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Well, after years of gaming on my 2012 build at 720p with my i7-2600 and gtx 760 (that I added later on), I thought it was about time for a substantial upgrade to my rig. Around last summer, I was considering replacing my gfx card again with a 900 series card since I'd been falling behind performance wise on newer games, or even upgrading to an SSD for an all around faster feel to my PC. But at that point, I also started hearing about and looking into the new Skylake CPUs that had been released and the speed and power they offered. I was torn. I could slowly beat my Sandy Bridge build to death by replacing components until the CPU and mobo exploded, or pick out parts for an entirely new build. Obviously, I chose the latter, and so far have had no regrets.
This new rig looks great, stays cool, and most importantly performs outstanding compared to any PC I've ever owned. Honestly, I could've waited some time longer to do a high end Skylake build, but I just couldn't wait and it feels great to own the best of the best for a change, even if it did cost a pretty penny. Took me about about 3 or 4 months to finally conclude picking my parts, and with the help of tax returns and the PCPP community, I was able to make this thing happen. Seriously though, huge shoutouts to anyone who answered my questions on the forum. Thanks a ton!
This beast'll be used for gaming on one monitor, with the other being used for miscellaneous tasks like Skype, videos, and browsing web. Maybe a little video editing and Photoshop projects as well, but not too often. Really just decided on 2 monitors for an all around better multitasking experience. Anyway, at this point I'll just go through the parts I chose, and why I chose them, etc. Seems to be something people do here.
This one was a given. I wanted to go Skylake for sure in my new build, which meant either the 6700k or the 6600k were my options. For me, I've always preferred i7s, and with the occasional editing I'll be doing I thought the 6700k would be the best choice. So far, I can't complain as it does everything I need it to, and is such a huge upgrade compared to my ancient 2600. I haven't overclocked it at all so far, and I know that that's one of its main selling points, but at this point 4GHz is plenty fast for me. Besides, I'm thinking of boosting it to 4.2GHz once I know its been stable for a while, so that'll most likely end up changing anyway.
I was debating between this or Corsair's equivalent, and ultimately chose NZXT's cooler for a few reasons. First of all, I got it for a pretty good price on one of Amazon's sales. This put it at about the same price as an H100 would've costed me. Also, as you could tell, I pretty much went all NZXT in the aesthetic department for this build. I personally like how the X61 looks over the H100s, but that's just me. I think the cleaner and straightforward look really does it good. Lastly, I'm not gonna lie, the horrific H100 leaking stories on forums scared me away. I know Corsair's great about damage control, and honestly it probably doesn't even happen as often as I think it does, but I guess I just wanted to play it safe.
MSi's motherboard's are gorgeous first of all, and I knew from the beginning that I'd go with an MSi mobo and gfx card combo, because the colors would match perfectly with what I wanted the build to end up looking like. That's not to say that this board isn't packed with features though. The shielded PCIe ports and M.2 support is nice, even if I didn't actually end up using one of those. (Spoilers, it's the M.2.) However, it could really use a few extra USB ports, not a deal breaker, but mildly annoying nonetheless. Still, I seriously can't get over the design of this thing. Red and Black is the only way to go for me!
RAM really wasn't really one of my biggest concerns when designing this build. I just wanted something that was at least 16GB and supported my color scheme, and Corsair's Vengeance set fit perfectly. Literally and metaphorically. They're fast, have a good amount of space, and get the job done. Not really much to say.
One thing that I was getting sick of on my old build, was dealing with HDD speeds. I'd seen first hand how lightning quick SSD's can be and knew I really owed it to myself to get one for this build, especially considering how "all out" I went for the other components. Use this drive as a boot and main program drive, hasn't let me down so far. Really fast for a really good price.
Wanted to get an SSD for sure in my new build, but on the other hand, there really wasn't anything wrong with my old HDD, so I decided, why not both? Using the SSD as a boot and main program drive with the HDD as mass storage, seemed to make the most sense. Even on my old build, I only used about 700GB on the hard drive throughout my journey with Sandy Bridge, so I think a combined 1500GB should be substantial for a long time.
I swear, MSi has me hooked on their products for the rest of my life now, these things are beautiful. I knew for awhile that I was gonna have a 980ti in this build for sure. I was almost considering waiting out another check or two for the Titan X, but honestly, it just seemed like it'd be a waste for me. 12GB on the Titan and 4GB on the 980 just wouldn't cut it. The 980ti really just seems to be the sweet spot for high end price/performance ratio. Anyway, besides just aesthetics, this card is a monster. For now, I'm gaming at 1080p, which is plenty fine for one video card on a 24 inch monitor. I currently don't have too many newer games to benchmark it that well, but let's just say I can play Battlefield 3 at max settings well above 60 fps. Waiting for No Man's Sky to be released to really push this thing to it's limits.
NZXT's also got me completely won over for accessories because of their looks and functionality. I was considering a Phantom model or Corsair's 760T, which I was SO close to getting due to to it's Insanely nice looking side panel. Decided to go with the Phantom 530 in the end though, as I wasn't really sure where I'd put the Hue+ LED strips on the 760T, and in when it comes down to it I just like the 530's design more overall. So far, haven't had any regrets, and this was my first time building in a full size case, so the extra room was nice when installing the components. The plastic front and top panel's were a little disappointing since they weren't metal like the rest of the case, but at least they're durable I guess. Overall, it looks sleek, the bays are nice, and the cable management room is outstanding.
Not much to say, its a high quality fully modular power supply. Didn't want to go cheap here, so I went with EVGA's Platinum series. Great for now, but I'll need to replace in a few years if I wanna go SLI for 4k or when games get more demanding.
Seriously, you NEVER can go wrong with a disc drive.
Good looking, quiet, and fast LED fans. Do their job fine.
Powerful fans, great for any water cooled PCs. Definitely recommend these.
Works fine, little bit of a waste of money looking back on my purchase. Nothing wrong with the item itself, just kind of pointless to have nowadays. Does what it needs to.
Gorgeous looking. Worth it for any build you plan on lighting up. The presets are nice in terms of variations and styles. Even more impressive, you can edit every LED and effect individually. Legendary.
First off, I really have no clue what people are complaining about when it comes to the colors on this monitor. I mean sure it's TN, and yeah, you do have to mess with color profiles for a bit. But once you do, it's a hell of a lot better than any TN panel I've ever seen. I don't know, maybe it's because I've never "experienced" an IPS panel before but for $250 a full HD 144hz 1ms monitor is fine for me, IPS or not. This is definitely one of the best budget 144hz monitors out there for sure, and I'll nab a second one whenever I get the opportunity.