After researching and deliberating back and forth, I decided on this build. I settled around a $1000-1100 budget. This is my first time ever attempting to build a gaming computer and it was definitely a fun experience. I thought about choosing some parts from sites like cypowerpc and have them build it for me but I figured might as well learn everything so I can easily upgrade later on if I need to.
I went with the 4670k over the 3570k despite my initial concerns about temperature issues when overclocking but with a good cooler like the Noctua NH-D14, as recommended by other people, I'm sure it won't be too much of a problem.
The motherboard seemed like a good board for what I needed. I planned to overclock and SLI in the future as I continue to learn what I can do with my gaming PC.
As for the RAM and HDD, those are pretty self explanatory - 8GB and 1TB are plenty for the games I'll be playing. I went with the low profile ram because of the massive Noctua cooler and the Corsair did the job for me.
Now for the graphics card. I looked at benchmarks and reviews and realized that I didn't need to run games like Crysis at 60+ fps. I'm looking more at less graphics-intensive games like Torchlight II, maybe Diablo 3 and went with something along my budget. If I need to run games like Tomb Raider at mid-high settings then according to the benchmarks I saw, I can still do so. If I never need to upgrade in 2-3 years when my PC starts slowing down, I can add another 760. This fits in line with what I need.
750W might be overkill for my current system right now but I read that for SLI, I would need around 650-700W depending on my parts. I might as well go for a more future-proof PSU and not cheap out on one of the more important parts of the build.
I wanted a case that was super simple and relatively quiet and the Define R4 windowed version fit the bill perfectly. When I unboxed the case, the first thing that came to mind was how much it looked like a refrigerator so that's where the name comes from.
As for the build process itself, the hardest part was putting the CPU cooler. That heat sink is just enormous and I made the mistake of building on the floor rather than on a table. After that, managing the cables was also a challenge but with a semi-modular PSU, that made it a lot easier. I had to come back to PCPartPicker and look at other people's build to have a good idea on how to route the cables. I actually redid the cabling multiple times, especially after my OCD kicked in. I'll edit this once I overclock and put my PC to its paces.
Edit Since I was worried about the GPU sagging, I moved the GPU cables so it goes over the card and attached a couple of cable ties to the 24-pin connect to give it more support. I added another a picture for a better look.
I noticed that I was getting higher idle temperatures (no overclock) than I'd like which was around 30-35C (I know Haswell runs hot) so I wondered whether I just had an unlucky chip but I remembered I might have put too much thermal compound. I re-applied the thermal compound using the spread method, compared to the pea-size application method and noticed an improvement. It's not much but my idle temperatures went down to 27-30C.
I also tested how far my CPU can be overclocked after researching more about it. I attempted to overclock to 4.4 through the BIOS and it booted into Windows without a problem. I tested it with Prime95 blend for 3 hours and 20 rounds of Intel Burn Test under extreme setting. My peak temperatures were around ~85C with an average of ~75C. I tried 4.5Ghz and it booted into Windows but crashed under Prime95 and IBT. 4.6GHz wouldn't even boot into the BIOS. I'm fine with my results since I won't be overclocking 24/7 and at stock speed, my CPU is more than enough for my needs.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core||$218.98||SuperBiiz|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM||$81.00|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600||$84.99||Amazon|
|Storage||Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM||$49.99||Newegg|
|Video Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Superclocked ACX||$174.99||Newegg|
|Case||Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower||$96.16|
|Power Supply||Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V||$110.00|
|Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor|
|CPU Clock Rate||4.4GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||40.0° C|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||77.0° C|