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First College/Gaming Computer Build: "The Bae" *LOTS OF PICS*

by jonjonmok


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

April 4, 2014

Date Built

March 23, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



Last year, I decided it was time to say goodbye to console gaming and upgrade to PC. The problem was I knew nothing about computers. Thankfully I had friends and cousins who helped guide me through the process and after months of researching, going through Craigslist and Newegg, and a couple of birthday presents, I finally got all the pieces and built it over this spring break.

Note: There’s a spreadsheet in the picture section that goes over prices. Anything with a “0” was a gift and the rest were purchased from Newegg, Craigslist, Amazon, EBay, or a friend.

My budget was about $1000 for the computer. I knew that I wanted something that would be aesthetically appealing and clean so I went with the Corsair 350d because you can’t go wrong with black. Originally I didn't care about how the inside looked like, but as I kept delving deeper into the computer world and looking at other builds, I couldn't help myself (planning on getting a windowed side panel). I went with a black and gold theme, which I felt came out alright. Putting it together was a lot of fun and I had my cousin who works for Intel and other cousins help me. The motherboard I bought was originally intended for the i7-4700k to overclock, but there was a mix up and my cousin ordered me the i7-4700 by mistake. However, since he gave it to me for free I'm definitely not complaining and am extremely grateful for his generosity.

For the GPU, I was originally going to go with a GTX 760, but after I sold my xbox and games, I was able to increase my budget and went with the EVGA SC w/ ACX Cooling GTX 770 2GB. I mostly play Dota 2 and COD4, but planning to get BF4 very soon, which is the main reason I went for a 770 because I wanted relatively good FPS on a 1080p monitor. I’m really happy with this GPU because it comes with ShadowPlay, which I originally didn’t know about. I found it to be extremely fun to stream and record due to its ease.

Wiring was a little tough because the cables were kind of stiff and since it was not modular I had extra cables that I had some difficulty tucking away. I did my best in terms of cable management and considering it was my first time, I'm satisfied. The PSU is a tad loud, but it was a gift from a friend who had it just laying around so not complaining too much. In the future, I plan to upgrade the PSU to, possibly the Corsair RM750 because it is modular, the all black cables will look better, and I heard it will be quieter. The hardest part was wiring the SSD because I moved it down to one of the hard drive slots due to the removable of the SSD cage to increase air flow. Speaking of air flow, there are 5 fans installed in the case. The guy I bought it from installed two 140mms in the front and top and the regular 120mm in the back. Unfortunately, my motherboard does not support the usage of all the fans as it only can use one intake and one exhaust. I ordered a fan splitter so that I can utilize both front fans. As for the top fans, they’ll stay unconnected, but I plan to possibly get a Corsair H100i later for better cooling and aesthetic appeal. I'm also planning to get a top dust filter since it's a common problem with the Corsair 350d from what I've read.

One of the big things that I knew I wanted was to "stealth" mod the optical drive. If you look at other builds of Corsair 350ds with cd drives, the front is rather odd looking because the cd drive will take away from the clean black front finish, which I knew I wanted to keep. So we took out one of the front slot covers, cut off the edges, sanded it down, popped off the front cover of the cd drive, and then used double sided tape to attach the cover to the cd drive. A downside is that you have to open the drive manual through the computer, but for me that isn't a terrible inconvenience since it only takes like a couple extra clicks and I’m willing to sacrifice a few extra seconds for long term aesthetics.

In summary, I'm really happy about how this build came out and I hope to maybe do a few upgrades as time goes on. I would like to thank everybody who helped me out in this build whether it be giving me parts, helping build it, or just providing information and advice. Without you, this wouldn't be possible.


Comments Sorted by:

Electrospeed 18 points 42 months ago

the GTX 760 after I sold my xbox and all the games

Your ascension is complete, welcome to the master race.

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 14 points 42 months ago

It's beautiful up here.

PacificNic 4 Builds 3 points 42 months ago

Sweet build dude! Everything is great. That RM PSU will be super quiet and the sticker will match the coloring of your build. Good job and GLHF! :)

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Thank you very much! :)

plgdg 1 Build 3 points 42 months ago

Very clean build for a first-timer. However, it's that Protest the Hero poster that gets you a +1 from me :)


jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Thank you and haha double thanks! Glad to see somebody recognizes pth lol

xx116xx 3 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

You might want to put that part about the CPU mixup in bold because some people do not like to read...

EDIT: Great build!

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

haha I probably should. Thank you btw!

BghMc 1 point 42 months ago

When it says 1000$, does it include everything? Also, how are you liking it so far? I am building my own PC around the same budget and also need around the same requirements you need so anything you recommend? http://pcpartpicker.com/user/BghMc/saved/4fLU is my parts so far.

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

The $1000 budget was just for the computer, not including peripherals. I technically could have put more into the computer, but being in college I decided to save for now and wait till the next black friday or big sale to upgrade. I'm personally loving it. I edited the description, but for my EVGA GPU, it comes with ShadowPlay which allows you to record and stream your games, which I find to be really fun. A 760 is good and 8gb o ram is plenty. I don't know what kind of monitor setup you're doing, but if you're doing what I assume would be like a 1080p single monitor with something like bf4, a 760 2gb gpu will do, but from what I've read, if you have the extra $50-75, you can upgrade to the 770 for a pretty good upgrade. However, I'm well aware that the 760 is the best bang for your buck currently so so far so good my friend!

PacificNic 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

With a K series CPU, you need a Z87 board to overclock. Either upgrade to Z87 or just get a 4570 (no K). I personally don't like Antec PSUs but cannot comment on their reliability because truly, I have no experience with them. I just have an Antec case that I don't like which puts me off their brand. Look up reviews on it so you know if that PSU is any good. RAM seems odd but if it has solid reviews, then go for it. I recommend Corsair or GSkill RAM but again, have never used that brand of RAM. Otherwise, not bad.

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I have no problem helping you put something together but before I go ahead and do a build for you, do you care for overclocking? Would you by any chance also care for parts that might allow you to turn your computer into a hackintosh in the future or are you looking for straight gaming on Windows? Lastly, would you like the build to be small (Mini-itx/Micro-ATX) or do you prefer having a full sized computer (ATX) ? Just let me know and I can toss something together that'll fit your requirements :) I could've just asked and made comments on your build but instead of going back and forth trying to explain everything I could just put something together for you and explain why I chose the parts.

PacificNic 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

I would assume Windows only and gaming, simply judging by the parts selection right now. I posted some suggestions (which got downvoted for some reason), but did not make major changes due to lack of specifics and no huge flaws with the build provided. I also raised the point about OCs. You seem to know your stuff, as do I, so you can take the reigns :)

BghMc 1 point 42 months ago

Hey! If you have Steam I'd love to talk to you about it. I wouldn't want the other people to be notified whenever I ask you questions. Here's a link to my Steam profile C: http://steamcommunity.com/id/bghmc/

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Just private message me on pcpartpicker.

tyung3 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Do you have a Microcenter around you? They sell the 4670k for 189.99 and take $30 off when you pair it with a mobo.

BghMc 1 point 42 months ago

Sadly I don't :c Live in a foreign country.

JDHaven 1 point 42 months ago

I like the stealth door idea, looks great.

Good build +1.

Protest the Hero +1000.

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Thank you! And +10000 to you for being a pth fan.

Genisis 1 point 42 months ago

How did you make the "stealth door"? Did it come like that, or did you mod. it somehow? I hate the mismatched colors of optical drives and I want to put one in the 250d I'm planing on purchasing.

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

You have to do a mod. It's in the description and I've answered it in other comments. But yes I do agree and that's why I did it. Here's a youtube vid that I used as a reference when doing the mod and I hope it helps!


Genisis 2 points 42 months ago

Thanks a bunch dude, may you never miss a Pudge-hook again!

18hockey 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Damn, where did you find a K95 for $110? That's my dream keyboard, I can't find it anywhere for any less than $130.

Also, I'd invest in an aftermarket CPU cooler. While the Intel stock cooler isn't half bad, it's not nearly as good as the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO or anything along those lines.

Nice cable management too.

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Went on craigslist and some guy was selling it for $110 brand new! I will admit the deal seemed a tad shady as I was also able to get a brand new web cam from him too that should have been like $85, but I got it for $45. Always check craigslist, you'll never know what pops up! And will do on that CPU cooler! Thanks!

skemble 24 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Protest the Hero <3

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

the best <3

LeMonarque 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

What the hell man, even without the free i7 these prices are so good! Congrats on a full system on this level for just a grand.

And great job with that optical disk stealth mod!!

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Thank you!

SleathX1 1 point 42 months ago

wow you saved a lot of money off of retail... That's a great price for this quality of a build!

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

I personally have to thank friends and family for that and I'll admit there was a few shady craigslist deals that helped haha, but thanks!

Jeremy9000 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

This is a sweet PC build

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Thank you!

Spbach 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Did you do anything special to fix the GPU sag?

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

I didn't actually and to be honest I didn't know that was a thing lol. Obviously my amateur side is showing, but it seems to be hold up by itself.

Darcrath 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I'm not sure why but I really love the picture of the tower against that old wood background. Looks really good! +1

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago


Josh_Grundon 1 point 42 months ago

How did you get that ram so cheap :o I'm oh so very jealous of your PC, that free i7 tho... drools Clean, powerful. +1

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Birthday money and subtracted it from the original cost. Again I'm very thankful to the people who helped contribute to the build. And thank you!

StewieMonSta 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

How did you make that optical dirve 'invisible' ?

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

If you read the description, I explain how we did it. Here's a reference vid that I used to do the optical drive mod.


StewieMonSta 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Yeah I saw that in the description after I wrote the comment :D

icedteaish 1 point 42 months ago

Sexy Beast

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Can't wait for your build cous :3

bloodroses75 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I had a friend of mine hide the optical drive on his computer case as you did. He was able to get the drive to open though by pressing on the front panel in the corner where the optical drive button would be. I believe he used multiple layers of tape at that section until it sat flush against the button. I do remember him telling me it took a while to get everything perfectly aligned though so that it wouldn't automatically reopen when you close it. I just figure it may be an option you could look into if sometime in the future

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Ahh fasho. I was looking in on that as well, but I'm personally lazy right now haha but thanks for the advice!

hubjon11 1 point 41 months ago

Just a great build. I am doing the same, but a fill Z87-Pro, and 16GB ram, but pretty the same stuff. Beautiful build, great cable management, even with those pesty non-modular PSUs, and amazing work on the stealth cd drive. But especially with those Razer keyboards, I believe that their might be a way(like on Mac keyboards) to program a button to automatically open the disk drive. Now obviously its not necessary, and only saves you a few clicks, but it is surely cool, and very stealthy.


Fluency 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

Great part choices, and I love that stealth CD drive! I used the same case as you for my build on here. How did you like building in it?

IloveSprite123 1 point 40 months ago

How good is the keyboard

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Keyboard works great! Now I would suggest tho to try out Cherry MX Blues and see which one feels better for you.

IloveSprite123 1 point 40 months ago


pcdrummer42 1 point 40 months ago

Awesome build! Just saying, awesome taste in music with that Protest the Hero poster. ;)

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Thank you! And haha PTH is the best!

fernandohlee 1 point 37 months ago

nice build just wondering, whats the average FPS you get in dota 2 with your EVGA GeForce GTX 770 ? thanks :D

SpecificAlduin 2 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

you could have spent a little more and gotten the unlocked one. great build overall, love the ssd and the gold theme.

GVoidV2 1 point 13 months ago

Thanks for ditching the crappy console gaming race and join the best PC MASTER RACE! Wise choice indeed.

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 0 points 42 months ago

Great build! It'll definitely do you good. You didn't have to get a Z87 motherboard because your processor isn't overclockable but it does allow you to upgrade to a K series processor. Also, you should flip the PSU so the fan is facing downwards so it doesn't blow heat into the graphics card. Just my 2 cents. Enjoy your build :)

PacificNic 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Uh... No. The fan sucks air and shoots it out the back, not the other way around. Some people flip it because running cooler air over its internals can lead to improved lifespan in theory, but this is a temporary PSU so it doesn't matter.

ALSO, OP originally was getting a 4770K and was given a 4770 instead. Being free, he did not complain.

Read the description or don't post a comment.

iiLeGiT101 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

For PSUs I've dealt with the PSU fan blows out hot air so that's why I flip it over. Also, when flipped over the side the cables come out on become closer to the grommet holes which does clean up the cables just a bit better. As for the Z87 motherboard and his i7-4770, I quickly commented that without reading the description because I had to go in the middle of completely checking out this build but I did see the parts and just wanted to drop a comment and thumbs up for this build that I saw and liked. I just wanted to quickly drop constructive criticism just to try and help. Next time, I'll cancel my classes before I make a comment.

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks for the advice. I've actually never thought about that, but I'll keep it in mind! And don't trip, it was a simple accident. Thanks again for looking and the comments!

PacificNic 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Not saying cancel your classes, just wait to comment. I understand that you have other obligations and was not trying to be aggressive, simply just tired of clutter caused by people who don't wanna read a few paragraphs. My apologies.

Jesso2k 7 Builds -1 points 42 months ago

OK so his psu is competing for air with his gpu, he should flip it around.

ThisOneisOdd 5 points 42 months ago

This is more of a preference thing, honestly. As to fan orientation on the PSU, different people do it different ways. If he wants the ability to lay it on carpet, the fan should go up. I personally put it down, but that's just preference.

PacificNic 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Thank you... :') An educated person... They aren't really lacking. Just quiet too often lol

ThisOneisOdd 1 point 42 months ago

I just read/practice this all too much to really let this go. Simply stating facts. But thank you for the compliment. :)

LeMonarque 3 Builds 3 points 42 months ago

Yes, but it doesn't really matter all that much. The PSU isn't going to crack past 50% load with a single 770 and a locked i7. It's not going be spinning very fast in the first place.

PacificNic 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Sort of, but negligibly so.

changerrs -2 points 42 months ago

that was not "LOTS OF PICS"...

jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 3 points 42 months ago

I thought it was compared to other builds, but I guess I'm sorry?

[comment deleted by staff]
jonjonmok submitter 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Thank you! And modding it did take a while. The hardest part was cutting off the edges from cover. We used a dremel to do so and when using it, you need to be careful because the heat from the dremel melts the plastic so you need to go slow. Also if you try and do it quick the blade could break. I didn't have to move the drive further back. There is a youtube vid that I used as a reference and hopefully it'll help!


And thanks for the tip!