Hey guys, I'm a 17 year old first time PC builder here after spending the last 5 years of my life on Xbox (360 in Summer 2011/One on Christmas 2013) and having a Wii for a long time before that. After being a massive Halo fan and being throughly disappointed with Halo 5, I decided to finally make the jump to PC.
This is the result of spending way too much time both here on pcpartpicker and logicalincrements.com over a period of 4-6 months. Constant revisions, additions, etc. were made everyday only to have my build turn out completely different thanks to being sucked in by sales. All in all, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but I would've done a few things differently, like get a refund for the motherboard while still keeping the CPU and RAM (as I got all three in a combo deal together), waiting to get a single 480GB+ SSD, get a fully modular power supply, and not spend so much/get a case as big as I did.
I use this PC for mainly for gaming and the occasional internet browsing or schoolwork. I also plan on doing some light video editing this fall as I'm doing long-form analytical content (think Super Bunnyhop or Noah Caldwell-Gervais type videos) for my Digital Media class this upcoming year. I've been gaming at 1080p/60fps (I got a 144hz monitor but it won't let me play at that framerate and I've been too busy playing games and dealing with school to figure out how to fix it) on titles like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Metal Gear Solid V, and Fallout 4.
Seeing as it came out a couple years ago, I've been playing DX: HR maxed out with no problems or frame dips. On Metal Gear Solid V, I've been playing at 60fps with zero frame drops with all settings except, IIRC, Post Processing and Effects on Extra High, which I set to high instead. I got a pretty consistent 60fps with all the settings maxed but I was so close to having no frame drops I decided to tone down a setting or two to get there.
On Fallout 4, I was able to play on High at 60fps when just walking around with dips into the 50's and 40's when in combat. I changed the settings to Medium, but there were a couple of graphical settings that were way too obvious, such as the background looking very...unnaturally bright and glossy (?) when in conversations, so I toyed around with the advanced settings and managed to bump up quite a few to make it look better. So I can play that at a consistent 60fps in all areas in between Medium and High settings. Now, let's talk about the individual parts.
CPU: This processor has been great. Didn't run into any problems with the installation, haven't had anything noticeable while using it, and while I don't know how to check temperatures or performance while idle or under load my computer is dead silent even while playing games so I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong. I originally went with this CPU over the 4660 (or 4690? Whatever the previous generation 3.2 Ghz i5 was) because I wanted to future proof this build and keep it upgradable as much as I could, and having a Skylake processor is going to help me a lot in that regard.
MOBO: This is probably the part I have had the most problems with. For one, it is falsely advertised as supporting 2400 RAM; my two 2400 sticks only run at 2133. Also, the IO shield was the hardest part to install; my friend actually sliced his finger open trying to get it on for the millionth time and it took us the longest to put in out of any of the parts. I can't really complain for the price and the combo that I got it in but I do wish I had just returned it and gotten a different motherboard with more USB and SATA ports as well (this one only has 4 of each) as with SLI functionality if I wanted to go down that road in the future,
RAM: Don't have any complaints here, they only run at 2133 MHz but I'm pretty sure that's on the mobo, not the ram. After coming from a mid-2010 13" MacBook Pro that had 4 Gb's of DDR3-1066 RAM it's so amazing to even be able to run Skype and CSGO at the same time.
STORAGE: Currently, I only have one of the 240GB SSD's operating as my case only came with 2 SATA cables (as the other one went to the optical drive), but it's been amazing. I've never seen an OS boot this quickly, have maps load this fast, opening programs this instantaneously. On my old laptop with a 5900rpm 250GB HDD, it took me several minutes just to get to my damn home screen, now, it takes about 20 seconds (I literally timed it) from hitting the power button to opening CSGO. It's a godsend. I've only been able to keep 4 or 5 games on my computer at any given time due to the space issue but once I order two more SATA cables that won't be a problem.
GPU: Before anybody starts telling me how horrible of a price I got my 960 for (especially with the RX 480 coming out), rest easy as I only got this for use with the EVGA step up program. I had my heart set on the R9 390, and even almost pulled the trigger on one that I found for $275, but the same day the GTX 1070 and 1080 were announced and I was sold. I plan on upgrading to a 1070 once EVGA comes out with their own custom edition, so I just got some random 960 and I'll just pay the difference between that and the 1070 (which will be in the 160-170 range) and I'll be set for years.
CASE: So, originally I got this case because A) it was $30 off and B) it has 8 3.5" slots and 2 2.5" slots. Sold me instantaneously. I thought it'd be great to be able to pop in a new storage device whenever I ran low on space. What I DIDNT know is that just because you have 10 total SATA slots doesn't mean that you can use them all. My motherboard only supports 4 total, meaning I wasted my money on a case like that, until I get a new motherboard anyway (which I'll be postponing as long as possible seeing how any new motherboard will require an extra 90 bucks for Windows). Also, it's absolutely massive, way bigger than I expected, and could cause problems when I head off to college in a year and some change. Is the case a fantastic case? 110% yes. If you're going to use all the features, it's been absolutely perfect. Just make sure you know you can use all of them first.
PSU: Okay, yes, I know, 850W power supply for a build that requires 300W. Just let me explain. As I said earlier, I had my heart set on an R9 390. Didn't really consider anything else once I discovered it until the announcement of Pascal. I was also worried about what I was going to do with it once I wanted to upgrade. That is, until I realized that "hey, instead of dropping hundreds of dollars on a new GPU a, just buy ANOTHER 390 and put it in Crossfire! Oh what? It's power hungry as hell? Well, it says my build with 2 390's needs 700 hundred something watts so let's just go with something's that 850+ watts!"
Apart from that being a horrible idea in about 5 or 6 different ways (Poor Crossfire support in games, only 30-40% improvement, 850w 80+ Gold making it awfully close to max load which could fry my whole computer, incredible power costs, etc. etc.) it was basically irrelevant because I changed my tune on the 390 when Pascal was announced and I went NVIDIA even though I had already ordered my PSU. Definitely a first-timers mistake right there.
As for the actual PSU itself, it's great, haven't had any problems with it. I do regret not going fully modular, another mistake I won't repeat in my next build, as cable management was a pain in the *** during building and now I'm really not looking forward to opening my case up again. But other than that, I got it $30 off, it's a lot of wattage for not a lot of cash, and definitely don't have any complaints that don't involve my dumbassery.
OPTICAL DRIVE: What's there to say? It uses 25% of my SATA availability, installed Windows great, and probably won't use it again until I buy a new motherboard. However, I'm keeping it because I never know when I'll need to use a DVD on my computer instead of my laptop, so why not keep it.
OS: I browse Reddit a lot because I'm stupid, I browse /r/all a lot because I hate myself, and I'm subbed to /r/technology because I'm a masochist. So I've had it repeatedly slammed into my head how bad of an OS Windows 10 is. But I didn't want to have to buy Windows 7 just to upgrade again before the upgrade was no longer free, I wanted to play Quantum Break because I loved it on my Xbone, and I generally just wanted as little hoops to jump through as possible. And you know what? I haven't had a single problem yet with the OS. Glad I went with 10.
WIRELESS ADAPTER: I didn't really know how to tell a good adapter from a bad one when searching here, but somebody on /r/Buildapc recommended this to me so I bought it. I get around a ping of 30 on CSGO when I would have a ping that ranged from the single digits to the mid teens on my laptop, but I don't really know how much more money I would have had to spend to get that performance so I can't complain.
MONITOR: This monitor is incredibly bright, the stand is touchy, I can't get the advertised 144hz (only 60), and the amount of viewing angles are very slim. I don't know what to do for the first three, but the last one requires me to sit all the way up in my chair and even then I just barely make it so that colors don't go out of whack at the top of my screen with my monitor in the shortest possible form. The last one is definitely on me for not having a high enough chair or low enough desk, but I don't know what to do for the first three. I want to say that the first three are the monitor's fault but, hey, if you know me like I know me it's probably my fault because I always **** up somewhere. I'll reserve judgement until I get an informed opinion.
KB+M: I've been told to go for a mechanical keyboard all through the part-picking process but I saw this combo deal and it was too good to pass up. 20 bucks for both a keyboard and mouse was cheaper than the individual keyboard and mice each that I had picked out. The mouse's side buttons aren't the most responsive, and the keyboard feels a little stiff sometimes, but it's backlit and they both work just great. Not quite sure how much of an improvement a mechanical keyboard makes but I doubt it's worth the 75-100 dollar increase.
HEADSET: Went with these because they were the cheapest 7.1 channel circumaural headphones with a mic I could find. The ear cups are comfortable, the mic is great, but the headband starts to hurt after a little but I expected that with them being the cheapest out there. Definitely glad I went with these, just wish they didn't hurt the top of my head.
Thanks guys for all of your help! I'm sorry for the really long post but congratulations of you read it all. I definitely have a couple of regrets and made several mistakes that I won't make my second time around but I am absolutely more than pleased with the final result. You can add me on steam if you want at: altpseudonym. Also, if you have any questions on how the building went, why I made certain decisions, if you know a solution to a problem I mentioned, or basically anything, just comment below and I'll reply to ya.