This concludes the rather long journey to the completion of my first ever gaming rig!
It was a nice journey, not without a couple of changes to the originally plannend route, though.
At first, I wanted to go for an i5xxxxk and overclock the **** out of everything.
Hence OCing is not that beneficial if the main task of a build is gaming, I decided to go with a non-OC config and focus on a better video card and monitor. Which I did. Why the Z97 chipset MB, you ask? Because it had better CF-specs (8/8) than its predecessor and was on sale, so why not? And 700W PSU? Again, for CF-purposes down the road (maybe, maybe not...).
The Xeon is nice and fast, has hyper threading and is cheaper than its i7 counter part. It lacks the integrated grafics. No complaints here.
I planned for the MSI GTX 970 initially but got really bummed out after the VRAM controversy and went for the Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290 OC, because I want to mod the heck out of my RPGs (not a competetive FPS-multi player). The card's got pretty good reviews all around and this made me pull the trigger. I have failed to look for troubles with this particular piece of hardware prior to the purchase.... Big mistake. Hence this card also isn't void of problems -> Namely random black screens. Random freezes of the system without any info in event viewer or somewhere else, really unsettling. I have contacted Sapphire's support who are in the process of providing a BIOS update for the card that is capable to cure that severe problem. I'm forced to throttle the card's clock a bit to prevent the black screens. It was a bit dissapointing, to say at least.
First, Nvidia's wonky advertising than this...
However, the rest of the build went pretty good. I reapplied the thermal compund once while trouble shooting the black screens, but that wasn't a very bad thing.
I will replace the stock fan of the CPU cooler since it is rather loud and silence was the main purpose of haveing a budget cooler over the stock fan, so lets see how this will turn out.
I am immensly thrilled gaming on this rig. The 1440p IPS screen with the R9 290 really really kick *** and expiriencing this and a SSD for the first time was just beautiful. Especially when coming from an aging "mulimedia notebook"... Took quite a long time to save for but it was so worth it. Can't wait for the time after exams, when playing this thing actually feels justified ;)