So this computer started as a dream... or, well, really just watching lot of LTT and other various tech channels videos on YouTube and thinking to myself, "Ahh yeah, you can do that. Easy." The next four months would be dedicated to the decisions that would yield the PC in its "finished" state. I was on the fence on whether to go X99 or Z97 (Z170 and Skylake were months away at the time) and the final decision came down to a realization that I had no need for an X99 system. As a lite gamer (I play a lot of LOL and Skyrim) I wouldn't benefit from the extra cores or the extra price so Z97 and Haswell Refresh it was. I wasn't sure where to go Tower or Cube. ATX or mATX. 960 SLI or 970. Bronze or Gold. Everything was in flux, I had decided on Everything but Nothing . Yet now, looking back, Im satisfied with the decisions that I've made.
CPU - i5-4690k - This CPU was almost a no brainer once I decided to go this direction. The price to performance of this chip is near the top of most metrics and as I wouldn't benefit from the Hyper-threading on the 4790 enough to justify the extra ~100 dollars the 4690 became my starting point. PRICE - $209
Case - Fractal Node 804 - The reason I list the case next is because it dictated so many more of my purchase decisions than the majority of my other components. The case was, in fact, the first item I settled on. I wanted something different and away from the norm with a side panel window and no 5.25" drive bays. Though, I know inside the community cube PC cases aren't uncommon in my world of college students, laptops, and uninformed family members it is like unveiling an alien spaceship. The build quality and ease of use with the case exceeded my expectations with its solid steel and metal construction and well placed cable management holes along with its dual compartment design I would buy it over again and again. PRICE - $90
Motherboard - ASRock Fatal1ty Z97M Killer - After consulting my close friends and deciding that the build should be the typical Red & Black color scheme this motherboard became the choice almost instantly. It gives me the needed features and expandability while not being overkill for this build as I felt the Asus Maximus VII would have been. The only drawbacks Ive found is the non-inclusion of a post LED or noise without speakers. PRICE - $120
RAM - Kingston Savage 16GB (2x8GB) 1866 - I wanted something reliable, overclockable, and FREAKING RED when it came to the RAM so this became the quick choice as it comes well regarded and also with the best Latency score of any of the other RED kits in the price range. PRICE - $101
Video Card - EVGA Geforce GTX 970 ACX 2.0 - This was the last time that I bought for the build and just recently arrived. The reason for its delay came primarily from my indecision (and finances) surrounding what exactly I wanted from a graphics card. I new that I was going to go team Green pretty early on as the TDP of AMD cards is just too high to me. But, after that there was days and days of searching and looking and researching before I finally decided on the 970. I wanted to do an SLI setup soooo bad. Yet, I couldn't find a way to justify something that gave marginal improvements for more money and headaches. The EVGA choice was one I didn't want to make but had to as the price was right. I know that the color scheme doesn't match perfect (I'm going to get rid of the blue) but I couldn't see spending ~$60 more for the MSi Twin Frozr card for no real performance improvements. PRICE - $299
PSU - Rosewill Photon 550w 80+ Gold - Easy decision. Great Warranty (5 years), reputation, and its 80+ gold. PRICE - $64
Storage - Samsung 850 Evo 500GB - After great experience with the 850 Evo in my MacBook Pro that I am writing this Guide on I knew immediately that is was what I wanted. And for .32 cents a Gig... There was no way I could go for the 500GB version. PRICE - $162 * NOTE * I will be adding a 2x2TB RAID 1 array at some point. Input of HDD would be appreciated.
CPU Cooler - Corsair H100i - I got this bad boy on sale over Black Friday and I love the temps I'm gettin. Price 89.99
Case Fans - Corsair AF120 Silent Edition - College student, Dusty Room, No Radiators, RED.
Monitor - Acer GN246HL- This monitor, with the exclusion of an adjustable stand had everything that I wanted. 144Hz, 24", 1ms response time, and a great price. PRICE - $180
Keyboard - Corsair Vengeance K70 (MX BROWN) - I splurged. I had just worked 9 days in a row. I earn it. Didn't I? PRICE - $120
Mouse - Logitech G602 - The piece I am most likely to catch flak about. I know it wireless and for gaming and I know that "doesn't work" but I don't care. It feels perfect in hand and that matters more than a few milliseconds to me.
Great CPU for the price. Stable overclock at 4.3 and 1.25v (Underwhelming I know). Could be due to heat though. Overall, very pleased with its performance so far.
This board has everything I need and has performed great. M.2 for expansion, Solid placement and layout of headers, and a easy to use and update BIOS. Only downside is the lack of an LED or post Sound and could have some more fan headers other than that has been great.
Stable and Red. Haven't tried to overclock it but i feel sure that you would be able to. Does not overclock past 1866 stably.
I have a 840 evo in my MacBook Pro and the performance has carried over and more for this model. The speeds are great and the monitoring tools are nice to have. Just an overall great drive and with some of the best performance outside of NVME drives.
This card OC'd like a beast I was stable at +225mhz and +300 memory boost and with a correct fan curve it operates silently almost always. The card performs well minus some drops in boost clock sometimes.
So much room for activities! The dual zone design made building and cable managing a breeze not to mention the construction is extremely solid with plenty of room for expansion and any form of RAID array or Cooling solutions you wish to use.
Quiet and Stable. All that I can ask for in a PSU.
While I didn't expect too much in terms of improvements from 60 to 144z the difference is noticeable and welcomed not to mention the colors and quality look great. No dead pixels or anything else. The Two main flaws to this monitor are the on screen menus which are terrible and the fact that there is no adjustability, but, thankfully, it is VESA compatible which should fix some of those complaints.