So this build was to replace my old computer which was a pre-built dell from about 2008. It had a Core 2 Duo E4500 @ 2.2GHz, ATI Radeon Hd 2400 and 3GB ram. I wasnt able to play any games on this computer (except solitaire/pinball) and it was extremely loud. If I used it while my AV was running scans it reached up to 50-65 dB.
With this build I aimed to have a computer that could handle most games on high/medium at ~ 60fps. I also wanted it to be capable of running engineering software such as autocad and MicroSIM/OrCAD. Furthermore, I wanted something comparable in price to the pre-built dell XPS 8700.
Now my parts choices.
CPU I wasn't interested in overclocking as this is my first build hence I knew I didnt want an unlocked cpu. Furthermore, simulations can utilise hyperthreading hence the i7 4790 or Xeon E3 1231V3 was the obvious choice for me. I decided to go with the Xeon as it was much cheaper and when I saw a bundle deal on PCCG that clinched it for me.
RAM This was part of the bundle. The Xeon and the motherboard can only run it at 1600MHz though.
Motherboard Again part of the bundle. If not I would of gone with a cheaper motherboard. However, this one looks great and has a lot of connections.
GPU I wanted a graphics card for 1080p gaming @ 60fps so it was between the R9 380 and the GTX 960. I went for the 960 as it was cheaper and the couple of fps difference wont make difference to me anyway.
PSU I was originally going to go for the Antec HCG 520M however it was out of stock at my local shop and they are notorious for taking a long time to restock items. Hence, while black Friday sales were on I bought the seasonic off Amazon as it was cheaper than buying in AUS.
So for the actual build it was pretty easy however they were a couple of hiccups. Firstly, I tried to build it in the case but when I pressed the on button... it didnt work :P. So I unscrewed the motherboard and took it all out of the case again and started post testing. After reseating everything and checking all the connections it still would not post. After reseating everything again it finally posted. I think the problem was that one of the CPU fan connectors on the motherboard did not work :( .
The second hiccup was when I installed windows. For some reason, it wouldn't let me do a normal windows installation. I could only do a custom install.
So now that its all built, Im very happy with my build. So far it hasnt struggled with anything Ive thrown at it. Initially I didnt plan to overclock any parts at all but when I saw how easy it was to overclock the graphics card using MSI Afterburner I gave it a shot. I managed a stable 51MHz overclock on the core clock and 100MHz memory overclock without touching the voltage. Im sure I could push it a lot further but I dont want to damage anything and I want this build to last for at least 5 years.
Edit: So after a bit more tinkering I upped the overclock. The highest I could get it to without touching the voltage is 148MHz.
Any comments are greatly appreciated!
Great cpu for its price as its essentially an i7 for the price of an i5. Even running the stock cooler it stays quiet and very cool
Love the look of this board but I think one of the cpu fan connectors doesnt work on mine so taking away a star for that.
Very fast. All round great SSD for its price.
Quiet and it works out of the box. What more could you ask for from a hard drive?
Gets me good frame rates in games and is so quiet I cant hear it. Using MSI Afterburner to overclock the card is also extremely easy even if it is your first build.
Great case!!!! I dont know why more people dont get it. I got the green one and it seems that it is only the second one on here! It is really easy to build in and there are filters everywhere. If you are looking for a distinctive looking case then I would definitely recommend this one.
I took away one star as I felt the cpu cable should really be 5cm longer. If I wanted to have the fan facing up in my case, the cpu cable would not of been long enough to route behind the motherboard. Apart from that it works and its pretty much silent. Also, this was mostly my fault for not double checking but the power cable that they deliver to Australia has the American power socket and the cord is really short.
Takes a little while to get used to especially since Im going from Vista to this but I like it.