This is my first build that I am using as my new office/work computer. I am a graduate student in Chemical Engineering and although I am really a Mac person, my 6 year old Core 2 Duo 17" recently died. I decided that for significantly less money, I could build a windows machine for work that would conveniently be able to run all the windows programs I need anyway. I tried to choose parts for this machine that would suit my needs well.
The CPU may be overkill, but it is great. I got it as a bundle at microcenter, so it significantly reduced my out of pocket price. I have yet to overclock it, as my needs don't require that for the time being, but that is something that I will do to get some extra speed as it nears the end of its lifespan.
The motherboard was the cheapest bundled motherboard at microcenter that had good reviews and the features that I wanted. It looks great and has a lot of potential for future upgrades.
The CPU cooler is pretty standard and keeps my CPU at a cool 30, while my motherboard is generally around 24 or 25 degrees. Even under 100% load (which is never really applicable for my uses) it only gets to 58. The highest I've seen it as I'm using it is around 45 degrees. I've played around with overclocking and have so far been able to get it up to 4.5 GHz @ 1.25 V and 67 degrees under full load. I think I can push it a little further with my current cooling setup, but for now I'm just using the default settings.
The ram is great given that it actually fits underneath the 212 evo. I don't know much about ram, so I don't have much else to say.
My storage solutions are pretty standard. The 850 is awesome. Boot times average around 6.4 seconds (with MSI FastBoot ON), faster than my laptop would even wake up from having the lid closed. I originally wasn't going to get a separate HDD since we have an offsite storage on campus to back up all of our data, but when my laptop literally died, I decided I would use this to store all of my macs old data. I used HFSExplorer in order to extract all my data from my time machine backups onto this drive.
The case is probably my favorite part of this build, very minimal design, but logs of thought into the interior. When I was building I had to take out the case fans that came with it as well as the red cable shroud in order to comfortably get my motherboard in without scraping anything else. Otherwise it's perfect for my needs.
The power supply again is sufficient and I got for a decent price, so there's not much more to it.
I got my OS from my university for free. I added two SP fans to the front intakes of the case to get some positive pressure for better dust management since my office is very dusty. The monitor I got as a gift a year ago. The monitor in the first few photos with the build is just an old tv as my real monitor I had left in my office. Keyboard and mouse are functional and I added a USB 3 flash drive since I've never had one before.
Future upgrades will be to add a 750 ti for better graphics, maybe change out the power supply, and add another 8 gb of ram since I do a ton of multitasking. All of the prices listed are after tax and rebate, although my actual expenses were about $150 less than what's shown due to gift cards.
tl;dr This is simply a budget engineering office computer, hence no graphics card but a good CPU. I plan on upgrades in the future, but for now this is sufficient. Sorry about the bad pictures.
Excellent CPU, and got it super cheap at Microcenter. I haven't played around too much yet with overclocking, but when I did I was able to get it up to 4.5 GHz on a h212 evo no problem, probably with even more room to push it.
This is a great inexpensive cooling solution. At idle it keeps my CPU at 29 celcius and even under load its only up into the low 50's. When I overclock, I can get up to 1.3 volts without going over 70 degrees.
However, the fan on this is pretty loud when it spins up to full RPM. Luckily this rarely happens for me.
Wasn't very intuitive for overclocking as I had to use the actual +/- buttons on my number pad. Otherwise has all of the ports that I want and looks great. I actually love the sound quality off the board, its way better than my last computer.
Despite all of that, I hate the network interface on this board. Killer networking sounds cool and when it works it's fine, but I've had terrible issues with the drivers. This is a fairly common problem where the software it wants to install screws with your actual network speeds but the drivers are a pain in the *** to install without the software. After updating to windows 10 and updating the drivers to match, I couldn't connect to the internet at all. I would honestly stay away from this board simply because of Killer Networking, and any other board that uses Killer Networking for that matter.
It works great and fits underneath my h212 evo.
I wish I could've gotten this at a lower price point and had just been more patient, but its a great drive that I use for my primary programs, my OS, and my data at work. Definitely download and use the Samsung Magician software though; optimizing my OS to run on this SSD saved me 30 GB of space
It can be noticeably loud when it spins up, but since I don't have too much stored on it right now that's not too much of a problem. A great storage solution for me, I'll probably never fill it though. All of my data from my last computer was only 160 GB, so this is really just backup for me.
I love this case. I designed the entire aesthetic around this case. The side window looks great, the cable management in the back keeps the interior looking super clean and I love the display for the SSDs. I only wish that it came with built in LEDs to light the interior.
When you're working with it, just keep the plexiglass on a soft surface so it doesn't scratch. I haven't had a problem yet, but I've heard other people have. Just pay attention if you don't want it scratched.
This is sufficient for me. I'm not going to be overclocking for real anytime soon, so I only needed the basics. I love the semi-modular as it helps keep my case clean. It was super cheap and does its job. This will probably be the first part that I upgrade.
I docked a star because it doesn't seem to work well with the intel sleep states. When my computer is asleep its runs hotter than when its at idle, but awake. I'm not sure if this is actually due to the PSU, but that's my suspicion.
I like having positive pressure into my case and these are pretty quiet usually. However, at 100%, they are noticeably loud in my office.
This was a gift and is an amazing monitor for my needs, nothing to complain about here. I only wish I had a second one.
It works, but it isn't great. Will eventually get new keyboard and mouse.