Welcome to my first build! Since buying my gaming laptop over 4 years ago, I have realized I wasn't going to be able to play all the new games coming out very well (if at all) with it. I have spent many hours researching the best components for my first gaming desktop build, and this is the result. This build in particular is centered on overclocking, and these parts should do the trick for a moderate price. As for the price, this is for the tower only. I already have gaming peripherals and other hard drives, so I didn't include those in the parts list. At the time of purchasing these products, and including tax, this build ended up being around $1,200.

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor

Not much to say here other than it is a popular CPU for an overclocking build in this price range. I didn’t want to spend extra money just to get a comparable i7.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

Since I intend to Overclock, I added in an inexpensive, yet effective CPU cooler to replace the stock cooler. Water cooling is much more expensive, and my temperatures seem to be perfectly fine with this air cooler.

Motherboard: MSI Z97-GAMING 5 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

Z97 boards seem to be quite good for capabilities/price, and they also allow overclocking. This one in particular fit with my black/red color scheme and had good ratings. It also supports SLI, which I might utilize sometime in the future.

Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

I know most people recommend 8GB, but I felt that I need 16GB for my purposes. I got this memory on sale, and it was advertised to be good for overclocking. 1600 should be fast enough for me, but faster memory never hurts. It is also black/red.

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive

Any build today should include a SSD. 250GB should be enough for me to make this a boot drive and put some typically used programs on it.

Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

1TB is normally enough for a secondary drive, but although this is my first desktop build, I am definitely not a first-time PC gamer. I went with the 2TB WD Black to store all my games and other programs. People sometimes complain about the sound of this drive, but I can rarely hear it. When I do hear it, it is barely audible, so I don’t mind.

GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Video Card

I only intend to game in 1080p, which is why I picked the 970 over the R9 390. The free game was also a nice bonus. As for this particular model, again, it's black/red, plus it was also on sale. I might pick up another one later for 2-way SLI.

Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case

This case is amazing. I was thinking about getting a full tower, but I'm glad that I went for this mid instead, as I will still have plenty of room for 2-way SLI in the future. I didn't order any extra case fans because the 2 preinstalled fans will fit my needs for now. If I decide to pick up another GPU, I will order some more.

For some reason the front fan was preinstalled in the lower slot - which makes no sense to me - so I simply put it in the upper slot for better air flow. I also removed the upper drive cage to better improve air flow; you can also rotate the cage to improve airflow if you want to use those slots or any other reason. This case was also on sale for at the time, which makes it that much better.

The only thing I don’t like about this case is that the power button LED is blue, but I might change that to red later. I am also considering buying some red LED strips since I have the windowed version.

PSU: EVGA 600B 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply

I basically picked this PSU because it was on sale, and 600W is enough for me to overclock. If I pick up another GPU, though, I will need to replace this PSU to meet the Wattage/Connector requirements.

Unfortunately I had to RMA the first one back to NewEgg because a random wire was sticking out of the front. This problem made me slightly regret not getting a semi or full-modular PSU, but not enough to where I got a refund instead of a replacement. Thankfully there were no problems with the replacement.

Additional Notes: If you are unlucky enough to receive a defective part, I would suggest going for a refund instead of a replacement if you want your product in less than a couple of weeks (depends on locations: mine had to travel to California, and the replacement was sent from the nearest warehouse).

Register your parts online! Yes, this is a tedious process, but it can save you a lot of trouble in the future if a part goes bad. This is especially true if you send in a mail-in rebate (MIR) that requires your original UPC code.

Although it sucks to save up your money all at once, I would highly suggest doing so in order to buy all your parts at the same time. Many online retailers such as NewEgg and Amazon have a 30-day return/replacement policy, and there is always the potential of receiving a defective part. I would much rather deal with the retailer than through the manufacturer.


  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

You have a solid build, but that PSU isn't fit for this system considering you are planning on overclocking. EVGA itself is a great company, but go for their B2/G2/P2/GS models, which offer solid, top-notch performance. I like your case!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info. Since it looks like Pascal GPUs might be coming out soon, I'll see if I can pick up another 970 for a bit cheaper and just upgrade my PSU.

And yeah, fractal design makes fantastic cases!

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

nice job, going with the 16gb ram was good idea, its now the standard.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Shame that you had to RMA that power supply......But it worked out in the end. +1

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, it was a pain. Thankfully this was the first part I purchased, so I got the replacement back about the same time as the last of my other parts. Thanks for the +1!