Description

Built 22 Feb, 2015

Finally got to the point where I could afford to replace my PoS purchasedofftheshelfin2008 HP desktop. Haven't been able to play a big AAA new release in 3 years, and I've been toodling along on minimum setting for 3 before that. Decided to build a computer that will hopefully last me another 7-8 years. I have 2 small children, and my wife is a nurse who works late frequently. At the moment I am mostly confined to single player games, and without the distraction of moronic children on CoD or blowing up buildings in Battlefield I find myself needing pretty graphics. I'm perfectly happy at 1080 resolution, I have no intention of building for 4k in the near future (hence the title).

PARTS CPU - Near as I can tell, the i5-4690k is about the best bang for your buck. I could have gone up to i7 for another $80, but everything I've read says that the hyperthreading is unnecessary if you're running NVIDIA GPUs (GPU processed physix) and not planning on jumping to 4k resolution (I'm not even sure I see in 4k right now).

Cooler - It's $35 to get a decent air cooler, and those are huge and loud from what I've been able to see. Since water-cooling is quieter and more efficient, I decided to spend the extra few bucks.

Motherboard - It's a cheap Z97. I don't intend to overclock until I hit the day that I have to start lowering my settings. So keeping the overclock option, but not needing extreme performance, this seemed like a solid buy.

Case - Decided that room for big fans was more important to me than front USB 3.0. I never really use front ports anyway, and I couldn't find a solid a solid case with large fan support for a better price.

Video Card - NVIDIA, Well reviewed, pretty to look at, and decent price.

Windows 8 sucks, but it was cheaper and we're all supposedly getting free upgrades to W10 anyway.

SSD for fast windows boot and whatever my game of choice is at the moment. 1TB HDD for everything else, I have a 4TB external I keep all movies and music on hooked up to my sound system.

I purchased 100% of the parts in 1 trip to my local Micro Center. By the time I counted in shipping and taxes, I only would have saved about $80 ordering online (the Video card and RAM were the only things noticeably cheaper online).

I only run 1x 24" 1080 monitor, and have no need of more for what I do. I think that covers all the important whys, the rest of the parts were all price-driven choices.

BUILD The build itself was simple and straight forward, I only hit a small snag when trying to put the rear radiator in with the 200mm top fan installed. Due to the case size, and thickness of the big fan, the radiator would only fit 1 way, and the screws are actually at a slight angle even then. I've seen some cable management wizards on here, and I'm not one. With a non-modular power supply and some issues with short cables, I feel like I did well enough for good airflow. I have a solid side panel, so it doesn't need to look that pretty.

Haven't had an opportunity to do as much as I'd like with it yet, but it's running 83fps avg in Shadow of Mordor on Ultra Settings via the in-game benchmark.

I welcome any questions and comments negative or otherwise. This is my first build in forever, I'm sure I screwed something up. Now to figure out how to add my pictures...

Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Good part picking. Your cable management is a little sloppy but if you're cool with everything booting and working and not about looks, then who cares.

I would suggest flipping your CPU cooler though. I prefer having my hoses as straight as possible rather then having the tight bends you have.

Other then that, welcome to the build club. :D

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Cooler or radiator? The radiator wont fit in any other orientation, that was the only issue I snagged while doing the build. As for the cooler itself, every other orientation seemed to result in more tube bend. Which way would you turn it?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry, yeah the Rad. Could you sacrifice the top fan and attach the rad up there? Would hate to hear that your hoses leak due to their current orientation.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I could possibly remove the top fan, but at the moment my case's airflow is in through the 200mm at the front and 120 on the side, and everything out through the top. This thing is moving so much air there is a breeze in this corner. I really dont want to take out the top fan. The hoses dont seem to have any stress on them right now. Just ugly.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

I thought interior water cooling wasn't an option in the HAF-912. How is the water cooling?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

As you can see, the watercooling is a bit tight. Forcing the radiator to mount under the 200mm fan was a chore. The screws for the rad actually angle down into the case to hold it tight against the bottom of the big fan. When I originally built this PC I was using the CM N400. After I went to the store and put hands on the cases I liked the HAF912 better. Didn't realize the 912 wasn't designed for watercooling until after I started the build.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

I have to say, for this price point, you've done well.

I'm assuming you intend to add another 8gb RAM stick at a later time?

I have the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo air cooler, and it is not loud at all. Keeps my overclocked 4690k ice cold to boot.

By the way, nice CPU selection. But, if it were me, I'd have gone with a z97 board and at least given myself the ability to overclock that beautiful CPU. My Mobo only costs $30 more(ASRock z97 Anniversary ATX)and it stays cool with my 4.4ghz OC.

The power supply you've selected would scare the hell out of me, but that is just due to my paranoia of PSU's frying my entire rig.

Your cable management is going to hinder your air flow a bit. Attempt to route every cable to the backside and back through the holes nearest the location where they will plug in. Then zip tie the hell out of everything, front and back.

Those are just my opinions, but regardless, I like your build. You put the money where it needed to be and nowhere else.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I already did add another 8GB of RAM. Had some HyperX laying around.

This is a Z97 board, unless I'm batshit insane (distinct possibility).

I'm looking at the pictures objectively and I think I see what you guys are seeing with the cable management. That wad at the bottom is all going coming and going from behind the plate. The only PSU cables not routed behind the MB are the cables for the Video Card and CPU. I should get a picture from another angle, those cables arent quite as scary as they look from here.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL I totally mis-read the mobo! You're so right!

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Added another angle picture that shows the cables a little better. I have a solid side panel, so the psu cable for the video card is actually set in a way it routes up along that. wasn't long enough to do anything else with. And the cpu power was also too short to go behind the MB. The radiator orientation really jacked up the top of the case for looks, the way it had to fit my tubes and fan cables ended up wonky, but I seem to have good airflow through there. Other than putting sleeves on the front panel interface cables, and tucking some of the visible cables there on the lower left behind the steel, I'm not sure what else I can do with this PSU.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Looked at your build. If I was getting a side window, I would have to get something like that case. That looks like an awesome cable management setup. Unfortunately, my computer is up high and tucked into a corner out of reach of sticky little fingers so no cool display for me. That would just make it a target.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

One of the main reasons I chose this case was the PSU cover. It's a must have for a windowed case.

If I were you, I'd just go bat **** crazy on the zip ties!

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Haf-912 FTW. My favorite case!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

hey i noticed your likeness of nvidia card, what make them better than the amd cards? Whats the equivalent of an amd r9 270 or 270x??? And is physx worth it buying an nvdia card over an amd card???

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

According to people smarter than me, the onboard Physix is worth it if the primary purpose of the rig is gaming. The onboard physix reduces load on the cpu, and when I built this it was cheaper to get a i5-4690k and GTX970 than an i7 and a 290. I've been warned away from the 290x. Sorry for the slow reply.

I don't know the equivalent of a 270. This was my first build in about 8 years and I only researched the 290 and nvidea 900 series

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

a gtx 770 would be equivalent of a 270.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

physx isnt worth it and the games that do support are pretty good when they do but chances are games arent going to support it becuase it has been out for years and no games have adopted it. Physx is worth it if your doing video editing and encoding though.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

the equivalent of a 270 would be a gtx 770

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

The 300 series is coming out from amd soon And its a 60 perfect performance increase which is rediculuos!!!! Not to mention amd mantle which will increase even more performance!!!

[comment deleted]
  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry, cardboard edition? Maybe I don't understand the term. I thought that referred to the OEM, unaltered NVIDIA card. This is the ASUS card. It's reading 4GB on every test I've run and it was pretty well reviewed.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

There was a joke build the other day where someone made an entire PC out of cardboard. I believe octothorpe is referencing that.