Last computer I built was back in 2000, a computer under 1Ghz with a 3dfx voodoo videocard. I built it back then to game but I was a Playstation gamer and did not game much on the computer. I mainly played EverQuest and X-Wing Alliance on it while figuring out what I can do with windows. It was my step into the world of computers back then and I was more interested in how everything interfaced.
Over the next decade I've bought Sony Vaio laptops and Dell computers. I missed building my own since the last build.
I planned to build a gaming rig in last year. I wanted something to enjoy and game with. I eyed mid-towers for times I take my computer over to family and friends to game. A full tower was something I can manage if i really needed to but I had my heart set on the size of the mid tower. During this time, the 970 videocard benchmarks really caught my eye and I centered my savings around it. The GTX 970 G1 gaming was the card I wanted.
Fast forward to February 2015... A few local sales started my gaming rig build. The samsung 840 pro ssd and Windows 8.1 64-bit were by themselves for awhile and the 30 day RMA was closing in so I decided to pull the trigger and compete this gaming rig.
I figured I was building a gaming computer not for games of today but for games of the next year. It came down to the i7-4790k and the i7-5820k. I read that the i7 is generally not needed for gaming but I did it anyways in case I want to do more on the computer like streaming and video editing in the future. I went on to get an i7-4790k.
I installed the motherboard without inserting its backplate first. Initially, I was just going to let it go and press on with installing everything but the space between the case and the motherboard was just too much for me to pass. So I took out the motherboard and installed the motherboard backplate for the connectors. Looks clean.
The Intel motherboards came down to ease. I have done the switches and jumpers before with my old 800Mhz build over a decade ago and the Z97s featured things I liked. The Z97-A wasn't my first choice but I didn't like the red color scheme "gaming" motherboards I was looking at have... It ultimately works with everything and I realized later you can't even see the motherboard with the cases I was looking at.
Space would be an issue for the parts I was planning to buy. I did not want to go water cooling so I went and found the biggest Heat Sink Fan I could find, Phanteks ph-tc14pe. It got reviews I wanted to see so I went ahead with it for this build. I wasn't sure about the case and the fan but youtube videos eased my concerns. I bought the G.Skill 8GB ram because of a newegg sale and its low profile feature. Installing the phanteks HSF and the clearance of the ram worked out well. It was an experience to get my phanteks HSF on. phanteks ph-tc14pe guides on Youtube saved me some time installing it. In particularly, installing the fan to the mount bracket was kinda difficult because of the size and space. I was using a precision screwdriver and the length of it barely cleared the heatsink!
I decided to go GTX 980 G1 gaming. 3 fans of this videocard did factor into the mid towers I wanted. The NZXT Phantom 410 had a removable HDD bay. I also liked the white ceremic and blues of this case. Its perfect for this build. The GTX 980 G1 Gaming videocard barely clears with the HDD bay inside the case and a bit too close for me so i removed the bay drive entirely for space concerns and air flow.
I did not want a Hard Disk Drive in this build. So will add more SSDs in the years to come.
Very happy with this build.
Here's the complete rig I build last month Intel i7-4790k 4.0Ghz Asus Z97-A Phanteks PH-TC14PE G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-2133 Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 G1 Gaming 4GB SSD 1 Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD 2 Samsung 840 Pro 120GB NZXT Phantom 410 Asus PCE-AC68 Asus VE248H 24in Monitor
Gaming RIg May Update +G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 for a total of 16GB 256gb SSD in RAPID MODE