Hello, welcome to the final installment of Zaphod. This PC has come a long way since I first built it back in 2014. In fact, it's even come a long way since I upgraded it later that year, and I am proud to say that it is finally finished.
But here's the thing; this title of this build is what it is for a reason. I was able to pay for this upgrade thanks to my new job, and as a high schooler with no financial responsibilities, I am able to save up my next 3-4 weeks of pay for another pretty hefty upgrade. An upgrade that is so drastic that it wouldn't be right to consider it a part of the Zaphod series. Meaning that at the end of July/beginning of August this current build will no longer exist. Now, this isn't Zaphod's fault. No, it is mine. I take full responsibility for purchasing a GTX 970 mere months before the announcement of the Pascal architecture. I admit, I am a fool. Nonetheless, this card will more than adequately get me by until the time to upgrade comes along. Also a reason for the (entire) title: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Speaking of that card, let's just get into this parts list now!
NO WAIT FIRST I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT MY CAMERA IS BAD SO NATURALLY THE PICTURE QUALITY IS GOING TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE CRYING BUT OH WELL I'M SORRY
CPU: It feels good to have an i5. It really, truly does. I gamed on an FX-6300 for the first two years of my PC gaming career. While I loved my 6 core budget processor, I was always envious of those gaming on their i5s and i7s. Always wishing my little ol' ~$550 computer could push out the FPS and benchmark scores that the not-so-budgety-at-all-builds did. Now, that's not to say I'm not appreciative of the 6300. That processor was a reliable and surprisingly powerful one, but I just needed more. So I blew a large majority of my very first paycheck on an i5 4690k! The day after I had finished setting up my computer and desk, I got right into overclocking my first Intel CPU. I watched a tutorial on my motherboard's BIOS and I was off. I managed to get the chip to a solid 4.5GHz with a core voltage of 1.270v. I'm still waiting for a lot of my games to download, but I've seen enough i5 4690k/GTX 970 footage to know what performance to expect. I have also been running the Unigine Valley benchmark maxed out in 1080p and I'm getting an average of around 63 FPS. Turning the anti-aliasing down from x8 to x4 boosts that average FPS to 80 FPS, while never dropping below 60. I'm satisfied. You may be curious about why I went with Haswell as opposed to Skylake, and the only reason for that is that I already had DDR3 RAM and gaming performance between the two platforms is very similar.
CPU Cooler: None of that overclocking business would be possible if not for the trusty Hyper 212 EVO. I don't think you could ask much more of a $25 cooler. While water cooling is always going to be the best solution for overclocking, that doesn't mean there's anything stopping you from doing it with an air cooler. And when considering air cooling, the Hyper 212 EVO is always a good choice. Especially when you get it as a present!
Motherboard: This board has everything I could ever ask for, really. And it looks stunning while doing it. The main problem with my last motherboard (excluding the fact that it was a Biostar motherboard, because that in itself is a problem) was that it just didn't have enough of the color red. Didn't have enough class, style, pizazz. This AsRock board, however, has all of that and more!
Memory: 12GB? 2 different RAM sets? WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA, BUDDY????
Memory: Started out with the 4GB kit cause RAM was stupid expensive back in the good ol' days of 2014. Eventually upgraded to a 2x4GB kit and decided, "what the hell" and shoved them both into the motherboard because I'd be wasting valuable memory if I just left the other sticks sittin' around.
Storage: 1TB. Does its job. My dad agreed to pay for half so I saved $30. That was nice. I'll be adding an SSD in the near future.
GPU: The 970 is a fantastic card, I just bought it a little too late. I am still going to thoroughly enjoy using this for the time that I have it. It's an almost perfect card for 1080p gaming, which is what I'm doing. (For now). I also have a pretty nice overclock going on. 1.6GHz core clock and 3.45GHz memory clock. Pretty comparable performance to the RX 480, so it's definitely still a valid choice for gaming. Excited to see how it compares to the 1060.
Case: I used to love this case. Used to recommend it to people. I'm just done with it now. Don't like the look, the front panel connector cables are a little short, and frankly I'm ready for a new PC case to look at all day. This one is fine. Cable management is, for the most part, easy and it comes with four 5.25 drive bays which is cool. If you like the look of the case, then you'll probably like the case overall.
PSU: This unit's price got jacked up recently and I would like to know why. That's the only important thing going on with this power supply besides it being semi-modular. It does it's thing, yo.
Keyboard: CLICKITY CLACKITY SMACKITY SMACK.
Mouse: I love Corsair with all of my heart and also this mouse is red and black. Quality option for around $40.
Well, there you have it. The final form of Zaphod. It's last shebang. The end. Goodbye!