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