With the advent of VR just around the corner I decided that my laptop just wasn't going to cut it anymore. I needed a rig that would meet my needs as built for the next 5 years and with some upgrading 10 years or more. It had to be relatively small and aesthetically pleasing because it would be the centerpiece of my living room entertainment system. It would be not only my VR driver but also my standard gaming machine and multimedia entertainment server. I also had a tight budget of around 1k. I am extremely pleased with this unit. It is powerful, efficient, quiet, and looks awesome!
Overclocked from 3.5ghz to 4.5ghz. Core temperatures never exceeded 65C running Prime95 torture test with fans on their lowest setting (see last screenshot picture)!
I debated going with a locked Haswell build over a Skylake K chip for cost effectiveness, but for the sake of less than a $200 difference the Skylake offered much better future proofing and also better performance. I picked this one up for $219 from a Microcenter about an hours drive away.
Stable overclock to 4.5Ghz. Temps never exceed 65C with fans on low! CPU-Z has it outperforming a i7-6700 in single core by 10% and 2% in multicore! Overall a 29% performance boost!
Liquid cooling or air cooling? I went back and forth on this one. All things equal liquid cooling is more efficient at heat transfer than air coolers. But all things aren't equal. I don't like the idea of liquid inside a PC case no matter how unlikely a leak may be. The case I had picked out had great ventilation and the Cryorig H7 came at a great price along with great reviews. Simple installation and simple operation, reliability, quietness and price won out over any slight performance edge that liquid cooling may have offered. Incidentally It fit PERFECTLY, leaving only a few millimeters to spare!
After overclocking to 4.5Ghz the temps never exceeded 65C in a 3 hour stress test! All my concerns about going with air cooling are put to rest. $35 for such an effective cooling solution and its designed to not conflict with tall memory modules. Unlike some air coolers where you actually have to remove them to change out your memory sticks!
I chose this board over the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming board based on reviews. Honestly I could have gone either way but this board was $10 cheaper. I have not been disappointed! Everything works perfectly after installing the drivers from the website, not the included CD. The only complaint I have is the placement of the USB 3 header which is squeezed in next to the CPU socket, so close that the cable actually barely fits! Other than that this board has performed perfectly and looks great. Some have complained of wifi issues but mine has worked perfectly.
No problems. I chose this speed so that any overclocking I may do in the future will not be bottlenecked by memory instability. The price was good and it matches my color scheme. I debated with going with 2x8gb but its inexpensive enough to upgrade later when the need arises.
Got this one for $99. I was contemplating using a SSD for the operating system only in a smaller capacity and also using a 1Tb HDD for program/app/media storage. 1/2 Tb isn't a lot of storage nowadays but with the cost of SSD storage falling rapidly I decided to get a moderate solution temporarily and upgrade to a higher capacity later, Perhaps with a RAID or M.2.
Amazon had this factory overclocked card for $309 with a $20 mail in rebate, and also a free copy of The Division game! Had to grab it. This card is quiet, powerful and much more energy efficient than comparable Radeon cards. I contemplated going with the Radeon 380 instead but more power consumption = more power needed = more heat = bigger power supply = more airflow needed =more fans! Ill take the cost performance hit for the power/heat efficiency. BTW I havnt been able to throw anything at this GPU that it cant run at 60fps+ on ultra!
Stable overclock from 1241 Mhz to 1410 Mhz. Core Tmax never exceeds 74C with case fans on lowest setting! Just for some perspective, Turbo on a reference GTX970 is 1150 Ghz!! Thats almost a 30% performance increase over a reference board! What a deal this card is!
What a great case. This case is so well thought out and well designed. Although It may be a little big for an ITX build it is easier to carry and transport than most other smaller cases due to its handled design. This case is also beautiful to look at especially in a living room setting. It definitely has a WOW factor to everyone who sees it especially when its running with its red glowing fans.
Almost universally positive reviews on this unit. 650 gold+ fully modular PSfrom a well trusted manufacturer utilizing all Japanese capacitors for only $79 with a free game?...yes please! Its also a somewhat short unit that fits perfectly in an ITX case. In operation its quiet and cool. 650w was almost double my power estimate on pcpartpicker which allows future expansion and overclocking with plenty of margin.
A red glowing 200mm fan in the front of an ITX case, talk about wow factor! quiet and efficient slow rpm fan just looks awesome and perform equally as well. I chose this because it was one of the thinnest 200mm fans available at less than 20mm thick.