Description

My $2000+, 8 year old gaming PC was finally choking on current-gen games... The time to rebuild had finally come. Thus was born: Jotunheim.

Now a husband and father (who doesn't play as many games as he used to), this needed to be a bit more economical and practical than my last machine - plus it needed to be wife-approved and be able to sit in the living room. Now I said in the title that this was a "budget" PC only because it was REALLY hard for me not to just drop $1500.

My original goals were to build something the could last for a while and be less than $800. I met the former and failed on the latter (not by too much), but I call that a win. Overall, I got some awesome deals and a great rig. The prices reflected in my part list include shipping and tax.

Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Here's where I lost out on some budget. Originally I was going for a lesser i5, but at the last minute decide I wanted to be able to overclock. This added about $50. In the future when I do decide to overclock, I'll add and aftermarket cooler.

ASRock Z97 Extreme3 ATX LGA1150 Not too fancy, but had the features I wanted (Easy overclocking, SLI, etc). I sort of started buying a bunch of blue parts as well, so when it came to the motherboard, I liked that this one matched!

G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2400 16GB is overkill for games right now, but eventually it will most likely help. I also do a lot of multitasking with some memory hungry programs for work, so it's nice to have. Again, matches the blue theme!

OCZ ARC 100 240GB 2.5" SSD I was planning on going for a 128GB SSD, but then this 240GB one was on sale for only $20 more than I would have paid for the smaller capacity. Decent review and... blue!

Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM This was about the cheapest 7200RPM 1TB HD I could get on a sale. I've had no problems with Seagate in the past.

MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Here is the second place that I lost some ground on my $800 budget. I was ready to go for a GTX 960, but then realized just how much of an upgrade the GTX 970 is. I got what I consider to be an amazing deal on a refurbished unit at GPUShack (with 2 year warranty). Seriously, check that place out. When the GTX 970 comes down in price, I will grab a second one and rock some SLI.

Corsair Carbide Series 300R Windowed ATX Mid Tower This case has great airflow, a ton of space, decent cable management, and a timeless look. I really wanted a windowed case once I started collecting all blue parts, because, who doesn't want to show off some nice looking internals?

EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Power Supply Admittedly, I dropped the ball on this one a little. This power supply is great for now, but isn't going to be enough for my future upgrade plan. I pulled the trigger a little early which will cost me in the future, but it works for now.

Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm Blue LED x2 This fans offer good cooling for the price and are surprisingly quiet. The blue LEDs look great with all my other blue parts and the windowed case.

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Comments

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Great price to performance pc, just need to get an aftermarket cooler overclock it to 4.5ghz or more and oc the gpu too and it should perform very well.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I am pretty happy with the PC for the price as well! Right now I am in awe of the jump from my last PC (almost 8 years old) to this one, but I will get to the overclocking eventually!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Great PC overall, if you pla to upgrade I rather prefered to get the PSU right away instead of waiting for prices to drop for upgraded SLI and aftermarket CPU fan but is an overkill for the wife and I wish I could afford it, nice rig indeed.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I will see how it fairs over the next couple years, then I'll sneak another card in there (either something new or SLI the GTX 970).

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd say you made no mistakes and the extra money was well spent (maybe you could just had 8 gigs of ram and you should've been able to upgrade with a 16 gigs kit anyway, that's what 4 slots are for). The 970 is a beast in terms of price to performance, and you won't definitely regret it over the 960, as you won't regret the i5 as 50$ now may grant this system 1-2 more years of life. Honestly, for 900$ the build is very well balanced and has some quality components.

Just my thoughts on adding a second 970: it may not be worth it. When you are looking at maxing your performance per dollar, I think what you need to do is find the best card within the current generation that has an affordable price and good value (as the 970 you got) and stick with it until it'll struggle with games you want to play. At that point, just upgrade it with that generation's best buy and you are ready to go for another 3-4 years. SLI/crossfire are mostly for playing in higher resolutions IMHO, usually not worth the struggle.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the affirmation! I don't have any experience with SLI, so I appreciate the advice. A couple years down the road, I will definitely need to do more research!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build bro. +rep for using the 300r :P. I would recommend throwing in some LED strips in there because you have a great look and it is nice to be able to see into all of it!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a great idea! Thanks!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I've been looking for a gaming rig to build for under 1k. I also wanted it to include a 4690k or 4790k (70$ difference between the two at Microcenter) and a gtx 970. I'd say you nailed my checklist. May have to steal it! Very nice build, my friend.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I think its definitely a nice sweet spot for cost to performance. Happy building!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I have the same power supply and cpu and I ordered the evga 970 I'm hoping I have enough power. Since you have nearly the same specs it was very reassuring to see your build.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Definitely enough - I would say this PSU is pretty good for the price. With my exact build, the wattage calculator at http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp shows that with 100% component utilization, I would draw 410W. Even with the CPU overclocked to 4.5ghz, the calculator says about 454W. Now if you are overclocking the CPU and GPU to their limits... I'm not sure!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info! I won't be overclocking anytime soon then.