Description

For my first build ever, it worked out great. Fire Strike broke 20K! Below is the my story and explanation of part choices. I know it is long, so feel free to just look at the pics but if you're interested, read the story.

Update 6/10: Replaced stock PSU cables with a black sleeved kit from EVGA. Pictures above.

Firestrike: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/4831282

Backstory: After the GTX 900 series was announced in Fall 2014 I decided now was a great time to leave my peasantry in the past and ascend to the Glorious PC Master Race. I had been a peasant my whole life, this was going to be hard...so I thought. I had a friend at school who was a PC gamer and he helped bring me up to date on things.

First I considered buying a pre-built PC from one of the major "boutique" sites. However my friend showed me the way to pcpartpicker.com and showed me the same build I was going to pay for and how much I could save. I was intimidated about building after hearing horror stories of things going wrong. I would not let this be me. After weeks and weeks of reading, studying, videos, and other prep I was ready. At the end of January 2015, I pulled the trigger on my parts and they were on the way.

I took my time and frequently referenced manuals/internet during the build and it went incredibly smooth. I made a few noob mistakes such as dropping a screw from a stand off behind the ROG armor on my motherboard and had to pull it out of the case just to get it out. Only to drop another screw in my PSU...I have since invested in a magnetic screwdriver. Finally the moment of truth came. I looked over all my connections a few more times, flipped the master switch on the PSU and she fired up to BIOS. Such a glorious feeling.

The point of my story is to encourage other people, peasant or not, to consider building their own PC. It may seem intimidating at first, but if you do your homework and prepare; anyone can do it. Now for my parts:

Motherboard: The first thing I wanted to decide was X99 or Z97. I went with Z97 because I do not do many CPU intensive tasks and this PC was going to be for gaming mostly so it seemed like a logical choice. After reading many reviews and comparisons I believe I made a solid choice in Z97.

I went with the Maximus VII Formula because of its features and aesthetics. This motherboard was good for 2 way SLI, had built in Wi-Fi, and I really liked the fact it had a steel backplate. It was an expensive motherboard for Z97, but I am happy with the purchase.

CPU / Cooler: I understood that a 4690K is great for gaming, but since I went with Z97 I was really interested in hyper threading. The 4790K is a beast of a processor. It runs everything I throw at it without breaking a sweat. I paired it with a Corsair H110 280mm cooler since my case was compatible and I liked the bigger radiator surface area compared to the H100i. After pasting it with Arctic Silver 5 I get idle temps of 25-30 and Aida64 tests show 55-70max. I am very satisfied with these temps and will be testing the chip soon to see how it handles overclocks.

Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum is not cheap memory. It it however, very well made, fast, and reliable memory. At 1866 it runs well and looks great in my case. Plan on adding another 16GB soon to complete the build.

GPU: I went into this build knowing I was going to do SLI 980's. I love the design of the reference cards and it's a good plan to use reference cards when doing SLI in a case like mine. I went with EVGA because I like their "step-up" program (although I didn't use it) and EVGA has been highly recommended to me. These cards are absolute beasts. They are not TitanX cards but they get the job done. The only thing I don't like is the 4GB frame buffer. I really wish it was 6GB. I considered upgrading to TitanX but I decided since these cards do great as it is in SLI I want to wait longer to see what else is announced. GPUs stay in the 50s-60s under load with only some games pushing them into the 70's. Finally, I replaced the stock SLI bridge that came with my motherboard with the EVGA SLI 2-way bridge. It looks great, but EVGA recently release the 2.0 version of their SLI bridges. I plan to get one soon.

Storage: This was a no brainer for me. The Samsung 850 Evo is considered my many one of the best SSD's on the market right now. I went with 500GB and plan to add another very soon. It is very fast and my load screens in games are super short. I know 500GB is not much, but it works great for me, and if 1TB of SSD space doesn't cut it I will add some WD Blue drives.

PSU: I know I did not need 1000w for this build. This build pulls about 550-600. I liked the 1000P2 because it is highly efficient with a platinum rating, even at 50% load, and like the fact I don't have to push my PSU super hard. This and I wanted to have a decently powerful PSU so in case I get hardware in the future that requires more power, I will have it.

Case: I like the design of the Corsair Obsidian series. I wanted a mid case so the 750 was out, but the 350 is too small. The 450D bridges the gap between those two cases and is great to build in. The case supports 280mm radiators which is what I wanted. It also has great airflow and cable management. I upgraded the intake/exhaust fans with the Corsair AF series fans that match my build great.

Monitors: Asus VG248 is a 24'' 144Hz 1080p monitor. I bought this first. I considered replacing it with a ROG Swift, but I really wanted a 4K monitor. After some research I decided to go with a dual monitor setup and found the Dell P2415q which is 24'' also to satisfy my OCD. This setup works great for me because I have the best of both: super high refresh rate, and super high res. I switch between them depending on what I'm playing or what mood I am in.

Periphials: A lot of people dislike Razer products but I am very please with the quality of the Blackwidow Chroma and the Deathadder Chroma. All of this sits on a Corsair mm200 extended mousemat. The keyboard is solid and has good weight to it, and typing on it is great. The mouse is a good size for my hand and is the weight I like. However I wish the weight was adjustable like on some other mice. The software that comes with it is easy to use and I am happy with it as my first mechanical keyboard. For a headset I went with the Sennheiser G4ME ONE after having it highly recommended to me. I got this headset when I was still a peasant since it worked with PS4, it is a great headset don't get me wrong, put I wish I went with the PC363 7.1 headset instead. Lastly, I know my motherboard has Wi-Fi, but the where it connects to the motherboard was too tight of a fit. I decided to go with the Asus adapter and it works great. It has AC wireless and I can use it with my other devices like laptops that only have N band Wi-Fi.

If you read all this, I appreciate your time. Make sure you leave a comment below so I can check out your build too!

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Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 5 points

I wish I had a job... :(

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

For a first build you sure didn't pull any punches. Excellent parts, nice rig. Congrats on a successful first build!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

ty

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Congratulations on such a beastly rig man! I wish I could've afforded that for my first build haha!

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

You so could have saved 400$ and went with 2 970s but i guess that is just my personal preference. Nice build, +1

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Depends on what monitors he has. Plus, 970s cannot use the entirety of their ram so of he has or plans to get a hogh res monitor, he might have problem with high res textures

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

right now just 248qe 144hz, but plan on 4k in the future.

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

you could maybe also get the new monitor acer is going to realease. 34" ultra wide curved monitor with a resolution of 3440*1440 and a refresh rate of 144hz. its is rumored to be a ahva panel which is a ips like panel with refresh rates and input lag the same as tn panels

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

NOW...... FLIP DAT PSU!!! Seriously bro its a drag for your gpu. +1

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Im thinking about it, so far gpu temps have been stable. The room the PC is in gets dusty is my only concern.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

This is far too much for a first build. My first build is going to have a pentium, and a gtx660

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Not even a 7 or 960? Interesting.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

I disagree that its far too much as most people want to have the latest technology

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

500gb ssd but 1tb sshd? Also nice build and good cable management!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

got another 500gb instead of the 1tb for now.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

You do know that your Mobo has built in wifi? Not sure why you got a USB wifi adapter...

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Its an add on piece to the top left of the mobo, and in my case with the radiator I picked it was impossible to fit. I like having the usb AC wifi adapter too to use on my other computers when not home that only have N band wifi.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

gr8 build m8 i r8 it 88/8 +1

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thx man. Might be doing an X99 upgrade in a few months!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

I was thinking of getting both of those monitors! They any good?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah. I could not decide between 144Hz and 4K so I got both and switch between them based on my mood/game. Yes they are both excellent monitors the Dell 4K is also IPS which makes up for it being 60Hz IMO. I posted some review below for you if you need more, but I highly recommend these and would buy them again. You can't go wrong having the best of both. The only thing I would do different is if I had more money buy the 27'' version of the Dell (P2715q) and a Asus ROG Swift (also 27'' 144Hz). But I am a student and this is the best I could do :).

https://pcmonitors.info/reviews/asus-vg248qe/

https://pcmonitors.info/reviews/dell-p2415q/

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

what size is that sli bridge? i plan on getting one of those

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

It is a 2-way, although I have recently learned you can use the 3-way wider bridge on a 2-way setup for looks. I think this looks better imo.

EVGA recently release version 2 of their SLI bridges, make sure you get V2 and not one of the old ones (new ones look much better).

2/3 Way

2 Way

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Im probably getting the asus sli bridge or nvidia. the mother board has a gap between the slots and thats why i had to ask

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea it depends what cards you have. If you have EVGA cards, I would highly recommend EVGA bridge for aesthetics. If not I would go Nvidia.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

well the card looks like the nividia but it says asus. https://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-video-card-gtxtitanx12gd5

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah that card is "reference style". The PCB and cooler are Nvidia's stock design. Asus just takes it from Nvidia and re sells it. If you get that card I would get the Nvidia SLI bridge. Also worth noting EVGA has the exact same card as well just with their name on it. This is one of my favorite things about PC: choices.