This machine was my first build. Mainly used for Steam gaming on a 46" HDTV and 120" HD projector.
Runs all games maxed out, boots in under 8 seconds, runs very cool and so quiet... Loves it!
Bought the parts on NCIX and mainly DirectCanada on Black Friday.
Case: I really love the look and feel of the Phenom case. The matte black finish is just awesome. The cable management was not that easy but I'm very satisfied with the end result here. Plenty of space for fans, high heat sink and long GPU like the Gigabyte.
Fans: 2x Bitfenix stock fans that came with the case (120mm) pull air from top of the case to the GPU. 1x 120mm PWM Bitfenix fan installed at the bottom pulls fresh air inside, near the CPU cooler fan. 1x 140mm PWM Bitfenix fan installed at the rear for exhausting hot air. PSU installed so the fan is facing the front of the case. This setup runs cool and I'm very satisfied of the noise level.
This MB is awesome! I hesitated a long time but went for the Gigabyte and I really don't regret it. Love the quality of the PCB, the red heat sinks fit nicely, the color theme looks good and the LED strip is a great surprise. The overall parts placement was really well thought. The drivers were easy to setup via the Gigabyte website but you need a second computer to first download the LAN network card to work (I don't have a DVD drive). BIOS tweaking is ok, Windows adjustments and readings are not so bad too.
CPU is faster than I thought! My last PC had a Core2Duo E6400 @2.13Ghz... this is a great step forward!!! Runs so cool and efficiently, wattage drops down on idle due to the frequency dropping to 800Mhz. Really nice features.
CPU cooler is a very nice air solution. Runs very quietly and cools the CPU at around 2C above room temperature at idle. Under load, the PWM fan does a great job at keeping noise level low.
Using SSD was actually a first time for me. Windows 8.1 installation went very fine and soooooo fast! Boots in under 8 seconds or faster than my HD projector boots up! Insanely fast and runs quiet (of course).
HDD is a fine choice for my Steam games. I think 1TB is plenty enough for now. This WD Caviar Blue runs fine and I have nothing bad to say about it.
PSU is semi-modular and is a must have for this tiny case. Cable management was very much easier using only the needed cables. Fan runs quiet and the PSU is small enough to fit and power a long GPU like the 770.
GPU Gigabyte 770 was not my first choice because of the price (originally at 360$). I was thinking about getting a 760 or a AMD R9 270x/280, but the Black Friday deal convinced me to buy a 770$ at 290$. Long hesitation about which brand to get, but after reading many reviews about cooling efficiency and sound levels, the Gigabyte was my choice and I really love it! A bit big in this case but fits fine with some work.
I had so much fun doing this build, choosing parts individually and buying parts at the best price I could find. Assembling parts was easier than I originally thought and was so much fun!!! At the end, I just didn't want to finish already and keep on adding parts inside this small case! Definately going to build other PC for friends and family in the future.
Thanks PcPartPicker for the easy parts searching, price compare, benchmarks, reviews and guides.
Don't hesitate to comment my build. Remember this is actually my first one ;). Thank you!