This build has been a year in the making, or rather settling on a final parts list after changing it some 50 odd times whilst saving the money. I have been a console gamer all my life, and I often saved clips for CoD montages (cue the xXMLG_420_NoSc0p3Xx mockery. ) but never had a PC powerful enough to edit them without taking ages due to being on a cheap Pentium equipped laptop.
I had planned to buy something pre-built around $500. Until I started reading more and more about building your own, and even then I kept playing on console because I believed a proper gaming PC was too expensive and couldn't be better than console anyway, at least not enough to warrant the extra money for a decent graphics card to put into what was already an expensive computer in my mind.
Then I saw some Counter Strike tourney and wanted to play the game so bad that I went on my laptop and got CS 1.6 (because let's face it, I was never going to get CS:GO to run well on my outdated, low end laptop. ) Then I got more into PC gaming and decided it was time to get serious about a build.
So here we are, 1 year, $1600~, a couple hours of figuring out what the hell I was doing, and a joyous sigh of relief (once it booted up properly) later, and I finally understand what all the fuss was about, and am ready to start tackling video editing.
Hardest part for me was setting up the drives so the SSD is my boot drive with the mechanical drive as my General storage. Mostly because I'm dumb and didn't really read up on it much beforehand. Building a computer really is like adult Legos. :)
Playing Battlefield 4 at ultra settings on these 64 man servers and being able to keep a solid 60 FPS is wonderful. :D. Don't know that I will touch my Xbox One for anything that isn't halo 5 or Hulu now!
For the price, and use in a gaming computer, you really can't do much better if you're not looking for an overclocking build. Combine it with a decent to good H97 board and you get pretty much on par with stock i7 4790k performance at a much lower price point. No complaints at all, the stock cooler is fine but I opted for a Hyper 212 Evo just to keep temps down a bit.
I have paired this cooler with a Xeon E3 1231 V3 CPU and for the price, it is absolutely perfect for my needs. My CPU almost never hits 60 C in normal use. Benchmark tests that stress the CPU are about all that gets it above that, and even then, it keeps it way below the TJ Max. I highly recommend this cooler if you are either not overclocking, or not much, or just want to run your locked CPU at a cooler temp.
The one gripe I have is that this thing was an absolute PITA to install. The mounting bracket gave me so much trouble that I had to take it off and reapply the thermal paste twice before I got it on without it sliding around a bunch. But this was my first build. So I would chalk that up to lack of experience and trying to rush the build into an under an hour time slot.
I can't say much about this board other than it has all the connectivity I need, worked perfectly even with my probably overt mishandling of this thing and shaky hands putting it in. The UEFI is pretty straightforward and makes setting up a breeze. The price is perfect for what you get, and it's as pretty clean looking board. Would recommend to anyone looking for a good board for their locked Haswell chip.
This RAM was rather cheap when I bought it and that is why it surprised me when I installed it and unbeknownst to me it has LEDs. Which for me was awesome because my entire battlestation is black and blue, so the blue LEDs made the purchase even sweeter. But from a performance perspective, this ram is just standard at 1600 MHz so it's everything you will ever need unless you're running an APU build or really, really care about benchmarks, in which case a faster clock speed would be beneficial. Be sure to download the Ballistix mod utility if you want to change the lighting speed and pattern as well as if you'd like orange lighting because this offers that as well.
Good price for capacity, easily the best purchase of this entire build. I went from having a laptop that I could run and grab a drink from the fridge in the time it took to boot up and be ready to go to, to barely being able to leave my seat before it is fully up and running. If you want a good boot drive that can hold pretty much all your important programs and maybe a couple games, this is the way to go.
It is a reasonably quick 1TB drive that has been super reliable so far. I don't see any reason to go for a more expensive drive of the same capacity to tell you the truth. If/when it dies I will update this review.
Absolute sweet spot in terms of price to performance. There is no game that I can't run at acceptable frame rates right now maxed out. Now heavily modded fallout 4 and GTA V give it a bit of a hard time, but still playable. This particular card doesn't OC as well as some others, but the silicon lottery is a cruel mistress. Still slaying games though. Also a very sleek looking card with an awesome backplate.
Sleek looking case, absolutely wonderful in terms of build quality, the noise dampening material does its job well, and the airflow is as good as I need. Easy to build in, like 13 1/2" of GPU clearance if you remove the drive cages that you don't need, which are simple to remove. The PSU shroud is a nice touch with the LED logo, and the SSD mounts on top of it are great as well.
Now, if you get this all black version, the window is that smoked tint that makes it hard to see through, so if you really want to see your build, I would avoid this one, but it's nice if you just want the light to shine through and not see every single detail. Or you can go on the NZXT subreddit and see if support will send you out a clear windowed side panel. They are really awesome people.
Not much to say other than it runs flawlessly, never really heats up to the point that the fan even has to spin, and the efficiency makes it worth every penny. Also EVGA is a great company with great customer service so if anything were to happen I'm not sweating at all.
The automatic updates can be infuriating, and I still prefer windows 7 for ease of use.
This nearly zero bezel monitor is absolutely wonderful for multi-monitor setups, the color reproduction is great, and I there is absolutely zero ghosting, extremely low input delay, quick signal processing if any is even present, and the picture is crisp. Games look stunning on this monitor! I have it overclocked to 80 Hz and it is as smooth as I could ever ask for.
A bit over the top "gamer" looking, but it matches well with my Logitech G430 headset, and the cherry MX blue switches are absolutely wonderful and I love typing and gaming on them. I got this for a steal on Black Friday, but I would go with something from corsair or otherwise if I were buying at full price. I do like the volume roller and media keys on this keyboard though. Feels top notch and a drastic improvement from the scissor switches my laptop used.
Very comfortable mouse for a claw grip, or if you're like me, a palm grip with small hands. The weighting system is okay, But I see no reason to remove the weights as the mouse isn't overtly heavy with them and the added weight makes it move very smoothly across "control" surface mouse mats like my Roccat Taito. The perfect sensor is the big selling point for this mouse in my opinion. the software allowed me to tweak lift height, and custom DPI settings for all scenarios that I need. Used most often for CS:GO and I'm not going to say it has turned me into a better player, but I do aim better more consistently with this mouse over my old cheap dell thing.