This was my first build. I've been wanting to do this for a long time. I've been using a standard laptop for general use and gaming for 5 years. My laptop screen got damaged so it finally gave me an excuse to build a new computer. I have not done a whole lot of work with computers before so I did a lot of research and really learned a lot. I had a blast building it and hopefully it will last a long time. The hardest part for me was picking out the parts that I wanted to be in it.
I tried to go as cheap as possible with this build while still having high quality parts with great reviews. I have a lot of room for expansion as I didn't yet purchase a video card and I'm currently using the stock cooler. I will definitely get a video card later. I got some great sales with Black Friday and holiday deals. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and how it looks! My OS hasn't arrived yet, unfortunately (4 days past max shipping date) so I can only look at my boot screen and BIOS.
I'll try to go into a detailed breakdown of my build and part choices. I will try to format as best I can, but I won't judge you if you don't read everything I write:
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670k 3.4GHz Quad-Core I paid full price for the CPU, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I don't plan on overclocking yet since I only have a stock cooler, but I have the ability to later. I'm going to be running off of the HD4600 integrated graphics for a while but it will still be 10X more powerful than what I'm used to. It even came with Total War Rome 2 for free which I wasn't expecting. I just got an email for it a few days after I bought it.
This was the most terrifying part of the build for me. The computer building tutorial I watched said that the CPU retention lever should take no force whatsoever to lower so of course when mine wasn't going down like a feather I freaked out! It was sitting in the socket perfectly. I just needed a little pressure to get that lever down but I was positive I was going to destroy everything right then. I even managed to put my CPU cooler on wrong so the Intel logo was upside down. I don't think it would have affected much but I switched it anyway. I was worried that I'd have to reapply thermal paste but it hadn't even been turned on yet so I hope it's ok.
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming This board here is the only reason I shelled out for a cool looking case with a side window. I just had to show this thing off. The red dragon looks awesome and even the heatsinks are shaped like dragon heads. It has support for everything I'll need and also a ton of cool features like Audio Boost, Fast Boot, and various gaming perks. It also has a USB 3.0 header so it doesn't use a pass through for my front panel USB's.
I ended up kind of using this Motherboard as a theme for my whole build which I wasn't planning on doing. I don't mind though since I got a sweet deal for it! $80 off isn't so bad :) My only issue with this board is that the Audio Boost logo in the lower left glows pink instead of red. It shows up red in the pictures, but it is actually a magenta color. I believe there is a way to disable that LED in the settings but I haven't looked much yet.
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB 8GB of DDR3-2133 RAM with great reviews that matches my red/black theme on sale for $20 off? Sign me up!
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM This seemed like a really good Hard Drive for the price. I don't have much to say about it. I have room for more if I run out of space but that will probably take me a while. 7200 RPM will be nice for my load times.
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower I had planned on getting just any old case, just a metal box to throw my stuff in. Then I got my motherboard sale and my vanity kicked in. I'm sure not everybody thinks it looks good but it is exactly what was in my mind and fits all my needs.
The case is really roomy and fits all of my gear easily. It will be nice for expansions later on. It has a lot of cable management options and for my first ever build I feel like I did really well hiding everything away considering my power supply isn't modular. I had to put a lot of the extra cables in the hard drive bay but it fits well. I removed the upper hard drive cage since I don't have anything to put in it and hopefully it will give better airflow from the front fan. The front fan has a nice red LED when it's on and has a black metal mesh covering it. The front panel door seems sturdy enough and looks pretty cool.
PSU: Rosewill 450W ATX12V This is big enough for what I need, even after I get a video card. It's also 80+ Gold rated with 92% power efficiency. Great price and great reviews. It's not modular so it has a lot of extra cables I didn't need but with my large case, I had plenty of room to store them away.
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer It doesn't work with blu-ray but it was cheap and it will do it's job. It was very easy to install.
Operating System: Windows 8.1 OEM I've been using Vista for over 5 years so I thought it was time for an upgrade. It would be nice if it was here though. It's four days past it's maximum quoted shipping time.
Monitor: Acer G246HLAbd 24.0" This was the first thing I bought. I used a VGA cable from my laptop with this for a time while I finished my part list since my laptop screen has gone bad. It's been working great so far and looks really good. It's super bright. I believe I turned it down to 15% so I wouldn't go blind. I got it on a Black Friday sale for 50% off. $100 savings.
Keyboard: Lite-On SK-1788/BS It's a cheap keyboard certainly, but it's still better than using a laptop which I'm used to. It looks and feels decent but there's not much to it.
Mouse: Cooler Master Recon This mouse looks and feels great for what I wanted. I thought it was a decent price for what I'd be getting. I got it on a sale for $10 off which was nice. I was originally just going to use my wireless Logitech mouse, but I thought I should try a mouse with more than 2 buttons for once. It fits the design of my case (Same manufacturer) and can change colors for different parts of the mouse. I'll make mine red most of the time.
Speakers: Logitech Z130 5W 2ch Small speakers but more than enough for how I'll be using them. I bought them for $19.99 and when they arrived, there was a sale for $9.99 so Amazon refunded the difference which was nice.
That's it! I really enjoyed picking parts and putting everything together. It took a while to get a hang of cable management. I had to pretty much completely redo most of my cables but I think the end product turned out really good and clean looking. I learned a lot and made mistakes but it was worth it. I know I don't have a dedicated video card yet or CPU cooler but I will get them and when I do, I'll try to update. Overall, I spent a bit more than I had originally wanted to. I ended up splurging a little bit here and there to make it look how I wanted. Considering that I had to start completely from scratch, I think I did pretty well on the price and I can certainly add more to make it even more powerful.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!