Hello PC Part Picker!
This computer is the first PC I've ever built in my entire life (so expect a plethora of opportunities to mock and ridicule my sad attempts at cable management; I even provide pics), and I want to share my project with all of you!
The purpose of this machine is two-fold:
Purpose #1: No limit gaming. Never below 60fps and never compromising.
Purpose #2: Record, edit, and upload videos to YouTube, and streaming to Twitch.
I will admit, I've had this PC running for about two-ish weeks now, but I wanted to do some touch-ups not only on the inside, but on the outside, as well. Maybe at some point down the line I will hit up CableMod for custom sleeving, but I've spent enough money for a while lol.
Okay, now for a breakdown of the build!
Going into this build, I knew absolutely nothing about computer components, so I had to first learn about the components, determine what I needed to fulfill my needs, and then pick each component with absolute scrutiny. I have to say that the learning process was wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure, but I have to give a shout out to a few sites which made the process easier:
PC Gamer This site gave me a fantastic starting point for many components, and the comment section for each article helped me along the way, as well.
Tom's Hardware For compatibility questions, concerns about reliability, and for component breakdowns, this site made everything make sense.
LinusTechTips Have to give a shout out to Linus and his team. While breezing through forums, his name came up a lot. Seeing him and his team interact with components and seeing builds and reviews of components instilled confidence and kept me on the right track.
Of course, I can't forget this site (which I wish I had found a lot earlier BEFORE I started tracking all of my components using an Excel spreadsheet). If not for PC Part Picker, I would still be stumbling around checking compatibility and wattage.
I primarily used Newegg.com and Amazon.com for purchases. Newegg often had selections that Amazon didn't (or lower prices), and I have an Amazon Prime membership so those were both no-brainers. For parts like the 950 PRO SSD, which went on sale on B&H for super low, I broke the trend.
It's funny how being a first time builder works out budget-wise. I clearly had absolutely no idea how much this was going to cost going in, and I was way over at the end of it all. However, with the support of my wife to encourage me, I remained undaunted as I dropped thousands lol. I will say, however, that this has turned out to be one of the most rewarding $2500+ I've ever spent.
I held on to the completed kit of parts for roughly a week in order to wait for my best friend to come over and help me with the build. Totally worth the wait. There were some good points and some bad points about this build however:
The case was very easy to work with and there is plenty of room to maneuver.
The manuals for all of the components (minus the Corsair H115i) made the process much easier.
The motherboard is very good quality, and everything worked first try when we tried to post.
Who would've thought installing the CPU would be so easy?
Temps are excellent and my build is QUIET. My AC makes more noise.
Cats make great supervisors.
That dang IO shield... If you've ever worked with an ASUS Z170-A you know exactly what I mean.
Windows 10. Easily the most difficult part of the build. Putting it on the 950 PRO was fun. flame shields activated
Cable management. I am not good at it and neither is my friend (sorry Andrew).
Derping. There was a lot of it.
Building was a lot of fun. Put quite a few hours into it, but the end result is nothing short of incredible. Learned SOOOOOOO much by putting the pieces together. 10/10 would PC again.
PC is solid, not liquid. There is, however, an AIO liquid cooler, so there's that.
I never thought I would be so enthusiastic about building my own PC. After 3 months of working with this PC, I can honestly say I have found a new love in my life: computers. There were some hiccups along the way, but I wouldn't change a thing. Love my rig, and now I have what I need to begin making videos and gaming without borders.
If you read all of this, thank you so much (also why?) and I hope you enjoy the pics and reviews.
TL:DR - Had a lot of fun, learned a lot, PC glows blue, cats were involved, tempered glass is gorgeous. Gaming. Yay.
Pretend Ryzen never came out
This processor is outstanding. Core temps are always fantastic, and it handles everything I throw at it. Great for enthusiasts.
The reason I'm not giving this product 5 stars is because of the manual. It is far from great, and with so many stand-offs that look exactly the same, and with the manual doing very little to help differentiate between them, installation was made slightly more difficult.
Having said that, the product itself is outstanding. Keeps my i7-6700k nice and cool even when overclocking, and the pump and fans stay relatively quiet, even during high clock speeds. I switch out the SP fans that came with the product in favor of LED SP fans, and it looks great and performs great.
Do not forget to grab Corsair Link later. It is definitely worth getting.
The pastiest paste that ever pasted. Great conductivity and easy to apply. What more needs to be said?
Four stars because of that **** IO shield. Ugh, what a nightmare that was.
Otherwise, wonderful board. Very sturdy and easy to work with on all counts. Didn't have any problems aside from the shield.
It's RAM, it's blue, it's fast.
If you need more than that, go find some LED RAM (don't actually do that).
GOOD LORD THIS THING IS FAST.
Used it as a boot drive (come at me) and my "this program needs to open immediately and function flawlessly" drive. Just... wow. The read and write speeds are just out of this world. You don't know fast until you've used this thing.
Now, trying to get Win10 on it? A bit of trouble, but if you enjoy your system booting in 3 seconds, the struggle is worth it.
Do you like to SSD? This is the SSD for you.
Fantastic read and write speeds, and it is wonderfully reliable. Using this for games and general use.
FLAWLESS GAMING AT 1080p 144Hz!
This thing is a monster! Takes literally everything I can throw at it in 1080p and 144Hz. This thing runs warm relative to the rest of my components, but that's to be expected.
I will eventually get a 1440p monitor to evolve my gaming experience, but for 1080p60fps gaming and recording, this card is perfect.
There's a reason this case is so popular.
Gorgeous tempered glass, easy to work in, plenty of room for cable management (especially if, like me, you aren't spectacular at it), and sturdy construction. Would absolutely recommend this to anyone working with ATX form factor.
Top of the line, never an issue.
PC Building 101 says you should NEVER cheap out when it comes to a PSU. The EVGA Supernova line of PSUs is highly rated, positively reviewed across the board, and efficient. If you are looking for a PSU for your build, you can't go wrong with EVGA Supernova.
It's Windows 10. Got the USB version, and it works as advertised. Why are you even reading a review for this thing? Go play a game or something.
Blue, silent, and efficient. Would definitely purchase again.
Great replacement for out of the box SP fans. If you want to slap some LED fans on your rad, this is my recommendation for sure. Runs quiet and is quiet pretty. Great LEDs.
Gorgeous monitor. Blows the pants off of every monitor I've ever had before. 144Hz is breathtaking.
Great sound quality. Can get very loud. The sub shakes pictures off my wall.
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THESE WHEN THEY ARE LIT!
This strip is so very bright. However, the magnets don't work very well with the EvolvATX Glass, so beware. Did I use the double-sided tape? HA! That stuff is low grade garbage. Once you find a good way to run this strip, it is fantastic, though.