Description

Hello, all! This is my first build ever, assembled January 2014. It was an exciting process, but nerve-wracking at times. All parts were chosen after reasonable amounts of research. The cable management isn't the best in the world, but one of my friends (you can probably see him in the background of a couple of pictures) helped me out. The results you see here are mostly his fixes. I'm always looking for ways to improve, though. I use it for gaming almost exclusively, along with daily use, like e-mail and music.

Here's a breakdown of the parts:

Case - Fractal Design Define XL R2 - First things first, I sorely underestimated the size of a full tower. Which is fine, because there's plenty of space for upgrades. The case is fantastic, however. It looks amazing, has plenty of space, room for water cooling, excellent cable management options. One of my favorite features was the ability to get rid of the top hard drive cage. However, I had to unplug the power LED because when the PC is on, the light burns with an intensity of one million suns. Which may be fine if your tower is out of sight, but in my case, it's right nearby.

CPU - i5 4670K - This was one of the last parts I decided on. I knew wouldn't need an i7. In hindsight, it's probably more than I need right now, but I'm sure I'll put it to good use in the future. I got the K version to try out a small bit of overclocking, which I'll be working on soon.

CPU cooler - Noctua NH-U12S - Huge, efficient, cool, and near dead silent. It spins too slowly for my motherboard's liking. It would give me a CPU fan error every boot up. After some research, I saw some motherboards have issues with quieter, slower-spinning air coolers. Adjusting the acceptable RPM in the BIOS cleared this up. Yes, it's ugly as all Hell. But, as you can probably tell from the lack of any color-coordination, I don't care about. I have no window and I'm not a "visual frills" kind of guy.

Motherboard - Asus Z87-Pro - A very nice mobo. A bit overkill, but I thought having a motherboard with some spare features would make for a nice upgrade path later. It also comes with a good wi-fi antenna, which was a big selling point for me, being quite far from the router. My only complaint is that the I/O shield is a little flimsy, which made installation of the board a bit difficult. This can also be attributed to my own inexperience, however.

RAM - G. Skill Ripjaws X Series (2x4GB, DDR3-1866) - It's RAM. It does the job. I got a very lucky break on the price, though.

SSD - Sandisk Extreme II 120GB - My first solid state drive. I don't think I can ever go back to booting from a mechanical drive. I never believed the difference in time would be as much as people said. Sure, a lot is exaggeration, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was incredibly impressed.

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracude 1TB 7200 - I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how big 1000GB is. O.O It is a lot of space. Fits my entire library of games, music, and photos with quite a bit of room to spare.

GPU - Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB - It plays all of the games I want to play on max settings. I also got the bundle with Splinter Cell and ACIV. The Gigabyte card comes with a pretty nice overclock over the base card, along with the always awesome Windforce cooling.

PSU - Seasonic X-850 - 850W, gold efficiency. Gives me plenty of room to upgrade later.

OS - Windows 8 x64 - I don't get why people hate this operating system. The features that bother me are easily ignored or easily fixed.

The CD drive I pulled from a prebuilt computer I had and the monitor was my sister's, but she started using her TV instead.

Let me know what you guys think. Any tips, advice, or constructive criticism is welcome.

I'll be sure to add some benchmarks in the near future.

Comments

  • 71 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks for your commentary on the issue the motherboard has with that cooler. I plan to be using that exact combination here shortly--and it will save me time, for sure.

+1

  • 71 months ago
  • 3 points

I'm glad to hear some of my rambling actually helped someone out! They're both fantastic components. Good luck on your build.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Curious, though, what did you end-up setting the minimum RPM to?

  • 71 months ago
  • 3 points

The default low limit for CPU fan speed was 600 RPM. Most of the time, the fan won't go that fast. So you'll want to go to Advanced Mode > Monitor. Then, scroll down to CPU Fan Q Control. I set the low limit to "Ignore" so if it goes less than 600 RPM, it won't warn me about it. There's other options from 600-200 RPM that would work. I just set it to ignore just to stop the problem completely.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks again. That cooler must be dead silent if it can run at that low of an RPM and still keep the CPU cool.

  • 71 months ago
  • 2 points

You won't be disappointed. Even during testing while the case was open, you could barely hear it and the temps are fantastic.

  • 71 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build! Well balanced and powerful :)

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. :)

  • 71 months ago
  • 2 points

That there is a solid,well balanced, and powerful build. Good job sir.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much. :)

  • 71 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice and balanced, but I have to give the upvote to the creative name. Wonderful job!

  • 71 months ago
  • 2 points

You can just hear it in GLaDOS's voice. :P Thank you.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Pretty similar to a couple I just built. That PSU is a bit much unless you are planning on adding more graphics cards and other components (which you have the space for). I love the z87-pro mobo, the built in wireless is great, even if not completely necessary.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

You look oddly familiar. Grove wouldn't happen to mean PG (the town) would it?

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Nah. I made the account right around the time GTA V was coming out, so I named it in reference to San Andreas on a whim.

[comment deleted]
  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, enjoy all the glorious testing!

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

I am building a very similar build but I am not sure about the graphics card I am afraid that gtx760 will make me regret after next set of games come... I want to know how is it doing... Do I need to upgrade to the gtx770?

I want to play gtav Rome 2 battelfield4... And coming games of next two years... An estimate

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

It's taking everything I'm throwing at it. The tougher games I own are AC IV, Sleeping Dogs with the HD textures, and the newer Splinter Cell (Blacklist, I think? It came with the card. I didn't care too much for it.). Both are running at full capacity, but framerates hover at around high forties-low fifties in the more taxing part of the games. However, after overclocking, the minimums go up. There's a GPU section in the forum and various benchmarks from places like Anandtech that will give you better representations of the card's performance. I hope you make the best choice for your needs and good luck on your build!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build. Clean and probably very quiet too. Good choices on case and cooler.

  • 71 months ago
  • -1 points

Good deal on the RAM! Nice balanced build. I like it, but you probably should have ditched the ssd for a better video card.