I apologize in advance for any bad pictures, my phone was the best device around for taking photos.
So this all started out about a year ago, where I expressed a desire to buy a new Alienware PC. Upon bringing up the idea, I was instantly met with the suggestion that I build my very own computer. From that point on, I became hooked. I started off by just looking at cool cases, not even knowing what the terms "Full Tower" or "Mid Tower" meant. This is where I have to give some credit to three amazing Youtubers. I started off by subscribing to Barnacules Nerdgasm, a channel about cool new technology and computers. From there I found JayzTwoCents, who really got me thinking serious about the whole "build-your-own" concept. Finally, from Jay's channel, I found out about LinusTechTips. After watching his many build guides, I felt certain that I could make my very own PC. And this is where PCPartPicker came in. Before finding this site, I had been saving links to cool products in a folder on my bookmarks bar in Chrome. But, with this site, I could now have everything in one place, and see the compatibility too!
This rig will be used mainly for gaming and schoolwork, but I expect to be getting into rendering here shortly. I know that most of these parts are overkill for a 1080p main/ gaming rig, but I also want this to last a couple years and give me an upgrade path.
Well, now that you've heard my little introduction, here's some rationale on why I chose my parts.
CPU: I chose the i7 4790K for many reasons. It's fast, powerful and hyperthreaded. Thats the key word... hyperthreaded. I was originally going to get the i5 4690K, until I realized that it wasn't hyperthreaded. Now in reality, I will probably never utilize all 8 logical cores in my CPU, but hey, better safe then sorry.
CPU Cooler: It was between the Cooler Master Nepton 280L and the NZXT Kraken X61. The X61 looked better on paper, and I was just about ready to buy it. However, after looking at some thermal graphs, I realized that the Nepton 280L was a better performer. Plus, it cost less too!
Motherboard: I know that Asus is a reliable brand, and I knew that I needed WiFi. Nothing much else to say.
Memory: I know that Kingston is reliable from past use of their other products, and 16gb of DDR3-1833mhz is more than enough for my needs.
Storage: SSD: I've always been a fan of Samsung products, and I already knew that this was one of the better SSDs on the market. Got it for a great deal too in an after-Black Friday sale. HDD: I was originally going to go with a 1TB Seagate HDD, but when this behemoth went on sale for $80, I couldn't pass it up.
GPU: I knew that I was going to get a 970, and seeing as how finding them with the stock cooler is next to impossible, I decided to go with the Windforce G1 Gaming edition. I was a little hesitant upon seeing how long the card was, but after viewing Jay's review of the card, I felt much better. It hasn't failed me yet!
Case: As soon as I found out about the release of the R5, I was hooked. For me, the R5 fixed the two main problems that kept me from getting the R4: the door on the front had to be reversible, and better airflow was necessary. I chose to get the titanium version because I'm just plain old tired of looking at black PCs.
Power Supply: I was originally going to go with the Corsair RM850, but upon using it in one of my friend's builds, I instantly hated it. Corsair's packaging was less than minimal, and I was shocked to see that the unit even made it in one piece. But the worst was still to come. I'm not sure if this was a problem indicative of just our unit, but the cables were extremely difficult to plug in to the unit. So, I thought, I'll give EVGA a try. The difference was amazing! The packaging was stellar, and the cables were easy to plug in. Other than that, all I really wanted was an affordable, fully modular 80 PLUS Gold rated PSU.
ODD: I knew I wanted Blu-Ray, and this one looked to be one of the better one out there. Plus, it was LG, so I knew it would be reliable.
OS: Had Windows 8 on my laptop, and knew that 8.1 would only be an inprovement. I've had no issues yet, although I am looking forward to the release of Windows 10, with it's hopefully "re-optimized" user interface.
Monitor: I know that Asus also makes good monitors, and basically all I needed was a 1080p screen that would deliver 144hz refresh rate and 1ms response time without breaking the bank.
Case Fans: AF140: I've read nothing but positive feedback on Corsair's fans. Unfortunately, I did not experience the same flawlessness on my two Af140's. They were a pain to install, and I really had to torque them down in order to get them secure. They are, however, very quiet. SP140: As for the SP140's, they have been phenominal. I have them set up in a push configuration, exhausting out the top of my case through the 280mm radiator. They work as advertised, move pleanty of air, and are very quiet.
Mouse: I knew I wanted an RGB mouse, and when Corsair came out with their M65 RGB Wired Laser mouse, I was all over it. I love the lighting, although I still think that Corsair's Utility Engine needs some revamping to make the user interface more user-friendly.
NZXT HUE RGB LED Controller: It was everything I needed: easy to install, easy to set up, and bright. Oh, and it's also RGB.
Silverstone Fan Splitter Cables: Cheap, sleeved, and allowed me to plug two fans into one header. Not much more to it.
Overall, I have been very happy with my build. I have been able to run all of my games on ultra settings, with the exception of minesweeper (I can barely run it on low settings :p). Keep in mind that this is all being written by someone who, before this, had been running on a five-year-old Gateway laptop featuring an AMD C50 Dual-Core CPU. So, as you can expect, I am completely blown away by the performance jump.
I appreciate all feedback, both positive and negative! If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments, I'll be sure to answer them to the best of my abilities! Also, if you would like to see a picture of the LEDs in another color, just name it and it'll happen! Thanks again, I couldn't have done this without a great community like this!
NOTE I will be uploading CPU and GPU load temps shortly, as soon as I find a good, reliable program. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks again!