LEVEL Absolute Beginner (last time i built a PC was 20 years ago..)
I built this baby, since my old machine could not run Fallout 4 / Ark / Star Wars Battlefront at all. Nerded out on these here forums for quite a while before I decided on this build, which started as a min-max exercise but then I decided to add some future-proofing as well.
CPU Decided to go with Skylake for future-proofing. The i5-6500 is a solid quad-core which will last a while. I plan to upgrade to i-7 whenever those prices drop and it becomes necessary.
MOBO Picked a basic Asus, since I don't want to go down the Rabbit Hole too far in terms of over-clocking everything. Also heard the Bios is very user friendly - which is true.
MEMORY DDR$-2400, nothing special.
STORAGE large SSD by Samsung for OS and all the games I play often. 1TB for storage.
CASE: Define R4 for simple, sleek, silenced build. Choose the Blackout color, literally everything is all black– and quiet! Cable management is quite easy even for a beginner like myself.
POWERSUPPLY Seasonic 850W, seems overkill.. but allows for SLI/CROSSFIRE in the future without headaches.
CD/DVD Since i still had a windows 7 CD lying around. Basic.
WIRELESS. Less than ideal, I know.. but good to have before I drill a hole through the wall to the living room :)
Now here it gets interesting! This was by far the biggest headache of the build by far:
GPU Nvidia vs AMD. Went back and forth for quite a while then settled on the r9-390 which seemed to be a bit better than the 970 and more capable to delivering at 1440p. Also with Directx 12 incoming it seemed like a better choice - but thats debatable. In any case I settled for Team Red and ordered the MSI R9 390.
The card seems very quiet and doesn't run too hot either. Maybe I haven't stressed it enough, idle it sits at 30c, under load its 50c. EDIT: i tested it some more and under full load its about 80c
MONITOR But then the monitor I was planning on buying became not available. So I had to go back to square one and look at all my options:
I started reading more and more about G-sync / Freesync and it really was something I wanted to include in this build - I wanted to buy a monitor that would last a while - that even if i upgraded the GPU in a year or two would still benefit from it. That said, the G-sync monitor options are much more plentiful, but i was already expecting a AMD card so it had to be Freesync. So i spent a long time looking before I found this baby, which I think just came to market in December.
ACER XF270HU IPS. 144hz, 1440p and 4ms response time. Amazing, looks truly beautiful. Came out of the box flawless. Could not be happier.. and with Freesync the r9 is more than capable of supporting the resolution.
works great! ugly cooler, but a easy way to save $100+ bucks on a build if you are not looking to overclock with the i5-6600K - which also needs a separate cooler.
works as intended. bios is a charm. documentation is thorough enough that a beginner like me had no issues at all. r9 390 sags a little.. only minus.
seems to only run at 2133 hz.. maybe i have a wrong setting somewhere? will update this rating if i get them to work at the intended speed.
lightning fast! easy to install and operate.
didn't show up at first in windows 7. had to format and assign a drive number before it became available.. other than that no issues.
vroom.. great card. runs like a charm. ran cs-go and fallout 4 so far, both on max settings. card hits about 80c under load.
black. silent. cool. deadly. cable management easy as pie even for a noob like myself. still think i made a mess of the cables.. but it works. so i'm happy!
if you install this upside down.. with the fan pointing down in a modern case.. this baby shows you the ugly side, which technical stickers and the like. plus the logo on the back will be upside down as well.. :/ really less than ideal. also documentation kinda sparse.
it reads dvd's. basic.
Wireless Network Adapter
some kind of persistent driver complaints. but it works so its fine.
the best thing i bought! came out of the box flawless. 144hz 1440p IPS panel with 4ms response time. pinch me i'm dreaming! beautiful monitor, crisp resolution, great colors out of the box.. haven't even fiddled with it yet to improve.
stand is solid, monitor adjusts in height and tilts. and rotates between horizontal and vertical.
and it's freesync - which looks great. i think it has a g-sync sibling too, with the same specs.