Description

NOTICE: Before I get any comments about not having a video card, understand that I am NOT a gamer. I don't do video editing. I just really don't need it at all. I know it has it's benefits and whatnot, but I just really don't see in helping me with what I need to do with it. :)

The story story behind this guy is that I needed a new computer to replace my laptop for college. I am a Digital Hardware Engineering student and I do a lot of work with FPGA/CPLD design and synthesis. Last year when I was trying to run ISE or Quartus on my HP craptop, it was getting so freaking hot I was afraid something was going to melt.

I worked a summer job in food service which doesn't pay much. But I did manage to save just over $600 in tips so I started shopping for PC parts and this is what I came up with. I got a recommendation on this i7 from a professor and friend of mine. I started with that and began picking and building components around it, essentially.

I know I'm running on the cheaper end of things, but again, I couldn't really afford it for right now. Biggest thing I learned? I HATE mail-in rebates. Stupidest scams ever. Sent mine off just this last week, but I don't know that I'm going to get anything back. Check out my thoughts on the Enermax case for details...

FUTURE:

  • Hope to get a decent liquid CPU cooler. I was planning on getting one but I heard a few poor and scary reviews of the cheaper ones I was looking at.

  • More case fans. One or two on the top might be nice.

  • Moderate video card. Nothing too fancy but could be helpful for later. Right now, these Intel graphics are serving my well in Guild Wars 2 ;)

  • USB 3.0 front panel. Seeing some on eBay for $6 or so. The Motherboard has a socket for front panel 3.0 but the case didn't support it. Oh well. I can just use currently empty space in the front of the case.

Part Reviews

CPU

So far so good! I have never worked with a CPU this fast. I am honestly just blown away. Gah. Just looking at all 8 (virtual) cores sitting there snoring at 3% as I type this just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Motherboard

Pretty nice. BIOS has some very cool options. Haven't used OC Gene or anything yet. Only the fan speed controls. Took some advice I'd read online and didn't install anything from the CD they gave me. I forget where I got it, now, but I found a download from Intel which just searched for and installed almost all the necessary drivers for me.

From what I've seen, this is a more basic mobo, but it should suit my needs just fine.

I did purposefully get a mobo with the Z97 chipset because I've heard it allows the CPU to run around with a few extra features. Also really wanted to have a RAID option, which this has.

Memory

No complaints! Blue heat spreaders, so, what can I say! I've heard you can't really go too wrong with G.Skill

Storage

Pulled this guy out of an older computer I was given. A little bit older, but I'm planning on getting a second identical one during Black Friday and RAID them. But so far, so good.

Changed Windows %temp% and my user profile directories over to this drive so the SDD wouldn't see as many read/writes hopefully.

Case

This looked like a steal on Newegg. Was originally something like $45.00, but there was a $25.00 MIR advertized. Had a blue fan and good number of air vents so I went for it. But I found that I have two issues with it...

1) The "tool-less" HDD install bracket things are stupid as heck. The hard drive is not securely mounted. Has a lot of jiggle room. Also doesn't even go as far forward into the case as I'd like, so that means it's taking up room where (eventually) a video card might go. I just want screws, really.

2) The metal structure is really lacking. The case overall seems sturdy enough, but it really shows when you check out the tabs on the side panels which help them stay on the case (see pics above). These things are SO flimsy. Matter of fact, when I was going to bend one of them just a tiny bit to show how bad they are for the photo, the tab just broke right off! That, to me, is just horrible. I compared it to a stock Dell Inspiron case I have and the tabs on the panels there don't even budge. So, major lack of metal density. Not very happy with that.

Power Supply

Their MIR is weird and makes me feel uncomfortable, but the device itself seems just fine. With this 200W build, I'm never gonna hit that 750W. Runs very quiet. I can hardly feel any heat coming out, so that's cool.

Optical Drive

Basic little drive. Probably hardly ever use it, but I wanted the option 'cause my laptop doesn't have one. Also I burn CDs/DVDs from time to time, which it can do. Haven't done that yet, but it read CDs just fine. No complaints.

Comments

  • 52 months ago
  • 2 points

That power supply looks to be made by CWT which is the same OEM as Corsair's CX line. Not a great OEM by any means, but 750w 80+ Gold for this type of build is perfectly fine. If OP decides to install a gpu down the road Nvidia will most likely be the safe choice. Good build for the OP's needs.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

CWT also made the HXi and RMi lines which are imo very good power supplies. (just overpriced) CWT is capable of producing high quality units, and low quality units. They do whatever the company that enlisted their services, in this case Thermaltake, tells htme. When Corsair said make me a budget power supply, CWT said here take the CX series. It sucks but it was cheap to make, so we can overprice it and make a huge profit. When Corsair said, make me the best power supply you can, CWT said here take these, and they handed Corsair the HX/Rmi series. (the rm series wasn't that good and has now been replaced by RMx, a way higher quality unit.)

  • 52 months ago
  • 2 points

I can agree with that. My take on it is, the price tag doesn't match the quality. This is why I always look to XFX for my sub 750w power supplies and even higher. I think most people look at the price tag and hear a brand name they are familiar with and think it's good. This isn't necessarily true with pc parts. Mainly the psu, people need to do their due diligence when shopping.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

I wish there was more people that have the same logic as you do.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

That's true with EVGA: they have Tier 7 PSUs (like that one 400w/450w non-80+ unit with the voltage switch), and they have Tier 1 PSUs. People assume that it's fine only because it's EVGA.

  • 52 months ago
  • 2 points

Great little system, I almost have to laugh at the 4790K being 3/5 of your computer's cost. Thumbs up!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

how much room do you have for cable management in the back of the case? i am thinking about upgrading from my Rosewill Ranger-M because there just isnt enough room in the back panel for all the cables. also, how silent are the case fans?

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

You are going to need a decent cpu cooler for that i7 4790k because the included cooler sucks

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup. I asked for (and got) a Silverstone TD02-E for Christmas last year to take care of that. :) What a cool beast it is!

  • 52 months ago
  • -2 points

turns into tiny_voices

that psu will burn down your house!!! change it!!

jk. . .;) nice build you got here!

[comment deleted]