I bought myself a gaming laptop a little under a year ago ~ MSI GE40 2PC [128GB/1TB/GTX 850M (GDDR5 version)/14"] but the last 3 months after seeing so many games being released and going back to college while working part time in tech I realized a needed a home base for myself. So I started doing research on what to buy and on how to balance price/performance/aesthetics/value.
Here is my final list of items bought and why. *I haven't even built it yet so I can't give you thermals and stuff yet, still waiting my GPU which is set to arrive today via Amazon
CPU - Isn't this the de facto gaming CPU now if I am going Intel but not doing any heavy workload?
CPU COOLER - I am a college student, new builder, and not too crazy about pushing the limits. So money is tight and I can't justify paying 100 dollars for a CLC or Noctua Air Cooler
Motherboard - It was the most recommended one online, a bit more expensive compared to others but because Broadwell isn't even in full release yet and Skylake doesn't sound too much of a step up. I think this board can hold for at least 2 years plus possible upgrade to the i7- 4790K when prices have fallen with Skylake and I need a faster CPU. Personally I am wondering should I have bought a cheaper board....
RAM - Found on eBAY, good reviews, free shipping, no tax, low profile. Not too many things to say.
SSD - It is the best budegt SSD out there right? Can't afford the Samsung or Intel name.
HDD - Not much to say, just had to do some research on fail rates.
GPU - 181 plus free shipping from amazon and low wattage.. Originally wanted a 970 but my I knew the thing would not be justified based on my gaming habits and ram gate. Less pain to the wallet upgrading from <200 card to a high tier one next year with probably more VRAM than spending 350 then changing it.
CASE - Spent 2 weeks debating on this or the R5, decided on this because I did not a disk drive or bay for fan controllers, etc. Besides this thing has more fans which will save me money and hassle on getting more. Can never hurt having more fans in silent case since air flow is more limited.
PSU - On sale, somewhat regret getting it since the reviews online complain so much about its noise, but it may be just a personal preference thing some have told me.
MONITOR - The most expensive component in my list, well worth the money even though its an open box unit. Nice colors, always wanted 1440p, great reviews for gaming even if its a PLS monitor (I am more of a chance came gamer, not a lot of FPS). This monitor is the reason why I chose the 960 waiting to upgrade later on instead of the the 970. I much rather play Shadow of Mordor at 1080p for awhile instead of thinking I got a high end card that play the game at high plus 1440p.
I have not took photos yet but I will post them soon.
Based on my experience.. - Stay with Newegg and Amazon, they have prices in most cases slightly higher than NCIX , Outlet, Tiger, etc but they usually have free shipping and much better customer support and return policies. - I live in Cali so the "cheaper" price + shipping + 7.5% tax isnt worth it since I can get faster free shipping + tax from Amazon for around the same total price. - I am done buying from smaller retailers such as NCIX, slow shipping, not all items ship free even if they are worth a few hundred dollars and no exchange policy. Can't believe I was told to just return it and buy the right model I want when I asked about my PSU.. thats $20 shipping + $20 restocking fee... man fxxk off . So I end up paying 40 for a $80 PSU and I am going to have to pay an extra 10 dollars on having a new PSU shipped to me? - Outlet PC has very nice customer service but are a bit slow on orders and they actually lost my CPU so it took me 3 weeks for i5 to arrive.
All comments and suggestions for the future are welcomed and I hope I don't get buyers remorse when someone suggests something better (don't suggest price on the same item plz)
Thank you for reading all the way here and have a good day fellow builders.
BTW I am looking to sell my laptop so I can get a cheaper ultrabook now that I have desktop for my games and media consumption, contact me if you are interested.