Looking back on all the systems I’ve built, they’ve always been a hodgepodge of parts and colors and really didn’t have a cohesive color scheme. This all changed with my latest build, dubbed #FORTHEKIDS. The name comes from my involvement with Extra-Life, an organization that works closely with Children’s Miracle Hospitals and provides assistance to kids and their families while they’re in the hospital for whatever reason.
For more information as to why I do this, check out:
Starting out at the center of any PC build is the processor. After some time spent with a Pentium G3258 I was able to pick up an i5 4690k with the help of some Christmas funds and well timed deals. While I wish I could have gone for the 4790k for the hyperthreading, it wasn't available where I shop and overpriced at others.
While this build started out with the ASRock Z97 Anniversary board, I found that I wasn't able to push my 4690k as far as I'd like thanks to the cheap/low end power phases. So I sold it and the G3258 I originally had and picked up the Asus Z97-AR after a lot of research for performance and features I wanted. While it was cool to try out something different, I always end up coming back to ASUS for their top of the line boards.
The memory was easy to pick, I’ve had G.Skill in a bunch of other systems I’ve built and been happy with them each time. Super low profile, good speeds and reliable...what more could you ask for?
Cooling is something that I am very particular about. I want good performance and quiet operation. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo that I originally had was okay but not very quiet. Enter the Cryorig H7. I use this cooler on ALL builds I do that don't have water cooling. Give this a gander, it's worth the small premium over the 212 Evo. The H7 is combined with the two Fractal Design Venturi fans and the Noctua fans are used as intake and it's all super quiet and keeps my system nice and chill.
(Update 4/14/17) I really need to update the pictures as I've moved away from the NZXT S340 after fighting with the IO retention bracket one too many times and NZXT providing ZERO-ZILCH-NADA-NUH-UH support. The Fractal Design Define C will be arriving tonight and once I get it set the way I want, I'll have new pics.
I finally took the plunge and got a 1080p monitor (23" something from AOC) and the GTX 960 4GB just couldn't keep up with the resolution bump at the graphical settings I was used to playing at so I had to sell that off and get a 1060 6GB instead. Against my better judgement I went with EVGA again even with reports of their 10 series cards having issues with coil whine like the higher end 9 series did. I must have gotten lucky and I'm sitting pretty with a nice quiet card that performs like a boss in the games I play and I couldn't be happier.
Thanks for checking out the system, any questions can be put in below, and I'll be glad to help!
What can I say? This is an amazing processor! Save for the lack of hyper threading this thing is an absolute beast! Easily overclockable without breaking a sweat, this is well worth the price.
+PRO+ Unlocked multiplier means you can overclock to your hearts content. I was able to achieve a very stable 4.3 GHz @ 1.33 volts overclock that was burnt in for an hour as well as some game play and never had a hiccup. Stays relatively cool even under a full load, never peaking any higher than 65 (fans all set to silent ~ 600-800 RPM)
-CON- No hyper threading but that comes with the i7 model and I just couldn't justify the extra $100+
A slightly more expensive option (depending on which way the wind blows) than a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, but IMO worth the extra $$$. Smaller and more aesthetically pleasing color-wise, will fit in a lot more mid tower cases than the 212 Evo.
+PRO+ +Great performance \ 1-2C lower idle and 3-5 lower under load vs 212 Evo +Much quieter fan than stock 212 Evo +Very clean and sleek looking (black top and no protruding randomly closed nubs) +Angled design that allows for "Zero RAM clearance issues) +Metal clips to hold the fan on vs destructive screws +Mounting back plate and securing cooler is fairly simple and straight forward.
-CONS- -Metal fan clips are a little difficult to apply/remove -Finding all 4 holes on the bottom of the cooler with the fans attached is difficult to secure the cooler and finalize the installation. -Coolers' angle doesn't leave much room behind it for rear exhaust fans if you want a dual fan push/pull setup.
Bought this board used, hence the lower price than you'd probably find online. Had an Asrock Z97 Anniversary board that had ZERO problems with, but I wanted a little better UEFI layout and better overclocking potential. This board has more power phases and a much easier to understand UEFI as well as ASUS's excellent AISuite utility that with the auto overclocking setup, gives you an idea of what your system is capable of so you can manually enter the settings and have a bit more stability with more POWAH.
Cheap, fast and stable. 'Nuff said
Stupid fast SATA based SSD's, the 500GB capacity is tough to find at a good price, but I bought these way back before the prices shot through the roof. One in my system is OS and apps, the other is games that benefit from fast loading times and these are very easily mounted in the back of the Define C case.
Cheap and fast (for mechanical drives) and used for frequent file transfer/changes (google drive/dropbox) and games that do NOT benefit from faster loading times via an SSD.
Gave up on WD and their bunk drives after a rash of 4 bad/chirpy drives in a 6 month period and am VERY happy with how Seagate has turned their drives around from what I remember them being in the early 2000's
Stupid quiet, stupid easy to build in and sleek AF.
Left the top panel sound dampening material in place, have the two provided case fans installed in the front pulling air in. Superb cable management and plenty of velcro ties in the front of the case that helps keep cables tidy, without resorting to "permanent" zip ties.
Provides more than enough juice and is semi-modular. Only beef is the ketchup and mustard of the cables at the ends...Can't we get fully sleeved cables in black please?
Came provided with the case, work well enough and are quiet. Might replace these with more of the Venturi fans in the future