The Event Horizon is my new base of operations. All of my music, pictures, etc will be downloaded on here, as well as the Steam games I currently play. Anything I place in the cloud will also be downloaded. I currently have a dual-booted Macbook Pro (retina, 2012), and so that will become an extension of this base of operations and with more productivity software on it. Primarily, I will be use the Event Horizon for programming and general college work (astrophysics major here), but with some side gaming that will be more prevalent during breaks and weekends. Following the theme with my laptop, I will also be dual-booting, but instead of Windows 8.1 Pro with OS 10, it will be with Ubuntu.
I opted for a sizable SSD for programs that would take noticeable advantage of the extra speed and decided saving the $100 by purchasing an i5-4690K over the i7-4790k was still perfectly fine since i5s are very powerful to begin with (particularly this model). For the sake of playing it safe and some level of insurance, I decided an 80+ Gold rated PSU was necessary. For the sake of silence and longevity, I found the subtle, yet elegantly designed Fractal Design R5 to be the ideal case. It offers perfect cable management and two case fans, is notably silent, and it filters out dust, all without taking up too much space or being too pricey. The GTX 970 is perfect for 1440p gaming without being too expensive, and the MSI Twin Frozr V version provides excellent built-in fans that keep it nice and cool. For the time being, 8GB of RAM is all I need, though I plan to expand at some point. I realized there was no reason to pay more for 1866+ MHz RAM since performance is nearly identical if I am not running a server from home (which I do not plan on doing anyway). Having a wireless adapter with added Bluetooth functionality is simply a matter of added convenience.
This is my first build, and for the most part, everything has worked out quite nicely. However, I need to get Bluetooth and one of the USB 3.0 ports on the case working - I'm basically having some minor issues with drivers. Overall, the Event Horizon is a fantastic machine.
UPDATE: I got Bluetooth working, but still no luck with the second USB 3.0 port built into the case. I am also exploring alternative Linux distros and may end up dual booting with Fedora or Arch Linux instead of Ubuntu.
According to Wikipedia, an event horizon is described as follows: "In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. In layman's terms, it is defined as "the point of no return", i.e., the point at which the gravitational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible." It is safe to say PCs have that effect on their owners, be it for career or gaming purposes.
If you cannot afford or opt not to enjoy the luxury of the eight-threaded i7 series, the i5-4690K is the way to go. It is one of the highest performing quad-core chips on the market and more than one needs for a productivity and gaming PC. Everything is running very fast on my desktop, all without using a lot of power seeing as this only requires 88W. Overclocking will only exacerbate these fantastic qualities, though it will also run hotter and require a bit more power after the fact (all expected).
Easy to install and the best price/performance ratio I have come across for any CPU cooler, the Hyper 212 EVO is fantastic and an excellent money saver. For those who want something reliable that just works (and works well), this does the job. For those who cannot immediately afford a liquid cooler, I recommend buying this first.
I have used this for my first build, and considering my lack of experience building computers, I'd say I was pretty rough with it. Despite all that, the motherboard continues to hold the components together and run flawlessly. The BIOS layout is quite intuitive as well.
You think you need more memory and a higher clock rate. In reality: you don't. Honestly, there is no performance increase unless you are setting up a server, and few need more than 8gb (16gb max). With that said, this pair of DIMMs looks fantastic and performs beautifully. Having that heat sink adds to its longevity and aesthetic appeal. I may upgrade to 16GB at some point if I get unnecessarily greedy, but for now, I am perfectly content with these and their price point.
I literally boot up my Windows 8.1 Pro PC in a matter of 5 seconds or so. This thing does not mess around.
It is reliable, relatively fast, affordable, and has a ton of storage space. Works like a hard drive should without further complicating an already complex machine. Only drawback is that it only provides me with 931GB of storage. I expected a bit less than 1TB, but 69GB less is a bit of a stretch (hence four stars). At the end of the day, I still recommend it.
For 1440p gaming, this thing is a beast. MSI has a good reputation and the Twin Frozr V iteration keeps the GPU nice and cool, which means I do not have to worry about longevity. The design matches my red and black theme and despite the lack of back plate, I am perfectly content with this GPU and its fantastic price/performance ratio.
This piece of beauty is silent, filters dust, looks very sleek, yet elegant, and it is affordable while offering exceptional cable management. It also offers two case fans with a fan switch and four USB ports (2x 2.0 and 2x 3.0). What more could you ask for?
Disclaimer: I haven't had this for long.
The build is very sturdy. The modular design is fantastic, though that has made cable management a bit tricky. However, I have no experience with other PSUs, so this may certainly be an upgrade from semi or non-modular PSUs. What particularly appealed is the 80+ Gold rating, which means I can use my computer at ease without worrying too much about inefficient power usage or some freak accident that would kill all my other components.
Wireless Network Adapter
Having both dual-band wifi and Bluetooth in your desktop adds a ton of convenience. However, setting up Bluetooth is a continuing hassle and occasionally, wifi disconnects. This may just be from my increasingly sub-par router, though.
To my surprise, 25" screens are quite large. The IPS display blew me away and I encountered no problems gaming on this piece of beauty. Only drawback is the lack of VESA mount capabilities and the stand wobbles a bit, but it is at an excellent price point and honestly, how often will that wobble be an issue if it is simply sitting on your desk, perfectly stationary, all day?