A little long.....
A little background on my computer history: My first computer was a Commodore C64 (along with the Tandy TRS-80s in school). First game machines; Pong, and Atari 2600, and it went on from there....3DO, Dreamcast, PS1, N64, etc....I stopped at the original XBox, and went back full time to PCs, even though PCs were always in the picture. First PC was a Pentium2 with a VooDoo2 card, built by a friend (thanks Jared). This was back on the Celeron 300A days. We could overclock a Celeron 300A from 300MHz to 450MHz with the right board. :-0 That seems like such a long time ago. 1998/1999
From '98 to 2008, many PCs were built, modified, and rebuilt by me, my brother and friends. My last PC I bought in 2007/2008 from Best Buy....don't laugh...I paid $500 out the door for their floor model that was running a flight sim: Asus board, 4gb DDR2 RAM, Pentium Core2Duo E6700, GTS8800 gpu, and 640GB HDD, with Vista. Not bad. Since than, I have upped the Ram to 8gb, and the gpu to a hand me down GTX250, but it was getting tired and unable to run Fallout 4 (or any other new game), and with Legion dropping soon, it was time to upgrade.
Spent a couple of months trying to figure out all the new CPUs, GPUs, DDR4, cases, coolers, etc. Wow, things have changed in the last 9 years. I have always liked to get the best bang for my buck, so I tended to stay a little behind the curve, but not this time. :-) My original budget was going to be around $1,200, but the wife said to get what I want this time. Yay!! Love that lady.
With the 1070's in sight, I was still going to go for a 970, but everyone I talked to (and since the market on the 970's was not dropping), I decided that a 1070 was the way to go. Now which one. lol Even with getting a 1070, I was not going to go crazy with everything...back to the research...i7 or i5, air or water cooled, ATX/ITX/MTX (I have always built towers or mid tower ATX), X99/Z170, overclock,.....argh.
That brings us to this completed build. Driving games, RPGs, WoW, Diablo, Fallout (now I can play 4), and it will also be used for everyday surfing, and a little bit of Excel stuff for work.
Phanteks Evolv ITX case -- I wanted to get the rig out from under my desk, not planning on SLI, and am not adding multiple HDDs. Started out looking at the cube style, but after seeing a few at Fry's, they are a little bigger than I wanted on my desk. I read a lot of good things about Phanteks, so decided to take a chance. Good choice. Plenty of room to build, great quality, great looking. Case is easy to work with. The radiator tray on the top is very tight, and takes a little work to get out. I removed the top of the case, to make the cooler install easier (12 screws). No pictures of my cable management, because it sucks and I need to clean it up a lot, but that is not the case's fault. Mounted the SSD in the front, because I want to see it, not leave it hidden back with the cables. My other option was the Evolv MATX, which might be my next case.
i5 6600k -- Always been an Intel fanboy, Not overclocked (yet). Stayed with the i5 instead of the i7, due to money and I will probably not take advantage of the hyper threading right now.
Asus Z170I Pro Gaming Motherboard -- Another fanboy product. ASUS makes great boards. Out of all the ITX boards, this one had the most/best features that I was looking for. WiFi/Bluetooth, lots of USB ports, and the layout worked for my build.
NZXT Kraken X41 cpu cooler -- Decided on an AIO instead of air, but after looking at other builds with 240 radiators, I didn't like the look....so a "single" cooler was in the cards. It came down to a couple of Corsairs, and the X41. The X41 fits, runs quiet, has RGB, and keeps the chip nice and cool. The 6 year warranty helped make the decision easier, too. Yes the cooler pump is mounted that way on purpose...I wanted to keep easy access to the RAM, header wires, and SATA plugs...and I like the look. :-)
Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 2x8gb -- Some will say that I spent too much and this RAM is not worth it, but I like it. The lightbar kit will be ordered soon.
Samsung 850 EVO 500gb -- SSD was a must. I like the fact that these drives all made completely in-house by Samsung....less chance of a problem. Loaded Windows 10, WoW, and a couple other programs. Super fast startup and shutdown times; 10 second average for both.
Western Digital 2tb 7,200rpm Black HDD - Need somewhere to put the games, music, wallpapers, and Excel. Always had good luck with WD.
EVGA 650 P2 psu -- I know next to nothing about psu's. Went with website reviews, and recommendations from the PCPP community.
Cryorig XT140 Case Fan -- Slim (13mm) 140 fan to exhaust the case. Looks good and is quiet.
Windows 10 Home -- Use it at work, but it is a little different than Vista.
Now the soul of the machine; EVGA GTX 1070 FTW ACX 3.0 -- Had to wait for the "custom" cards (do not like the looks of the Founder's cards) came out, and then tried to wait for the prices to drop, but ran out of time. Originally was going to get the Zotac Extreme, but it is too thick and would not fit. I asked around for some recommendations, and the community generally said to go with what looks good, since they are all so close. EVGA comes with great recommendations, runs quiet and cool, and looks good.
Everything went together nice and smooth, except the builder was a little rusty and had to take his time and take the RAM out a bunch of times to get all the header wires plugged in and run in the right spots. But it fired up and POSTed on the first click of the button. Yay!!
Things from my old build: Logitech G700s mouse, Microsoft 6000 wireless keyboard, Sennheiser HD 380 pro (no mic, but great sound), XBox 360 wired controller, LG GP65NB60 external DVD Writer (I still watch DVDs), HP 4280 printer, Logitech speakers (can't remember which ones - the label is under the desk on the sub - they work and sound good).
Desk area: The desk is a display that I bought from Mervyn's when they closed. Paid $45, and it is heavy powder-coated steel, 3/4" solid wood top and 3/8" frosted glass.There is also a shelf on the bottom made with the same 3/4" solid wood. Some of the stuff on the desk (I try to be a minimalist, but it isn't in me): A book that my wife gave me when we were dating, junk box (anniversary gift "Home is where our story begins", Name tag is from my days working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Batman the Animated Series die cast figure bought when the series came out, IronMen - just because, the brass compass and the vacuum tubes are from my grandfather, the 3 metal containers are a flashlight, a sewing kit and an empty can, and the antenna ball is from Disneyland "Dead men tell no tales"
Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome....let me know what you all think (good and bad).
Thanks for looking,