|Many updates have been introduced since original posting|
Hey y'all. I want to start off by thanking the Custom PC community. Without this website, linustechtips.com and all the amazing people I would never have even considered building my first computer. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the support.
My set up is a little messy and the cable management will be improved. The desk I own is a little unique compared to what I see on this site. Makes things easier and more difficult at the same time.
CPU: Originally, I thought I would go with the i5 6600k. Then, after the value of the PC went up and up I figured I might as well get an i7. I am glad I did. I have not overclocked it yet, but I will later down the road. When I do, it won't be anything major, just a very mild over clock.
CPU Cooler: I thought about going with liquid. Looking back I think I probably should have just becasue, why not. However, my original thought process is still sound and I do not regret my decision. I never intended to overclock heavily. I chose the Noctua 12s, becasue I just really really like the company. It doesn't look great, but I really don't care how it looks. I am more concerned with quality and efficiency.
Motherboard: I like this motherboard. That's really about it. I bought it becasue it was only $150 at the time and that seem like a good deal. The only thing I think could be better would be the fan headers. There aren't that many of them. However, I am looking to buy some good headphones in the future to cover my audio needs. The sound on this motherboard is supposed to be good. I read on their website that is has 'high quality' 7.1 surround sound, whatever that means. Crucially, their website claims that the built in audio can support headphones up to 600Ω which is pretty neat.
RAM: It's red and I paid a tit over $60 bucks for it. That's about it, really. I might double it sometime in the future, just for fun. I really don't need more than 8GB, 16GB is nice, 32GB will be cool beans.
SSD: The 850 EVO seems to be pretty good, from what everyone tells me. I considered a M.2 ssd, but figured I don't need the speed. I may look into it later down the road, but I need to see what my motherboard will support. It does have two M.2 slots, but I am not sure how many I can actually use with my setup. Overall, I really love the 850 EVO. 250GB for a boot drive is a lot for me. 250GB, in general, is more than most people think, in my opinion.
HDD: I went with WD Black, becasue of the positive reviews. 2TB is just enough for me. I also really desired a 7200rpm drive. It seems like every hard disk drive out there is plagued with issues based off reviews.
GPU: Man. This one got me excited. Originally, I was thinking of getting a r9 390X, becasue that was out at the time I really started looking into building a computer. Then, Pascal finally hit and I was set on a 1070. Before I knew it, I bought a 1080 FTW and I am so glad I did. It's really not the best value, but the monitor I chose would need something like the 1080 to get out what I paid for it, in my opinion.
Case: This is what started it all, really. I have been planning and planning for months. I spent a lot of time picking out the case too. I narrowed it down to about 5 cases and I really thought I would go with the s340 or the define s. Those were my first choices. Finally, one day, I saw the Phanteks P400 on amazon for a steal of a price. It was up for $49.99 on Amazon folks. $49.99!? I bought it immediately and that is what triggered me to finally order hardware and begine building a PC. $49.99?!
PSU: I really didn't put too much thought into the power supply. An electrical engineer said it was decent and it was at a reasonable price at the time, so I bought it. Looking back, I would have bought a 650W G2, but ah well.
OS: I really wanted to install Windows 7 Professional. I actually paid a over a hundred bucks for a legit key. I tried to install it for literally a week. I bought an external optical drive. I messed with settings on my Motherboard. I tried making a bootable usb and then a bootable 3.0 usb. Downloaded ISO files. I tried using the command prompt and typing in commands on another computer. I tired so many things and I guess I am just not experienced enough to figure it out. I ended up giving up and buying a Windows 10 Home key from a Microsoft store near me. After that, it took a solid 20 minutes to install the operating system and she was running for the first time. Then, it only took anther 2 hours after to optimize Windows 10...
I understand you can buy keys from kenguin or reddit for like $25, but I just didn't want to go down that route.
Wireless Adapter: I may have spent a little too much here, but I dont really care. I needed a worthy wireless adapter to connect to my router.
Case Fans: I spent a good $21 on an extra case fan from Noctua. I have the two included 120mm fans blowing and exhausting a neutral pressure into the case. So, this 140mm bad boy turns that into positive pressure and I positioned it right in line with my GPU. I love Noctua.
Monitor: This is the most expensive piece in my build. I guess it is technically the set up, but still it's a good bit more than my GPU. Initially, I was actually underwhelmed with this monitor. Coming from a 2012 iMac, the screen colorization was actually pretty pathetic. I spent about 20 minutes calibrating it and adjusting settings and now it really looks alive. I overclocked it to 165Hz, which is really just a dial, super simple to do, and it looks and preforms great. IPS displays with this response time and refresh rate is as much is all I will ever need for a long time and worth the price, in my opinion.
Keyboard: I have had this keyboard for way over 3 years and I have no issues. I really like that it has n-key rollover through usb, which was a big deal back then. Also there is a couple dozen megabytes of storage built into the board. So, I have never had any issues with settings or drivers or software. Which is great moving from many machines. Very simple clear cap on the ESC key, some rubber o-rings on the main, alphabet keys and some quarterly cleaning sessions it'll probably out live everything here.
Mouse: I have had many mice over the years. I really like the Naga. The keypad is very useful for recording macros and being very productive. I used to own the older Naga Molten Edition without the mechanical buttons and I loved it. This 2014 version is much better and refined very well in comparison. It's a great mouse for gaming and productivity.
Audio:In progress, looking for some headphones.
Thanks for making it this far! I will post more pictures, information and benchmarks in the future.
Most people really don't need anything more than an i5 6600k. I chose this becasue I do some light content creation. Anything more heavy duty needs and x99 platform. Highest grade consumer cpu atm of purchasing. Very please.
This motherboard is absolutely worth it. Very pleased. I got it for just over $150. However, I believe it is still a good buy at $170.
Notable features: Audio. Bio reset. 3.1 usb and type C. LED code debugger.
Amplifiers cable of handling 600 ohm impedance headphones. Very good virtual 7.1 sound. Powers and implements my 300 Ohm Sennheiser HD600's beautifully. The built in audio is the strongest feature for me, personally.
Negative: There are not very many fan headers, I think less than 5. Although, not an issue for me.
Pretty good. 1440p no worries for a while.
I got it for $49.99. For that price it is absolutely worth it. I would hesitate to spend $90 or even $80 on this case. $70 is kind of the sweet spot I suppose, I got a killer deal on what appears a pricing mistake on Amazon. I like the looks in grey. It is virtually a fully dust filter case. I really really like the top magnetic one. Pretty easy to build in. Cable management is pretty standard, so good. Nice thumbscrews on the panels.
Worked great for me. A couple things I want to mention: My PSU barely fit, height wise. It fits full sized PSU's, but you may feel like you have to scratch the PSU to get it in. The included fans are pretty pathetic. I purchased an extra Noctua fan to slap on the front and I have no issues now. I dont really like how there are holes drilled all over the basement, but I'm sure custom loops would use that nicely. This case is great for custom water cooling, considering the price and size. Finally, the panels are kind of difficult, not impossible, but not easy to take off and put back in.
Wireless Network Adapter
Very good adapter. Looks good. Doesn't have a long cable. Works great with solid specs. Works with Windows 10. Don't buy if you don't have a good internet connection and router. Better off with the cheapest ac adapter, if that is the case.
I will be buying more. Color is the only bad thing, but I don't care. Quality performance.
Best fan. Period
Initially, I was underwhelmed by this monitor. Takes some times to get the right settings. But it is AMAZING after you get it dialed in. Need some GPU power to utilize the 165Hz. My gtx 1080 ftw and this monitor are best friends.
Best keyboard for me. Have had this board for over 3 years. Works great. Super high quality. Particularly enjoy the small amount of storage on board so you never need to configure or update drivers. It knows you, doesn't matter where or to what it is plugged in. N key roll over through USB was a big deal 3 year ago.
Very good. I have glasses so the 600 or 650 are the best option for me. The HD650s are very good, but I don't think they are worth the price discrepancy over the 600. The 650s do have a wider sound stage, but the HD600s are already very, very solid. For the money, cant be beat. Best sound and most comfortable headphones I have ever owned or listened to. I like the flatness of these over the HD650s, but the difference is minor. Even the HD700s didn't sound as nice to me, they are more comfortable, but only without wearing my glasses. Have not auditioned the HD800s.
For gaming and general media consumption, most people wont ever need anything more than the HD600s. It's like an i7 6700k in my mind. The HD650s are an i7 6700k with a custom loop. Then the HD700s can be an i7 6800k. Then the HD800s are... $1100...