After a while in the making, my very first personal build has finally taken shape, and I'm extremely excited to see it's completion. It's been a smooth ride for the most part, and I learned quite a bit along the way - some things I wish I knew before making certain purchases. Honestly, I'm not too sure if I planned out some parts as well as I could/should have. In the end, however, it's nothing too serious, nor do I care. I just wanted my PC built!
I should have posted this when I actually finished the build, but I never got around to it, I was having too much fun on this thing.
I've wanted my own personal build for ages; ever since I helped my uncle make one. The dream started with a case.
Case - Fractal Design Define R5 - Originally, my dream case was the NZXT Lexa S. I saw this case months, maybe even about a two years or so before I even got the money or any components for the build. I just loved the way it looked. Fast forward to about a 2 months or so ago; can't find it anywhere online, and it's only available overseas. After contacting NZXT support; and to my soul-crushing disappointment, the case was discontinued. The most difficulty I had for this build was picking a case. Hours spent looking for "the right one". I narrowed my decision down to the BitFenix Shadow. The form factor and overall design seemed pretty nice, but my main concern was cooling due to it's lack of a top exhaust. In the end, I opted to go with a case I mocked for looking like a "mini fridge" - the Fractal Design Define R5. It's not what I want in the looks department, but it's far from bad. It's simple and clean, and the interior has a ton of useful features along with decent working room, which is what I should want for my first build. All in all, it was the smarter buy - especially since summer was coming up. I won't be able to show off the purple glow I wanted as much though.
RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws X 16GB (2x8GB) - This was the very first component I picked up - got it on sale. My only gripe is the color. I didn't think about this until after I got the RAM, but I'll save extensive color coding and whatnot for a future build.
CPU Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - This I got as a gift from my uncle. My uncle is a nice man, but when he gives me things he no longer has use for, they're usually used - and missing parts. The 212 EVO is supposed to come with a backplate, screws, and other doo-dads. I only got the cooler itself. So, I had to order the parts from Cooler Master.
CPU - Intel Core i7-4790k - It's fast, and I know it will be reliable. It was on sale at my local micro center, and when bundled with a motherboard, it comes out a little cheaper as well. Decided to take it, as I want a good, strong processor that'll last me a long time. Should I need to overclock, the option is there.
Motherboard - ASUS z97-PRO - I decided to opt with this based on another build I saw here on PCPartPicker. The features seem nice, and I've heard good things about ASUS parts in general. Overall, from what I've read and heard, it's a quality board. This was also on sale, so once again I thought "why not?". When I began putting my PC together, I realized the I/O shield was missing from the box. I couldn't be bothered taking it back to get a new mobo with an I/O shield, and ordering one would cost about $15. I decided to ghetto one out of the packaging foam from my GPU. No regrets.
Power Supply - EVGA Supernova NEX750G - When going through PSUs, a friend of mine told me that EVGA parts are good investments, and a solid power supply is VERY important. I believe this was also on sale, and 750W should be enough overhead for my planned future expansions.
Video Card - For video, I went for the ASUS Strix GTX 970. Reason one being as stated before, ASUS parts being reliable, coupled with the fact I've had my eyes set on a 970 for a while. Now, I did research and there's that whole controversy with the 3.5 GB VRAM issue, and I was considering picking up something else. In the end, I stuck with it. My friend who suggested the power supply also owns a 970, and says it's a fine card, and I shouldn't have any problems. I just want my games to look nice, and it seemed like the best choice within my price range at the time. At the time of posting this, I have no complaints. Reason two; and the most important reason, being my obsession with owls. It just looked cool, and it just made sense to get the card.
Storage - Originally, I cheaped out on this area of the build. I had bought a 120GB OCZ SSD, and on a trip to Micro Center to pick up my case, I decided to exchange it for a Samsung 850 EVO of the same capacity; I didn't care too much about the SSD because I was just going to use it to boot Windows / Xubuntu off of, but I made the switch mainly for what I feel would be assured quality and performance. I picked up a WD Blue as well as a WD Black, both on sale and both being 1 TB.
Periperhals & Accessories Monitor - I picked up my monitor on sale from Newegg, 21" 1080p display. My desk is kinda small, so a monitor of this size isn't bad at all. 1080p is great, and a MAJOR step up from my super old HP monitor. Picture is clean, and colors look great, and I'm very very happy with it.
The case fans I got are Corsair's AF series 120mm fans. I should have gotten 140mm fans, but I bought these at a time where I thought I was going to get a smaller case, and when I decided on the Define R5, I got a second pack because I wanted more fans and they were on still sale.
ETC - I also invested in a NZXT HUE for case lighting; if I ever want to change the colors at any given time, I won't have to buy new LED strips. The idea of having an almost infinite amount of colors is a nice one, though I probably won't be changing the colors often, because I love purple.
I've yet to decide on a new keyboard, but the one I have works fine. It's a standard dell keyboard, but I do want a mechanical one.
Going to be adding to this and tweaking, but for the most part this is it. With light 3D rendering, general production/editing, streaming, games, and whatever I can throw at it in mind, I think I'll be alright. After spending so much time on my dated, prebuilt computers, I think I'm ready for something a little high end. I can finally enjoy Windows Pinball and Solitaire at 1080p with 60 frames, as well as get other work done - something that will last me a long, long time.
I'll be updating this with decent pictures when I get the chance to take them.