This build was completed January 2013 and was my first ever build. I made some mistakes, but don't we all?
I say regret, because now I've become addicted to building PC's, and it can be an expensive hobby.
CPU: I went with the i5 3570K because I heard that Intel had better performing chips than AMD. I opted for the i5 because for gaming, I heard that it wasn't really necessary to have an i7, and the money i saved could be put towards a better video card. I currently have it overclocked to 4.4GHz.
CPU Cooler: At the time I didn't know if it was needed or not but I saw that this one had really good reviews. It's a great cooler for the price, but in hindsight I kind of wished I had gone with water cooling, but I'll get to that in a minute.
Motherboard: I set an arbitrary price range and this one was in that range. I really didn't know how many PCI-e slots or Sata 3 ports that I needed. I kind of just bought it because it was reasonable price and it was LGA1155. It's a nice board and I haven't had any issues with it, but I should have gotten one with more PCI-e and Sata 3 ports.
Memory: Yes, I got 16GB. I don't use anywhere near that much and 8GB would have sufficed but I didn't know any better at the time. Live and learn.
Storage: The 120GB ssd is used for the OS and a few programs. 120 is just way too small. I should have opted for at least a 256 so I could put more and games on it. The 2x1TB is in Raid 1 because I don't like backing stuff up and I wanted to try RAID to have the experience of setting it up and what not. The 3TB drive is for video storage.
Video Card: When I first built it I only had one 670FTW. I didn't really do much research on it and I certainly didn't know what all the different series cards were. Many months later, I've learned. I suppose I got lucky picking a decent card but I figured for about $400 it better be. In Sept 2013 I bought a second one because I wanted to try SLI and see what all the fuss is about. I wanted to see if I ran into microstutter issues, wanted to experience the extra noise and heat, and whether or not 2 cards is a viable option for me or if I should just stick with one. I'm still in testing phase but so far I haven't noticed any microstutter and the extra noise isn't very noticeable. However, there is definitely more heat.
VC Overclock: I have done some overclocking and have flashed the BIOS to unlock voltages, power target, and fan speed. The highest I got up to with the first card was 1293 core @ 1.125V but I had to back it down to 1215 @ stock 1.15V because BF3 was giving me issues. The second card can go higher but I didn't have time to test it thoroughly and am now running SLI with stock settings because I haven't had time to overclock.
VC Benchmarks: Heaven 4.0 (DX11, Ultra, Extreme, x8, 1920x1080) for the first card at 1215 core / 1752 mem was: fps 38.6, score 972, min 18.9, max 88.7, temp 68-69C; Valley 1.0 ExtremeHD @ 1920x1080 was: fps 50.2, score 2099, min 13.7, max 92.5, temp 69C. BF3 was stable at this clock and temps would max at 69C. For SLI, I'm running stock core and mem because I haven't had time to mess with, but I do have some scores. Heaven 4.0 SLI (DX11, Ultra, Extreme, x8, 1920x1080): fps 68.4, score 1724, min 19, max, 154.2, temp 66C; Valley 1.0 ExtremeHD @ 1920x1080: fps 82.6, score 3455, min 12.6, max 154.4, temp 68C.
Case: It was in my price range and I didn't do much comparison shopping. The tool-less design was a big selling point for me. I also didn't want anything flashy. At the time I didn't want a full tower and it had good reviews. Looking back, I wish I had gone for a larger case so that I could do a water cooling setup in the future. This case just isn't big enough for that.
Power Supply: Again, I didn't do much research. I should have gone with a modular or semi-modular so I could get custom sleeves. The cable management on my build is absolutely horrific. Also, I will definitely go with a larger power supply in the future and probably upgrade to something more efficient.
Monitor: I run a dual-monitor setup because I don't have room for 3. I bought the Asus VH236H 23.0" monitor first but have moved it to the downstairs PC and bought a Asus VG248QE 24.0" 120 Hz monitor to replace it. In hindsight, I should have gone with a 1440p display because 120 Hz really isn't worth it.
Keyboard: It's not junk but it isn't great. I like it for typing but I really dislike it for gaming. I should have gone with a mechanical keyboard but at the time I didn't even know about them. It's an item I plan on upgrading at some point.
Mouse: It does the job. I would have liked more thumb buttons, but at the time I didn't like the options that were available on the market.
Soundcard: I'm looking for a decent sound card for gaming but I haven't purchased one because there is no clear cut winner and there some people have issues with interference when running SLI.
Headphones: My current setup is trash, but it is what I used when I played PS3. I plan on upgrading to some real headphones but haven't decided what I want yet.
|CPU Clock Rate||4.4GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||-|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||-|
|GPU Core Clock Rate||1215MHz|
|GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate||7011MHz|
|GPU Temperature While Idle||35.0° C|
|GPU Temperature Under Load||69.0° C|