63 months ago
Hey guys! Apparently, I'm new to custom building, so here I am attempting to absorb knowledge from you more experienced folks in order to optimize my first build while it's still at its preliminary stage. Let me tell you a bit about my experience with my current system....In one word. It's "Pitiful." Many years ago, I bought a cheap eMachines computer from Best Buy. For about the following decade, I've stuck around devoted to that toaster since I only needed one for basic needs such as word processing and online research. Then, a friend of mine happened to recruit me to play WoW with him. I didn't feel compelled to start forking cash on a gaming PC, but I started playing the game anyway since it didn't look too intense for my PC. Needless to say, I couldn't even walk in the cities to sell my looted crap in the auction house because the frame-rate was so choppy, so imagine the fact that I eventually became a "hardcore raider" using that same system. Laughable, right? Fast forward to now, and many MMOs and RPGs later that had to endure lagging with my sloth of a computer, I finally decided to start investing in a build that can properly run games above the lowest possible settings...I will cry if I can finally play anything on Ultra. The current game I intend to play for a while is Path of Exile, which looks excellent at high settings, based on the streaming videos I've seen of it. With my current computer, I had to go into the production_config.ini folder and change the texture settings to utter claymation, since the ingame options wouldn't even go as low as I needed. I just can't anymore.
So I began the planning process a few months ago, and while saving up for it, I made up my mind that if I am to upgrade, I might as well do some research, while still keeping the bank intact since I am still in college so not every paycheck is going into this rig. I came up with the following list of components, and I will try to explain my reasoning as best I can. Any missing items on the list are up for recommendations, and I welcome any criticism on what I have so far. Please, by all means, tell me my build sucks BUT tell me how I can improve it. Minus the peripherals, I want to stay below the $1,500 limit. Also, aside from gaming, I would like for this setup to handle occasional image editing, 3D rendering and/or music production. I want this thing to last me a good while. So, what do you say? Will you help me?
First Build 1.0:
CPU - I went with the Intel Core-i5 4690k because this is ultimately a gaming rig...and having friends tell me that the i7 isn't much of an increase in speed and whatnot, I would rather save some extra bucks and put them somewhere else. I would like to OC it sometime to suit my needs.
CPU Cooler - I heard some great things about the Corsair h100i, and since I am feeling quite sketchy jumping straight into custom looping for my first build, I thought this would be a good alternative.
MOBO - Honestly, I am a bit iffy on the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer even though it looks like it would be a good board. I have doubts because I know there is something better and for such an essential item for any build, I want to do it right the first time so I will not run into any trouble with future upgrades of the remaining components. Any thoughts on this choice?
Memory - I went with the Kingston Fury Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 sticks because I am told I don't really need that much RAM (I originally wanted 2 x 8, so I can at least meet the potential 32 gig someday)
Storage So the plan is to boot into the SSD, I chose Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive and have regular storage on a WD Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive. 1TB enough? I hope so.
Video Card - Okay so I am happy the 970 came back in stock on Newegg and on sale so I had to take advantage of it. Got the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE Video Card ...One is good for now, but I am looking into 2-way SLI soon.
Case - This was a hard one. My MAIN priority is to have enough space for proper cable management so this looks roomy enough: Thermaltake Chaser MK-I ATX Full Tower Case but my taste for eye-candy has been tempting me with wandering eyes. I am talking about possibly getting the NZXT Technologies PHANTOM 530 in WHITE instead. That thing just triggered this whole dream for aesthetic perfection. I imagine that as an exterior, with blue LED fans and a mostly black interior...I'm getting a shiny Eva from WALL-E vibe with this, but I like it. However, then it's going to be a pain to color-coordinate everything else in the interior, and that would definitely mean to swap the Mobo (I mean the red, come on).
Power Supply - Can somebody say overkill? I mean, I am going to have about 50% of power reserved with thisAntec High Current Pro Platinum 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular, but I am definitely making room for future additions that would need to consume more from my system's health pool. What do you think is worse though: Having more power than I need or possibly shorting my system with not enough power? I feel like the former is the safer bet.
Monitor - I actually want to keep it a solo screen, so Asus VK278Q 27.0" Monitor doesn't seem too bad. It's a good size and I actually needed a built-in webcam, so less cable clutter to worry about.
Keyboard - I want something mechanical because I hate typos. Thought this would do it Thermaltake POSEIDON Z Wired Gaming Keyboard plus the blue backlight is a nice touch.
Speakers - I actually avoided playing with the speakers on all these years, since I would use my headpiece instead, but with an inexpensive subwoofer and nice looking set like that, I could shake a few windows for a change. Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 30W 2.1ch Speakers
Okay that's it for the items I have planned. As a reminder, none of these components are actually assembled together, so I have a chance to modify the choices now. What I want to add on to this are actually a few more case fans. I am told to move the fans that came with the case into exhaust and perhaps go for a Noctua intake fan. Thoughts on that one?
Please excuse my long rambling and the tone of this post...I realize it can put off a few people. Sorry. I am a total noob at this, so I appreciate any feedback and suggestions to make this build as optimal as possible without passing $1,500. This would really make a happy girl. Thanks!
UPDATE - First Build 2.0 (After a few suggestions) *And since the color scheme is coming along, I think it is more worthy of a name...I won't give it away until I actually build it though...I have to see it in the flesh first.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor||$209.99 @ Amazon|
|CPU Cooler||Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler||$79.99 @ Newegg|
|Motherboard||MSI Z97-G55 SLI ATX LGA1150 Motherboard||$118.98 @ SuperBiiz|
|Memory||Kingston Fury Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory||$74.99 @ Amazon|
|Storage||Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive||$119.98 @ OutletPC|
|Storage||Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive||$51.99 @ Directron|
|Video Card||Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE Video Card||$368.99 @ NCIX US|
|Case||NZXT Phantom 530 (White) ATX Full Tower Case||$89.99 @ Newegg|
|Power Supply||EVGA 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply||$119.99 @ NCIX US|
|Keyboard||Ducky DK9008 Shine II Wired Gaming Keyboard||$140.00 @ Mechanical Keyboards|
|Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available||$1374.89|
|Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-19 14:10 EST-0500|
What changes I made so far...
Case & MOBO - I finally decided on my case selection, and it will be the NZXT Phantom 530 (White) ATX Full Tower after all. This left me with the task of choosing a different motherboard that is within the same range performance-wise while also aesthetically matching the case. I like the blue on black thing going on with the MSI Z97S SLI Plus ATX LGA1150. This is also going to go well with my already-purchased blue RAM sticks.
Storage - I took Akash's advice and put in more money to add some more SSD capacity, and went with Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" SSD
Power Supply - It seems there is a unanimous vote that I should lower the amount of power to avoid it letting it go to waste, so I swapped the Platinum 1000w for the EVGA 850W ATX12V / EPS12V, which isn't much less but it still will save me around $60 (which came in handy to use for the additional 130gb in the Samsung SDD instead. I consider this a decent trade-off.) Also, since the second MOBO I selected can only do 2-way SLI (which is okay because the GTX 970 alone is pretty insane, and x2 is just more than enough) and with me most likely overclocking my CPU, I would still be under use, but at least I feel safer with that Gold sticker now.
Keyboard - Since it finally looks like the color scheme is working and having a panel view actually makes sense now, I might as well complete this rig on the outside with a Ducky DK9008 Shine II, AKA the "Mercedes of all Keyboards" as a friend of mine put it ;)
Peripherals & Monitor - Still a work in progress, as I come across new sales and such. I pretty much met my budget for now.