For those of y'all who haven't played Dragon Age, an Abomination is formed when a mage is possessed by a demon. When the demon takes over, even the most benign mage becomes something more powerful and dangerous.
That's the story behind this build. It started as a cheap, AMD "gaming" PC that I bought before I would've even considered building my own (you'd think a science teacher with an engineering degree would be more comfortable with computers, but at the time they were like black magic to me).
It was alright for Skyrim and Dragon Age, but 16 (or even 8) person raids in The Old Republic were a lightning lag-fest even on ultra-low graphics. I decided I needed an update, and after looking at what anything with a decent processor and graphics would cost to buy, I decided to build.
I asked my guildmaster (who does programming as part of his graduate research) for advice and he pointed me towards the i5 and the GTX 760 4 GB. I also did some research and found that the Intels consistantly outperformed their AMD counterparts in CPU intensive games (which TOR is). Then I started building a PC around those two components.
The case, hard drive, DVD drive, and 8 GBs of the memory are holdovers from the old computer. Keeping those saved me over $150. Everything else is brand new. I even used my teacher discount to pick up Windows 7 Ultimate for $10.
I could hear the angels singing as it powered up first attempt with no hiccups. And they sang even louder as everything was reinstalled. Would I like to play Skyrim and The Old Republic on Ultra high settings? Why yes, yes I would. Dragon Age Inquisition on High? Sounds good to me.
So far everything's performed beautifully. Now I get TOR framerates of over 100 fps. I've even tried my hand at some minor overclocking. They CPU stays under 65 C even during stress testing and stays under 50 C even under the heaviest gaming. I was a little hasty in buying the cooler and completely missed the newer Evo, but the Plus does just fine for me.
If I were to build from scratch, I would've bought a full tower to fit a water cooler. I also wonder if going from 8 GB to 16 GB of RAM was a little overkill, but it wasn't expensive or anything. Still, for what I need this PC to do, it does it great. It meets or outperforms the current generation of consoles, so it'll be relevant for years to come. Maybe in a few years I'll change cases and coolers, but for now I'm happy.