Hello, and welcome to my build. I've been a long time user of laptops: my first one was a dell inspiron 1300 from 2004, that ran windows xp and had an intel celeron m processor, 512mb of ram, and a 60gb hard drive, and the second (most recent) laptop is an acer aspire 5336-2425 laptop I got for my birthday back in December of 2010: with an intel celeron 900 processor, 3gb of ram, and a 250gb hard drive, that runs windows 7 home preium 64-bit.
I always believed that laptops could do everything better than a desktop and the fact that laptops were portable was just a bonus. But over the years, I began to realize that laptops weren't as great as I thought they were; multi-tasking became more difficult as time went on, the batteries were expensive to replace (and I went through a lot of them), upgrades were basically non-existent, and I really couldn't play any decent pc games; other than casual, retro, and dos games. I also played a lot on console games on ps2, gamecube. xbox 360, and ps3 (in the later years), so that was a kind of a compensation for the limited amount of games I could play on my laptop.
While I was enrolled in college in August of 2013, majoring in computer information systems (now called computer information technology), I felt inspired to build my own computer after seeing videos of people building their own pcs, how easy they made it look to build one, how easy it was/is to buy parts and upgrade the machine when need be, and wanting to play games on pc after seeing walkthroughs for fallout 3, new vegas, and elder scrolls: oblivion on youtube with mods on pc (to name a few reasons).
I started buying parts in October of 2014 and finished in December of 2016; mostly from amazon and newegg; trying to buy parts when they went on sale. The computer will be used mainly for gaming, watching tv shows and movies, listening to music, microsoft office and other software, and web browsing. I originally had decided to go atx, but then switched to itx, when I realized I didn't have much space in my room for an atx case, and that I wanted to take the computer with me when I travel.
I'll try to explain why I chose the parts for the build
CPU: I went with the 4590 because I wanted to be able to multi-task and run multiple programs at once (game, music player, web browser; etc), and coming from single-core celeron laptops, I can certainly do that now. I haven't experienced any slowdowns of any kind while having vlc media player, steam, and google chrome running all at once. It was also on sale on Newegg at $189.99 with a promo code (the original price was $199.99).
Motherboard: I went with the asrock b-85m itx board because it was either this or the h97 itx variant, and the b-85 had more positive reviews, so I went with it. Everything is running fine so far. Bought this on Newegg.
RAM: Since I was going mini-itx, I decided to buy x1 8gb stick since the board only has two slots, and then I can buy another stick in the future, and have the max amount of ram for the board; 16gb. I heard good things about Corsair's Vengeance ram and went with it. No problems with it so far. Bought this on Amazon
Storage: I was originally going to go with an ssd and a hard drive, but I was low on money so I went with the western digital blue drive. It takes about 40-50 seconds to get from the boot screen to windows desktop screen, much faster than my acer aspire laptop, and I now got a lot of space for my movies, music, and games. It loads up programs and games quickly and I haven't ran into any problems with it. Bought this on Amazon.
Case: This was the main reason I went mini-itx, I first saw this case on Hardware Canuck's youtube channel, when they were at Computex 2015, and I immediately wanted it. It's small, looks great, has an optical drive bay, and has dust filters for both the top fan mounts and the area for the gpu. The only issues I had was with cable management; mostly due to the long front panel connectors, and those dreaded side panels! It took what felt like forever to get the clips to line up right in order to close it. Other than that, I really like this case. Bought this on Newegg.
Power Supply: Since I was going mini-itx and this was my first time building, I knew I needed a modular or semi-modular power supply. I was originally going to get the EVGA supernova GS 550 watt modular power supply, but I was low on money, and went with the EVGA BQ 80+ bronze 500 watt semi-modular power supply instead. This is a new power supply from EVGA, semi-modular, and comes with a 3 year warranty. The only problem I had with it was that the motherboard connector cable was very hard to use, because the cable was very stiff and made cable management difficult. Other than that, I haven't had any problems with it. I bought this from Amazon.
Optical Drive: I bought this on sale on Newegg a year or so ago, because I play a lot of older games, listen to and rip cds, and watch dvds. It works fine and I haven't had any problems with it. The one downside is that it made cable management very difficult.
Case Fan: I got another Fractal Design fan since it was compatible with the case, and it's the same as the exhaust fan that comes with the case. No problems with it so far.
Keyboard & Mouse: I bought this refurbished on ebay two years ago, It's wireless, and works fine for my needs. I'm just trying to get used to playing games on an actual keyboard/mouse, as opposed to the track pads and buttons I'm used to to using on laptops.
OS: I like windows 7, i'm familiar with it, it runs all the games and programs I use, and I'll continue to use it until the end of it's support; in 2020.
Fan Splitter: I bought this on Amazon so I could run two fans, since my motherboard only has one case fan connector. Working fine so far.
Other: I bought the mousepad on Amazon because I loved Black ops 2 (I poured hundreds of hours into zombies), the cable and velcro ties from Amazon for help with cable management, and the table from amazon for my mouse and keyboard.
Well, that's my story on why I wanted and how I got a new computer, hopefully you enjoyed reading it. If you have any questions, I'll try my best to answer them.
I didn't get a graphics card because I didn't have enough money for it, but I play older games, so the onboard graphics are good enough for now. I plan on buying a graphics card and ssd whenever I can save up the money for them. I know my cable management isn't so good, but try to understand that i'm new to building and that even with a semi-modular power supply, I still probably goofed up.
The pictures were taken with a Fujifilm Finepix S2940, it's an older camera so if the pictures are not the best, then I apologize. Also, the first part of my build name is Afrikaans for "it's finally here", since it took me a long time to buy everything and build it.
Thanks for reading.
Edit: I know that in last few pictures of the case the cables near the cpu fan looks like they're touching it, but it's not, otherwise the cpu would have been damaged and possibly overheated from the cables being caught in it, and I would not have been able to type this edit. I'll try to take a better picture of it sometime tomorrow.
Edit 12-23-2016: I added two more close up pictures of the cpu fan, to show that there're no cables are in the way, some pictures of my temps; using Realtemp and HWmonitor, and my desktop; to show what games I play.
I've been a long time user of single-core laptops, and the difference between them and this cpu is night and day. I can play all the games I was never able to play on my laptop; such as elder scrolls: oblivion on medium settings at 60 fps, although I mostly play older, indie, and retro/dos games, so it might not be impressive to some people. I can multitask easily without slowdowns of any kind, and I can rip cds and record/convert vinyls using the highest settings in mere seconds, as opposed to a minimum 10+ minutes on my laptop. This is a great cpu that handles any task I throw at it, if you can spare a few more bucks, I would definitely recommend buying a quad-core.
Since I was going itx, my choices were either the asrock b85 or h97 motherboards. The b-85 had more favorable reviews on Newegg, so I went with it. I didn't have to flash or update the BIOS for the i5-4590; which PCpartpicker recommends for Haswell Refresh CPUs, I didn't have to change the boot order after installing Windows, and my ram was automatically detected at 1600mhz. Everything is working fine so far.
Since my motherboard has only two ram slots, I decided to buy 1x 8gb stick, and another in the future to max out the board's capacity at 16gb. I can have multiple chrome windows open without slowdowns of any kind; along with a game, and music player. My motherboard detected it at 1600mhz and it's working fine so far.
I was originally was going to buy an ssd and hard drive, but I ran low on money, and just opted to buy the hd for now. It takes windows seconds to get to the desktop, as opposed to a few minutes on my laptop, and I have lots of room to store games/programs, movies/tv shows, and music.
When I first saw this case on Hardware Canuck's coverage video of Computex 2015; I knew I wanted that case for my build and I was inspired to switch from atx to itx. I love this case; it's roomy and easy to work in, it has an optical drive slot (which I really needed), it's (sort of) portable, the power/reset and hd activity light is not too bright and distracting, it looks nice, it has dust filters, and I was able to fit all of my components inside of it.
The only two cons I can list are the front panel connectors are WAY too long; making cable management difficult, and the side panels are a PAIN to put on and remove, due to having to align the clips on the panels in order to close the case. I can't give it five stars due to the side panels and long connectors; but other than those two issues, this is a great itx case.
Since I was going itx and this was my first time building a pc, I knew I was going to need a modular or semi-modular power supply , cause I knew cable management was going to be my biggest hurdle to hop over. I've always heard great things with EVGA so I decided to go with this. It's a great power supply; it's semi modular, the cables are black and sleeved, it's quiet, it has all the connectors I needed and it comes with a 3-year warranty. No problems with it so far.
I play a lot of older games that're on disc and rip cds and dvds, so I needed an optical drive. I bought this on Newegg and it works great. The con is that it's the noisiest component in my build, but I won't take a star off for that cause my ps3 sounds like a jet engine when playing a game, and the drive noise is tame compared to it.
I love Windows 7, it runs all the games/programs I use, it's easy to use, and I will continue to use it until the end of it's life cycle; in 2020.
I bought this fan for intake since the case already included a fan for exhaust, it's the same brand and model as the included fan, and it was compatible with the case. It's really quiet; to the point I have to put my ear to the case in order to hear it. It's a really nice fan and it keeps my system cool and quiet.
This is a great keyboard and mouse, it works fine for typing and gaming, and no wires! Just remember to have a wired keyboard/mouse on hand to use, since you have to install drivers and additional software from Logitech before you can use it. I'm also trying to get used to using an actual mouse and keyboard, since i'm so used to using track pads and buttons on laptops...