyone. You put up great content for FREE.

    People don’t realise before YouTube and the internet they would have to be paying for the wonderful info you put out for FREE. And the courses you sell would cost three times as much.

    The people that pass judgement about your ethics so quickly just aren’t worth your time.

  • Dave,
    I really like the video for several reasons. 1. Never seen this done before and it was great to hear him answer your questions. Thats going to help alot of people who build pc’s. 2. I didn’t feel it was biased, I watch your videos to get your biased, I have bought two cameras because of your information. I know you don’t promote it that way and your reviews are even, but we want to know your opinion.
    3rd… who cares if it was biased or not, some charity is going to benefit from this video.. big picture people.

    And last, this is a crazy build… why not just get the Mac Pro and call it day. Those things can edit 4k in their sleep and way smaller set up. Just wondering as I am Mac guy?

  • J.J. is awesome and has been for sometime in the computer build scene. He knows his stuff and ASUS is a great brand.

    Is it an ad?, Yes, but I personally don’t mind, as it offers great insight and “value” to others looking for this kind of info and build. I will be doing this exact same build and buying all the same components as I am looking for a computer like this for all the same reasons Dave was.
    Great content, I appreciate it.

    And once again, J.J. is AWESOME!

  • Hi Dave. Your fan from Sweden here. 🙂 How is it going with the A7s Review? Man I can´t wait. What camera did you use for this video?

  • @Johan I am getting back on the a7s review, hope to be done in a week. I shot this with the a7s. Thanks for being a fan. 🙂

  • Hey Dave, can you list the benchmarks tests you used for every aspect of hardware you installed? or at least as much as you can,

  • Hi Dave,

    I always enjoy your video’s and totally agree with Richard. I have learned a lot and avoided mistakes through your videos, for FREE. When you disclosed the information about this “Asus” build and the reasons for why you are doing it, it totally justifies that JJ is from Asus and that you get it for free. Most of your viewers can’t afford to buy and review like you do for us. Or even know it’s available.
    You shouldn’t feel guilty for getting things for free to certain extends.

    Thank you.

  • Excellent walk through to a “beast” : )

    Dave, for all the value that you’ve brought
    to thousands of viewers over the years, your
    dedication, cool way of presenting complex
    topics and much more, you are WAY WAY ahead
    of any “freebies” that may come your way.

    And here, at least a straight-forward
    Thank You from me : ).

  • #jason

    if the mac pro didn’t get lower bench marks than the iMac (xeon vs i7 hardware acceleration) i’d be all over it. sad but true

    hard to imagine going windows again – after all these years – but nice to have a beast to consider

  • Hey Dave,

    I’m not sure if any of your viewers will read this, but I posted a question about a GPU a while back over at the LiftGammaGain forums and a number of them suggested the GTX 770 – the 760 is a little bit cheaper, but that definitely seems to be the route to go as many people swear by them.

  • I just built a “mini beast” compared to yours.
    (i7-4790K 4Ghz/ 32GB / Ati 7970 / SSDs)

    You know what you should try ? Go MACOSX !

    Build a hackintosh using tonymacx86’s tools is relatively easy and would allow you to try FinalCutProX and guess what ? IMO same software are way faster on MACOSX (Première, speedgrade, photoshop, etc…) .
    I tested btw win 8.1 and Mavericks 10.0.9, since that, i turned all my PCs in hackintoshes !

    It’s easy to try MACOS on a spare SSD and require only half an hour to install. And…. no windows updates requiring the download of Gb patches, no service packs, just SIMPLE.

    Glad you get a new Monster, let us know the benchs now !

  • Hey dave,

    I build my computer right after your monsterbuilt (not the exact same parts but kind of) and was wondering if I should get a new one and sell the old as a still great gaming PC or if I should just update mine a little. Now you bring up that video with the brand new CPU and stuff 😀 do you think it is really worth it (I am shooting with the GH4 so 4K is a thing for me) or is the performance update like “instead of 20sec it now takes 18sec”?
    As a young filmmaker I am always short on money, so this would be a kind of major investment for me right now, and if the update is not really changing big deal I would maybe wait a little.

    best wishes from Austria! Keep up the amazing work!!

  • First of all, as a fellow computer nerd, let me just say that this video was very informative. The descriptions of how GPU cores are utilized with programs such as Lightroom or premiere opened my eyes. Having said that with all these different components what do you do about support?

    if something unfortunate were to occur, such as a faulty piece of RAM? proc? or SSD drive? how do you get that support.. Is it a matter of just calling each manufacturer? that’s always been my dilemma with ‘white boxes’..

  • Dave,

    Invaluable video! Since Haswell-E/X99 was announced, I have been building my DIY wish list to replace my aging editing PC. I think the list recommended by ASUS may be better than mine for some components. Big priority for me is a silent system since I do some voice-over on my videos. How quiet was this system?

  • Dave, I’be followed you for years because of your humility, candor, and yes, integrity. I just saw a repport on this new processor yesterday and was curious how useful it will be. I know you were uncomfortable getting a freebie, but without it. We’d all be a bit in the dark wondering just how we have to go with pc hardware to have equipment capable of processing the 4k and beyond video equipment they keep rolling out. To the Mac guy, any Mac of similar capabilities is as much a beast as the machine presented here, but Apple forces us to use their overpriced components. I’ll stick with PCs so I can make my own compromises. The bigger issue I see is that the relentless shift toward 4k and beyond is dramatically increasing the cost of producing video, and to some degree, reducing the democratization of the medium that began with the introduction of the 5d.

  • I noticed the 4K monitor. You’ve mentioned in the past about upgrading your monitor. Why do you plan to return it?

  • Many thanks for being such a great man. Learning and discover the wonderful world of media together with you was always an absolute pleasure. You already win all my respect and consideration from long time ago.
    The fact that you donate your “old” monster speaks a lot for you.
    B I G thanks for being such a kind. This world need more people’s like you.
    Regards Dorin, (multimedia enthusiast from Romania).

  • Notice how “Hmm” in the first post did not even use his name. – And we know why. He can dish it out but not take it.

    Here is the deal. This is a great site. Dave goes way beyond what he should to stay above reproach. If “Hmm” were offered free Oreos to say Charmin toilet paper makes his bottom feel good he be eating the heck out of Oreos. But he or she will not. Nope, that person has never built anything and will never be asked. You can tell because it is only those who never have or never can you cry the loudest at the actual DOERS, like Dave.

    Dave – life is a business. It is okay if you take a computer, just tell us so. That is fine. It does not make you a sell out, it makes you a wise businessman. But that is just me.

    Thanks for the info.

  • Such a great help Dave, fantastic way of helping people out there understanding these things. Sad to see a miserable hater turning up on your more than amazing site…

  • Hi Dave.

    Really enjoy all your videos. Very enjoyable and informative at the same time. Can you answer one question I have at the moment? Size of the scratch disk… I’ve been trawling through online looking for answers but can’t get one. In your monster build you said you were using a 480GB Scratch drive but you said at the time this was way big and 32GB would be big enough. After using that build for 18 months what would be a decent size scratch disk in your opinion? I would be using a SSD for speed. My projects aren’t huge. I’m using premiere pro cc with the odd use of light After Effects. But nothing too intensive. Thanks.

  • Looks like a great build! I’d be really interested to see you do some performance tests in After Effects or Cinema 4D to see how it compares to your previous machine!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • @Andy Shrestha – I was thinking the same thing. Even if they had a couple options where they weren’t the higher end parts, and worked for different options.

  • @Andy Shrestha & @David A Contact any xlocal/online custom pc builder and show them this video. They will get you a price for this exact build. Asus only makes 2 things that went into this build the Motherboard and the Graphics card.

  • Fantastic job as usual Dave. JJ nailed it as well. Thank you for providing access to your knowledge and expertise man. If somebody doesn’t like your stuff tell them to bite me!

  • Dave,
    This is about the 4th time I’ve watched the video, more for re-reviewing the questions you asked JJ. Retired Navy with last 12 years working computers, and retired School District IT guy, so the hardware part seems to come naturally to me.
    It is a great video, just like all the others I have viewed (now just need to stop procrastinating and get your DSLR series!). This video and Q&A with JJ is helping me decide if I need to upgrade my i7-3930K as well.
    Glad to see all the positive comments on your site, as they are definitely deserved! Keep up the fantastic work so I can keep busy on your YouTube channel!

  • @MIchael I will do this in a future video.

    @Bill I have not run any tests yet but it is very quiet!

    @James I have a monitor shoot out coming up, this one is not on the list.

    @Chris the scratch drive can be very small, 100G should be fine.

  • Hey you Apple lovers
    With the entrance of the Intel X99 motherboards and the I7-5960X, your Mac Pro is truly what it looks like – a trash can. I can guarantee that the best equipped Mac Pro limitedwill not hold a candle to a similarly priced X99 system. The PC’s former disadvantages of lower SSDs performance using the SATA3 channel is gone with the new m.2 SSD interface. Pity the poor fools that just got the Mac Pro with its pathetic video subsystem, and its limited expandability
    limited memory (64GB max vs 128 GB max with X99), limited storage, video capability (poor performance twin video cards vs 2 or more AMD R9 295).


  • Some may accuse this of being an ad, but I’ve been using Asus boards and Crucial ram for over a decade myself. Earlier this year I built my own editing rig using an Asus board, Crucial ram, and even a Samsung EVO SSD. I didn’t have any reps come to me and ask me to do it, Like Dave I just simply trust a quality product.

    For what it’s worth dave the Asus version of the GTX 760 (which I used for cost reasons) is an excellent card for a video rig.

    Thanks for keeping us informed with the videos and for keeping things on the up and up.

  • Hey Dave, I’m a regular boutique builder/consultant and I REALLY like JJ’s opinions, but this was such a biased build from the get-go by going with a rep from a manufacturer. Regardless that Asus makes great products, it was just show-casing NZXT/Asus. Linus from Linus Tech Tips, he is biased but he’s biased toward products that are tried and true. Your last build had Noctua/Fractal/etc, personally I liked your last build from the ground up more-so because YOU did the reviews and went with what you felt was a better product. I realize you got advice from a builder, but that’s basically what you did on your last build… Asked people’s opinions and went with a consensus. I probably would have went with Linus or someone similar. No disrespect to JJ’s knowledge and demeanor though. Great video nonetheless, Dave. I’m sure you’ll love your new setup.

  • Hi, been a subscribed viewer for quite some time now so thank you for the effort you put into your YT channel.

    RE: Asus and the Beast. Personally I couldnt care if it was Asus or some other company. For someone stuck in the wilderness of not being up to speed with current equipment and wondering how to upgrade my current rig I found JJ’s knowledge invaluable, especially regarding Lightroom performance (as that’s my primary focus) and gave a starting point without me having to spend six months researching through countless publications and head scratching like with my last build.

    Folk complaining that it was one big advert should quit seeing it from their own selfish view (ie it’s your content, your channel, you can broadcast whatever you feel appropriate), engage their brain before commenting and consider that what you upload is often well timed HELP for others. Or maybe that’s too much to effort for them.

  • Hey Dave,

    In the video it shows you have 8 sticks of ram in the motherboard but your link takes me to 4 sticks of ram. Did they put 128gb ram in there?

    Also that processor does not support ECC ram. So did he use Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2133 (PC4-17000) and purchase 2 sets of those?

    I’m super confused.

  • @Matthew sorry about that, JJ took them with him when he left and he didn’t have a part number for it, I will be getting them back soon and will revise the links.

  • Nice rig you got there, i have an I7 sandy bridge and looked for an upgrade, your video gaved me some new info, but i think this new pc components are to expensive for now (about 4000 euros or maybe more ), and i get that some people are jealous because u got that for “free”, but is not for free at all your work u have done for us (reviews etc) is finally getting paid. And for those who want to build a nice video editing rig i can give 2 links that always helped me about Adobe CC suite.
    Greetings from Romania

  • Great video, very useful information. I will be doing a similar build within the next month, although I will use the 6-core chip I7-5830K, 64 GB Corsair Vengeance, and ASUS X99-Deluxe, and keep my GTX 780 ti. Just want to know when we can see a performance comparison between the Apple Mac Pro vs a fully decked-out X99 system with the I7-5960, especially with regard to games, video rendering.
    Keep up the super reviews!!!

  • Dave,
    I appreciate all the work that you put into your videos. I love seeing what other folks are building and what parts they are using. I don’t care what company the parts come from!

  • Thanks for the very interesting information. As I have ordered a quite similar system here in Switzerland, there was a lot of valuable information to me. I just wonder if I missed the part with the Thunderbolt card and how those connections work… Thanks.

  • I kinda torn cause I really want to do this build but I also heard broadwell is around the corner with an 18 core processor. Should I make this build now, or will there possibly be a broadwell-e by next year? What do you guys think?

  • Thanks, a lot of usefull information. Building for 80% the same build now. My main changes are towards the disks, as I believe you can get a lot more out of the build by changing to much faster M.2 and PCIe SSD configs.

    Perhaps (due to the connection with JJ) can answer the “where and when can we buy Asus Thunderbolt II EX cards” As I am into videoa nd phtography as well (and have a Mac as well) I would love to add 20 GBps TB II devices to my new build.

  • I would be curious to know what you think now of your new rig after some time working with it!

    I’m considering the 5960x as well for my new workstation. I’ll begin the build in a week or so… Waiting for the Asus and the X99 E-WS to come out.

    Do you have a review on the way?

    Keep on the good work!

    Thanks! 🙂

  • Hi Dave. How is it running?

    I am a bit in a wait state, this after the issue with the Asus X99 DeLuxe mobo which died. I have more or less that combi and I am a bit carefull now on installing everything as it is not sure if it is an isolated incident, a Asus mobo issue, a Corsair PSU issue or a memory xmp issue?

    If yours is still running fine, then….

    Still seacrhging in Europ to get the Asus Thunderbolt II EX somewhere, no luck yet. Amazon will not ship this card to Europe for some reason.

  • Hei Dave,

    Greeting from Norway 🙂
    I want to build a system with 128 GB ram, currently there is no 16 GB non Registered modules, but I noticed that you use “server memory” in a normal motherboard…. I want to do the same, but have you experienced any sort of problems? reboots, etc? anyway you can send me Guerrero’s email? thanks again!