Pics are all out of order. Not my fault, they were correct when I hit post. Read the description and I'll say which happened when.
Hello all. First time builder here. Let's see how well I did. I do video editing, internet, and play mostly Steam sale games. I am coming from a Mac and wanted to keep using all my programs so a hackintosh made sense; even more so when OSX is free. Here is why I chose my parts.
CPU - Cheaper than an i7 but, with OC, can be just as capable. What luck to have a Microcenter only an hour away.
Cooler - Great sale on a great water cooler. Why not air? 2 reasons. They are way to heavy; meaning I have to be careful if I ever move the thing. Also, this pick is left over from when I was planning on doing a cramped mITX build and I just couldn't be bothered to switch.
MoBo - Had to be Intel and had to be Gigabyte. This is the only mATX with all PCI-E and Z87. Originally planned on a mITX but decided the expand-ability and lower price of mATX was worth the size penalty. Also, I have several Firewire 800 drives left over from my last computer (the 2007 MacBook Pro in the very last picture) and an expansion card is the only way I can still use them.
RAM - 16 Gigs for $70 is an insane bargain only made possible with the help of friends, special codes, and multiple orders from the same vendor. Probably will never use all of it at once. Doesn't matter.
SSD - This I bought way back in January for use in my old laptop. Price is still competitive even now and speeds are deliciously fast.
Video Card - Had to be nVidia and, with me only playing sales and older games, the 660 is more than enough. I think the most intense game I have now is Dishonored and it gets 40fps at 1920x1200 on Ultra. Plus it's the cheapest card that can do Shadowplay so that's a plus.
WiFi - On sale and a necessity for where the computer will live. Also it's supposed to work naively with OSX so that's great.
Case - Silverstone has some really cool and innovative cases. Love the dust filters and cable management.
PSU - 80+ gold, Semi-modular, and $80! Sold.
Monitor - If it can be said I splurged on anything it would be this. Full movement adjustments. 100% sRGB color space. USB 3 hub built in. HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI inputs. Also bought this one back in Jan for use with my laptop.
DVD Drive & Speakers - Left overs and gifts from time immemorial. Found the closest match and marked them $0.
RMA and Washers - Ok. So I got bought all the components way back on Memorial day (except for the SSD and monitor) and got 90% of components in a week. Still missing the case but more than enough to bench test components. Things turned really sour when it just wouldn't even POST. I got a bad MoBo (Pics 1, 3-5). Thus begins a month long saga of RMAs to Newegg then to Gigabyte itself. Almost went crazy. I did deconstruct a friend's old computer to bench my components before the mail-in rebate deadlines hit (Pics 2,6,10). Mobo came back from the manufacturer and I was ecstatic when I got into BIOS (Pics 9,7,8). Time for the build to start in earnest (Pics 11,13). But there was one more problem in store. When mounting the liquid cooler I discovered it wouldn't tighten all the way. The screws were too long. When tightened all the way there was A LOT of wiggle and slack. Unacceptable. Fortunately, the back brace was built in such a way that I could do a little DIY fix (Pic 12). Quick trip to the hardware store and things could continue (Pics 14-18,20,19).
The computer has been running well since early November so I figured it was about time I shared this build with the site that was so helpful in the planning and purchasing of my awesome little workhorse.