Ever since I entered college, it was my dream to build my own PC from parts that I wanted. We have a home PC with an i7-2600 processor and a decent Zotac GTX 750 Ti, but I relinquished it to my brother who needs it for his CAD drawings. I needed to build my own PC to avoid conflicts with usage, as I myself love using the computer for my daily routines. Fast forward, I've graduated college and took up a Masters degree. Currently, I'm on my graduating year and this build is a reward for myself for all the struggles I've passed by.
The plan: I planned to have a white/blue color scheme for my build as the red/black ones are so common here. Since it was my first build, I was a noob for this sort of thing and I kindly asked the store technicians to assemble the rig with me, to teach me basic cable management, and to experience all those wonderful assembling thingies without creating accidents that might kill my build. This is by far the largest spending I did for myself. 3 days later after it was built, I had it reformatted due to a disk read error coming from the SSD. It turned out I messed up some disk management stuff I shouldn't have tinkered with. After that incident, everything was fine.
The parts: CPU: I opted for the unlocked 4790 because my Masters thesis would include simulating some engineering stuff in Solidworks. My professor suggested I get an unlocked i7 if ever I'd need extra juice in computing, and this CPU was the cheapest I could get for a simulation machine.
CPU cooler: I invested in water cooling just to quickly bring down the CPU's temps after a computing-intensive task. Though it's a cheap one. I will upgrade if it works unsatisfactorily. But to date, it does work well.
Motherboard: I was looking for a competitive and inexpensive gaming mobo. The store owner told me that MSI has good gaming ones and good RMA policies. The MSI's Z97 Krait Edition was perfect for my white and blue themed rig, but I was disappointed after reading a review about its performance. The next logical step was to look for another MSI board. The Z97 Gaming 5 then got my attention, and though it destroyed the color theme I wanted,
I had no choice as ASUS was way too pricey here and Gigabyte has some RMA issuesat-least-in-our-country.
Memory : RAM wasn't my biggest concerns. As long as it didn't break my color scheme and had a good CAS latency, I wouldn't mind. Ended up buying the Vengeance Pro. Many people looking at the store often mistook it for a Corsair Dominator due to its heat spreader color.
GPU : I've been itching to buy Gigabyte's G1 Gaming version of the GTX 970. I'm a fan of 3-fans, wait, what? It also has good overclocking potential
PC Case : My very first choices were the NZXT Phantom 530 and Thermaltake ARMOR REVO. However, the ARMOR Revo was unavailable and the 530 ran out of stock. Luckily, the store owner told me that a new NZXT case showed up this year and asked me to check it up. I fell in love with it at first sight. It comes pre-installed with three (3) 120mm fans and one (1) exhaust 140mm fan, which to me is a great bargain. It saved me time looking and researching case fans for my build. It also had an integrated PWM hub at the back and the glowing NZXT logo (PSU shroud) and underside blue LED is a good eye-candy
Monitor : I bought the VX239H for its borderless design and has a speaker of its own, good for casual gaming and web watching.
Gaming Bundle : SteelSeries PH was running a pro gaming discounted bundle for 4 items namely, the APEX keyboard (my first keyboard choice for its price and multi-colored illuminated lighting), Kana mouse (my first choice was the Razer Chroma), Siberia V2 headphones and Qck mini mousepad. It was a great deal as I shaved off at most $120 for my build. Keyboard is good although it had laptop-like buttons so close to each other. After 2~3 days of using it, my fingers got accustomed to it. Mouse is fine and had a CPI switch, which I frequently used for games involving fast, non-precise clicking.
Wireless Network Adapter : Wiring has been very problematic at our home. The wifi router was located at the second floor while home PC and mine are at the ground floor. Instead of worrying about the wiring layout, I bought the wireless adapter. It's cute and can be hidden where I want to place it. Problem solved.
Case Fans : The store technician had 2 spare NZXT FN fans (discontinued as we speak), that was only used for 2 weeks (after the store technician sold his rig to some rich fella who liked his build) so I took it to be placed at the extra top exhaust of the Noctis, and the other one to be paired with the Seidon 120M for push-pull configuration.
Sleeved Extensions : After seeing some of the PSU's multi-colored wirings (some are exposed at the connector end), I decided to buy a bundled custom sleeved cables to remove those unsightly stuff. It was expensive, but nothing was wasted.
Pictures are scarce because I am getting lazy due to Witcher 3 (free from GTX 900 series video cards).
It's so fast that sometimes I forget overclocking it. Never mind, 4.0 GHz is overkill for very simple tasks. But for intensive things to do, this one is a beast for its price without so much heat.
For an entry-level AIO cooler, it worked perfectly for my rig. Quickly brings down my CPU temp and you can barely hear it unless it kicks to 75~100% RPM.
Since I'm quite an audiophile, the on-board chip for the Sound Blaster Cinema 2 is much appreciated. OC Genie is also very easy to use whether you're a beginner or already a pro. Dedicated USB ports for keyboards and mice added to its value, though I haven't felt much 'faster response' for my keyboard.
Had a disk read error 3 days after I had my PC. But it's due to a disk management stuff I did. For the most part, it's an inexpensive SSD for that fast boot and shutdown routines.
The best 970 that won my GTX 970 checklist for most headroom for overclock, cooling and that sexy back plate. The Windforce blue LED logo was also a plus for my blue/white themed PC.
Though a little pricy, it was well worth it having 4 fans pre-installed, a PWM hub (works via voltage regulation), LED lights underneath, glowing NZXT logo for the PSU bay, and much space for radiators above. The casing also features a sleek design that many straight-line-loving individuals would like.
Wireless Network Adapter
Cute little fella. Its long wire allows it to be placed a meter away from where it is plugged into.
Borderless design is cool. Built-in speakers are also a plus. Though the buttons underneath are so sensitive, sometimes it gets on your nerves.
Perfect for its numerous macro keys. At the right are extra keys for sound control and playback capabilities. I haven't tried disabling the Windows button thru its SteelSeries key. The alphabet keys are a little bunched up making it look and feel like laptop keypads.
The button 4 and 5, left and right side respectively, are a plus for some games. The CPI switch is an added feature for those looking to up their mouse movements.
Great for gaming and multimedia. The mic is also good and the overall build is solid.