As the title suggests, this is quite a late post. Even while I have been around refurbished computers and frankenstein builds my dad put together, I never had the experience of building my own machine.
Back story: I was 18 at the time and had just finished up my first semester of college. I had bought a PC laptop before that semester in August of 2011 (my first pc, actually) and was excited to play games on my HP Pavillion. I didn't quite understand the limitations of the hardware and quickly became frustrated with its performance. Through friends I had made in class, I had come to know one friend's room mate. He was ultimately the first one that got me really excited about high performance gaming computers, considering he let me play my steam games on his build. I said to him that I wanted nearly exactly what he has in his build, and on that statement, he directed me to pcpartpicker.com.
If it were not for him directing me to this site, I would not have built this computer, nor would I have my own business where I build computers for other people. I've found what I'm excited about and have totally nerded-out. I use this build mostly for gaming, but also for most of my general computer work as an engineering student.
Pros: Easy system overall. Cable management is a breeze and overclocking is incredibly easy and safe. I've had my cpu clocked at 4.2 GHz, and have had the RAM at around 1900 MHz (didn't record exact result). The GPU is a whole other story... the 570 in my system has been overclock-able, yet somewhat unstable. I use EVGA's Precision X to overclock, and when I overclock, my drivers typically crash and recover.
Cons: Price. I tried to stick to a budget of under $1000 and did not meet that. Whatever this list says, I spent a bit over $1300 for the computer and peripherals in February 2012. Not very happy about spending $90 on a case that doesn't have front USB 3.0 ports. The power supply is pretty janky as well. Shown in the pictures above, I had done my best to manage my cables, but the cpu power is just too short to tuck away neatly. Instead, it has to run over my baby, my 570, to get to its home.
Final comments: I've been happy with it. There are a few inconsistencies I've encountered along the road, but nothing too drastic or fatal. Considering it was my first time build, I would give my build a 7/10 mainly because the price to performance is not exceptional. I've learned quite a bit from this build and am very confident in my next build/upgrade.
Future: I probably will upgrade components for now. Firstly, I'll have to replace that PSU with a Corsair 700-800 Watt Haswell certified PSU. Next would be to replace the 570 with a 770, or 780 based on how I feel my business is running [ and based on donations/support ;) ].
For more updates on my future builds, for myself and other people, follow my business, Superior, on Facebook and donate to my Paypal!
August 2013 Update: I'm excited to finally be putting my 2500k to good use and have overclocked it to 5.0 GHz. It's hot, but it's stable. To make the my i5 happy, I'll be delidding him and applying some Arctic MX-4. I figure since this thermal grease is not conductive, it would be the best choice to use (and because I picked up 6 four gram tubes for $6 a piece off of Newegg!). Let me know in the comments how we all feel about this.
September 2013 Update: I've launched my Youtube channel and have learned that the 5.0 GHz oc is too much for my setup. Even under full load, my new 4.7 GHz down-clock doesn't go over 70. I'm also adding some new toys as well. I've removed my optical drive and added an NZXT Sentry-2 fan controller. It wasn't necessary, but I'm over optical drives. I've recently ordered an X-Star monitor from Korea. Tek Syndicate on Youtube is the channel I watched to find out about this monitor. It comes in at 27" and a resolution of 2560x1440. I wanted the new monitor because, being a college student, I normally buy books. I prefer to not spend much money on books and download their PDF versions, and have saved enough to add in the second monitor for 1) productivity while doing school work and video editing and 2) having the ASUS as my second monitor while gaming. Be sure you check out the seller on Ebay I'm buying the monitor from. He has great reviews, and it ships from Korea to the US in an unbelievable 4 business days at no cost. $279 for a great 2560x1440 monitor. I'm also planning on buying another memory kit to add, making a total 16gb of memory, of course for the video rendering. I'd like to find a sweet deal on large storage drives since I record a lot of gameplay now, so be sure to send me your recommendations!
February 2014 Update: Finally, that ticking time bomb of a power supply is gone! Added in a 650 Gold certified power supply from EVGA's Super Nova series. I'm excited about the power supply, as it's fully modular, energy efficient, and doesn't make my case glow blue! Sold the old power supply to a guy on Craigslist for $40.
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