This Rig is dead silent - just what I wanted. I spent a long time looking and reading and asking advice and I am extremely pleased with my rig. Everything worked as expected, and I have had zero issues.
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor Not much to say here. This is simply the best price/performance processor available. I don’t and won’t be doing any streaming, so I don’t need to drop the extra cash to get a bit more out of my CPU. This is a solid gaming processor – pretty much a no brainer for a gaming rig.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler Again, not much to say. The fan is silent, and my rig is cool. It was easy to install and I had plenty of clearance for no issues with my RAM.
Motherboard: Asus Z97 PRO GAMER ATX LGA1150 Motherboard This is an excellent motherboard. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other “budget” boards, but it brings a bit more with it. First, the BIOS is top notch. Super easy to use with an EZmode that lets you do auto-overclocking at the click of a button. If you want more control, there is an advanced mode that lets you change just about every attribute of the board. Very nice BIOS. The built in audio is a grade up from the Pro-gamer’s peers and delivers superior audio. The Ethernet on the board is the same that ASUS uses with their Republic of Gaming line and delivers noticeable latency reduction in online games. I am very impressed with the construction of the board too. Top notch parts, a nice thick and durable PCB and the RAM and GPU were so easy to install. A great board.
This board also comes with an M.2 slot. There are not a lot of SDDs that use the M.2 port, but in a couple of years when they are more mainstream, it will be an easy, cheap upgrade to buy and M.2 SSD and use it to run the OS from.
My only complaint would be I’d like to be able to plug in one more fan to the mother board. The board comes with 5, 4-pin connectors for fans; 3 Case fans and 2 CPU fans. It’s nice if I want to run a push-pull configuration with the CPU cooler, but the case I have has 4 spots for case fans. Right now I have my 4th case fan plugged into the slot (BIOS gives easy control over fan speed profiles).
Over-all, I would recommend this board to anyone, but especially if you are a first time builder. The board is super easy to use and assemble the other components too and the EZmode in the BIOS makes for fool-proof over-clocking.
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory Again, this is another no-brainer. This is the highest rated, best performing RAM that is not just compatible, but also supported by my MoBo.
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Fast SSD and cheap, pricewise. Plain, sleek, and I have a 7 second boot time for windows 8.1. I have my operating system and my most played games with plenty of room to spare.
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Just more storage. Highly rated and offers the best price/performance for a TB of storage.
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 970 4GB STRIX Video Card
I spent a very long time reading about the 970s and ultimately settled on this. Many reviews complained of the noise associated with the EVGA 970 and to a lesser extent the noise of the MSI 970. The MSI 970 had a fan complaint in general about them dying sooner than they should. I experience this with my MSI GTX 470 and had to RMA that card after 4 months on account of a failed fan. Since the EVGA was noisy, and the MSI had questionable fans, I went with ASUS. The AUSU have very few negative things said about it and ASUS has proven their quality to me with past purchases. The card delivers everything you would expect from a 970 and I can’t hear it at all. I a very happen with this GPU. It was also very sturdy. The card fit nicely into the MoBo and there is not sag at all. A very high quality card.
Case: NZXT S340 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case
I can’t say enough good things about this case. It’s Sturdy, sexy, and sleek. She is plain Jane, but that is everything I want in a case. Nice black finish, top USB 3.0 ports, and a front panel that is easily removed to expose a magnetically attached fine mesh dust filter. The inside of the case is so spacious with plenty of built in features that made cabled management fool proof. I absolutely love this case and have seen first-hand why it is so highly rated.
Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
More than enough juice for what I need right now and for anything that I might add in the future. Fully modular and carries a 10 year warranty! 10 years! Absolutely dead quiet operation and comes with a built in “ecomode” the run fan-less at low demand.
Case Fan: Phanteks PH-F140SP_BK 82.1 CFM 140mm Fan
I bought two of these to fill out the case. They are great fans. Sturdy construction and have a nice warranty. They have been rated with a MTBF of over 150,000 hours! They are absolutely silent at 800 rpm and hardly noticeable at full throttle. Plus, when your rig is at full throttle you are likely too busy to notice the slight uptick in fan noise. I have ordered two more to replace the stock fans that came with the case.
Simply the best CPU for just gaming.
Quiet and stupid easy to install.
An excellent board. A nice budget board that offers some of the higher end features. Well built and easy to build with.
Best rated supported RAM for my motherboard. No issues with it. Looks sexy too.
Fast! 7 second boot time for Windows 8.1.
Not much to say.
Quiet, sturdy. No sag with this card and I can't hear anything even under load. Great card, simply the best GTX 970 out there.
Big, spacious, sleek, and sexy. Cable management was super easy, and top mounted USB is ftw. Great case. Best case for the price, by orders of magnitude.
All the juice I can use and a 10 year warranty! Dead quiet and Ecomode keeps the fan off at idle.
Silent, Cheap, Moves a lot of air, and has a >150,000 MTBF!