I’m a disabled veteran of the Marine Corps from the War in Iraq and I currently attend Embry-Riddle for Computer Engineering. I’ve been a fan of AMD for as long as I can remember, so when the discussion of building the woman of my dreams a computer instead of buying an iMac or Macbook Pro, I jumped with joy and getting back into building a computer.
She and I haven’t been together for long but our one year anniversary is approaching. She is attending the same school as me but she’s going for her Masters. We both game both on PC and console. She’s an anime enthusiast who goes to conventions and such and knows more about Star Trek than I do LOL. We discussed the parts list but she left the specifics of which parts to go for up to me and kept complete control of the aesthetics , hence the nickname she gave as Storm Trooper LOL. I think it’s cute but that aside I’ll TRY and explain my decisions of why I chose what I did.
CPU: Since we wanted something that was going to allow us the headroom to one day try our hands at overclocking, we also wanted something affordable and powerful for gaming, CAD, editing, and everything else for both my curriculum and her’s, we chose the 8530 over all others. Now, I have just completed a build that runs the 9590 under a Corsair H110, we felt that this didn’t need to be such a radically designed enthusiast build like that one. Since the 9590 is kinda like the 8530 on crack, that’s what we chose due to the potential to do more obviously.
AIO CPU Cooler: NZXT became the theme early on when possible. The Kraken H60 provides a solid amount of support, control and flexibility when compared to other AIO water cooling setups. I can monitor each PWM fan setup on a push/pull exhaust at the top of the case. Hmm, thinking about this, I did have a hard time figuring out how to setup the system with a push/pull config bc of the mounting limitations with this case. But I figured it out which left NO room to wiggle. It is where it is and won’t go anywhere else. The temps are low and I’ll post those later when I start doing more to this build and trying my hand at performance tuning.
Motherboard: ASUS’ ROG Crosshair V Formula Z was a solid choice imho with the future plans she and I have for this computer. The support provided by ASUS within the motherboard was a no-brainer.
RAM: The 16GB seems excessive in my mind but I know she will make use of every bit from the day to day activities and work she’ll be doing so we may have to add more one day but not now.
Storage: She didn’t need a RAID SSD setup so one SSD for the OS and all programs, the two 1TB HDDs provide enough storage atm for her. I really enjoy the speed of this SSD so when it was recommended during planning, I am glad I listened.
GPU: I Love the 7970 for gaming, of course this computer was built just shy of the Hawaii GPU release by AMD but even still, this is satisfying for the next year. Besides, I usually wait several months after a new line’s release bc of the aftermarket potential and cost lowering just makes too much sense. I know I could have went with a GFX card or two but again, I’m an AMD fan so hate me if you wish LOL --UPDATE: I'm thinking about 2-way or 3-way CF R9 290X by Sapphire
Case: She picked this and I didn’t stop her. NZXT is a solid company with some stylish case options. I’d preferred a more rigid choice in material by NZXT because the material used by NZXT in this particular Phantom series is flimsy imo. With all the parts nicely fit inside, it’s solid so I’m happy.
PSU: This was a no brainer bc I already had the cooler, case and HUE so the PSU by NZXT was a solid choice both for looks and performance. I like the performance right now.
Optical Drive: It’s going to be replaced someday but since it’s quiet and cheap, It works for now.
OS: She chose this so I can’t comment. HOWEVER!!! I got this for free so i'm tickled with joy!
The Seasonic Cables were purchased through modDIY.com and took a while to manufacture. I received the MB cable with all the others and they assembled the entire cable backwards and flipped. Nothing was as how I described it to be but that happens. I provided an HD photo and labelled each pin then created a scrupulous data table in excel for the exact pinout but oh well. I’ll try again, they promised to fix this free of charge. So once that comes in I can do some cable management… I’m not showing that to you folks atm because its gnarly in my opinion and I’m very picky from my time in the Marines.
I hope you all like it! We love it and she’s thrilled!
UPDATE: Build details, temps, etc.