So here what sparked the beginning of a long progress. I have been gaming (League, BF3, BFBC2, WOW, Simcity, ect...) for the last 3 years with an Alienware Aurora from Dell. Oh how cool did I think all the fancy lighting and the liquid cooling was and so did my dad and so on and so forth we bought it and I loved it until I wanted to upgrade. Bam! A new GTX560 ti, a year ago and I was back playing games after upgrading the crappy OEM nvidia card it came with. Then the next thing that was on my mind while studying up on other components I could add to my so called "monster" is that the 6GB of 1333 ram that came in it, well it did the job but it was nothing to boast about so upgrading the ram was put next on the list. After months of just never getting around to it I realize that new ram wouldn't have made much of a difference and was from there on convinced to buy an SSD instead. So I hop on Google and am about to buy a 60GB SSD when I think well I better check to make sure it will work (I have no knowledge about storage devices or whatnot) and realize that my mobo will only support sata 2, yet another big let down. At this point I realized that computers or at least just the one I bought don't stay up to date vary long and ask my parents if I could build my own brand new computer with the money I get from my Alienware, at first they were hesitant but then it became clear to me that they didn't think I could sell it and I hopped right on to kijij, posted my ad and waited. After about 30 emails or so I finally find a guy that is interested and he comes and buys it the day of communication (2monthsish of the date I posted ad). Now I am excited, now I have the cash I needed to start building my own, custom, do it yourself computer.
A couple of days went by, I took my cash to the bank, got my paycheck and started buying parts left right and center. For most of the parts I used DirectCanada.com because they offered decent prices and anything over $50 was free fast 2 day shipping! I would recommend them to any Canadian computer enthusiasts out there looking for parts. Although I did buy most of my stuff from them, I did have to buy elsewhere online to find stock in my case and Graphics card I wanted, Newegg backed me up there with decent prices but I hate paying shipping!
So 3 by 2 by one parts showed up throughout the next two weeks and I finally have everything!... oh wait almost everything, this sucked my PSU didn't arrive in time for the weekend but that didn't stop me from beginning my build! So off I went cutting open boxes and packages and lay everything out nice and neat so I could stand back and take a nice look at it all, so many NEW FASTER THINGS! So I take some pictures because at this point I have been on pcpartpicker with any spare time I had checking out other peoples builds and I am like "meh that's see what people will say about my little adventure.". So there I went after taking all my precious pictures of my goodies with everything unpacked and ready to go when I start goggling with my phone to figure out how things go together. I started feeling vary worried that if I were to go at this with no research that I would probably mess some pretty expensive things up so I took my time, got all comfy with my mom's iPad and learned all about how to apply thermal paste, attach mounting brackets, which screws go where ect... As day turned to night I carefully put together the components and everything was ready to be mounted into my case. With that completed the next morning I realized how treacherous it was having my new computer sit there not being able to use it due to the lack of a power supply. It was a long day to say the least, but on Monday after I returned home from school I was surprised to see the UPS truck come down my driveway and hand me my power supply. I quickly rushed to my room and hooked everything up realizing I should have bought a modular power supply instead of cheeping out, but that didn't stop me from getting all set up and ready to go.
With everything together and plugged in I powered on and with no surprise to myself I ran into a hiccup with my ram indicated by the on board led's. So after a quick slot swap and hitting the auto config button on the motherboard I was up and running! I was actually shocked that everything worked after assembling everything not so long ago with little to no knowledge of building a PC. After booting into a HDD that I had recently purchased/used in my old PC I figured that I may as well re install everything and clean all my files up. This is when I decided to buy an SSD for the operating system + programs to speed things up, so I jumped online did a bit of research on cheep SSD's and went back to DirectCanada.com and bought myself a Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB. After receiving it 2 days later I installed windows 7 and was vary impressed with the speed my new SSD brought to the table.
All and all this build taught me allot about computer hardware and managing money to get good performance with good prices. I know the build isn't overly color coordinated but it runs my games well and will be good for new games like BF4 and whatever else comes out down the road. I will be overclocking the CPU and will try to get more juice out of my ram although I don't know how well the ram will overclock but it will be yet another learning experience that will help me down the road with any upgrades/new builds. In the future I plan on getting another 760 to run in SLI and most likely another SSD to run in raid but for now I am just going to enjoy my new computer!:D
Questions: Any idea for case LED colors, the motherboard has gold heat-syncs and ports but my graphics card is a silver color all around. I will most likely go with just a white LED strip but if anyone else has any suggestions I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading :) CUSTOM > MANUFACTURED!
TL,DR: Sold my alienware when I could still get money for it due to the fact that upgrading would be a pain. Learned how to build as I went, haven't regretted making the switch.