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This is a computer that I initially built earlier this year. However after multiple part changes, updates and additions, I went back and essentially rebuilt the computer with the updated parts.
My primary use for this computer is gaming (Overwatch, Witcher 3, BF4, CSGO, HOTS, etc ). It is able to play all of these games at high/ultra settings at greater than 60FPS.
Overall I'm incredibly happy with the way the build went. My main addition from the previous version was the addition of a SSD and a motherboard swap after the initial one died on me (ASRock H97m Pro 4). The computer went from roughly 45 second boots to now having sub 10 second boot times. Its absolutely insane. Also, after changing over to a 144hz monitor, I don't think I could ever switch back to 60hz. Everything seems so choppy now.
If I were building this computer with all new parts today however, the only change I would really make would be replacing the GTX 970 with an R9 390 in its place (cheaper and slightly higher performance).
Since initially publishing this build, I since added a Cooler Master 212 EVO CPU cooler, which brought my load temps while gaming down by as much as 10C. I also redid the cable management and made some more room in the case. New photos were uploaded.
Can't beat Intel at this price point. I'm really happy with this processor. Despite the fact that its locked, I have never felt like it really held me back in any way. Again, runs all games at pretty much max settings. I have yet to come across a game where this CPU is any form of a bottleneck.
Does exactly what its supposed to do. The BIOS is a bit minimalistic and somewhat laggy/unresponsive for lack of a better word. However, it has the features I need and does what I need it to do. It only has 3 fan headers in addition to the CPU fan header as a word of caution. The board also had some very minor flex behind the CPU socket after installation of the stock Intel CPU cooler. Of note, the board is only Crossfire compatible (not SLI).
Note: this board was actually purchased for a dead ASRock H97M Pro4 board, which died on me after approximately 2 weeks of use. This board has shown no problems.
Had no issues and runs at specified speeds after enabling XMP. Not to mention it was relatively cheap and looks good with a low profile design. I can't recommend this kind of memory enough.
Had an absolutely huge impact on my PC's overall speed and 'feel'. While the actual performance in comparison to other SSDs is somewhat average, when compared to an HDD its a completely different order of magnitude in performance. I can't recommend this SSD enough especially at its price point.
Great card for the money. Allows me to play most games at 1080p at well over 60FPS and high to ultra settings. I primarily play CSGO and HOTS. CSGO consistently stays about 144FPS at max settings, and HOTS is well above 100. The card does seem to heat up a bit more than expected (around 78-80C under absolute max gaming load) but otherwise does well. When priced well, this is still one of the best cards around. However, if buying a new video card today, one should give a serious look at the R9 390 (slightly better performance at a slightly lower price). EVGA never disappoints me with their overclocked card adaptations, this is no exception here.
The tower has a surprising amount of options for something so small. It has decent build quality with just enough features to really make it stand out IMO. The biggest problem with the case is the lack of cable management options. I had to route the CPU power cable behind the motherboard. It also left me with few options to route cables behind the MOBO. Overall though I would still recommend it.
As someone who plays many PC FPS games (esp CSGO) I can't believe I didn't make this upgrade sooner. 144hz has completely changed me forever. The colors absolutely needed some tweaking out of the box. I downloaded an ICC profile which helped to correct the colors and make them relatively accurate. I tend to keep the blur reduction feature (strobing) off, as it makes the colors very bland and reduces the brightness significantly. However, most people who buy this monitor are mostly concerned with the 144hz and response time, both of which are fantastic.
Probably the best FPS mouse I have ever used. The switches on it feel stiffer than many other mice I have used, which I prefer. The size fits my hand well and lends to my grip style (mix of claw/palm grips). I personally love the lack of additional drivers needed to get the mouse to work well. The DPS button on the bottom, and included extra teflon slider pads are a nice touch.
At this price point, its probably one of the best headsets available. The mic is detachable which is a huge plus for me. Sound quality is excellent. Only (minor) gripe is that I think I prefer open ear headsets to sound cancelling ones. This is an excellent product.