Return of the Gamer
1st time builder
Last year I bought an ASUS N55JK Laptop equipped with a Geforce GTX 850m. I decided it would be a good all-around Laptop for work and Play.
While I always considered strategy and role playing games to be my forte; I have gradually become more interested in games like BF4, GTA V, Bioshock , Far Cry , Skyrim etc. All requiring more demanding rigs to “fully enjoy”.
I do love the Laptop BUT I didn’t feel too good subjecting my work laptop to the high temps and the overall wear and tear that FPS’s can dish out on my hardware.
So, decided I needed a pure Gaming /media machine . I’d keep the Laptop for my work-related light stuff and occasional light gaming sessions on the go.
Portability- needed to be able to fit in a suitcase if necessary (I travel quite frequently)
Low heat / good ventilation- live in the tropics much of the year. (Scared of overheating. Had 2 computers die from it in the past.)
Air cooled- didn’t want to deal with liquid cooled since I hadn’t planned on overclocking. Also this is my first build ; didn’t want to over extend myself.
Intel cpu-- not a fan of AMD; high wattage=high heat.
Air filters- dust and heat work hand in hand to destroy electronics
GTX 970 – loved the reviews on this card. Low power, low heat, good performance= Had to get it!
It took me about 4 days to complete. Took my time and enjoyed almost every moment. Appreciate the whole build more because I put my own sweat into it. Used Youtube a lot for build guides during constructing….play, rewind, freeze etc
After quite a bit of research/window-shopping on PCPP (fantastic site!) and a couple others like Overclockers and Tek syndicate I finally narrowed my case choices down to EVGA Hadron, Corsair 250D, Corsair 240air and the Raven. The Raven RVZ01B won out. I wanted all my case fans PWM controlled for the cooling. So since the case was a Silversone I decided outfit the case with aftermarket Silversone fans. Included fans kept for spare backup. Everything fit well inside. If you are planning a build with this case, do yourself a favor and get a MAGNETIC , PHILLIPS-HEAD SCREWDRIVER . Cable management is tricky and I know I need to improve on this personally for better airflow. At least there’s no window so it’s all out of sight. Wish the case had another air filter for the power supply. Attractive functional design. Great build quality. Get this case!
Motherboard 9/10: Research led me to the Asus H97i. . Apparently ASUS has a good reputation with their MoBo’s. Also, I needed a MoBo that had 3 PWM controllers for the 3 case fans on the case. I had a Wi-fi card laying around from a previous experiment so I didn’t go with the Z97i . Just installed a $6 antenna. Had some difficulty installing board in case. Had to really push to get screws to line up for board to be flush against the back of case.
Video Card: 9/10: I went with EVGA 970 because it seemed to be the popular choice and good customer service reviews. Also did not need any modifications in case due to the size of the card. To my surprise I was getting temps in the upper 90’s and occasional video blackouts. RMA’ed the card after much troubleshooting. Replacement EVGA 970 seems to work fine. No more random video shutdowns and never seen GPU temps reach the 80’s.
Also, started using MSI afterburner to limit card to 75FPS when running games (mostly play BF4). Read somewhere that it helps with cooling and stability . Also read that you will not see the difference because your eye cant see much past 60 fps. Please let me know if this is good practice or not.
Overall I’m very pleased with my Rig. 10\10
If you guys have any advice/opinions/questions especially regards to my video card settings.. please do tell.