I've always wanted an amazing gaming PC every time i played Shogun 2 on my dad's all-in-one. But the idea of building one myself was inspired by Heir of Carthage when he built his own rig to play Rome 2. I started learning about computers through YouTube videos. I first saw Linus's ultimate build guides and I had no idea what he was talking about. I wished there was a website that can tell me what parts are required for a PC and let me organize them. Then I found PCPartPicker. It was exactly what I needed. I got more and more interested in tech that it has taken over gaming as my number one hobby. I could quite honestly say that without this website I would've never built a PC. So a huge thank you to PCPartPicker!
I also have to give a huge thanks to my parents and grandparents. Without their financial support I would not be able to have the 1440p gaming set up I have right now. My grandpa is actually quite tech savvy for his generation. When I was a little kid, he would make me watch him do RAM upgrades. When I built my system with him, it was a very special moment.
When I knew I had funding, I started picking up parts from different websites over a period of a month. I was able to get some good deals and had a great time planning and dreaming of my PC. Eventually the time came for me to put the parts together. Everything worked without any major issues. I do plan on eventually overclocking my CPU and GPU, but as of right now I do not think it is necessary. It was a fun experience that I enjoyed thoroughly, and I hope you enjoy as well.
Questions: 1 Is it OK for the motherboard heat sinks to rock back and forth when I press on it? 2 Is 80 degrees prime95 temp acceptable for a stock i5-4670k cooled with a Be Quiet Dark Rock 3?
WARNING: WALL OF TEXT IMMINENT
CPU: The i5-4670k is a popular choice for gaming PCs. I don't need hyper threading, so I went with the i5. It also came with Rome 2, which is a definite plus for me since I'm a total war fan.
CPU Cooler: Be Quiet coolers just look so friggin amazing that I had to have one. Plus it is nearly silent. The install wan't hard with my friend helping me. Only problem is the improvement in temps is less than ideal. 80 degrees in prime95 at stock speeds seem a bit too high.
Motherboard: When I was planning my build, I really wanted the Asus Sabertooth Z87 because it looked cool. Also, all the youtube videos JJ made convinced me that the "4-way optimization" was a great thing. But then by chance I found out that it's not available on the Sabertooth, even though JJ said it would be available on all Asus boards. So I looked at the Maximus VI Hero, only to find out it only has preset overclocks...despite their website claiming that it has "dual intelligent processors 4". I was pretty pissed at Asus's false advertising, so I looked at alternatives and The Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H seemed like a great value. The looks are also great in my opinion. I'm very happy that I bought it.
RAM: G.Skill is a reputable brand. It's a fast 2x8gb kit that matches my color scheme. It was also on sale for such a good price that it was pretty much a no brainer.
Storage: I decided to go with a single 240gb SSD and no hard drives because I didn't really need much space. I do plan on RAID 0 at some point if the prices keep dropping.
GPU: When I was planning my build, the 780ti seemed so far out of reach that I didn't even consider it an option. But with my grandparents' help, all of a sudden I was able to afford the fastest single gpu ever made. Ironically on the day it was delivered, the Titan Black was announced... I chose the EVGA ACX SC mainly because it looks amazing. EVGA has a great reputation, and they also gave three free games exclusive to EVGA. But something went wrong when I unboxed it. I was so excited that I scratched the back of the PCB. Needless to say I was scared. Thankfully the card seems to work fine with some minor coil whine. EVGA customer support said it "may" affect warranty, so...it could have been much worse. Under gaming loads it does get quite loud for a "silent" PC but I can deal with it.
Case: Define R4 is a VERY popular choice for quiet PCs. However I almost bought the NZXT H440 due to its nice looks and water cooling support. But at $70 the Define R4 is just too good to pass up. I also bought an extra intake fan for positive air pressure. The fans are pretty loud at 12V, and at 5V I can still hear the motor whine. Given Fractal's legendary reputation for build quality, I was a little disappointed in the amount of flex the side panels had. But overall it is a really nice case and I am satisfied with it.
PSU: I chose the Corsair RM750 because it is from a reputable brand, is 80 Plus Gold and optimized for silence, and because it has modular, black cables. The reason I went with the 750W version is too make it overkill so that the fan never spins. So far the fan has never spun and unless I SLI I don't think it ever will. My one complaint is that the connectors are WAY too stiff. When trying to disconnect the 24 pin I almost broke the mother board...thankfully it's "Ultra Durable" :)
Monitor: I first heard of Korean 1440p monitors from Tek Syndicate. I was a bit skeptical about it at first. I thought about getting a 780 and spending more money on a brand name monitor like Asus or Dell. I even thought about waiting for Gsync. In the end I just couldn't pass up the chance of getting a 1440p PLS panel for $280. I believe I got lucky, but the monitor is perfect as far as I can tell. There's minimal back light bleed and no dead pixels. The stand is crappy but it looks stylish. I am extremely happy about the purchase...possibly the best purchase I've made out of all the parts.
Keyboard: The Tt Esports Poseidon is a mechanical keyboard with solid build quality and full back lighting, all at a very reasonable price. The only issues is that the Caps, Num, Scroll lock LED's are too bright. But from a normal typing angle they look just fine. For the price I paid, this was an amazing deal.
Mouse: I chose the Corsair Vengeance M65 because it has solid build quality and because it matched the blue LED back light on my keyboard. It feels nice in my hand, but the sniper button doesn't work and I can't figure out how to use the software. If anyone knows how to fix this please help.
Headset: I am not an audiophile (I listen to music on YouTube lol). That's why I went for the convenience of a headset despite everyone recommending separate mic and headphones. The Corsair Vengeance 1400 has very large ear cups that can fit over my large ears. It is quite comfortable, although it makes people look quite silly. They sound good to an audio noob like me.