EDIT: 10/2 - Just ordered a 3TB WD Green and some case lights, will have some pictures of both next week!
Early 2015 - May 2015: This whole thing started when I noticed that my last "gaming" laptop was becoming extremely slow. I began toying around with the idea of a new laptop, so I looked at some MSI and ASUS ROG ones on CyberPowerPC and iBuyPower. At this point in time I thought a desktop would be terrible for me since I like to move around my house a lot.
May - June: Next, I began toying around a bit with the desktops on the sites. A couple friends had convinced me that laptops were nowhere near as powerful as a desktop. I thought I had some decent builds set up on CyberPowerPC, and at this point was where I had hinted to my parents that my current laptop was a PoS, but I didn't want to straight out tell them because they had spent a decent sum of money on it around Christmas 2013 (so it was still relatively new).
Mid June - Late June: I had toyed with the idea of getting a cheap prebuilt with certain parts (like CPU and motherboard) I wanted and upgrading things like RAM and storage to what I wanted to save money. At this point I had just purchased my first two parts (the RAM and hard drive).
July - Late August: I had decided that I was going to build the entire thing, so my first stop was Micro Center to pick up the CPU and motherboard using their combo. I ended up leaving with the CPU, motherboard, SSD, and case. I then proceeded by purchasing the PSU and OS from NCIXUS, the Wi-fi card from Superbiiz, Keyboard and mouse from Bestbuy, and the ODD from Newegg. At this point I built my PC late august with integrated graphics and stock cooler.
September - Present: Ordered the GPU from B&H, a new monitor from Newegg, and CPU cooler from Amazon. At this point I had a fully working gaming computer that can run basically everything at 1080p 60+FPS (while my laptop would get 20FPS @ 900p med settings on ArmA and GTA V. I don't think I've ever made a better decision for myself in my life, and it was pretty nice knowing exactly what I was talking about to my Dad because he didn't really know anything about specific parts.
So the progression of the timeline:
Current laptop sucks -> Want a new laptop -> Want a prebuilt desktop -> builds a new desktop -> run everything on Ultra with 60FPS
Sorry if this was a bit long but it's nice to have somewhere to vent. I will add part reviews later today an likely some more pictures! I'd also like to thanks everyone from Pointman Indutries (My ArmA mates), /r/buildapc and /r/buildapcsales, and pcpartpicker for being the most useful site ever!
Runs beautifully, and could even run ArmA 3 at 30FPS. I can really only compare this to my old laptop's CPU (which was a mobile A10 APU), which is complete cancer vs. this. This runs everything perfectly and I could not ask for more. I also got it for cheap thanks to Micro Center's pricing!
Gives great temps, though it was a bit loud at first (which I eventually discovered through Corsair Link, was due to the fans running at max). So I run the pump and fans on quiet mode, and the settings really do live up to their name. This is also probably why you think my temps are high.
Haven't overclocked on this yet, but the features, aesthetics, and price are all amazing. I have no regrets getting this, and I cannot even think of another board that would compete with this price with the same features.
I only remove one star on this because I bought blue without thinking about it. Come to think of it I convinced myself this was a great price so I bought it lol. Both were my mistakes though, and this RAM performs pretty great.
My boot times went from 90 seconds (just to get to the desktop) and then another 15 minutes in order to play games (because of the disk usage) straight to 20 seconds from when I press restart to starting a game. My load times on Skyrim and the Fallout series went from 8 seconds when loading into a building down to about 1 second. This thing is the very definition of speed. My latest benchmark (using Samsung Magician) was 546mb/s read and 511mb/s write.
Despite being ripped off by Bestbuy on this drive, it's performance is great. I don't really trust any other brand than Western Digital, and this was enough space to store everything. Last benchmark from Samsung Magician was 203mb/s read and 176mb/s write, which I think is pretty fast for a HDD.
This thing runs everything max at 60FPS. I have no complaints, other than the fact it has no backplate, so I'm having some issues with card sag.
This thing is pretty damn nice. Cable management was a breeze, the colors look nice, and I think it looks pretty damn sleek. Though, at this point I think I would have rather gone with a Corsair Air 540 or Phanteks Enthoo Pro.
The EVGA B2 is an amazing unit for the price. Got it for $80, MIR brought it down to $50. For the price, you get semi modular cables, 80+ Silver (says bronze but the tests prove otherwise), good quality components, and even 750W of power (really a bit less than 700W) to use. It's pretty much impossible to regret buying this masterpiece.
Is Windows. Works well, does its job. I have a free upgrade to Windows 10, so I'm just going to wait a bit until I know for sure everything runs correctly and they have ironed out the big issues.
Does its job. Internet downloads were slow at first, but a driver update from ASUS seems to have fixed this problem.
Colors look great, especially with the MSI Gaming App color settings. Had to get a DVI-D cable, but it was on sale so the price was still far less than normal.
My only regret is not getting a K95, but then I'd be blowing $50 more. This keyboard is pure beauty. The Cherry MX Reds a re perfect for me, and the red backlighting goes with the build.
The Corsair Utility Engine for this is great to use, and the extra mouse buttons are pretty great as well. Colors and feel are pretty nice as well.