This is my first venture into the thrilling world of PC building. I am upgrading from a 7/8 year old Dell XPS 210 that has a 256mb graphics card so this has been a long time coming. I decided not to get a next gen console so this is also fulfilling the role of a media centre/games machine. Will also be used for some light CAD work on occasion.
Reasons for part choices;
Case, Fans - I went coolermaster on these and chose this specific case as it wasn't too garish but had a nice window so I could see what was going on. the sliding door on the top is a bit naff but serves a purpose in dust protection. I was a bit disappointed to find the fans that came with the system were quite low end. (700 & 1100 rpm for the 200mm and 120mm respectively)
PSU - The semi-modular XFX 850w, which i had planned to buy went out of stock for a while so I ended up with this one, paid a bit more but it's gold rated and full modular which is a bonus for setup and overclocking.
CPU - Originally was going to go amd 8350 but decided I wanted PCIE 3.0 and an inbuilt graphics chip enough to warrant the extra £50.
CPU Cooler - Heard lots of good things about this one, happy it was coolermaster so I can continue my theme and will attempt some mild overclocking soon to see what it is made of. I actually replaced the original (translucent) fan with 2 blademaster 120s and the ugly translucent fan went to the bottom of my case out of sight and to pull in more air.
Motherboard - Would have preferred the 990fx version as I am not overly fond of the thermal armour or the small fans that come with this but this does the job nicely and they are quiet enough not to bother me. these little fans hit around 6600rpm so i guess aren't just for show.
RAM - Although the corsair vengeance does look nice with the big heat spreaders I found looking at similar builds that the height may cause an issue so opted for low profile so they match if/when upgrading to 4 sticks in the future.
SSD/HDD - Samsung Evo was actually a gift, but I know how much was paid for it so added it on. I received the kit rather than the standalone so got a bonus USB adaptor. Would have gone for a 250gb if buying myself. - the Toshiba was cheap and will be used for non-vital storage/large apps/games, will find out if it is worth it in the long run i guess.
Graphics - This took by far the longest time to decide on and threw me way off budget in the end. I looked at everything from the 7870 through to the 7950 but then the bitcoin craze happened and prices went mad so I decided to go nuts too with an XFX 280x as the extra memory will help with my 3 screens and when I upgrade them in the future! Also got a free copy of BF4 with this which is always good.
Optical Drive - Picked this one as I wanted to be able to read and write blue ray (although I will rarely use) aside from that it looks nice! it came with some good blueray software which is why i picked it. The software has also been invaluable in diagnosing HDCP issues i have had when connecting my TV through HDMI. still haven't got this resolved but strangely I don't have issues using the iGPU HDMI so guess its a card/driver issue with the 280x
Operating System - Chose windows 8 as it has the highest number - that means it is the best right?? - still getting used to this as moved from XP but it seems ok so far.
Thoughts for the future; Find somewhere to put the tower (currently sat in the middle of my lounge floor) possibly get a desk as i am currently working on a sideboard. More storage. Better screens & peripherals needed. Replace bundled case/CPU cooler fans. Viking burial for old PC.
All comments and opinions welcomed!
Temps and FPS if anyone is interested, no overclock yet as i have not looked into details, will most likely save this till after the warranties expire as I am not planning to upgrade for a while.
Factory Settings Idle; -CPU 28 degrees C (automatic fan control stable at 30% fan speed) -GPU 43 degrees C (automatic fan control stable at 31% fan speed)
Tests; Whilst running Prime95 -CPU 42 degrees C (automatic fan control stable at 40% fan speed)
Whilst running Intel Burn Test -CPU around 40-50 degrees but fans were throttling so hard to get a stable read.
Whilst running Heaven4.0 1920x1080 -GPU 63 degrees C (automatic fan control stable at 63% fan speed) -High Settings 81.2 FPS avg. AA off (min 27.1/Max 151.9) -Ultra Settings 72.1 FPS avg. AAx2 (min 11.7/Max 132.8)
Whilst running Furmark 1920x1080 - AA off GPU 70 degrees C (automatic fan control stable at 70% fan speed) Burn in Test 64 FPS avg. (min 63/max 66)