Description

First build that was done with my girlfriend about 3 weeks ago. We debated on purchasing online or building, and I'm glad we went this route. Neither of us are gamers (yet) but wanted to start with a solid foundation. The mobo is extremely user/OC friendly and we've gotten the clock rate up to 4.6GHz without even trying hard. Right now we are learning on COD4 and Batman as intros.

What I've learned as a noob is to take your time and really think about the build. What I mean by this is address the 5 Ws, who (who's the build for), what (what will it be used for?), when (when will you have the ideal amount of time to complete it from start to finish), where (to me this is where you want to eventually place the rig. this affects everything from size of casing to componentry) and why (costs, sense of accomplishment, components, etc.). Once you have done that, then take the time to do your homework. Once we had the 'ideal' components list, we actually took a few weeks to price shop some more, to review new tech (Haswell and the GPUs). So instead of two GPUs we purchased one newer one and a newer mobo/cpu. With persistence we were were able to meet our needs without blowing through our budget.

You will never be perfect the first time out but if you prepare you will have less frustration and find solutions more readily. PCPartPicker and its build/comment section, Youtube and Jan S. at MicroCenter of Fairfax were extremely helpful resources and encouraging. The only frustrating thing about this build were the fans. We decided to add and upgrade case fans without researching how they would interact with the mobo (additional fans were an afterthought and goes back to my comments about planning). Our fans are 3 prong and our board takes pwm (4prongs) so we are waiting on adding a fan controller (any suggestions?) in addition to another GPU next week. For reference, we replaced the stock front fans with Cooler Master LED Sickleflows and Megaflow (Blue) for a total of 7 fans (120mm: 2 front, 2 top, 1 bottom, 140mm: 1 back, 200mm: 1 side) along with the Hyper 212 EVO.

We went local, that is, we purchased as much off our list as feasibily possible through MicroCenter for price matching and discounts. We also saved a bit with rebates. Overall, our all in was a little over $1,200, with the GPU being the largest cost.

Comments

  • 78 months ago
  • 4 points

You did it with your girlfriend. So I upvoted you.

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! She's a trooper and pitched in with much of the actual work!

  • 78 months ago
  • 4 points

anytime I mention my desktop my gf rolls her eyes.

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

lol... that's too funny! Any time I mention: super charger/turbo kit, cat exhaust or tires I get the same response!

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

she's a keeper! Good build

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you kindly!

  • 78 months ago
  • 3 points

Did you try using the thermal compound that came with the EVO before the MX4? I heard it's pretty good stuff. I'm planning on just using that and not buying another tube for my build.

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

No we didn't. To be honest, we watched a few install videos and all of them used the MX4. We reviewed several compounds and the Artic MX4 had great reviews due to its reliability and performance with regards to heat dissipation. Also, there is a lot of it in the tube for reapplications or you can use it for another build.

  • 78 months ago
  • 0 points

don't ever go cheap on thermal compound.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Umm, didn't you hear what I just said? It's not cheap, it's actually pretty good quality.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

MX4 is good. no doubt. but i made a general statement. I didn't say the MX4 is cheap.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

I was talking about the EVO compound >.>

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

once again, i made a general statement. and which is better MX4 or the Evo compound? MX4!

  • 78 months ago
  • 3 points

One I love the build it is epic, and SO LUCKY that you have a girlfriend to do stuff with you, and last but not least good job, I love the build and hope it works out for you!

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for such kind words. She's an amazing partner and I really appreciate your kind and generous words. :)

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

Did you actually spend that much on your RAM? Because you can still get some 16GB kits for >$100. good build, though. :)

  • 78 months ago
  • 0 points

Actually we spent much less. We got 8G for free and the other was $54 at MicroCenter. Good catch and I need to update the description!

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

You can edit the prices so they are accurate. This will help when people comment on your build.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh? I'll do that as soon as can. Thank you!

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

that edit made a huge price change and now you will get a lot of love for this build.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

:) Now we have to save and build her one!

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

Great deal on the mobo (remember when I had that deal possible with my Z77 Mpower too). Good thermal paste, good build overall also I can't seem to like the case, no apparent color scheme, maybe later ? :). Why 850W though ? You planning on adding another 770 later on ? Really neat cable management and build, congrats !

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, we plan on purchasing another 770 in the near, near future! ;) Also, looking into going custom cables too!

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

That's great ! 2 x 770 is gonna be quite beastly ;). Regarding custom cables, you can buy some extensions that are already sleeved or go custom, but you'll need a bit of tools for that if you do not have them already.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Great idea! I need to look into extensions and see if I can find some that will work with the color scheme... decisions, decisions. I can't wait to get the added 770 just trying to figure out how to get it all hooked up and then the best water cooler to install...

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

You are going to watercool your cards ?! Didn't realize that. Unless you're talking about an AIO kit for your CPU. Anyway, keep us posted once you updated all that :)

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

A 770 to play CoD4? How can I argue, the game deserves it. Great build, +1.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks thanks!

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

Great parts list. I think it's the first time, I've actually seen anyone use an anti-static wrist band. It's a mean looking build.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! We have a dog so we wanted to be extra safe with static

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

Gamer and pc builder gfs are hard to find

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

I am very fortunate indeed! It's like dating a dude!

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Why not a slightly cheaper mobo and a $50 cooler (instead of Evo) for overclocking?

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

The EVO and the Mobo both were on sale and the mobo came with 8Gb of free memory thrown in so I felt it was a worthwhile upgrade. The mobo also came with wifi/bluetooth as well. The EVO has great reviews and I felt would hold up for well for its current intended use. Our next step, after we buy the additional GPU is to take some time and research watercooling. What I do know of it is its as much a hobby as anything else and requires serious thought in its design and installation.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Gotta protect this motherboard from esd, better ground myself to this unconnected power supply!

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  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the compliments! I hope it gets even better with time!

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  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much Talby!