Description

This is my new gaming/schoolwork computer. Gaming works very well, I haven't found anything that I play that really taxes this thing yet. I was planning on overclocking, but now that I see just how well this handles everything, I don't think I'm going to need to overclock. I don't think I ever stuck my ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 or i5 2500k processor back into the build list yet.

The CPU cooler is great, keeps the processor nice and cold. All cores are between 25C and 35C (which is only a few degrees above the ambient temperature).

My RAM has not arrived yet, I'm using a cheap 4GB stick I picked up from a store to get by until it gets here, although I really like the way this cheap stuff looks.

Edit: Actual RAM has arrived. Now have 2x4GB sticks in. Don't really notice much difference since I've moved up from 4GB. However, I haven't really done anything memory intensive anyway. I still like the way the heatsink looked on the cheap RAM better.

The hard drive is nice and fast. It stores stuff. Pretty happy with it.

The GPU is awesome. I can't think of a better way to put it. It chews through anything I have thrown at it without breaking a sweat.

Edit: I caused it to overtemp once by trying to run a benchmark and forgot to turn up my case fans so the GPU was just circulating hot air. Oops. At least it seemed to shut itself down before any damage was caused.

The case is great for being only $30. However, the front LED's don't seem to work, and there were no dust filters in it. Also, the drive bays were a little tricky to install drives in, but aside from those gripes it is a great case. It has USB 3.0 on the front, a painted interior, watercooling holes if I ever wanted to do that.

The power supply is only semi modular even though it is specced as modular. Again, it fulfills it's purpose, however, it took some creative cable management to keep the case neat. A couple of the wires were just a hair too short for comfort. Also, the SATA drive cables could have been laid out a little better. I had to run from the power supply, to the top of the case, and back down to use one cable to connect both the optical drive and the hard drive. Each SATA power cable has 3 plugs on it.

Optical drive is optical drive.

The monitor is pretty good. Nice colors, nice size, DVI, but no HDMI, but that isn't too much of an issue for me. Settings are a little weird though.

Most of you should already know the good and bad of Windows.

The keyboard is great for not being a mechanical. It feels nice, also from a few days of use it feels like I don't have to slam the key all the way down for it to register even though it is a rubber dome. The macro keys are very easy to use, and having 18 keys that you can program on the fly for each application is great. I wish the palm rest were a little bigger, and that it were mechanical still.

My mouse is wherever my RAM is. Not sure what is going on with USPS.

Edit: Mouse is also here. Nice and comfortable. I would like it if it were about a half inch longer, but it is shaped very nicely. Love the free scrolling wheel. Looks more or less like the wireless one I was using if there were a cord coming out of it.

Oh, I almost forgot the motherboard and processor. I like my i5. I haven't maxed it out doing anything yet. Not even a poorly optimized game pushes it very hard.

The ASRock Extreme 4 is great. The power and reset buttons on the board were great for testing and trouble shooting when I forgot to hook the 24pin cable up. Also, the LED error indicator let me diagnose that my RAM had a poor connection the first time I installed it within a minute or so. I also love the black and gold color scheme it has let me try (Boiler Up!). The case fan headers were in a weird spot, if you look closely in the second photo of the insides (the one with better cable management) you can see that the case fan wires have to run to more or less dead center on the board. That was fun trying to find a way to route those so they were mostly hidden.

I have two pictures of the internals to show how much of a difference just an hour of messing with cable routing can make.

Edit: Also, the power LED suddenly started working right around the time I put the new RAM sticks in. I have no clue what is up with that, but it looks very nice, kind of a bluish white ring around the power button. It bleeds over the HDD activity light a little so I'm not sure if that one is working or if it is still out.

Edit 2: I have added a second monitor. It is just a tiny (think 13" or 14" widescreen), low resolution flat panel display I had laying around. I managed to get a display port to VGA adapter for it. It may be tiny, but it is nice just having that extra space to put stuff on.

Edit 3: I have added a second HDD. It is a Seagate Barracuda 500GB at 7200 RPMs. I stuck my documents, pictures, music, and videos on it. Games and OS remained on the 1TB HDD.

Comments

  • 88 months ago
  • 2 points

Every build is 1000 dollars on this website

But i geuss you have to spend

Operating System
$90.68 @ Amazon Keyboard
$47.52 @ B&H Mouse $26.89 @ B&H Monitor $113.66 @ Amazon which is over 200 itself

All that if you dont already own something like it although you can get a LED 20 inch monitor on ebay new for 80 dollars, plus that keyboard and mouse for a little less there too. But whatever

At Sassy, that card is way over priced. I would honestly just for the the 560 Ti for a little less cash, unless you some extra to spend.

tl;dr I dont like seeing so much money spent on every single build

  • 88 months ago
  • 2 points

I see your point. This website isn't about who blows the most on a crazy system, but a place that people know they're going to be dropping a lot on a computer (or within their budget) and how they can get the best parts for the price. The best quality. I could build you a computer that could game very well but that is just the computer itself, when you add peripherals, which most people don't factor into with budget, it adds up quick. If you want just a web-browsing multi-media center, I could build that cheap too. Cheaper than big-name instore prebuilds? Nope, but better quality can be guaranteed! At comparable prices, too. Also, that card is not overpriced. It is easily in the top 20 best GPU's out there and when I built my computer, it would run me 300 bucks, 250 on really great deals for brands I didn't want to spend on.

  • 88 months ago
  • 0 points

@Sassy, agreed. And let's face it, DIY is just plain fun!
If you want low cost and a warranty, buy a Dell. If you want to take the time to learn how a computer actually works and then have some pride after you assemble a functioning unit, well this is the site for you!

  • 87 months ago
  • 2 points

I'd steer away from Dell. They refused to fix a repair they made to my printer under warranty since the problem didn't return until after it was out of warranty. (also, they were saying it would cost about four times the cost of the printer to have them look at it and couldn't understand why I just wanted to buy a new printer at that point)

  • 88 months ago
  • 2 points

"I would honestly just for the the 560 Ti for a little less cash, unless you some extra to spend."

Benchmarks say the 7850 is better. :p

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

I hear ya, but to get this type of performance it costs some cash. If you're starting with nothing, I think there are 2 ways to approach it:

1/ buy a prebuilt system from Dell, Acer, Lenovo, HP etc. Get something that has good expandability, e.g. get an LGA1155 w/ SandyBridge Pentium for cheap. It should come with case, monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. Throw in a dGFX card and start gaming. Later, when cash frees up start the upgrade route with better CPU, KB, mouse, dual monitor etc. Problem is the BIOS won't have a lot of flexibility, so don't bother with a K-cpu b/c you won't be able to use it.

2/ basically same route but build your own. You'll be surprised, by the time you add OS ($90) and other software etc, you probably can't build that same system for the $399 you can buy it from Dell, unless you build it over 6months and only buy parts on sale, with free ship, and no tax. The DIY route however means you can select EXACTLY what features you want to pay money for. E.g. skip the built in bluetooth and instead get an SSD...

No matter how you slice it though, you want an i5-2500k and HD7850 w/ Z77 chipset, it's going to cost you a pretty penny. Check out my recent B75 Core i3 build (http://pcpartpicker.com/b/xNX), which could be upgraded to be as fast as this or any other lga1155 rig posted here - I got the core components for $400.

I recently saw i7-3770 Dell XPS on sale for $750, included a basic dGFX (HD7570). A very good price for that kinda performance.

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

Like this? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hnVO $440, Ivy Bridge Pentium LGA1155 ready to upgrade to i5-3570K later, Crossfire Ready.

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

yeah, kinda like that. H77 is a super capable mobo. I think your PSU is a little big unless you're running more than 2 dGFX and more than 2 HDD.

Good choice on Momentus. I recently had some exposure to Momentus 7200rpm 320GB 2.5" drive. It was amazingly quick after it learned the patterns. Frankly, that's an awesome way to have SSD like performance and bulk storage in a single uber cheap package.

The Pentium G for $99 is not such a great deal. you can get an i3 for that price.

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I think I might go with an i3.

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, the problem with the LED indicators on the case...You might have the pin connectors in the wrong place. Heck, I can't even see any besides for USB. If you're happy at stock speeds, I would have suggested the i5 3570k (or the i5 3570 without the unlocked modifier) to you, especially since that motherboard AND GPU can utilize PCI-E 3.0 while that Sandy Bridge chip does not and Ivy bridge does, but not a big deal.

Otherwise, a good build. I am thinking of buying that exact card, let me know if that rebate comes in please? :)

Thumbs up from me.

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

I've checked and double checked the pin connectors, I've even plugged them in backwards from what the instructions show to see if maybe something was mislabled. None of the front panel led's seem to want to come on. I may hook the leads up to a battery or something to see if that gets them to light up. I (The pin connectors are at the bottom right, next to the power and reset buttons on the board) I grabbed the 2500K because I thought I would be overclocking, but now that I see how it performs stock, I might as well wait a little on that.

  • 87 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, has anything worked out for you yet, or still no front case LED indicators?

  • 87 months ago
  • 1 point

The power LED indicator suddenly started working right around when I put the new RAM sticks in. I'm not sure if the HDD indicator works or not though.

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build, well balanced, overall good build. BTW: do I see you on MCF?

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, that is actually where I got some (a lot of) advice on my build.

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

Very clean, nice cable management for a first build. Usually they look like like a kraken going bananas with the wires all over the place (For first builds anywho).

  • 88 months ago
  • 1 point

Cables are one of the few things I am very picky on how they are organized. My entire desk is a mess, but every cable has a nice clean run to where it is going, with extra either twist tied, or tucked behind something else out of the way.

  • 85 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks good to me

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