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...