This build started was an upgrade option from my degrading 4 year old laptop (1st gen i5, geforce 310m, noisy fans, battery life dwindled to 5 minutes etc.) among another laptop and a pre-built pc. However, I ultimately decided to build a pc:
- For the experience
- And I pretty much used my laptop as a desktop anyways
Phase One I was definitely working with a budget, so to cut down on costs I decided to go with the more mid-lower-end components with some that don't need to be changed during the next upgrade.
CPU - i3 4160 I know a lot of people would go for an AMD cpu but I chose an i3 Haswell chip as I don't fancy buying a new motherboard when upgrading later on. It performs faster than the i5 540m that's in my laptop (which is still pretty fast) and judging from the benchmarks (see below) it does not bottleneck the GPU much compared to the higher end CPUs that was paired with the 760.
I did not know that the cpu was available on Amazon at £79 with prime :(
MOBO - Asus H97-PLUS A decent motherboard that has everything and more than what I need. H97 chipset as I'm not overclocking.
GPU - GTX 760 MSI TwinFrozor The only reason I chose this was because it was on sale (around £30 less) and it handles everything I'm playing at high on 1080p
Storage - Samsung 840 evo 250GB I originally planned on going for the mainstream 128GB SSD + HDD but after evaluating what I was currently using on my laptop (partitioned at 250GB) the amount of data that was on it only took around 7/11ths of the partition which included junk files and old applications. So I decided to roll with a slightly larger capacity SSD and buy a hard drive later on when I need it.
Sandisk UltraII was the one to go with the system, but these were on sale.
RAM - Corsair Vengeance Pro (2133 Mhz) I kind of regret buying this and at the same time I don't. It was on sale and seemed pretty good at the time but little did I know, the motherboard does not allow oc over 1600 frequencies. 8 gigs seems like the sweetspot for most mainstream builders who don't do heavy tasks and it definitely suffices my needs.
Power Supply - Corsair CX600M This is the component I regret buying the most. I didn't know what I was thinking at the time when I ordered this, it has definitely much more wattage than what I need. Instead I would of gone for a fully modular tier 1 or 2 PSU for customization (color schemes). At least with 600w I won't be needing to replace it unless it breaks down. It's silent and does the job.
Case - NZXT s340 This case is pretty amazing, it was easy and fun to build with.
Monitor - AOC i2757fm I underestimated the size of of the 27" monitors. Instead, I would've gone for a 24" monitor then would run dual or triple setup later on. However, it was still mesmerizing looking at it the first time, having been used to a 14" 728p screen; programming has been a lot easier.
Case Fan - Corsair silent edition Thought an extra fan with the stock cooler wouldn't do any harm.
Headset - Hyper-X Cloud Pro Best I ever had. It was pretty unfortunate though as these were on sale £20 cheaper before I bought them, but it was only after the sale expired that my former headset broke :/
Keyboard + Mice - Anker wireless Still being on a budget, I went with the cheapest, decent combo I could find. The only problems I have with it is that the keyboard sometimes registers 2 strokes and the mouse squeeks when I'm playing at high apms. Since it's wireless, it keeps the desk look clean and minimalistic which I think looks nice.
Overall, I am well happy with the build. Feedback or comments are much appreciated.
I'll just leave some benchmarks here:
Games that I play, all on max settings in-game(some with only 2x AA) at 1080p
Dota 2 - 80-120 Archage - 39 | 99 (high) SWTOR - 81 Skyrim - 60 Dragon Age Origins - 143 The Sims 4 - 73
CPU Passmark: 5106
GPU Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0: [2xAA ultra quality] FPS: 54.7 (min: 25.3, max: 106.4) Score: 2288