Description

This was actually my first ever computer build, but I believe it turned out rather well. For Christmas 2014, my parents gave me $500 cash to buy whatever I liked. At first, I almost got a tablet, but after talking to some friends, someone told me they were only really good if you had a decent desktop with which to use it. And since I'm planning on going into IT, and I have many geeky friends that have done this before, I decided to give it a try. Most of the parts were gathered over a period of a couple months, because I needed to get the rest of the money to buy the parts. I started building in the beginning of February, but I didn't have the case yet, so until the end of February it was in a cardboard box, with appropriate holes cut out :P

By the end of Feb. I had the case, so I managed to get it decently well cable managed (For a first try, I've seen much better handy work than mine). As of now, it is my main computer, replacing a laptop I used to use. I use it for light to medium gaming, schoolwork, and general use, and it fits my needs perfectly.

For some reason, I can't include custom parts in reviews, so heres the review for my GPU. The 560 TI was considered new in 2011. It's an old card, and when I post this build, I consistently get complaints that I'm using it. So, first off, yes I know it's old. However, I got it for $20 dollars off a friend, and it's still able to handle most of my games at decent settings with good frame rates. There are however, screen tearing issues, but being on Arch Linux, I'm not sure how much of that is driver issues and how much are card issues. It also heats up like a toaster, proving that you can play minecraft on a toaster. I will soon be upgrading to an EVGA Gtx 970 FTW edition, so that will pretty much blow this card out of the water. However, until then, this card is doing a decent job for being old, with not much memory.

I also got a 2.1 surround sound system for free from the place I volunteer/help renovate. It's actually a very decent system, with great sound, but I don't know exactly what kind it is. Kinda just came in a cardboard box which surprisingly had all the needed cables :P

Overall, I'm very satisfied with how my build turned out. Everything works together like a well oiled machine. It's powerful enough to handle everything I want to do, with no major problems.

Thanks for reading! :D

(PS: Sorry for the potato quality images... phone isn't so great for that :P)

Part Reviews

CPU

Honestly the i5-4690k is a beast. It's handled everything I've thrown at it with ease. Currently it's overclocked to 4.0ghz, but until I get a AiO or beefier air cooler, I don't want to attempt higher clock speeds. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a good cpu.

CPU Cooler

No complaints, other than it was a little weird to get the back plate on and everything screwed in, but for the price, I don't think it can be beat.

Motherboard

Again, no complaints here. Linux even recognized the wireless chip by default, which I was a little wary of. I also like the features that it comes with, as well as the UEFI/BIOS options. I had trouble getting it to boot a usb in UEFI mode for a while, but I believe that was user error.

Memory

No complaints here. I haven't tried overclocking, or poking it much, so I can't say as to how that would go, but it serves my purposes quite well.

Storage

Been running strong for several months now, and shows no signs of failing or any problems, so all good here.

Video Card

Holy crap, this thing is a powerhouse. Fans barely even turn on during normal work, and it handles gaming with ease. At some point when I have the moolah, I'd love to get a 2k monitor and push this a little more.

Case

I LOVE this case. I had a few other options I was looking at, mainly from Corsair, but this case blew all the others out of the water. It is a bit expensive, especially when you're without a paying job, but at the same time, I'm very glad I saved up to get it. There is tons of cable management room, it's very sturdy, and it looks great. I love the size, and the white/black color scheme. I also like the 140mm fans included, as opposed to 120mm.

Power Supply

No complaints. I wanted a decent quality power supply, and everyone recommends corsair, so that is what I went with, and I have no regrets. I do recommend modular or at least semi-modular if you'll be building a computer though. Much easier to cable manage.

Optical Drive

No complaints. Reads and writes dvds/cds quite well, and much faster than my laptop. I was however surprised when it sounded like a jet engine when it wrote a dvd. Was not expecting that, having come from a laptop.

Monitor

I don't know the exact pricing of this monitor, but it was ~175 dollars give or take 5. I bought it at est buy, because I'd much rather buy that in a brick and mortar store, rather than have it shipped, just for safety. I don't have many complaints about the monitor, and the menu is pretty easy to use. However, it does have a glossy screen, which can be a little annoying, if you are watching a movie with a dark scene. However, colors pop out well, and as far as the 7ms goes, that isn't noticeable to me.

Comments

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Noice build! As for the mobo though, im interested in using this one in my build, but have heard since it's rather outdated, the bios can be a bit of a pain to deal with, but it matches my color scheme. Is the z87 worth it all in all?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly it took me time go get to know where everything was and how to use, because it's so completely different from the bios on laptops and such. However, I've had very few problems with it since I figured out where things were and what a lot of the extra stuff did.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Arch Linux FTW!

What desktop environment are you using? If you don't have compositing enabled, that may be the source of your tearing.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm on Plasma 5. Compositing is enabled, but even so there's a slight bit of tear. Newer card should fix it.

And yes, I agree, Arch Linux for the win :D

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

If you go into advanced compositing settings, there's a combobox labeled "Tearing prevention" and if you set it to "Full scene repaints" that should fix the issue. There will be a bit of lag but that's kinda what you sacrifice for getting rid of tearing.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Like I said, it's enabled. Still a bit of tearing.

Nothing horrible, but enough to annoy me.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Odd. My method has worked on a variety of hardware, from Intel HD Graphics to my current GTX 960 and even an old GT 220.

You might have to install the nvidia-340xx drivers instead of the latest one. The GPU in my laptop is also Fermi (GT 520M) and it wouldn't work with the latest drivers.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Why did you go with a Z87 instead of Z97? It was most likley what cause your UEFI trouble

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

No, it actually wasn't. Asus had the needed bios update pre-installed, so Haswell Refresh worked out of the box. My troubles were caused by being so completely overwhelmed by all the options that I had never seen before.

As for choosing Z87 over Z97, well, it was my first build and it was probably the most glaring mistake I made. Thankfully it didn't actually stop me from building. I was seriously afraid it would for a bit.