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First Time Build

by ecooper26



Date Published

Feb. 20, 2016

Date Built

Feb. 17, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.216 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

67.0° C


So my current PC: Dell Inspiron 530 Intel Core2 Q6600 2.4Ghz 500GB HDD 6GB RAM 128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8300GS

is nearing the 9 year old mark and I felt like it was time to upgrade. I really wanted something "nice" this go 'round. I don't have much experience other than adding a video card, swapping out sticks of ram, and adding an optical drive. Granted the majority of this happened even before I bought the dell :) So it's been awhile since I've popped open the case for anything other than getting rid of the dust...

My background: I'm in my 30's, I'm a Firefighter/Paramedic, I'm married with two kids (5 & 1yo). I like a lot of electronics/tech in general, I have no formal training/knowledge. I'm also impatient and impulsive:) I've always had a console to game on for as long as I can remember, but I wanted to give the PC a try. Especially since I can use my XB1 controller on it. (Sorry, not gifted enough to use a KB/mouse). I've done some photo/video editing in the past as well. All in all, I really just wanted to have the option to do whatever the hell, I felt like doing.

So back on track, I decided that rather than go with another "canned" PC, I'd pick out the parts myself and put it together. I spent a long time looking at parts sites trying to make sense of it all, before I found this site. After seeing so many truly amazing builds, I was pumped up and felt more than ever that I should go ahead and do it. After creating several parts lists and scrapping each one, I finally came up with one that fit my budget and seemed to be a fairly high quality setup. (At least for me).

The build took me about 5 hours (I went slow and gasp read some of the manuals, as well as youtube videos...)

Everything was pretty smooth until I somehow managed to install windows on my SSD, but the system files on the HDD. (At least I think that's what happened) I also made the mistake of using the MSI disc and letting it install the drivers. I'm pretty sure some were outdated/bad and caused by usb ports to malfunction. I ended up removed both drives, connecting them to my old Dell and wiping them. Reinstallation of Windows and skipping the MSI disc in favor of direct downloads of the drivers seemed to fix it. No problems since.

All in all, it was a pretty cool experience, even though I'm still learning about a lot of this stuff. I probably should have done than a week and a half's worth of research, buuuuuut like I said impulsive and impatient. My impatience struck again as I tried to clean up the cable situation. I'm now thinking I may get some white replacements and then give it another shot.

I suppose I've went on for long enough. Comments, knowledge bombs are appreciated. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

**Edit 3/7/16: Added another set of 2x8gb RAM

Part Reviews


The price point on the 4690K sold me. I like having the option to OC in the future.

CPU Cooler

Works well, Corsair Link interface is simple and snap to install. I'll post some test temps soon.


Motherboard and Mushkin RAM came in a package deal with the CPU. I liked the look of the Krait Edition and it had everything I was looking for. BIOS was simple to navigate. (Boo for the install/driver disc)


Not gonna lie, Kingston RAM was picked solely off looks. Don't tell me it sucks...La-La-La, can't hear you But no issues so far.


I really wanted a SSD (After I spent an hour or so looking up what the hell it was...hey, I said it's been awhile) I started off thinking 120GB, but the price on the 500GB was pretty good IMO.

Video Card

The graphics card could be a (possible) regret. I may wish I had went up a step, we'll see. It seems to work great for the games I've installed so far, but I haven't tried out any of the more recent releases. So I don't think it's been pushed very hard. Benchmark tests to come.


I really got to like the Corsair cases, starting out looking at the 240, and then going with the 540. I saw several builds with a white/black scheme and knew that was definitely for me. Building in it was very simple, even for a first timer.

Power Supply

Power supply may be a bit overkill, but I wanted to make sure I some wiggle room.

Comments Sorted by:

DaxIsDamned 3 points 30 months ago

Loving that black and white!

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Come on man. Description please. Looks nice, but give me the back story.

truesmotpoker 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

"Coming Soon", Such a teaser!

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 33 months ago


ecooper26 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Sorry guys, I've been trying to get this finished the last two days...Dang kids and work:)

truesmotpoker 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Great choice on the PSU. very reliable.

If you have a 1080p monitor the gpu should be fine. It works pretty great for me, but i do wish I had also gone with more oomph than the 960 4gb, but i have not noticed any hiccups, guess i just want more even though i don't know if i would notice. but i do want to buy a 4k monitor, but now that i have chosen this GPU (actually i have the EvGA SSC 4gb... but similar enough) looking online it sems i should stick to my 1080p monitors until i can invest more in my GPU also.

Having more ram (installing that third stick) will give you more RAM which may improve your performance, especially for instances here you need lots of ram, but any time you need less than the 16gb you already have, (which should be like all the time) you may hurt your performance by forcing your motherboard from dual channel ram to single channel ram to handle the third stick, and also it will slow down your other ram from 1866 to 1600mhz, the way i understand it (if i am wrong someone please correct me)

But seriously great build. no criticism just thought i would try to answer the questions you had.

ecooper26 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Thanks for the insight, the dual/single channel issue is something I don't think I need to deal with yet. I havent ran into any situation where i need to add that extra stick. In any case I plan on get another set of the 2x8gb Hyper Fury x's to max out my RAM at some point:)

And I agree with you on the GPU as well. If and when i decide to upgrade displays (I'm mainly using my 1080p Sony TV right now) I'll probably go ahead and get better GPU at the same time.

sslavkov 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Love the white/black look! I went for that look too when I built mine in June '15!

ecooper26 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Oh yeah, it looks like we decided on a lot of the same parts...although you seem to much better at finding deals than I am!

sslavkov 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Hey, how was it installing the liquid cpu cooler? Anything tricky or specific?

ecooper26 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Piece of cake! Maybe took about 10-15 minutes, probably go alot quicker for someone who knows what they're doing

Tobbylerone 1 point 23 months ago

Your GPU is sagging a little, it bugs me. Otherwise, great build!

[comment deleted by staff]