This has been a whirlwind of a project. What started out as just wanting to learn more about computers, has turned into a dream build. This was my introduction to the PC world. The last desktop I had was 15+ years ago, and it was a family computer. I've had nothing but laptops and consoles since then. I started from the very bottom in knowledge about building a pc, and now I feel like I have a firm grasp on most things that go into putting a pc together.
My main goal was to build a 4k entertainment/workstation powerhouse. I wanted to play AAA games at their highest settings in 4k. I wanted something that had plenty of room for expansion if I so need it in the future, and also something that would not need upgrading for quite some time. I wanted to look back on this build and not be disappointed in anything I bought. I really subscribe to the "buy it nice or buy it twice" saying. And I think most importantly, I wanted to be able to look back and be really proud of how far I had come, and how much I had learned.
I completed this build back in December 2016, but I really wanted to get firm control of this PC, and know every little thing about it. Like how much it will overclock and what kind of temps I could expect. I was able to the CPU to 4.7 GHz, but that was with a voltage around 1.4 and a temp at 94. So I dialed it back to 4.4GHz at 1.31V and the temps range from 29-67. I haven't done much with overclocking my GPU. But it has handled the games I play decently well. I play Cities: Skylines, Kerbal Space Program, Assassins Creed 3, and Minesweeper.
I'm in LOVE with this computer, and I can't believe it has taken me this long to build one. It was honestly one of the most satisfying experiences I've had in my 26 year life. The thrill of picking out the parts, anxiously waiting for them to arrive, and horror/excitement of putting everything together was something I've never felt before. Obviously it wasn't without its hiccups, but it made it all the more satisfying when I finally fired this baby up and started dialing everything in. It's been such a wild ride, that I told my coworkers about my experience, and now I'm building computers for two of them (I've already completed one, and the other is in the process of ordering parts).
Sorry for the dust on the Acrylic. I wiped that thing down multiple times, and I can never get it all off. Also, I know my cable management is crap. But being that it was my first build ever, I was just happy I could close the panel. There is just the slightest of bumps.
I would like to make a shoutout to all those that I drew information from: Paul's Hardware Linus Tech Tips Newegg (video resource) r/buildapc r/pcmasterrace Sandy Ravage (His pc building videos are what got me interested in the first place) TomsHardware I watched countless hours of these guys videos, and read multiple forums to help me with the build. They literally taught me everything I know now about pc's.
Love the CPU. I have not gotten around to overclocking it yet, but I do plan on it. As with most of the parts in my build, I got this because I never wanted to have to worry about not having enough computing power in my rig. I was able to snag it dirt cheap at Micro Center, so I was ecstatic about that.
This was fairly easy to install and seems to do the job. Haven't tested the system out much to get a grasp on how well it cools, but based on others reviews I'm sure it will do fine in my system.
Love the look and features of this motherboard. Had virtually everything I wanted, and for the price I got it at, you can't beat it. The bios was pretty simple to understand and I hit the ground running with it. As others have said, the i/o shield is bleh. I would have preferred black, and it was a bit tricky to install the motherboard, but I never see the back and I only had to install it once.
Opted for the 2x8 so I had the chance to upgrade to 32GB in the future. Corsair seems to be one of the top sellers of RAM so I knew I couldn't go wrong. Also got them for a very good price for black friday.
Samsung seemed like the gold standard for SSDs. The price to performance is pretty much unmatched by anyone else. I got this as my Operating System drive and it works like a charm. Extremely fast, and the Magician Software that it uses is pretty nice as well.
I got this during Samsung's Black Friday deal week. I was shocked to see how low the price was. I contemplated buying 2, but couldn't justify it. So I settled for this one and bought a 120GB SSD for the OS. Super fast on load times, and the 1TB is more than enough for me.
I originally set out to purchase a 1070 with this system, but when I saw the price I had to jump on it. Plus it has RGB lighting, which was perfect because I wanted to keep my options open as much as possible. Haven't done any overclocking, but this card has handled everything I've thrown at it in 4k. I will do some benchmarking and record the numbers some day. Right now I'm just enjoying my first PC and what it can do.
I love this case. Someone recommended Phanteks over on reddit, and I'm glad they did. I hadn't heard of this brand before (new to PCs). The large acrylic window is awesome and shows off everything nicely. It was easy enough to build in, and cable management was pretty good. I don't have any experience in building, so I can't compare it to anything. They leave a lot of room so you can expand your build in the future if you so desire. I do kind of wish it had 2 5.25" external slots. But I can survive without it.
Does what a power supply should. Solid build and no issues so far. I felt like I couldn't go wrong with Corsair.
I wanted a blu-ray player for my pc. If I was going to have a 4k monitor, I might as well buy the things that use it. Only downside is, it doesn't come with blu-ray software, but I will cross that bridge when it comes to it.
First venture back into Windows. I've had a Mac for 4 years. A lot has changed it seems. But after watching a couple of videos I feel like I have picked up where I left off. Fairly easy to use, and I love the customization it lets you do.
Wireless Network Adapter
I needed an adapter as my motherboard doesn't have a wifi card, and there are no ethernet ports in the space I keep my computer. I wanted TP-Link because I had purchased a router from them a little while back and it has been fantastic. Worked like a charm after installing the drivers.
My case came with 2 fans (I thought it only came with 1) and I had read good reviews about these, so I decided to keep it in the family and stick with them. There a little on the louder end at times, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I actually like the whirling of the fans when the system is getting into higher gears. Also, these are only 3pin fans. So be wary of that if your purchasing.
I absolutely love this monitor. The picture is gorgeous, and the 60Hz is more than enough for me and gaming. You can also overclock the Hz with the Nvidia control panel. The first one I got had some smudged pixels, but Amazon took care of it and I got a new one with zero defects. I highly recommend this to anyone looking to game at 4k, who doesn't mind 60Hz. G-Sync would have been the icing on the cake, but I only notice tearing when I run the Heaven graphics test at the absolute max settings on my GTX 1080. I will say, a lesser GPU probably wouldn't handle this monitor very well.
I originally had a Razer Blackwidow Chroma keyboard, but it was a little to clicky for me. When Corsair released the K95 Platinum, I knew it had to be mine. And I love it. The MXCherry Brown switches are as satisfying as they can get. I love the lighting options you have with the keyboard with all the different zones and effects. The construction is of the highest quality, and the wrist rest is spot on. I highly recommend this keyboard, for those who are looking to spend this much.
I'm really happy with this mouse. It has weights in it to give it a solid and sturdy feel. The RGB lighting is great and the software gives you the chance to customize a lot of the settings. I haven't used the sniper button much, but I could see where it would be useful in FPS games.
First thing you notice out of the box is just how well built these are. The metal around the cups has a great feel, and the weight adds to the great build quality. The sound is super crisp, and the 7.1 is amazing. I use these when I'm playing xbox with my friends (I know, go gentle on me) and when I want and immersive experience on my PC.
This honestly made all the difference when it comes to the look of my build. My PC was rather pedestrian before I put this in. I was worried that LEDs would make my build seem a little over the top, but boy was I wrong. This makes my build really pop, and puts just the right amount of show in my system. The software is super easy to use, and even comes with some great extra features, like the total system monitoring.
Picked this up because it was on sale and Logitech is a great company. I would have liked 1080p and 60fps for video chatting, but 720p is more than adequate.
I used this bracket to display my Hue+. Looks great in the case and works as it should. Super simple to install.
I absolutely love everything about this brace. The look is perfect and it isn't overly in your face like some braces that you attach to the expansion slots on the back of the case. The feet are magnetic so they stay in place. There are two poles so if you don't need the extra height like me, you can keep it shorter. The support clamps to the pole, and it is extremely sturdy and durable. And just handling the piece you can tell it was made with quality in mind. If you want something other than a lego man, then I highly recommend this part.
This sound system sounds great in my room. The sound is super clear and the base will blow you away in those war movies. Handles the highs and lows very well. I mainly bought this for the remote.