After many years of having wanted to build a computer, I finally did it. Until this machine, I had been relying on laptops for personal use for probably close to 15 years. This is my first build so any feedback is of course welcome.
In terms of what I would use this for, it would mainly be for working and playing games. In terms of working, since I remote login to the office, I barely need anything other than a big screen (which I already had handy) with the potential for multiple monitors. Gaming wise I wanted something that could last for a few years and best the newest consoles that have come out. Lastly, I’m probably gonna want to tinker with over clocking, so I made sure I left room in my components for that (although I haven’t tried yet).
Overall it was a great experience building a machine for the first time. I’ll probably tinker with this for years to come and I’m looking forward to finally playing computer games on something that could handle it rather than my laptops over the years. By the way, I’ll be impressed if anyone knows where I got the name from without googling it.
Now to explain my part selections:
CPU: Was debating between this and the newest i7, but based on my research I really don’t think I needed more than this for gaming so I preferred to save the money to be put elsewhere. At some point I plan to try doing some over clocking so I got the unlocked CPU.
CPU Cooler: So I didn’t really need this and could have gone with a perfectly good air cooler. But I chose this mainly because aesthetically it looks sleek and I do plan to over clock at some point. Also, it was on sale and I couldn’t resist the price drop.
Motherboard: I read that Asus has excellent motherboards and I liked the feature set on this. Was originally planning for the Z87-A but switched to the Pro for the onboard wifi and bluetooth.
Memory: Was originally planning on 16GB to future proof, but instead settled on 8GB in the short term to save some cash. Having read that the difference between 1600 and 1866 is negligible I stuck with the 1600. Lastly, considering I had a window in my case, I liked that these were gold and went with the mobo.
Storage: I simply wanted the fastest SSD I could get, which is why I settled on the Samsung 840 Pro. My only regret is the Toshiba drive. I’ll use it for media, and I got it due to a holiday price drop, but after having bought it I realized that the reviews were quite negative on it and I should have spent a bit more to get a more reliable drive. Fingers crossed this one doesn’t fail early.
Video Card: This was an easy choice. I wanted the best value to price ratio, which is why I didn’t opt for the 780ti or the Titan. From reading reviews and speaking with one of my coworkers, I found that Asus has excellent GPU cooling which is why I picked Asus. Was also happy that it came with a holiday bundle of 3 free games.
Case: I did a lot of research on this one and decided that the Fractal Design Define R4 was the best case aesthetically as well as functionally. It looks very elegant and the cable management made it super nice to work with.
Fans: Just got one more of the Fractal Design fans to be consistent with the stock fans the case came with. I may get more here one day, but so far my build stays pretty cool.
Power Supply: I opted for a highly rated power supply with room for growth, hence the higher wattage.
Optical Drive: Cheapest one I could find. Its noisy as hell but hopefully I’ll only use it for installing things.
OS: This is my first foray into Windows 8. To be honest its a bit jarring and doesn’t really fit in a system with no touchscreen. Oh well, figured I’ll get used to it. I’m probably going to dual-boot into Linux at some point anyway.
Monitor: I had this already. The one in the part list is just a placeholder. The one I have is the Apple Cinema HD 23” from over 5 years ago so it has the DVI-D connector. I read that the refresh rates are slow, which may impact gaming, but have yet to have an issue with it.
Keyboard: Most gamers recommend mechanical, which I didn’t want due to the noise and the fact that I’d like to work on this machine also. I predominantly played consoles in the recent past, so I don’t have any strong opinions on keyboards yet and so opted for a cheaper non-mechanical one. So far I like it.
Mouse: I’ve always loved Logitech and this came highly rated.
Speakers: They look good, go really well with my Apple screen, and I can connect them to other bluetooth devices. I only wanted a 2 speaker setup since this is in my living room where I already have a 5.1 surround sound for my TV, so I didn’t want to go overboard. The subwoofer you see in the pictures is actually my TV speaker system.
NZXT Hue: Whats the point of having a window if I don’t put some color into it? The setup for this was quite easy and it looks good. Very happy with the results.