63 months ago
First time build and all that.
Laptop is moribund, and I've always wanted to build my own desktop, so here we are.
Spent a lot of time trawling through posts on here and other reviews and videos, and I now know slightly less than jackshit about building computers.
I would love any feedback.
Uses: Gaming, photo editing / digital artwork, low level sound/video editing, streaming high quality video, basic computer-ing.
Gaming-wise: I think the high-end would be un-modded Skyrim, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Witcher 2, Alien: Isolation, Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Goals: Something solid, enjoyable/entertaining, able to hopefully last at least 3 years, and upgradeable. Not currently interested in OC, crossfiring, SLI, or RAID.
CPU: Intel i5-4690 3.5GHz quad-core processor
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 ATX LGA1150
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport XY 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
Storage: Crucial M500 120GB 2.5" SSD and a Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7500RPM hard drive
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB ACX 2.0
Case: Corsair 500R black ATX Mid-Tower
PSU: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS30 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer
OS: Windows 8.1
Monitor: Acer H276HLbmid 60Hz 27"
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WDN4800 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter
Keyboard: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Mouse: Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse
Speakers: Logitech Z323 30W 2.1ch speakers
Budget: Originally planned for something closer to $1,200, including peripherals, but that quickly fell away. Right now it's sitting at about $1,560, give or take price fluctuation. And $1,600's gotta be the cap.
CPU: Upgradeable to the i7 series down the line. Awesome CPU otherwise, as far as I can tell.
As with this entire build, I do worry that I'm over-spending. Originally I was looking at an i5 at 3.2Ghz. How significant is that 0.3Ghz increase?
Motherboard: This is one I could use recommendations on, for sure. Went through A LOT of choices, but saw this one listed often.
Would this be a good fit with the i5 for what I'm planning on using it to do? Or, again, am I over-shooting/over-spending?
GPU: As with many parts of this build, I had not originally intended to get something as high up there as the 970, but it happened.
I spent a lot of time going back and forth between the AMD 290 and the Nvidia 970 (not quite on the same tier, I know), but ended up siding with Nvidia.
I figured getting something more powerful would do more for "future-proofing," even with the price point. The 970 is also much less power-hungry.
I went with the EVGA card because it's significantly shorter than its Gigabyte and ASUS counterparts.
PSU: Not much to say here. 343W is the estimated high-end for the build (estimated by PCPartPicker), figured 500W would cover it. Again, no current interest in OC.
Case: Originally considering an NZXT 220, which is pretty good for the price range, but the Corsair 500R won me over. I appreciate the cable space, the removable HD sled, and the fan system it provides (the LEDs and window are a fun plus).
Monitor: I know there's a certain level of pixel-i-ness to be expected with a 27" 1080p monitor, but I can overlook minute blockiness, and I'm not going to be sitting super close to it. It's going to double as a TV sometimes, and I'd rather have a larger display. The main thing is it's IPS and not super expensive.
OS: I really wanted to go even further into something I'd never experienced, and use a Linux OS. But, the more and more I read about gaming on Linux, the more I realized it'd probably be better to go with Windows and wait a few more years until Linux is a more recognized OS for gaming.
Thermal Compound: Tacked on some Arctic Silver compound, as I hear great things, and it was cheap. Would it be better to go with whatever compound comes with the cooler?
Keyboard/mouse: Okay, obviously NOT designed for gaming, I know. But I'll be doing a lot of schoolwork and other writing, and I'm want to avoid the awkward cramping and soreness that comes from the average keyboard layout. This thing has gotten great reviews for doing just that. Also, wireless.
This build has already gone through several permutations, but I'm totally willing to alter it further, and learn more while I'm at it.