Description

Hello. I go by the handle "Mitcheddar93," but you can call me "Mitch" if you want. This is the first complete build of a computer I have ever done. I have a lot of experience replacing parts and shifting cords in computers thanks to my experiences as a kid, but with the tax return I got this year, I decided now would be an excellent time to build a full computer for myself, mostly for gaming and multimedia. Personally, I think it turned out extremely well. Here's the parts I used in order to craft this beautiful machine:

CPU - One of the primary goals for my computer, first and foremost, was to have an Intel processor. Nothing else was going to do it for me. I also wanted to have a processor that cost at least $200, and the Core i5-4590 was the perfect fit. It fit the motherboard like a sock, and the computer has been running as fast as a bullet, for the most part. The processor has also been perfect for Dolphin, being able to run at close to full speed with little-to-no issues in conjunction with my video card. For those who are wondering, I am aware that I am not able to overclock my processor at all; maybe I will try overclocking my processor when I eventually upgrade to a 4790K and I have a proper CPU water cooler installed, but I am very happy with my processor at the moment and will only upgrade when I have the time and money.

Motherboard - In choosing the motherboard, I was looking for something that would perform well without too many features to get bogged down in. As I was looking on various sites detailing which parts to use for computer builds, "Asus" kept coming up in the motherboards section. I was originally set on getting the Z97-A, but I did not see the value of SLI or other related features, since I am keen on using just one graphics card and overclocking is not a priority at the moment. Therefore, I decided to get the Z97-C, which seemed to have all of the features of the Z97-A except those I did not necessarily need. The problem is that when I eventually bought everything, the Z97-A was ONLY 5 BUCKS MORE THAN THE Z97-C!!! In hindsight, I really should have paid more attention before settling on the purchase, but I am not disappointed so far. The board is working like a charm at the moment, and it was easy to set inside the case. Only time will tell whether or not I made the right decision, but so far I am pretty satisfied.

Memory - Looking around for memory was a cinch. All of the reviews I saw for Corsair memory had close to 4 or 5 stars/eggs, and the specs were perfect for what I was going for. Another reason I chose Corsair is because of a weird sense of consistency; I noticed that Corsair produces a lot of other components for computers, including cases, power supplies, and even solid-state drives. I wanted to have the manufacturers for my parts match; call me strange, but that's how I wanted to do it. It also helps that the manufacturers I chose are known for quality computer parts, further leading to this decision. The memory is working like a charm, and I will buy the Vengeance pack again so I can bring up the RAM to 16GB.

Storage - I had a lot of choices when it came to storage, and all of them were fairly appealing, but in the end, I decided to go with one of the most popular options. Western Digital, as far as I know, is a name that is almost synonymous with "computer storage," so it seemed fairly obvious that it would be an excellent option. It's nice to know you don't have to break the bank for 1TB of storage, especially with how hard drives were priced when I was still a kid. I plan on eventually adding a solid-state drive from Corsair, but for now, this is working just fine.

Video Card - After the abysmal gaming experience I had with my now-3-year-old laptop, I absolutely HAD to have a more-than-decent video card. I was originally considering getting the GTX 970, but my tax return wasn't worth THAT much, so I decided to scale back for now. The GTX 960 seemed like the next-best thing, and was more than $100 less expensive. I am glad with my decision so far; Black Mesa, Portal, and Half-Life 2: Update all run at 60 FPS at high settings with little-to-no slowdown, which is something my laptop was almost NEVER capable of. I will need to test more games in order to get a feel for how well the video card performs, but overall, this will serve as an excellent holdover for a higher-end graphics card.

Case - Once again, popularity was the biggest influence in choosing the case. It was also chosen based on the consistency bit I mentioned earlier: if the case was the skeleton, then the power supply was the heart and the memory was the brains. I found it would make sense if they were all from the same manufacturer. It helped that the Corsair 200R is one of the best cases on the market, at least according to reviews. And frankly, after looking and messing with it, I would agree. It comes with everything you need right out of the gate, including a couple of case fans and plenty of screws. Above all, though, it looks amazingly slick while being fairly simple, which was another influence in my decision. For $60, this thing was an absolute steal.

Power Supply - As I was looking for parts for my build, I thought it would make sense to have the manufacturer of the power supply to match the manufacturer of the case; again, weird sense of consistency. Corsair is also well-known for making excellent power supplies, so this seemed like an excellent choice. So far, the CX500 has been working without any problems, and the cables were fairly painless to set up; I wish it were modular so that I could customize it more, but I guess I can save that for upgrading. 500W has been perfect for what I have been doing so far, so I probably won't upgrade until I want to get a feel for overclocking.

Optical Drive - I am addicted to Blu-Ray discs. I have been ripping discs and converting them with Handbrake since I got my first Blu-Ray drive at least three Christmases ago (keeping the files private, of course). It was important, therefore, that I have a Blu-Ray drive right off the bat in order to do the same thing with my new computer. I have not been able to test ripping Blu-Rays yet, but I have run plenty of CDs and burned a couple of DVDs with no issues whatsoever (aside from a couple of mishaps on my part), and I can only expect that ripping Blu-Rays will run just as smoothly.

Operating System - This is where I got lucky. Getting Windows 7 seemed like a no-brainer, but it would have added an extra $100 to my build cost. That is where Dreamspark Premium came in. Being a student has a lot of benefits, especially when you have access to free Office products, Visual Studio, database software, and the latest operating systems, all courtesy of Microsoft. In short, I was able to get Windows 7 Professional for free, practically. I plan on upgrading to Windows 10 when it eventually rolls out, so this was a win-win for me.

So there you go! This is my very first complete build. Let me know what you think!

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Comments

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Unfortunately Corsair overprices their products, especially their SSDs and PSUs, somtimes even their RAM. The only "Good" power supplies they make are the HX and AX series. Their most popular lineups (CX, RM, other discontinued lines) are all average quality.

Oh well though, I too learned the hard way. Nice build overall, +1.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't know. At first glance, the prices of Corsair's power supplies and RAM seem equal, if not cheaper, than other power supplies. I got most of my parts from Newegg, so maybe other manufacturers have cheaper prices. Like I said, I had a weird sense of consistency with this build, trying to keep the number of manufacturers for the collective parts as low as possible, but hey, to each their own.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

They're cheaper than others, but not in terms of quality. You can find equal quality PSUs from Antec, EVGA, Thermaltake, and Cooler Master for often less than what Corsair Charges. The only good part of their PSUs is that they offer modularity in the price range where you normally wouldn't find it. Take a look at this Tier list.

And their RAM is only sometimes overpriced, but their Dominator Platinum models are always overpriced. Their cases are like the only really good things they sell at the prices they charge, almost always having quality components and features over competitors.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm still probably going to get parts from them. It just makes me feel better when manufacturers are kept to a minimum.

Regardless, thanks for the feedback! Any little bit helps.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

At least go for their HX or AX series then. Overclocking on poor quality parts isn't a very good idea.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent build with sound reasoning and quality. +1 from me. I'm a Intel fanboy myself but I've worked with amd processors and they pack a serious price:performance punch. Obviously you made your decsion on Intel but fx 8320/8350 even a fx 6300 would have performed, giving you a little bit more money to fadudle with. Great gpu btw-you'll probably get comments talking about r9 270x cards as an alternative (the 4gb model is a beast for its 200ish pricetag) but hey, at least you got a newer card from a newer Nvidia series. Again one of the soundest 800ish builds I've seen chiefly because how you balanced your funds throughout

If you can upgrade later I'd grab a sad for your os. A crucial mx100 is a baller deal at a 128 gb one for 64ish bucks. It's not the best or fastest but its value is undeniable

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

You'd be surprised at how well the 960 actaully performs, have the same one myself, I kind of regretted it later, not because its a 960, that part I love, I regret getting an ASUS one, I now wish I would've gotten EVGA just for how cool looking and well built their cards are. :(

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I've worked with THe 960 extensively and yes it's a excellent card-I suppose I was just trying to say that even though it's a baller card it's not perhaps the only viable option for this build

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, definitely better options, but for the price, the only price to performance card I could think of is the 280-280x

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

A 270x 4GB ASUS direct CU2 edition (@1120 MHz non-oc'd and mem. @5600mhz ) is nothing to sneeze at- I got one sitting in my office and with it on oc it pumps away just fine at most any game. At 200 bucks it's got a whopping punch. My roommates rig I assembled has a higher performing r9 280x-the sapphire vapor x edition. Yes it's a powerful card which is arm also around 200. Based between my experience with the two it's a fairly close choice. I kinda like the extra gb of ram the 270x offeres but that's just me and my particular uses for my gpus. Granted there are cheaper options among the 280-280xs but the only other 280 I've worked with was a xfx edition that throttled itself hard down to 800 MHz. It's rated boost was 1 ghz but since amd cards perform heavily based in temp it kinda suffered. It's a tough battle among this price point of gpus though

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build :) You can play every game without any bottleneck and I love this case. I am using same case for my builds. If you get the chance or whenver you feel free please do some cable management. Because in this case you can easily manage cables.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

OMG it looks exactly the same as the build I did for my girlfriend! lol :)

WD is an amazing brand for HDDs. Had better experience with them than Seagate. Consider getting a SSD for your next upgrade! :)