Winter is quickly approaching and it's around this time of year that I start wishing I still had my old computer that I built my freshman year of college. I sold it off because it sat idle too long in my apartment with poor internet. This time around things will (hopefully) be a lot different.
I'm a hobby photographer and avid gamer that wants to get more into game commentaries, video collages, and overall learning how to work with video rather than stills all of the time. I knew I wouldn't have any luck editing serious video clips on my thinkpad x220 so I decided to hop back into the custom computer circuit around a month ago. Thus began long hours of research and scrutiny that have lead me to the configuration below. Part of the reason I sold my old rig is that it took up far too much space in my room (antec three hundred case) and didn't quite satisfy my desire for a compact powerful machine. That's why I've gone micro atx with this build and chose the tj08b-e specifically because of it's build quality, top mounted power supply, great ventilation, and cable management capabilities. I'm not just some guy who needs a gaming machine, I enjoy having a computer which is neat and well managed for a clean and professional look.
CPU: I originally ordered a fx 6300 but it happened that the only AM3+ motherboard I would have settled for was out of stock and my impatiences got the best of me. Along with my impatience were coupled my knowledge of the fact that intel offers a much more attractive upgrade path if i ever see it fit to upgrade my machine in the future. Beyond that, intel chips run at much lower wattages and thus will allow me to experiment with passive cooling in this case since there is a 180mm front fan that may be able to handle the entire case without even attaching the heat sink fan. Time and tests will tell.
CPU Cooler: I had a Hyper 212+ before and I trust the brand. Though it isn't the most attractive cooler money can buy, it is one of the most effective ones at this price.
Motherboard: This motherboard decision was above my budget guidelines but after deciding to switch to intel in hopes of having my computer build before winter break (uni student) I was left with little other choice. The location of fan power 3/4pin motherboard header on the side of the board that the 24 pin is located was important to me. What I also like about this board is that it has room for 4 dims so that if i want to in the future I can throw in another 2x4gb of team vulcan memory.
RAM: When I built my first custom computer as a college freshman two years ago ram was MUCH cheaper. Around the price that I was able to find this stuff for on sale. At first I wanted to maintain a blue color scheme but I decided the budget was more important than blue components. I may in the future upgrade to 16gb if I find that video/photo editing calls for it. I don't see this being the case.
SSD: Initially I wanted to wait and order a mx100 256gb once i'd found it on sale for some crazy price (hoped for $80) but after a lot of waiting and searching I got tired of the hunt and realized all of this online shopping was getting in the way of my studying for finals. Thus i decided to go for the 840 evo 250gb as it's only 6gb less (I wasn't willing to compromise on price for 240gb of space) than the mx100 and is hugely renowned for its stability and speed. I'll be a first time SSD owner and I'm very excited about being about to shutdown/start my computer and primary programs at lightning speeds. I'll be adding a 1tb black HDD in the future.
GPU: I initially wanted to go for the 750 ti SC because it didn't need a 6pin pci cable to power it. I thought this would make my build much more stream lined. But more and more I began to imagine myself feeling inferior with my little 6" card and simultaneously fell in love with the look of the 750 ti ftw edition. It had good reviews and lots of gameplay performace on youtube so I thought I'd give it a try in this build. Got it at a great price too ($130); hopefully EVGA follows through with their promise of a $20 mail in rebate.
Case: Oh man. I've done a lot of research on this case, and have pretty much chosen most of the parts to satisfy it - especially the specific motherboard i ended up purchasing. I love how the power supply is top mounted and hidden in a bracket. Also the motherboard tray is removable which is a feature I really appreciate. Above that I ran into a lot of so called mATX tower style cases that were damn near as big as some mid ATX cases out there. This wouldn't do for me, so I mustered up the extra bit of money and decided to spare no expense on the case this time. The first build I did had a cheap case and, being an enthusiast who loves to show off his computer's guts, I was disappointed on how it looked inside and how much room there was for cable management. Another bonus to this case is the fact that it only requires 2 fans (CPU cooler fan and included 180mm air penetrator intake fan) Wanting to keep my build quiet, i liked this. I hope to have no need to add an additional exhaust fan in the future.
PSU: I wanted to go atleast semi-modular this time as I remember the HELL that is a non-modular power supply. I anticipated trouble with it being an micro ATX case and all so I figured it would help in the end. Also I know that this rig doesn't need 500 watts of power but I wanted to make it so that I didn't need to upgrade the power supply in the future if I wanted to get an i5 or upgrade my GPU.
Performance: I'm a uni student at the end of his semester and am as such swamped with work. That being the case I've only so far had the opportunity to play Rust (legacy) and Dead Space 2. Both run without problem on ultra settings. Will add more to this list in the future.