I remember 5 years ago back in high school hearing all my friends talk about their rigs and upgrading their RAM and getting new GPUs and what not. I've always been interested in building a PC but hearing them talk about theirs' had me even more hyped to build one one day. Sadly though, working part time at a gas station every summer never yielded me all the funds I needed to make a passable rig for my gaming/schooling needs. So I sucked it up and went back to playing Terraria and The Bindings of Issac on my not-even-passable Acer laptop. Life went on and after joining the military a couple years ago, I still didn't have the time or resources to build. And honestly, I was also super nervous about somehow ******* it up when I did. I finished tech school, moved to my first base in Alaska and I still didn't have the time initially. But finally, after years of painstakingly waiting, me and my wonderful girlfriend, Hannah, have given life to Scrambles, The Death Dealer (+10 points if you know the reference). I'm extremely proud of how things have turned out for it. It runs smoother than I imagined and despite the few hiccups we ran into on the way, everything turned out nearly perfectly!
Here's a breakdown/review of the main parts and why I chose them:
CPU: I was initially going to go with an i7-4790 but opted for the i5-6600k after doing some research. More bang for the buck is always nice. I'm also mildly interested to see what the hype surrounding overclocking is firsthand. I don't plan on melting my parts for crazy performance but I definitely want to see what my CPU is truly capable of. I've already been nothing but impressed thus far with how its run without pushing.
GPU: The 970 has been more than solid. No hiccups thus far and its impressed me in the stress tests I've put it through. I built this rig with the intent to implement an SLI set up later on so I try to keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Motherboard: This is actually a bit of a funny/frustrating story. I initially bought the wrong mobo and had no idea until it got to my doorstep and I started trying to put things together. I ordered the Fatal1ty AsRock 7170 Gaming K4/D3 from NewEgg first off which isn't a bad board but wasn't compatible with the 16gb of DDR4 I purchased from Best Buy... (I found this out as I was trying to fit them in the slots to no avail). I didn't even notice it didn't support DDR4 until after I bought it. I just knew for a fact my CPU did. A REALLY dumb mistake on my part. I ended up buying another mobo from a local computer store up here (props to Computer Renaissance) and an extra 8gb stick of RAM for the hell of it. The MSI Z170A is a monster. The ports are all placed well and the sound boost and network boost options are nice cherries on top. I'm excited to see how well it'll do with OC once I get around to bracing myself for that roller coaster. I'll definitely update with the results.
Memory: My friends told me "Hey man, you only need 8 gb for gaming", so I got 24 because **** the rules. For real though, its been great so far and the freedom is pretty nice. I would of rather had 2 sticks of 4gb DDR4 than one solid of 8 but eh. 24 is still more than enough for what I'm going to use it for.
Case: Oh man, the case. The NZXT Source 530 is pretty sexy. The window give a nice sneak peak of the inside and really compliments the lighting. As much as I love it though, I have my eyes set on the Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower as a very likely upgrade. After seeing how much of a pain cable management can be, it looks like a dream come true. However, this case isn't inherently bad for cable management. On the contrary, there's plenty of space to run cables and ways to tie but I just couldn't get it down too well. I really envy you guys make it look so damn easy. In my book, its an art form. There's great amount of space for fans and the removable tool-free front bays is a definite plus.
SSD/HDD: This was my first time experiencing a solid state drive and jesus **** was I blown away. I've never booted an OS this fast. Which makes sense given that I've only had crappy laptops before this one but still. The Samsung 850 EVO has a great amount of space on it for both my OS and my main games. I honestly can't complain. I did run into a few issues getting my HDD to connect but after fiddling for an hour, I got Scrambles-Senpai to finally notice it.
Fans: Its clear I was at least somewhat worried about keeping cool with all these fans installed (6 total including the CPU cooler). I heard running at them 800 rpm is a good rule of thumb but I haven't heard much else as a direction to take for their speeds. Any advice on that would be greatly appreciated.
Peripherals: My TeckNet gaming keyboard/mouse set has been pretty sweet. Budget quality generally but they get the job done well, nonetheless. The keyboard has a really convenient feature that lets you disable the Window button by pressing Fn+f12 so accidentally pressing it mid-game doesn't ruin everything. A true godsend. The mouse has been especially great for FPSs since changing the sensitivity on the fly is an option. The NZXT Hue + case lights have been phenomenal. If you're someone who really likes keeping your case flashy and like the option to change the flashiness later, this is your go-to. It has a plethora of settings to let you mix and match how your PC looks however you please. There's even options to have the colors flash as equalizers to whatever sounds your PC is producing or to have the color fade to different colors as your GPU /CPU takes heat. The later being a great asset to those who OC often. The software also has a really detailed breakout of your rig's specs. My only complaint about it is the $60 price tag.. The Asus monitor is great for those looking to game often and are worried about refresh rates and input lag. Its advertised as 1ms on this site but its more like, >10ms. Still really good. My only compliant is a sort of light jagginess I see in some wallpapers and on fonts. Its like there's an over-crispness to it. Nothing bad or deal breaking but something to think about if you're looking at the product. The Gigabyte wifi module is there for convenience in case I have to move Scrambles and being connected directly to the modem isn't an option. The option of bluetooth is also fantastic for controllers.
All in all, I'm looking forward to the future of Scrambles and seeing how it fairs with VR next year. I'll update as things go on. Any words of advice or tips or anything really would be greatly appreciated.