Taking the plunge into PC gaming. Originally had a budget of about £600, but I saw how much more performance I could get with some upgrades to a few items. Went from considering the Radeon 7850, to the 7870, to the GTX760 and then got lucky with the prices of 670's dropping right as I was about to order. Also chose to go from i3 to an overclockable i5. And finally, gave in to temptation to opt for a solid state drive!
Didn't even realize til afterwards that my parts all had the same black/blue color scheme, which was cool.
Building went......ok. I had seen videos, but I have rarely even ever gone into the guts of a computer before, so it was pretty fresh territory for me. Was mainly just really scared of hurting something, especially putting the heat sink on and feeling how it could twist around a little bit still. I accidentally knocked out one of the PCI panels I wasn't supposed to. Well, it wasn't accidental, but I shouldn't have done it! lol
As you can probably see, the cable management is pretty amateur. Its ok for now, its mostly out of the way for airflow purposes, but it can be cleaned up, looks wise. I'd like to get some black sleeving for the case umbilicals and try and do it all fresh, with order in mind.
I'm otherwise very happy with all this. Had some great advice from the NeoGAF PC crowd on choosing parts and walking me through a couple steps in the build. So far, I haven't pushed it much and I haven't started overclocking, but I'm still massively impressed with the graphics and speed. Borderlands 2 and Dear Esther have really blown me away as has the boot speed of the SSD.
Also, the case - I hadn't heard of Zalman before, but I really thought the case was fantastic value. I had a small issue with not having a better SSD mount in there, but it was great otherwise. 3 fans, a window, great looks, minimal drive cage interference from the get-go, nice feel to the metal, rounded interior cable ports, USB 3 port and fan controller. For a budget case, I was pretty impressed compared to the alternatives. Two of the fans are blue LED fans as well, which I didn't think I'd like, but they are surprisingly subtle and I've decided to keep them to go with the 'blue' them in general. Only real complaint is the lack of the USB3 internal header, which is cheap and not a huge deal. That's on the way and will install when I re-cable.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core||£174.00|
|CPU Cooler||Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing||£22.00|
|Motherboard||MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155||£82.00|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133||£55.00|
|Storage||Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" SSD||£72.00|
|Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM||£50.00|
|Video Card||MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB||£210.00|
|Case||Zalman Z5 Plus ATX Mid Tower||£42.00|
|Power Supply||XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V||£57.00|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)||£70.00|
|CPU Clock Rate||3.4GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||32.0° C|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||-|
|GPU Core Clock Rate||1019MHz|
|GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate||6008MHz|
|GPU Temperature While Idle||-|
|GPU Temperature Under Load||-|