Description

I'm a video game music creator and general music producer (and IT professional), and this is my first full personal build in nearly 5 years. I've been building for over 10 years, and have of course built numerous machines for friends and family over that span, but for the last five years I've been making do with an old AMD Phenom II-based machine. I added a couple SSDs to it last year, but it was really starting to wheeze and I was having a hard time getting work done, so I got paid up front by a job and managed to build a really good machine that should serve me very well for the next few years.

Price notes: Motherboard, PSU, video card, and SSD were all lower than listed in this parts list as of the day of posting, thanks to some sales and rebates.

I enjoy gaming, but I don't do much of it, so my main priority with the GeForce 750Ti was low power consumption, low price, and adequate gaming performance at 1080p for when I occasionally play Borderlands TPS or StarCraft II.

Parts not listed here are a 500 GB Samsung 840 SSD that I'm using for my boot drive, a 3 TB Buffalo backup drive, and a legitimate copy of Windows that I got through one of my IT contracting contacts. My keyboard is a Corsair Vengeance K90 that I've had for a while, and my mouse is an ergonomic model from Anker. I also have this hooked up to a pair of 24" LG monitors, and of course the rest of my studio equipment.

Build was painless, and this Fractal Define R4 is probably my favorite case I've ever built in. Very good fit and finish, super handsome--and practically silent, once turned on. I ran into some issues when installing Windows, as I started on Windows 8 (the license my friend was able to spare), and ran the upgrades all the way up through Windows 10. Ended up having to do a completely clean install of Windows 10 after this (lifting the CD key with Magic Jelly Bean), since the Intel X99 USB drivers weren't showing up in Device Manager even after running all driver installers from MSI's website as well as its LiveUpdate tool. MSI tech support was flummoxed, so they said to reinstall, and that ended up solving the issue. All my other software and hardware seems to have installed correctly and is working just fine.

The real test, of course, was to open up a project file that used to bring my old PC to its knees with coughing and wheezing, and see how this machine fared. The verdict is in, and this thing runs a project at 50% CPU utilization that the old machine used to be at about ~130% on. I'd say that's a roaring success!

You can find my music on Soundcloud if you're curious as to what I do, and for my fellow musicians, here's the rest of my gear list currently attached to this PC:

HARDWARE - Akai MPK49 - Novation LaunchPad Mini - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro headphones - Neumann KH120 monitors on Isoacoustics stands - KRK Rokit 10s subwoofer - Yamaha MG102c mixer (studio I/O) - Alesis MultiMix8 mixer (streaming I/O) - PreSonus TubePre - Shure SM7B - MXL 990

SOFTWARE - FL Studio 12 Signature Edition - Melodyne 2 - Waves Gold, Kramer Tapes/Tubes/Transistors, R-Bass & OneKnob Pumper - EastWest Quantum Leap Composer Cloud & Symphonic Orchestra Platinum+ - Steven Slate Production Bundle - Image-Line Harmor, Harmless, Toxic Biohazard, etc. - Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 (upgraded from 1) - Xfer Records Serum - Cakewalk z3ta+ & z3ta+ 2 - Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 - Native Instruments Komplete 8 - etc....

Part Reviews

CPU

Fastest CPU I've ever owned by a mile.

CPU Cooler

The classic. Nothing wrong with this guy, you can always swap the fan out if you want, and does a great job of cooling.

Motherboard

No problems at all during the build, except for the issues that ended up being Microsoft's fault. Support was responsive and easy to work with when I called them. Board is laid out in a manner that didn't conflict with the build. 10 USB ports on back, support for the full 4 (2x2.0, 2x3.0) ports on the front of my case. No complaints.

Memory

Not fancy but functional--what more do you need for a non-OC'd build?

Storage

It's stupid fast, it's big, and I got it for under $300 counting tax. I love it.

Storage

Fastest 7200 RPM drive on the market and plenty of storage. Runs a little warm, but the warranty says 5 years so I'm not worried at all.

Case

Quite possibly my favorite case I've ever built in, and I've built many computers. Fit and finish is fantastic, everything lined up great, plenty of included screws and such.

Power Supply

Platinum-certified power by SeaSonic, just with a new face on it. Fantastic price, plenty of juice, I'm happy!

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

i would say you put the HDD's and SSD's in backwards, but if your going to be moving and installing different ones, what you did made sense. Still, you may want to search for a case that has hot-swapping available. Still, great description and build!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Your desk setup makes me inexplicably happy ;)

Good job, another 5820k lover!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful setup! What other hardware do you have in there?

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

How's the GPU?

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Perfectly adequate for the games I play (Starcraft II, Dungeon Defenders II, Team Fortress 2...hm, lots of "2s"), but I wouldn't trust it on a big blockbuster title from recently. It's quiet and doesn't consume much power though, so does the trick for what I need, plus it's been really stable!

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Alright sweet! So this should easily prob kill minecraft? Haha, probably the only game I'll be playing. Thanks for the info, just trying to get some perspective before I start playing with it. Thanks a bunch!

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

If you're running stock Minecraft without any crazy shader mods, etc., you should be just fine. Hope it treats you well!

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I am very impressed with this build. The GPU runs phenomenal without any problems. I thank you for you review, I probably would've got a different card xD. I have to say though, haven't been paying much minecraft, I've been playing CS and American Truck Simulator haha.

  • 42 months ago
  • -1 points

A gtx 750 ti why not a 960

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

I don't do enough gaming to justify anything more than the 750 Ti. Believe it or not, there's more to high-end computers than graphics! All I needed was something for the occasional round of TF2 or Starcraft II, and that's really it. The fact that nVidia has slightly nicer multi-monitor support in 2D apps is the other main reason I bought this instead of going even lower.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you get a 960 for $105?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Got mine on sale for $150 it's definitely worth the extra

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