UPDATE: 08/03/2013 AUDIO (3 sets of speakers, 2 Sound cards)
I started out with a set of Logitech z313's that I had purchased about a month before I decided I would do a complete build. For the money, these are great speakers. Nothing bad to say about them, just wanted a little more power since I listen to a lot of music.
Next came Logitech z623's. Big improvement. A ton more volume with great bottom end. The do distort a little on max but for $129 this was also a great value for the money. (BTW I purchased and returned all of this stuff to Microcenter and made them price match EVERYTHING. Did you know they'll price match Amazon, too?) I was happy for a few days, except for one little thing: The RCA jack for the left speaker was loose where it connected to the Sub. Wiggly. I tried to fix it by removing the plate it was attached to but still couldn't get to the back of it to tighten it up. I went to Microcenter a couple days later for something else and checked their display set. Get this: It was loose too! Same jack! I had wanted the Corsair SP2500's all along but couldn't convince myself spending over $200 (Now everyone seems to be marking them down) on a set of computer speakers was a wise choice no matter how much music I listened to. But since the Logitechs were going to go bad eventually, I had my excuse.
I was so happy to be finally getting the Corsairs, I decided to get a sound card too. Why not take full advantage of their capabilities, yes? I installed the sound card, a Creative Recon 3D fatality Pro and the speakers at the same time. I turned them on, cranked it up, and...was really disappointed.
At first I thought it was just a matter of "dialing in" the settings on the card. So I spent a couple days tweaking the settings, but nothing really improved. Then I wondered if it might be the Corsair speakers. Maybe they just didn't sound that good after all. I was crushed. All that money and the system didn't sound any bette than the Logitech z623 set.
Two nights ago I returned the Recon 3D card to Microcenter and decided the last thing I would do before I returned the Corsairs was to try a different sound card. Before installed the Asus Xonar DX, I reinstalled the drivers for the on board audio and spent an hour or so listening to just that so I would have a reference point. It sounded pretty good, better in fact than with the Sound Blaster card. But nothing like the Asus Xonar DX.
The difference in sound with the ASUS card is simply amazing. Even with the very first first song I played with no fiddling with the settings, I was stunned. So clear, and my faith in the Corsairs has been restored. They now sound Awesome. Totally different than before and well worth the money. Sure, there are some drawbacks with the ASUS card; like no nifty red LED.
But I think I can live with that. ;)
Got a little burned out on the 360 so I decided I would switch back to PC gaming after a fifteen year absence. My laptop was 6 Years old so I bought an FX-4100 based machine (complete with fanless MSI 5450 card) off Craigslist. My original plan was just to update the GPU, and start playing some PC stuff off Steam. Before I knew it I had the "Build a better PC fever."
That was over a month ago. I finished this last night, and will finally try gaming with it tonight.
Things went remarkably well. I had an average working knowledge of computers a couple months ago, but I never thought I could pull something like this off. But there are so many great resources out there (this site especially) it seemed foolish not to try.
The RAM was a find off Craigslist still in the original packaging. The smallish HDD drive wasn't in my original plan. It was donated by a non working laptop. I was going to pull the 1TB HDD from the machine I was selling and put the smaller HDD in it. But I could never get the machine to boot with that Drive. I cloned it onto two other drives and THEY worked, but the Western Digital Cav Green I had never did.another drive and put that in and it booted no problem. So I put the 320GB because I didn't have anything else and it worked.
I might have been better off with a different power supply, those Corsair cables are stiff and don't bend very well. But other than that, it was actually really enjoyable. And I'm amazed at how quiet it is. That desktop I bought 2 months ago had only two 80mm fans, and it was WAY louder than this one.
Update:07/16/2013 This didn't happen to me of course because i read all documentation and directions thoroughly and am not impatient in any way. But some guy I know with a case just like this spent a couple hours checking his wiring for shorts when he found out that none of the USB 3.0 ports on the front or back of the unit worked. He had failed to download and install BOTH sets of drivers. Man that guy must be stupid or something. I'm glad I'm not him. Next I'm going to add a fan controller and add Crucial Tactical Tracer RAM that has the programmable blue LED's. My rig is going to look like some ***** wearing too much eye shadow.