Description

Budget: < $3,000 (including monitors and all peripherals; < $2,000 for computer itself)

Primary use: Gaming, also to be used for work (Excel, Word, & Chrome for work - no heavy video editing or graphic design, but often require multiple documents open and viewable simultaneously)

Goals: To be able to run modern, demanding games on highest settings at 1920x1080 with 8x MSAA or on high settings at 2560x1440 with no AA. To allow easy future upgradability at a lower price - as a result, I spent more on the case, case fans, PSU, hard drives, and optical drive, which I intend to keep through two or three video card upgrades and at least one CPU/MOBO (and possibly RAM) upgrade. To take advantage of best deals available at time of construction but to acquire all necessary parts within 4 weeks - many of these parts were chosen at least partially because they were on sale and/or presented a good value at the time (e.g. while I had planned to purchase a 256gb SSD, the Samsung 840 500gb was on sale).

This is my first ever build, and has gone very smoothly for the most part. Just recently completed overclocking the CPU and GPU - achieved significantly higher overclocks (4.9GHz & 1300/1650MHz, respectively) than what I ultimately chose to go with, as I have no practical need to max out the components currently and preferred to keep the voltages lower. The load CPU/GPU temperatures reflect the max temperature (for the CPU, of the hottest core) after running Prime95 blend test for 8 hours (CPU) and FurMark burn-in test for 30 minutes (GPU). The CPU vCore fixed is set to 1.150v (.05 more than stock) and the GPU VDDC is 1.250v (stock).

Picking out the parts, going through construction, and fine tuning the machine has been a blast and I'm disappointed that it's mostly over. I realize I still have room for some customization, particularly with cable management, and given my itch to tinker, I'm sure some mods will be made gradually down the road.

[6/18/2014 edit: So the budget got blown through the roof as I continued to make modifications (and add monitors...). I have tinkered with the overclocking on the new graphics cards and will update when I can take a look at the numbers again. Still loving this machine despite the tremendous hole it's left in my wallet.]

Comments

  • 80 months ago
  • 1 point

sexy

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

This case holds all my wats

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

i might steal this build :P

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

You're welcome to! I made some changes this past fall and have updated the parts list.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

You should have gone with 3 Asus 1ms 144hz 1080p monitors instead. there 24 inches but its worth the smaller size since there way nicer for gaming!

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm much more interested in size, picture quality and pixel density than I am with a 1ms response time. I appreciate the smoothness of a 120hz+ refresh rate but I'm much more likely to move to a Samsung 28" 4K monitor than back to 1080p monitors for the refresh rate.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Also the bus speed of the ram is higher then the bus speed of the processor so it auto underclocks the ram to 1600mhz. you could have saved 30-40 bucks going with some other ram.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

I saved money where I saw the opportunity but the thinking with the memory was that I would likely upgrade the processor/mobo within a couple years. Assuming no massive changes in memory usage, I'll likely reuse these sticks so the faster bus speed was worth it for me on the RAM.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

You should pick up a sound card dude. You would be able to tell a large difference with those HD650's

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

What's missing from the list here is my JDS Labs O2+ODAC. Definitely need an amp to appreciate what the HD650s are capable of.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree