EDIT: added pictures of my new monitor
so i built this at the beginning of 2015 and posted a competed build about it. Now that i have had it for about six months i have decided to post a NEW competed build with reviews and rankings for my parts, along with performance info and such
Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
It's an awesome CPU, and it meets all my needs at the moment. it's stupendously fast and overclocks as easily as its bigger brother in the i7 series. I'm running it at 4.0 GHz and it still stays really cool. Even in FireStrike it didn't reach 60 degrees, which i was surprised with. Overall, it's a great CPU and I'm glad it was my pick for my first PC. i give it a 5/5.
ASRock Z97 EXTREME6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Wonderful Motherboard and ASRock now has a return customer for my next build. Before i was able to set up my audio system, all i had was onboard audio and i was still superbly impressed by it. Very crisp and almost a refreshing quality to the sound. It isn't tinny, however. Deep, rich notes come clearly and vibrantly as well.
i don't think i'll run out of places to put storage any time soon. it has 10 (count if you like) SATA ports, all of which are 6 Gb/s. only problem is that you have to turn 4 of them on in the BIOS, which is more of a "oh!" than a real problem.
Build quality is very impressive as well. handling the actual board, i felt as though it were designed to support the entire computer, not just connect components together.
last thing is looks. it's beautiful in all actuality. it's not only blue, it's the RIGHT blue. it doesn't blend in too much or stand out and seem out of place. i might have to start calling it the "Goldilocks Board"
i love the board and i give it a 4.9/5 It's not quite perfect, (i would have loved another USB port or two instead of a PS/2 port. who uses them anyways?) but it's right close.
Kingston HyperX Fury Blue 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
it performs, looks good, and sits easily. i didn't struggle placing it in the board nor did i feel it was too tall or big. i plan to get another stick later on because i feel it would be worth it. 5/5
GOT ANOTHER STICK OF RAM. works even better now, since i maxed out before downloading star citizen lol
Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
I'm going to put storage all in the same category.
the SSD is nuts. It's blazing fast and fits both windows 7 and windows 10 along with a small Steam library. love it and might get another. apparently performance increases as capacity goes up due to how it is encoded, but i doubt i would notice. 4.7/5 because of that little quip (yes I'm being critical haha)
the HDD is massive. i have several games on it right now and all my files and music, etc.... i haven't even put a dent in the capacity. A lot of people have said something about it being slow because it's 5400 RPM. well, compared to the SSD, yea it is slow, but only because it takes 2 seconds to load instead of 1. For a HHD, i can't really tell that it's slower. i like it because of that. i give it a 5/5 because of the capacity and value of it. (Plus i'm a WD fan. their HHD's always work forever for me)
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE Video Card
this think is sweet. i can say that it is my favorite part and has every right to be. All that nonsense with the 3.5 Gigs of VRAM, i felt like people were being pretty critical, especially since you KNEW you weren't buying the top card. i've not had a single problem with is since i started gaming.
Every game i've played on it this card has performed even better than i had hoped for. it's a beast and on top of it all runs super cool
Some GPU's only come with a few ports, or only one kind of port. i have to commend Gigabyte for putting the number and variety of ports on it that they did.
i can't wait to get one of those new fancy 1440, IPS, G-sync, 144Hz, 1ms response Monitors that are coming out. it would be great to see how it performs with that.
I love the fact that it's blue. it doesn't sag in my computer at all and the backplate is pretty sweet actually.
so now for rating: i give this card a 5/5 for what it is. if you have a monitor, you'll be able to hook it up without a problem, no matter what port you use. it runs cool and superbly quiet, and looks very sleek in the case. it's a great buy and it's only real problem is the future. i have no doubt this card will last me a long time, and it may be held onto well past it's gaming life, perhaps going into the daily work computer.
NZXT Source 530 ATX Full Tower Case
i knew i wanted this case from the moment i saw it in Maximum PC (and a shoutout to the magazine that started my obsession. thanks MPCyou're the best. you have converted another to the master race)
The cable storage is insane. there's enough room for any cable you can imagine behind the back panel. every wire in my case is well hidden now and i love that.
it's plenty big on the inside, even though it doesn't take up that much physical room. there is a hidden SSD mount behind the motherboard and that's where mine is. All the drive bays are removable so you could easily put a custom loop in for cooling.
and yes, the window is STILL magical dust repellent, because i've never had any dust on it. ever.
the case is very well built and quite sturdy, and has three dust filters, one in the front and two on the bottom. the front one is a hassle to clean, because you have to remove the entire front panel, meaning you have to remove your Optical drive if you have one, because in order to take the front panel off you need to do that for some reason. the two on the bottom just slide in and out and secure with a little clip, and are easy to clean.
overall, i give it a 4.7/5 due to the hassle that is the front panel (it's a real pain) and the fact that it's a big black box. i do plan to maybe paint it later and customize it a bit. but small quips aside, it's a nice case and a good value, especially if you can get it on sale. i recommend it.
EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
if you need Velcro cable ties, buy this. it came with six of them and i used all of them holding my monitor cables and power supply wires in place behind my computer.
it's a great power supply and is actually pretty quiet. it has plenty of wattage and works. i don't actually have that much to say about it... i give it a 5/5 but try and get it on sale. i got it for like $40 on Newegg
LG WH16NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer
Yea, it's an optical drive but i have to mention it for it's sheer speed. i was transferring CD's to my computer and was able to move an entire collection of Led Zeppelin over in less than ten minutes. plus it looks good. 5/5
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM (64-bit)
I'm running both Windows 7 and Windows 10 right now and love both.
Windows 10 isn't perfect yet though. a good example would be charging through a USB 3.0 port. Windows 7 allows me to charge my iPad and it charges quickly. Windows 10 will not let me charge it, which i find weird. it pops up "not Charging" on my iPad screen with windows 10
another issue i was having was with the new start menu. it will disappear after a few seconds and I'm not sure why.
other than that it's great so far, but i have yet to fully test it and do much.
they're 1400x900 monitors with a refresh of 75Hz. picked them up at an auction for five bucks and am glad i did. i like them even though they're not Full HD.
ALSO: now i use a Dell U2415 1920*1200 monitor. the old ones are trash compared to it. i cried because of how good it looks. best thing i have ever used monitor wise
it's complicated how i came up with all this stuff. 4 of them were presents and i bought one of them, and all the speakers were free too. all of it is very high end stuff and sounds wonderful, especially paired with the audio off the motherboard. i will answer any particular questions about it as well.
So: this is where i put scores and performance stuff
Far Cry 4 settings
Ambient occlusion: HBAO+
Anti-aliasing: TXAA 4x
Display Mode: Full-Screen
Graphics Quality: Custom
Post FX: Ultra
Resolution: 2880*1800 (DSR)
Shadow: Soft Shadows
Trees Relief: On
Triple Buffering: Off
FPS: Maintaining around 70
3DMARK TESTS RESULTS:
Fire strike score: 9336
sky diver score: 22770
Cloud gate score: 19672
ice storm score: 167897
that's all i've got right now. i was able to play DBXV in 4k and it held 60 FPS easily, but once i do some more testing i'll put it up
Tell me what you think! it's be great to hear from you all