Goals for this build: relatively quiet gaming, 1080p at high/fairly high settings, power efficient, mid size, budget-ish. Hence the whippet; not as big or fast as a greyhound, but still pretty damn fast.
CPU: i5 4590 3.3 Ghz
- picked because it's more than adequate for most jobs. I was looking for any quad core i5 (LGA1150) around €190-200.
- Intel Xeon E3-1231V3 or similar. Delivers i7 performance, but below i7 prices, albeit without integrated graphics.
CPU cooler: Scythe Kotetsu 79.0 CFM (Review link)
- you could probably use the included intel stock cooler too, but I just wanted this one. Note: It is aaaalmost too big for the case.
Storage: Crucial BX100 250GB
- Just because I like Crucial and I only needed a little storage to begin with- it's always getting cheaper so might as well wait till 250 is full before installing more.
Motherboard: Asus H97M-Plus mATX
- Why? humm, it's the same make as the GPU. Honestly, I think any of the other compatible boards would have been just fine too, this is not a high powered build so there's no overclocking (though this board does support it) and no SLI or Crossfire to think about here anyway.
- ASRock H97M Anniversary Micro ATX
- ASRock H97M Pro4 Micro ATX
- GIGABYTE GA-H97M-D3H Micro ATX
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
- any 2x4GB kit from a reputable brand will do for me, I picked one from the QVL (qualified vendors list) of the motherboard, which means ASUS has tested the board with that particular RAM.
- Note that the Scythe Kotetsu CPU cooler has enough clearance even for this pretty tall ram.
GPU: Asus STRIX GeForce GTX 960 2GB (Review Link)
- I needed something that could handle 1080p gaming at good settings and a low price point. The 960 hit the sweet spot, and the ASUS STRIX did well in reviews.
- MSI GeForce GTX 960 2GB
- More alternatives here
Power Supply: Be Quiet! 10 400W
- sadly not modular, but it is actually quiet. I couldn't find a direct comparison with the alternatives, but in reviews that took sound measurements, the be quiet! lived up to its name. It just takes a bit of extra fiddling and you'll get the surplus cables hidden away.
- Be Quiet! 10 500W
- This is the big brother of my 400W PSU, and it is semi-modular afaik. I'd recommend this if you know you're going to need more power in the future.
- Corsair CS450M
Case: Define Mini (Review Link)
- I agonised over this the longest, since I wanted it to be both quiet and small. This case isn't as small as some of the alternatives, but is quiet and not huge, and the included fans aren't too bad. Note it is very heavy though.
- Dimensions: 210 x 395 x 490mm = 40645500 volume
- Silverstone KL06 - this wasn't available yet at the time, otherwise it'd have made my choice significantly harder! Dimensions: 211 x 375 x 405 = 32045625 volume
- Define R5
- Silverstone TJ08-E
- Cooler Master Silencio 550 - I have it on good authority that my CPU cooler would fit if you trim some of the dampening foam.
Display: Dell U24H - 24" (Review Link)
- Not the best gaming display (not the fastest response time), but this thing has good colour sRGB accuracy (I use it for design work) and it doesn't flicker or give me headaches.