Two years ago I started college and with that I got a Laptop, which was an upgrade in every way to my old desktop. However the life expectancy was a lot shorter than I anticipated, and went from being able to play any game I play at max settings and at 60fps, to currently barely being able to get 20fps with minimum settings. Thus I needed to build a desktop to have a longer lifespan and be able to play all of my games at full settings and get 60fps.
- Gaming, Max settings with 60+fps -MMOs (Archeage, WoW, FFXIV) -MOBAs (LoL, Smite, Dota, etc) -RTS (Starcraft 2) -RPG (Diablo 3, Skyrim, etc)
- 3D Modeling -Solidworks/Inventor
- 3+ Monitor Support
- CPU, This was the obvious pick, 4GHz and quad core with a very nice deal at Micro-Center
- Motherboard, A friend recommended this one to me and I have come to like the Asus bios and software. This motherboard also has all USB 3.0s with 2 USB 3.1s, so it might have some annoyances if I ever need to reinstall windows with a usb, but my case has the older ones so this shouldn't become an issue.
- Graphics, I was going to go with a 970, but that kicked up the price another $100ish so I settled for a 960 with 4GB to save money with more potential to put in another for sli. Also this specific one has 2 fans for extra cooling, which I love since I can never push its temperature above 60 C.
- Ram, I went with these since they had a case, however it is noteworthy that the CPU cooler could only be positioned with the fan blowing horizontally because of the case on these.
- Storage, My laptop's samsung 840 actually got corrupted forcing me to wipe it and lose a ton of stuff, so I did not want to get that exact same model, but still needed to be samsung since you just can't beat them in performace and software. So I went with a tic up to the 850 and the pro version to attempt to get more life expectancy. Also I went with a small SSD and a 1TB HDD since this would allow me to put as many games as I wanted on my computer without wasting the speed of the SSD on older throwback games like Starcraft 1, Warcraft 3, Diablo 2, Oblivion, etc.
- Case, This case is how I got the name of the build, because from the front it looks like a Storm Trooper, and the fans all over the place are a nice touch. Also it says that the video card will not fit, but that is only referring to the fan attached to the removable drive bay which is not included, and I just removed this drive bay anyway since I am never going to need these 4 extra slots.
- Power Supply, I didn't want to skimp too much here, and I knew that I wanted one that was modular, however after everything was said and done I only ended up saving one slot, since the cable lengths that I was given didn't match up perfectly.
- Wireless adapter, I wanted a wireless adapter because I learned with my previous pre-built desktop that this was a nice feature to have if you ever brought your rig to a lan party. Also I routed the cables back inside the case and attached the antenna inside of the plastic top, so its not dangling all over the place whenever I go to transport this pc.
This was my first PC build and it was as easy/hard as I expected it to be. I went through 3 other iterations of parts, at various price ranges until I came to settle on this one with advise from three other friends who really know a lot more about computers than I ever will. Buying the parts had a few hiccups, Newegg was on their week of restocking and would only ship parts out the next week which was not going to work since I only had a two week window before I moved back to school, so I went with Amazon for all beside the harddrive and CPU which I got at Micro-Center for the best deal anywhere.
The build itself was simple enough, however I did my research plenty before starting it, reading the manuals and watching a few videos (https://youtu.be/VIF43-0mDk4 was a very helpful series), and attempting to be as overcautious as possible since it was my first build. Wire management could have been done better but sadly I did not have the time to get exact length cords or more zip ties (you can never have enough zip ties). Installing the OS, drives and software I have done way too many times, with old computers exploding on me and such, so that was a simple process. Biggest problem I had was that EVGA's PrecisionX software doesn't default to startup on windows startup, nor does it have a separate background process to keep the fans running, instead the minimize button makes the program into a background process (the Asus software on the other-hand does both of these). So I ran the computer for a day without realizing the GPU's fans were at minimum speed.
Overall I am extremely pleased with how this came out. Performance wise I have not gotten anything to throttle it below 30fps with the only case getting close is when I am running eight instances of Archeage at once. Also the HDD normally is not running so the initial startup of any application that is on that (including windows file explore) is slightly sluggish but is worth it for the extra space potential.