This was my first experience with hardware ever. I always found computers and hardware interesting but never really got in touch with it. After seeing the self build system of a friend of mine, I decided I was going to build my own PC. Since this build, I really love hardware!
So, my story: About 2 years ago I bought a very decent laptop (HP Elitebook 8560w) for my study (Civil Engineering at Delft, University of Technology) to be able to run physical models and 3D modelling software nice and smooth, wherever I needed to (at the university and home mostly). In the beginning I was using my laptop every day on different places, so I bought a docking station for easy connection to my monitors an peripherals instead of plugging everything in manually at least twice a day. After a while I was not using my laptop so much any more at the university so my laptop was practically transformed into a desktop for me.
Some times I play games (not die-hard) and unless the graphic card of my laptop (Nvidia K1000M) is not bad at all, it is not well for gaming. As said before, I got enthusiastic of a self build system of a friend of mine (Niek, if you read this, yes it was your build ;-)), and with the fact I would like better gaming performance I decided to build a kind of future proof gaming PC to replace my hybrid laptop/desktop solution. The idea was to build a quite expensive desktop but in such a way I would not have to replace a lot of things on the short term.
I've read a LOT of guides, review and so on. At a certain point I felt like a hardware expert (just kidding).
First the CPU, I wanted a overclock-able processor but I was not planning for extreme multi-tasking, so the i5-6600k suited well for my purposes. It's new, fast and able to overclock.
To keep the CPU cool (also when overclocked) I was looking to an AIO water cooling solution. I really liked the extra fan on top of the pump from the Cryorig A40 Ultimate, and after reading several reviews I was convinced it would have very good cooling capability. I'm not an expert, but my overclocked CPU at 4.6 GHz under full load hitting only 56 degrees Celsius (ambient around 18-20) sounds very well to me.
For the CPU I needed a Z170 chipset for overclocking, and was looking for a budget motherboard. When I was searching for a motherboard I read a lot of positive reviews about Asus. So more or less I wanted a Asus motherboard, and the VIII Ranger was the winner because of all the possibilities, stability and looks. It was actually to expensive to me but with a €30 refund promotion it costed slightly more than real budget Z170 motherboard.
For the memory I really liked the looks of the Kingston HyperX Fury modules. A lot of reviews and guides turned out that for gaming and most other applications the speed and latency of the memory did not matter that much. I've chosen 2x8GB at 2666MHz and it is doing it's job perfectly stable at the XMP settings that came along with it (and looks very nice in my opinion).
Along my guide and review reading adventure I passed along a lot of rumours about a coming launch of Nvidia Pascal, so I decided not to buy a graphic card yet. Especially to be more future proof. Now I plan to buy a 3rd party GTX1080, probably an AIO water cooled version (if better cooling ofcourse). For now I use and old MSI GTX560Ti Twin Frozr III card.
A SSD was a no-brainer and the Samsung 850 EVO's are the best budget models yet available. I initially bought the 250GB version, but within a week I noticed I required more than that. Later on, I bought the 500GB version and I use it beside the 250GB (C:) but only for big installations (mostly games).
The RMx-series from Corsair are extremely well performing, and the price/performance ratio is really high. It's modular, efficient and really quite (fan only spins above 60 degree Celsius, which never happens). The 650W version was enough to me, since I'm not planning to run an SLI.
To host all the parts I wanted a mid tower case with a nice windows since I would place it on my desk. The Corsair Carbide 400C has a huge full size window as a side door, which is really nice and easy in my opinion. It's a compact tower case, but with enough space everywhere and I really like the minimalistic outside look. All the parts are made from matte black steel.
At last but not at least, I wanted a quiet but well-cooled system. I really liked the looks of the Corsair AF-series, they are quite and performing well. To have some nice cabling and lightning I bought sleeved Bitfenix cables and the NZXT Hue+ set. It really gives the PC a new dimension in terms of looks.
All parts (except for the graphic card and monitors) are bought brand new from Dutch retailers, for around €1400 including taxes.
I hoped you enjoyed reading, feel free to ask questions :-)!