My first gaming PC, so happy to have it finally finished considering I've been looking at building my own PC since August 2014, unable to afford it because I'm still at school not earning money till I got my first part-time job around the same time 2015 and was able to afford it very quickly, we're talking a mere couple of months and I was all too happy to be finally putting it all together late October early November 2015.
With my noob PC building skills the first time I put all the components together, turned the PC on and nothing would happen, all I could see peering into the case was just the hard-drive LED lit up nice and red, so that gave me a scare and I had to pull everything out and start again and it worked (much to my relief) although I'll never know what I did wrong the first time I tried to boot up I don't really care, it's here.
Highly recommended as a sweet spot for price/performance especially for gaming if you haven't figured is the main purpose of this PC, planning to over-clock in the future just to squeeze that extra little bit of performance out of my PC, especially with CPU demanding titles like Cities Skylines and GTA 5 where I find (ESPECIALLY with Cities Skylines) where my frames were a lot of the time CPU bound and falling short. Considering getting the Corsair h100i extreme v2 just to play it safe and not to flood my PC with water from some dodgy custom water-cooling loop failure. Had my eye on the locked version of this CPU since 2014 before the concept of Skylake CPU's were even sniffed at, if I had been paying attention I would have likely got the i5 6600K or i76700K but hey it's still a pretty good CPU.
I was satisfied with my results from the Steam VR performance tool, my PC passed with flying colours, with regards to the CPU I had 2 frames CPU bound which I can't say I'm too upset at seeing but you know, OCD with PC power. My GPU had barely any comment received from the details of the results and no frames were tested to be under 90fps. No comment and no statistical issue? Good enough for me. Will definitely consider the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive sometimes later this year.
Originally was going to get a Gigabyte motherboard that was not SLI compatible (to save on cost) but with advent of dx12 and the eventual combination of video card memory with the dx12 compatible games I felt that paying that extra for an SLI capable motherboard was a worthy investment to help future-proof my PC. Additionally this motherboard supported the clock speed my ram was capable of being at.
Why G.skill? The colour of their RAM is red... need I say more when I can peer into the side window of my PC and see a matching pair of RAM sticks? Unfortunately it took me until a couple months ago to realise through task manager that my motherboard had safely set my RAM clock speed to 1600mhz and I had to set up an XMP profile in the motherboard BIOS to set it back to 1866mhz. The results? A couple of extra frames and better stabilisation tested in GTA 5, not too much but I'd rather have it than not.
Originally going for the 840EVO but because I had to wait so long before I could get a PC that that generation of SSD's died out and I was stuck with the 850EVO. I put most of my games on there including the oh so massive work GTA 5 is too the storage capacity. However it is extremely quick and as a result of this I will never associate myself with hard-drives or hybrid drives or whatever. My desktop boots up in about 10 seconds on the average day. Many people complain about the load times on games like GTA 5, Skyrim, but not me, in Skyrim my longest boot time (initial boot of saved game) was no longer than 6 seconds, every other form of heavy loading e.g fast travelling is so short I can't even skim-read the advice and sometimes can't even see the picture. Similar results with GTA 5, logging in online or story mode is very bearable, my friends have noted that it can take upwards of 10 minutes with the hard-drives in their consoles (namely PS3) and I load everything up in 1/10 of that amount of time and 1/2 that again if I just want to play the story. Going from character to character e.g Michael to Trevor to Franklin is so quick there's almost no waiting around and it's almost a smooth experience going into the birds-eye view then going straight down transitioning to the other characters. However on the downside SSD's are not cheap, hard-drives are, I am running out of space and my over-ambition to completely rid myself of hard-drives has led to this horrible mutation down below.
Didn't want to get this but what choice did I have when it was $70 and offered 1TB of storage. I mostly put online games on here that don't require a lot of loading (or quick loading) such as TF2 and CSGO. In defence of this HDD it is cheap and has been reliable and quiet thus far.
My favourite part of my PC except maybe the SSD. Never would have I imagined I would get a GPU like this, I though I was being over-ambitious with my wild idea of getting a GTX 970 but I found this beauty for hundreds cheaper than it is on normal retail price and it is a beast. If you hang around the gaming community you would know the common "But can it run Crysis 3?" phrase and all I have to say to that is YES. Not just run it but be able to max it out (anti-aliasing on FXAA lennyface) and still maintain 60fps in 90% of the duration of the game. It monstered the Steam VR test and continues to impress me even this long after I've had it. Skyrim graphics mods galore (if anyone can help me get shaders please help) also Minecraft shaders and texture packs that look beautiful. (must run optifine if you plan to imitate) Most settings on GTA 5 maxed out but I can't quite max it out, I'll need SLI in the future, still got my SLI bridge with me. Shame GTA 5 is not dx12 compatible or the Witcher 3 but I definitely look forward to the future of gaming with dual 980s. The distant future...
I've had many component changes throughout my time here at PCpartpicker but one thing that I have never changed is the case. I realised from the beginning that for me the case was going to be more about aesthetics than anything else and this caught my eye from a mile away. Cheap, decent material, dank looks and supported my colour scheme while realistically providing me with the ability to customise and support many different components, came with 3 NZXT case fans, two of them are 120mm fans, front takes air in and the back exhausts it out, the other fan is a blue LED 140mm fan up on the "ceiling" of the case exhausting air out the top. This knowledge led to my choice of an extra fan later on in December 2015. This case has a downside though, it is easy to work with but the grill on the side where you can mount a fan doesn't already come with the case so until you find a fan to put there like I did, you're going to be looking at one ugly grill that serves no purpose until then. Also this case is a mid-tower, it is surprisingly big, bigger than my friends Corsair full tower case so be wary of that when searching for your own case that the term "mid-tower, full tower" is not the same across all brands of cases. Otherwise good case.
Originally going to go for the Corsair RM 450 but it was only semi-modular and my friend highly recommended that I spend that little bit extra and get a fully modular power supply. I was not particularly passionate about my choice for a power supply, all I really wanted was a power supply that supported my builds electricity demands while keeping slightly ahead with the assumption that sometime in the future I will get another 980 and go SLI. Still waiting but I haven't come across any issues with my Power supply at all.
Loud, noisy, cheap and I hardly ever use it. I've put in two disks since I got it, Shogun 2 (My only game that I have a physical copy of) and the Microsoft windows OS. Unnecessary in today's modern PC's but you never know when it is more convenient to simply insert a physical disk into the optical drive than take even longer downloading it off the internet. I have fibre optic but ironically from where I come from that doesn't mean much when compared to U.S, South Korea, Japan and even Australian networks. This thing literally costs nothing if you have space in your case or if you haven't built it yet I still recommend it.
What else? Linux? No thanks.
Though I have to admit in the early days of the Windows 10 release there were issues but they have since been resolved and I am enjoying Windows 10 and I advise the old school "professional" people who think they're hard by hanging around Windows 7 refusing to budge should seriously consider Windows 10. PS I'm not ragging on Windows 7 it's still one of the best OS's out there, moving on.
Wireless Network Adapter:
This is an interesting one believe it or not as far as WIFI adapters go. I originally bought a $15 card that I didn't bother research or care about. One of the worst decisions I've made thus far luckily it was cheap, cheaper than an optical drive. I began educating myself on WIFI and I realised the card I originally had only supported wireless b/g/n and not AC like the one I have now, so after throwing it away somewhere I decided to put some serious money into my WIFI adapter and got this one. Few problems but they're easy fixes, definitely satisfied with this product.
Got this in december to hide the grill on the side of my case and it does a good job especially at night where it lights up blue in the shape almost like that of a certain regime in the 20th century that I didn't realise until I started using it but regardless it's a good fan that I've decided to use to bring air into the case.
Obviously an important part of the experience is the monitor, I've had many thoughts of 4K or 2K monitors but settled for a 24" 1920x1080 monitor. It looks nice, however you need to make good use of the auto adjust feature because the display is off when you first boot up or it might be just a one-off for me. Biggest gripe with this monitor is it's inability to adjust the position of the monitor and I've had to adjust my seat so that is sitting at the lowest level just so I can see the monitor that's constantly angled down. Breaking news I just adjusted the monitor, so you can do that just not adjust the height of the monitor.
CHROMA! That's the selling point for me is flashy lights cycling through 16.8 million different colour combinations. More like 8 primary colours and then the transition between the colours counting as most of the 16.8 million colours but still it's more than enough for me. Understandably you may not be into the lights and the 'pimped out' style but there is a plethora of options out there. Side note: I had the Razer Vespula mouse mat for over 2 years until I switched to the Firefly, recommend both. Downside of the Firefly though is no wrist rest, now I've heard that a wrist rest is sort of a mixed bad when it comes to people wanting it or not but I have grown used to it and I miss it, but at least the surface of the Firefly doesn't get scratched unlike the Razer Vespula "speed" surface did.
Very simple this one, I just wanted something at a reasonable price that produced a reasonable quality of sound, I am not an audiophile so these pair of Logitech Z200's complemented my build very nicely.
Firstly I am considering something outside my PC and peripherals, I'm looking at a chair, a high quality chair, the one I am sitting on right now hurts and is bad for my back I just know it. I am seriously considering throwing this one away and just sitting on some gumpy swiss ball until I buy a new chair that suits me. What I must ask you is any recommendations? I've been looking a lot at DxRacer chairs, AKRacing and Arozzi chairs and have seen a few of Linus's chair reviews and I am not sure which one to get, I'm thinking of getting a DxRacer that is cheap AND RED, red is so important.
Secondly in terms of my CPU I am considering the 'safe' water-cooling option, the Corsair H100i Extreme V2, I've heard it's one of the best on the market but it's at a steep $200. I can tell you now I will be getting it just not sure when.
Building my first PC has been a great experience and I definitely hope to build more PC's and post them on this site in the future.
Update: as of 2/11/16 a Corsair h100i v2 liquid cooler has been installed and will overclock and update core clock speed sometime in the future.