So I was always impressed with the guys who would build their own rig when i was a kid, thinking that was so cool and yet way to geek for me...After years of gaming out of a laptop (for various reasons), I was ready to get a real gaming machine. I started looking at various websites selling pre-built rigs and realized how expensive they could be (like 3-4k$)! I couldn't believe it and so I started digging further until I found this amazing website. Along with newegg (esp the 'build your computer' youtube video!) and tomshardware, they convinced me that I could build my rig for half the price, and have a lot of fun doing it ;)
My budget was 2k$ (I've been on my previous laptop for almost 4yrs and saved some money since then) so I tried to max it out. The purchased price is a bit above that limit tag but I sold some stuff and used some card points to find the extra $.
This was my first ever build so please don't hesitate to give me your opinion so I can improve and do a better job next time ! I will be using it for gaming mostly and wanted to have something that would last me some time. I had a red/black mouse (razor saga), pad, headphones (Cloud II) and chair (DX Racer), so thought I would carry on with the theme ;)
EDIT: OC-ed the CPU to 4.4Ghz. Pretty easy to obtain but since i don't need it (just did it because i can lol), I dont want to sacrifice too much durability, so have my vcore just at 1.32V and a temp going rarely above 40C which should limit the impact on the CPU.
EDIT2: Found out that I can't OC the RAM so I updated the review on it.
EDIT3: The pictures still show my old ViewSonic VX2253mh-LED 22.0" Monitor, though it's been now replaced by the Benq xl2411z (see updated description).
Issues with the build
Barely any issues at all. Ran into a small one with the PSU (see review below) and misunderstood the way my M.2 SSD was working (thought it was PCIe when it is SATA, so plugged my OD and HDD on 2 ports that weren't enabled, thought my MD had an issue for a sec !). Still took me close to 8 hours to finish all (inc win and drivers install) in 2 seating (as I had to wait for the new PSU to arrive).
I know the i7 is an overkill but i had the money for it and got it as part of a combo (MB/CPU/RAM) with some discount for black friday, couldn't pass on it ! Works amazing so far, OC-ed it very easily to 4.3GHz with a vcore at 1.25V and a temp most of the time < 40C
I never had water cooling and really wanted one this time so chose this one based on many good reviews/price and the good enough job I thought it would do. No issue so far.
Amazing motherboard so far, works great, lots of extras, super smooth install and great look, glad i chose this one (was thinking M5 initially but saw a bunch of reviews about install issues so went for the M7 and I don't regret it !)
I love the M.2 size. Super fast - I never owned an SSD before, so what a difference !
I've never used too much storage (last PC had 500 Gb and used barely half), but since a 1TB SSD is still a bit steep, decided to pick up a 1TB WD Blue for its value and good reviews.
Was thinking Titan initially but given the price/my budget/ and the barely noticable improvment in perf vs the 980 Ti, I chose the latter. I know it's an overkill but really wanted to feel the difference with my previous 'integrated graphics' lol. Currently playing on an old 1080p (so really an overkill...) but will upgrade the monitor as soon as I can. Love the looks, tried to use the MSI app but not working so far, only reason why I took 1 star off.
I like the style and the space for cable management. Removed all the fans it was coming with to install my owns, glowing reds obviously ;) Seem pretty solid and of good quality. Overall pretty good value. I like the fan control (3 speeds) too, plugged all my fans (3) on it (except the ones for the liquid cooler obv).
Bought a 1000W P2 initially for a steal (134.99!) but the size was a bit too big for my case so sold it (for a profit) and switched to the 850W G2 which is a bit smaller and suits the case perfectly. Went for the extra power (pcpartpicker estimates my current need at 460W) for potential future SLI and OC.
bare drive, installed Win 10 and the few softwares I had on a CD...Not much to add !
it's windows 10, and I like it ;)
The big antenna was a bit annoying at first but you can put it easliy put it on your case (it's a magnet) and it seems pretty fast (my old laptop was getting speedtest.net results of 25mb up/down vs 80mb for this card ! Same connection, same time, just different wifi card). Also pretty cheap.
works very well, really nice look.
Bought it for the cheap price and the glowing red to finish the re/black theme ! No complaints so far !!