add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube

Calling all you builder pros to enlighten me

Sybersapien

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:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor $229.94 @ OutletPC
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $79.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $142.99 @ Newegg
Memory Kingston Fury Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $74.99 @ Amazon
Storage Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $57.99 @ NCIX US
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 Thermaltake Chaser MK-I ATX Full Tower Case $99.99 @ Micro Center
Power Supply Antec High Current Pro Platinum 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $204.99 @ Newegg
Monitor Asus VK278Q 27.0" Monitor $244.99 @ Amazon
Keyboard Thermaltake POSEIDON Z Wired Gaming Keyboard $69.99 @ Amazon
Speakers Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 30W 2.1ch Speakers $41.18 @ Amazon
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $1668.02
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-18 15:34 EST-0500

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.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
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
Total
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.

Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Psu is way over kill if you buy 3 970s and a custom water cooling loop you might just barely use it that much. You could also change the motherboard.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the reply. I've edited my post to include my explanation for keeping that PSU, but basically you mentioned exactly why: So I make the most use of it if I were to add more components.

I temporarily removed the MOBO on this saved list and enabled 3-SLI to see what compatible items show up and it gave me these. Any of these you can recommend?

  • Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming GT LGA1150 ATX 32GB - $188.99
  • ASRock Z97 EXTREME9 LGA1150 ATX 32GB - $236.99
  • Asus Z97-WS LGA1150 ATX 32GB - $268.98
  • Asus Z87-WS LGA1150 ATX 32GB - $272.99
  • Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 LGA1150 ATX 32GB - $287.99
  • Asus Maximus VI Extreme LGA1150 ATX 32GB - $292.98
  • Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK - $325.99
  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the 2nd reply, but when I additionally changed the case to the Phantom 530, I got another list of compatible MOBOs: http://oi59.tinypic.com/w811g4.jpg (I don't think the original link works so I made a screenshot of it)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Evga classifiedor z97 and the gigabyte gaming g1 or the gaming gt are very good options

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I wonder why that lists didnt display the Gigabyte z97x SOC or SOC force, I love those mobo's. I have the SOC, no problems whatsoever. an unlocked i5 and a h100i will give you some headroom for overclocking, so might as well get a mobo that can handle it. It is very orange though. It supports 4-way CFire and 2-way SLI and has an ATX form factor. 4 Ram slots.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

The reason it didnt show up for you is because the SOC doesnt support 3-sli. I wouldnt even recommend 3-way sli anyways. 2-way is th ebest bang for your buck, some games actually get worse with 3 or 4-way SLI, and even if they do get better the gains are minimal.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I am not an expert so feel free to refute anything I say.

The CPU: Consider using an AMD processor, they are actually very reliable for gaming and the cheaper price cuts on the overall price tag and compensates for extra money spent on the GPU. To prevent an AMD vs Intel flame war from starting please: Do not say the terms"intel fanboy" or "amd fanboy"(stay civil) 2) If you have an aurgument objecting to amd or intel make sure it is one that hasn't been posted yet or else the flame war goes on in circles.(it always does though)

The GPU: I doubt that 4 gb of Graphic memory is needed. I would advise 2-3 gb. If you are going on a tighter budget to save money then use a radeon HD 7000 series GPU or R7 Graphics.

The CPU cooler: Buy it only if you will overclock or else the stock cooler might be enough.

Memory: I know I have recommend and gone on about amd for quite a little bit in this post, but the R9 gamer memory series from AMD is DDR3-2133 2x4 gb and only cost a small amount more than what you have. I also think that there is an offer where you get Radeon RAMdisk for free when you buy R9 gamer memory from newegg. (Google ramdisk if you are interested)

Power Supply: I think reducing the wattage would be good. Maybe 600w?

Monitor:...The monitor's Height to Width ratio could be related to the price. Reducing monitor size might help save on that.

Note: Having a crossfire isn't really necessary is it? Single GPUs work very well. If you object to intel or amd and might start a flame war on this post then...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV2Voo5h3eU...watch this video,you will see the difference between intel/amd in gaming.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi there, thank you for the suggestions and sincere attempt to help me to stay under the budget. I assure you I will not be flaming you for being a fan of AMD. I think it is perfectly deserving of being among the top 2 processor manufacturers on the market. I originally thought of going with a build based on AMD FX-8350, since it appears the new Vishera CPUs are actually pretty impressive now. I know the debate between which is better is really not in black and white, as each has its own perks, but for some reason I'd like my first build to be have an Intel processor. I'm pretty sure this will not be my last build, though. By then, I would be a little more experienced in this stuff and would feel more at ease with custom loops, so might as well dedicate that build to AMD.

Yes, the GPU is quite a monster, and I think I will most likely keep a solo card as I am sure it can handle most jobs pretty well on its own.

I'll definitely be overclocking so that was a main reason for the choice in cooler.

I brought down the PSU a notch and went with 850w, just to be safe with futureproofing while still saving some money.

Yeah the monitor will likely be a different one...I'm waiting for sales coming up this season so I don't really know what to get yet. I'm especially wishing to get a nice white one to complete my aesthetic aim.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Motherboard: For that price, the features and performance are perfectly fine. CPU: Works for gaming, and even gives room for editing. Storage: The 120GB SSD is only for OS and key programs right? It's not a whole lot of space (Steam will immediately destroy any empty space). If you are so inclined you could spend a little extra for some extra space. The 1TB drive is pretty awesome. Case and video card are good choices. I would stick to 4GB of VRAM (not lower) because most games will begin to start using those pretty heftily. Ultra definition textures will quickly use up that VRAM.

Power supply: If you want it, get it. BUT!!! I would say at that price.... Consider this. You could get one that's rated Gold+ instead of Platinum (still a great rating), semi-modular instead of fully (since you'll be using most of the wires anyway who cares if some are permanently attached?). This way, you'll have a 1000W PSU that only draws 50% load AT MOST. This will keep it quiet, and running a long time. No need to make it a giant beast now, and it'll be able to handle whatever expansions you throw in there perfectly fine even while having a slightly reduced power rating and semi-modular cables. I hope this made sense.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you, kind sir, for the feedback. I am working on a modified version of this build as we speak, taking your suggestions in consideration. Will post soon!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Modified version looks much better IMO. Good luck :D

Sort

add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube