63 months ago
Just looking for some constructive feedback on a build I will be putting together during the holidays. The main purpose of the build is for high end gaming (but nothing extreme) and for general use for my college studies. My intended budget was between $1200-$1500. I had no idea if I'd actually fall within that.
For some context I always prefer SFF builds with excellent acoustics, hence the Noctua fanboyism you may witness here. I can't pass up their warranty and quality. I started off with my cpu selection which right now appears to be the sweet spot for value for gaming. I will not be doing extreme gaming, or using this computer as a workstation so an i7 was out of the question. Decided to throw on a Noctua HSF because of previously stated reasons and AIO closed loops just don't hold the same value in my eyes.
The motherboard was definitely a feature oriented decision. I knew I wanted the Z97 chipset because I am considering an m.2 SSD at some point. I viewed the selection that Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and Asrock had to offer. I ultimately went with Asus because they offered the built in Wi-fi which I intend to actually use considering I have an Asus ac ready router already. People may think it's an ugly board but I actually quite like the aesthetics. I know you can't really go wrong these days with any other brands (except maybe like Foxconn) but I've always been happy with Asus quality and feature set.
The memory was easy. I wanted 8GB with two sticks in case one failed. Running at 1600 with reasonable timings. I chose the cheapest one I could find from my current favorite company Gskill. However I found an excellent deal on a CAS 7 set with tighter timings for only a few dollars more! Couldn't pass it up as I may just end up using their potential if I transfer them to my workstation in the future.
Storage was also simple. I wanted large capacity at a reasonable speed. So I chose the best value 7200 rpm SSHD from Seagate which right now is the 2TB model. I thought about just using Intel's SSD caching technology but decided to save the money and use an integrated solution.
Now came the GPU which was going to be one of the most important parts of the build. I initially leaned towards MSI with their passive cooling feature, which I thought would help with noise. However I decided to go with Gigabyte simply because their windforce cooler isn't loud by any means, even at max. Gigabyte's 970 seems to run cooler and allow better overclocking headroom. Cooler components with better overclocks is fine in my books. I did consider the 980 but the price jump just seems outrageous to me. I'll take the money saved and put it towards a cleaner PSU.
The case selection was easy for me. I love Corsair and I especially love their solid Obsidian line. The 350D is very well engineered with excellent options for water cooling should I ever go that route (probably not). It had a window so I can view the inside in all its glory, and magnetic dust filters which I absolutely love. I'm willing to a premium for a sturdy case.
For the PSU I immediately checked out Seasonic's line. I never ever skimp on this as my PSU tends to move from build to build for a generation or two. I found they made a fanless Platinum series model. How the f*** they managed that is beyond me but I wasn't complaining considering the warranty is excellent as usual. Supremely clean power, with practically no noise? Win win.
I also threw in a few Noctua fans. A couple high static pressure 140's and quiet 120's. I stuck with the 3pin models for the 140's so they can constantly be pushing air to allow a better positive pressure which I prefer for dust reasons. (lives with a fat cat). I may end up throwing on the included low noise adapters too for the hell of it.
The lighting was chosen just based on reviews of RGB based lighting which I wanted. It's well reviewed, simple, it's RGB and it's not ridiculously expensive.
That about sums up my decision making process, please offer any suggestions and critiques, I'm all ears as Black Friday is just around the corner. Thanks!