hey! I have spent the past two months on pcpartpicker.com trying to figure out what my ideal build would look like according to my needs. And finally after selling my old macbook air I pulled the trigger!!!!
Let me start off saying that I need a machine that can handle software development without skipping a bit. My MBA failed when it came to android development especially in RAM amount and Storage (amount and speed). Other big issue was overheating.
Now I tried to tackle those issues as my first priorities, so I went with 16GB of fairly low profile memory (it fits just fine under the cpu cooler I got), and bought what seems to be the most recommended SSD on the market today.
bear in mind that 16GB are a good investment for me cause I use more than 6GB on heavy usage today with android emulator on, and when I start a virtual machine I can still grant up to 4GB of ram for it and yet have plenty of ram left so the system is fast. And as the programs grow over time Its definitely not going to take up all of my memory in the near future.
the ssd is awesome and paired with my 2TB external hard drive for now turns out to be an ideal solution :P
Heatsink: I was looking for something that would drop temperatures quite a bit compared to the stock cooler and be super quiet leaving clearance for memory. After reading many reviews this seems to be the most quiet one still doing a very good job a stock speeds. it can handle overclocking which is something I am planning to do later, but not extreme overclocking which is fine. Oh and it looks badass! :) Its very quiet indeed (even at full speed) and temperatures are lower than I expected. Oh I had to change minimum speed of the fan and lower it at 400rpm in the bios or it would yield fan error. This thing is a pain to install.
i7 for the win! so I have been wondering what kind of processor I would need and learnt that most of people save $100 on the processor to get a better GPU. I did the opposite cause cpu is gonna be my main focus. not much of a gamer here.
Case: mini-itx that offers no compromise.
Lepa vortex: I saw how direct the airflow of these fans is and bought a couple for the front intake. They blow air directly on the cpu cooler and the ssd. I went for positive pressure. When they run at full speed they are barely audible but its the only thing I can hear from my computer at full speed. Nevertheless they almost never need to run at full speed so they are silent most of the time. Its really hard to screw in the screws. I hated it. :)
Took an extra fan for the heatsink which I mounted as exhaust. It should be fairly balanced with the cpu cooler one as it is the very same one.
MOBO: well this is controversial not being a gamer why would I need a RoG motherboard? well here is the thing. I would have gone for the Z87i-Deluxe if only was available in Italy. But no, it would have cost me almost the same as the impcat (25 euros less) to get it from the US (with customs fees and shipments) and freak out if anything ever happened to it cause I have to ship it back overseas. So the Impact has almost the same specs + improved sound card + some rog features i'll never use. oh well I'll live with that. after all, rog is just a marketing thing, I really needed the wifi AC and good clearance for the cpu cooler. awesome btw the asus utility to manage the fans. After calibrating all of them the computer is much quieter than before. Still have to try the four way optimization. seems promising
PSU: this one seems to handle very well new haswell c6 and c7 states. I enabled them in bios and never had a problem. 550W cause I probably will get a gpu later and extra storage.
GPU? well! as I said not much of a gamer here. i considered getting one just for the sake of taking some load off the cpu and keep it cooler, but turns out some of the low end gpus out there can perform even worse than the integrated one. So I think I will raise the budget from €1250 to €1500 and get a €250 GPU or possibly €200 when some game i Like comes out. I don't like FPS. I Like RTS. Pretty excited for Generals 2 to come out! I wouldn't mind some advice on this. Bear in mind I wont buy anything before Christmas at least.
I tried the integrated GPu and it lets me play with no problems CIV5, sim city, cities XL, europa universalis 4 and have to try football manager when it comes out as well :P
Memory works just fine at rated speeds simply by enabling XMP in the bios.
got a window side panel and LEDs cause they were affordable and after all this time, thinking about parts to buy, I wanted to have some degree of satisfaction by just looking at it when it was done. pure aesthetics.
Last thoughts. I am very happy with the build. without pcpartpicker it would not have been this fun. also I have learned a lot. This thing screams for a second monitor and I do think I will be upgrading to a dual monitor configuration soon. thought about a keyboard with blue switches too but these things are more low priority so for now everything is just fine.
just wanted to share, hope you guys enjoy it. I have been looking at tons of builds and now finally I get to share mine!
P.S. I bought everything on amazon.it even cpu and mobo but from other merchants at a much lower price than the one that would show up on pcpartpicker.