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Sky's Edge - First Build
by Stadt2000
Permalink:   (21 comments)
Description

After many years of having wanted to build a computer, I finally did it. Until this machine, I had been relying on laptops for personal use for probably close to 15 years. This is my first build so any feedback is of course welcome.

In terms of what I would use this for, it would mainly be for working and playing games. In terms of working, since I remote login to the office, I barely need anything other than a big screen (which I already had handy) with the potential for multiple monitors. Gaming wise I wanted something that could last for a few years and best the newest consoles that have come out. Lastly, I’m probably gonna want to tinker with over clocking, so I made sure I left room in my components for that (although I haven’t tried yet).

Overall it was a great experience building a machine for the first time. I’ll probably tinker with this for years to come and I’m looking forward to finally playing computer games on something that could handle it rather than my laptops over the years. By the way, I’ll be impressed if anyone knows where I got the name from without googling it.

Now to explain my part selections:

CPU: Was debating between this and the newest i7, but based on my research I really don’t think I needed more than this for gaming so I preferred to save the money to be put elsewhere. At some point I plan to try doing some over clocking so I got the unlocked CPU.

CPU Cooler: So I didn’t really need this and could have gone with a perfectly good air cooler. But I chose this mainly because aesthetically it looks sleek and I do plan to over clock at some point. Also, it was on sale and I couldn’t resist the price drop.

Motherboard: I read that Asus has excellent motherboards and I liked the feature set on this. Was originally planning for the Z87-A but switched to the Pro for the onboard wifi and bluetooth.

Memory: Was originally planning on 16GB to future proof, but instead settled on 8GB in the short term to save some cash. Having read that the difference between 1600 and 1866 is negligible I stuck with the 1600. Lastly, considering I had a window in my case, I liked that these were gold and went with the mobo.

Storage: I simply wanted the fastest SSD I could get, which is why I settled on the Samsung 840 Pro. My only regret is the Toshiba drive. I’ll use it for media, and I got it due to a holiday price drop, but after having bought it I realized that the reviews were quite negative on it and I should have spent a bit more to get a more reliable drive. Fingers crossed this one doesn’t fail early.

Video Card: This was an easy choice. I wanted the best value to price ratio, which is why I didn’t opt for the 780ti or the Titan. From reading reviews and speaking with one of my coworkers, I found that Asus has excellent GPU cooling which is why I picked Asus. Was also happy that it came with a holiday bundle of 3 free games.

Case: I did a lot of research on this one and decided that the Fractal Design Define R4 was the best case aesthetically as well as functionally. It looks very elegant and the cable management made it super nice to work with.

Fans: Just got one more of the Fractal Design fans to be consistent with the stock fans the case came with. I may get more here one day, but so far my build stays pretty cool.

Power Supply: I opted for a highly rated power supply with room for growth, hence the higher wattage.

Optical Drive: Cheapest one I could find. Its noisy as hell but hopefully I’ll only use it for installing things.

OS: This is my first foray into Windows 8. To be honest its a bit jarring and doesn’t really fit in a system with no touchscreen. Oh well, figured I’ll get used to it. I’m probably going to dual-boot into Linux at some point anyway.

Monitor: I had this already. The one in the part list is just a placeholder. The one I have is the Apple Cinema HD 23” from over 5 years ago so it has the DVI-D connector. I read that the refresh rates are slow, which may impact gaming, but have yet to have an issue with it.

Keyboard: Most gamers recommend mechanical, which I didn’t want due to the noise and the fact that I’d like to work on this machine also. I predominantly played consoles in the recent past, so I don’t have any strong opinions on keyboards yet and so opted for a cheaper non-mechanical one. So far I like it.

Mouse: I’ve always loved Logitech and this came highly rated.

Speakers: They look good, go really well with my Apple screen, and I can connect them to other bluetooth devices. I only wanted a 2 speaker setup since this is in my living room where I already have a 5.1 surround sound for my TV, so I didn’t want to go overboard. The subwoofer you see in the pictures is actually my TV speaker system.

NZXT Hue: Whats the point of having a window if I don’t put some color into it? The setup for this was quite easy and it looks good. Very happy with the results.

Part List
Details
Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.4GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle35.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load62.0° C
Asus GeForce GTX 780 3GB DirectCU II Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate889MHz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate6.01Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle-
GPU Temperature Under Load-
3DMark 11 Benchmark Results
Performance Preset ScoreP10532
Comments
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
 
 
cgilmore024 [1 Build] 4 points 6 months ago

Nice build! I've only seen good things about that case. I almost went with that one myself before I decided to go the mATX route.

Those speakers are pretty sharp looking. How do they sound?

 
 
Stadt2000 [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Thanks! Definitely love the case. The speakers sound pretty good as far as desktop speakers go. Typical complaint I've seen in the reviews are a weak bass, but for me thats fine since I'm not a fan of it being too strong. Only problem I've been experiencing very very recently is the bluetooth cuts out on occasion, but I'm not sure yet if its the fault of the speakers or something else (like interference with my mouse).

 
 
cgilmore024 [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

It's been my experience that bluetooth just kinda does what it wants when it wants to. Maybe you should make an offering to the bluetooth gods just incase. You may have inadvertently angered them.

 
 
Stadt2000 [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Hahaha I hear ya. I'm gonna have to come up with some type of ritual. Either that or I may just hard wire it since its so close to my machine. Just want to limit the number of cables that dangle behind in the open from the desk to the case.

 
 
GreenLego [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

I LIKE IT. Decent cable management going on there, can tell you've researched your parts and generally all round pc goodness. Nice job :D

 
 
Cthill [2 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

Looks very nice. Great job for sure. Very clean look and those lights!

 
 
Stadt2000 [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks. Lights were surprisingly easy to install. Look great in person too.

 
 
username22 1 point 6 months ago

better than an alienware by far for the price

 
 
TNTrocks123 [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

True Dat. I think Alienware is way overpriced. You are not getting what you pay for.

 
 
TNTrocks123 [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

I dont think you would be able to add a lot of stuff later on because if you overclock the cpu, the cpu would use more power. Also, that 780 uses a lot of power and u might want a higher wattage psu if u plan on sli.

 
 
Stadt2000 [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

That's a good point. Probably won't be able to to sli with a 780. I may be able to without overclocking, but it would be tight. ASUS already overclocked the 780 so i could possibly lower it back to the stock settings. Either way you're right, only room I may have is for a future graphics card upgrade that would possibly take more power.

 
 
resin34 1 point 6 months ago

Looks very nice :) Also the monitor looks good with the speakers. This rig should preform very well. This way not be the most powerfull PC, but I think it its very nice! +1

 
 
NeoKorean [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Question when you were installing the cpu cooler bracket did you put the screws in the 1156 holes and did you have to twist the bracket a little bit for it the line up? I have a H50 and it basically has the same bracket as that one.

 
 
Stadt2000 [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Yeah I had to use the 1156 holes and as you can see from the photo, its a little off center looking. Thought it was a bit strange that its not lined up straight vertically, but it didn't need to be forced to sit there so I figured it was alright. Still holds it all together.

 
 
zSyzygy [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Wow, sleek build! I love everything about it...save the monitor. I see you have had it for 5 years, but I bet $120-160 bucks on a brand new monitor you will be very pleased. Dropping that response time by 80% will make a WORLD of a difference on games where reaction time is vital.

 
 
Stadt2000 [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Well the monitor looks stunning color-wise, but yeah I'm gonna keep an eye on the response time. I tend to play less reaction dependent games (playing Assassin's Creed 4 right now and it doesn't really need super fast reflexes), so I may be ok in the long run, but its probably the next thing I'd invest money in if I were to upgrade. If I do replace it though, I'm probably gonna get dual monitors since its super handy for work for me.

 
 
zSyzygy [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Yeah I'd wait for a good deal on an ASUS such as the VS247hp or the one I have, a vn247hp. I've seen them drop to $130 Just keep in mind most new monitors, even expensive Benq's, will need a lot of playing around with to get a good looking picture. Out of the box settings are often awful for new monitors.

 
 
Stadt2000 [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks a ton for the suggestions! I'll take a look into those monitors.

 
 
darioit [1 Build] 1 point 3 months ago

Hello I would like to have your exactly configuration but in place of your motherboard I would like to have this Asrock Z87 Extreme6, because of ten sata. Do you think is suitable solution? Best

 
 
darioit [1 Build] 1 point 3 months ago

Hello I would like to have your exactly configuration but in place of your motherboard I would like to have this Asrock Z87 Extreme6, because of ten sata. Do you think is suitable solution? Best

 
 
Stadt2000 [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 3 months ago

Looking at reviews on Toms Hardware, the Asrock and Asus are very close in performance to each other. I think the only difference was in memory but it was negligible. I'd say that if you need the extra connectors, Asrock is probably a good choice.