Description

Hello, [your username], this is Merkava. Merkava, this is [your username]. By tradition, I used to name all of my Linux systems after various tanks. In a search for a fine fitting tank name, my roommate stumbled upon 'Merkava', Hebrew for "chariot". This stuck, because long live The Chariot.

This machine was built for some light gaming and for use with virtual Linux machines and programming. I would play more games, but I'm a student without enough time on my hands to really get into any.

So there's a bit of imbalance in my parts list, which I will explain. First of all, the 32GB of memory certainly needs addressing. First, I got an incredible deal for 16GB of RAM (the red sticks) for $88 off of Amazon. However, the shipment had issues and Amazon told me my package was lost in the mail, so they sent me the black sticks as a replacement (they no longer stocked the red RAM). However, the red RAM mysteriously showed up. Upon contacting Amazon, they told me to keep both sticks because they no longer stocked the red RAM. Good guy Amazon. Secondly, I was looking at Seasonic's 620W power supply at $60 and managed to get another 230W for just $10 more. My excuse is future proofing, which is clearly bull.

My budget was the $900-$1000 dollar range, and managed to get it all for $965 after rebates. If all of the parts were purchased right now (November 17, 2013), PCPartPicker claims it would cost $1300. I'm very happy with the value I got out of this build. I might note that I owned the monitor, mouse, and keyboard prior to the build, so they are not included in the final price.

I only have two short concerns. First, the audio-out on the front/top interface appears to be borked up. I've checked the connection, and it's secure, so Fractal Design is sending me a new interface. +1 to them for that. Secondly, I don't like using that yellow PCI-E cord that came with the Seasonic power supply for the graphics card. It's a pretty stiff cord, and bending it in the way that the picture shows made me pretty nervous. It's held tight by a zip-tie so that it isn't pulling the ports on the actual card apart.

She performs great and meets all of my needs. The entire build was a blast, and I'll certainly be building more machines in the future. I have Philip from PCPP to thank for creating PCPP, and the good guys at /r/buildapcsales and #reddit-buildapc thank!

This was my first build. Any questions/comments/criticism appreciated.


2014/09/28 Edit


This PC has since been updated a bit. I now run

2x Acer H236HLbid 23" monitors

MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB TWIN FROZR

1x Arctic Cooling Arctic F12 74.0 CFM 120mm Fan

1x Arctic Cooling Arctic F12 Pro PWM 57.0 CFM 120mm Fan

3x Arctic Cooling Arctic F14 PWM 77.3 CFM 140mm Fan

Comments

  • 73 months ago
  • 4 points

I will say that that red and black RAM looks pretty cool. +1 for an overall nice build.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

I would agree, if it weren't for the blue motherboard.

  • 73 months ago
  • 3 points

This was a huge bother to me! I originally planned on reselling the red RAM solely because of the color, but after it didn't sell for how much I wanted I decided I could just reap the free benefits. 32GB for $88 is undeniably worth having red RAM on a blue Mobo for me!

  • 73 months ago
  • 3 points

It was free RAM though. If it sells for $10, that's a $10 profit! :p

I know what you mean though, and who knows, maybe a little while from now, you will be able to sell it for what you want. :p

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

I would be more than happy to take that off of your hands if needed :D

  • 73 months ago
  • 3 points

You may want to reply to OP instead of me. :p

  • 73 months ago
  • 4 points

How has this not got +300! great build :3

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice pics, nice build. +1 from me :)

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome build for the price. :)

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for badass screensaver...oh and the build as well.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

I sense a good opportunity for ramdisk

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

...I will consider this...

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build! I was planning almost the same thing. Which Linux distro do you use? I really like Linux. Is your AMD processor better for Linux than, let's say, the i5 4th gen?

Could you please upload some pictures of your cable management?

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Arch Linux has been my man on and off for a few years now. The AMD/Intel debate for Linux is pretty subjective, and overall I've heard better for Intel, but I found plenty of folks running great systems on the FX-8350 so I knew it wouldn't be a big issue. Regardless, the 8 cores will be nice when running virtual machines.

I may upload a picture of the cable management sometime, but it's pretty boring. Not a mess though, thankfully!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Arch Linux is a pretty awesome distro. I like Manjaro alot. It's based off of Arch, but a still different. Made by cool young dudes :D . 8 cores will be very nice when running VM's, yes indeed.

The Fractal design define R4 is probably going to be my case too when I build my system, so I would like to see what the cabblemanagement options are. Is it easy to work in? Good temps?

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Indeed! If I upload a shot of the cable management, I'll be sure to message you to tell you I have :)

The temperatures are actually quite a bit better than I thought they would be for such a quiet case. I was actually kinda surprised at how hard it was to work inside of it (blame big head and hands), I can't imagine quite what it would be like building with a smaller case. The best thing I can recommend to you is to build the base system outside of the case, test it, and then put it in the case to make sure you know all of the wires you will need before hand.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool!

My hands are not that big, mainly because i'm still 15. So that won't be a problem for me I guess :P

Which components should I build outside the case first? Motherboard, Ram, Cpu, PSU? GPU? Thank you for the advice

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

I'd begin with putting the CPU on the motherboard, and depending on your fan putting that on next. If you don't have integrated graphics, go ahead and drop in the video card so that you can test your output to the monitor. You can drop your RAM in anytime in this process, but I'd recommend doing it after your fan is in to see if it fits or not. Sometimes the RAM/CPU heatsinks collide. After this I'd plug the appropriate cords from the power supply in (which can be pretty confusing and definitely varies by build) and try to boot her up when connected to a monitor. If it gives a "no bootable medium found" error, you're likely ready to go ahead and slap her in the case.

I followed PCPartPicker's Define R4 build and the Newegg build video to get me started.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Pretty cool having all that RAM though, lol. And yeah that 850W will do pretty good whenever you want another card (maybe 3, not sure).

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

Good looking build. +1 for CPU, cooler & case, excellent choices, in my humble opinion.