For a long time now, I've wanted to build a PC. The opportunity arose recently when my old computer died in a sudden hardware failure. My old computer was nothing to write home about, in fact nothing to write about in general, so I won't. We're focusing on my baby, Ghost, for now.
I decided to base the system on an Intel processor, an 8th generation Core i5, to be exact. Nothing too fancy, I have no reason to overclock it, since I won't be using it for anything other than gaming and light modeling/sound design.
Being a "Gaming" PC, I decided to go with an Asus ROG Strix H370-F Gaming mobo. Again, no need for overclocking, so an X370 would be overkill. I still wanted something that looked nice, and had a nice flair to it, and of course was compatible with an LGA1151 CPU socket.
I made the bold move to tread into (slightly) uncharted territories for this one, for me at least, and went for a 2 x 8gb kit of Team Group T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 RAM, clocked at 2666mHz, to line up nicely with the motherboard. So far no issues, and I've heard good things about Team Group. Plus, RGB lighting that syncs up with Asus Aura sync.
The debate has been up for a while now, which tower style cooler is better: The classic Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, or the sleek CRYORIG H7. I decided to go with the CRYORIG H7 on this one, for both aesthetic purposes and ease of installation. It helps that it was designed for LGA1151 as well. It also runs with a mostly unnoticeable amount of noise, unless I'm really pushing the CPU.
Now, the most expensive part of the build. The graphics card. I had a long mental debate over what to get for this. I bounced back and forth between AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce. My first choice was a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, but I soon began to rethink my decision. In the end, I went with a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 3GB. (Windforce OC Edition) So far, this card has been running beautifully. I've had to enable VSync on nearly all games I've played in order to keep it from going past 200 or 300 fps. The fans don't turn on until they're needed, so that does save me some headache.
I went for an ADATA XPG 128GB M.2 SSD as well as a WD Caviar blue 1TB HDD, plus some hard drives I saved from my old computer and an old laptop hard drive that I had some things I wanted to keep on it. Were all the space on my combined storage devices available, I would have exactly 2018GB, and I just thought that was neat. A little overkill, but still neat.
This is one of the few things that has remained constant throughout Ghost's entire history. A budget case, but still quite a nice one. I went for a Deepcool TESSERACT SW ATX Mid Tower case, which came with 2 blue LED fans, to add to my blue aesthetic I was going for, along with a bit of blue trim on the case itself.
Another one of the very few things that remained constant throughout the build's history. A Corsair CX550M 80+ Bronze Semi-Modular ATX. Not much to be said for it, other than that it's kept my computer running and hasn't exploded... Yet. I doubt it will, however, as from what I've seen of Corsair's products, they're usually quite well built, and can stand up to some trauma.
Call me old all you'd like, but I had one lying around from my old computer and decided there's no reason not to add it in. Of course, this part is completely optional, though it did allow me to install the necessary drivers directly from the disc, rather than having to go grab another USB stick and download the drivers from my other slower computer.
So, there's a couple things here that I wanted to mention, just in case anyone wanted to replicate this build and her aesthetic.
I have a Razer Deathadder Chroma that was given to me by a friend, who bought a Logitech G502 to replace it months before. It's been a great mouse, except for I would like to have more programmable buttons, but that's just my opinion. Also on this particular mouse, the scroll wheel click sometimes doesn't work, which kind of gets in the way sometimes, but for the most part it isn't an issue.
I've upgraded to a Logitech G502, and boy this mouse is great. So many programmable buttons for macros or hotkeys, the scroll wheel works and can be unlocked to scroll as fast as I want. The Logitech Gaming software also works way better than Razer Synapse IMHO.
Didn't even realize I'd forgotten to mention the headset I got. The Logitech G430 headset is honestly better than my Beats Studio3 headphones in almost every every way. The sound quality is better, the mic is better, and they're more comfortable. The only thing is the bass is a little weaker on this headset, but it's to be expected of a headset built more for gaming and less for music. My Beats are also falling apart at the seams, so I doubt they'd last long as my daily driver headset.
I found quite a nice budget mechanical keyboard on Amazon, the EagleTec KG010. It uses Outemu Blue switches, which have a very slight difference in sound from Cherry MX Blues, but it's mostly indistinguishable, unless you're particularly picky about your key switches, in which case you probably would've bought a keyboard with Cherry switches instead.
I was recommended a monitor when I put my build up on the build help forum, I liked the way it looked, and saw that it had a higher refresh rate and was slightly larger than the previous choice I had. The monitor in question is the LG 24MP59G-P, a 1920x1080 75Hz monitor with FreeSync, which was my main reason for jumping between Radeon and GeForce so much.
I got these speakers as a Christmas gift a year ago, and never put them to much use. They're not the best quality, but for the few times I use them, it's not too big of a deal. If you're curious, they're BlackWeb BWA15HO110 speakers, and can be found at Walmart.
I'd also like to note that I bought two extra case fans to assist with airflow, and tried my best to match them with the case fans included with my case. I succeeded, and have 4 case fans currently pumping air through the computer as I type.
Not really much to say on this one, I went for a classic Arctic Silver 5 High-Density thermal paste to keep that optimal conduction between my Core i5 and the CRYORIG H7 keeping it nice and cool.
That's all I really have to say on this build, I hope you've enjoyed looking through this, (probably not because i wrote a ton) and if you have any suggestions on things I could've done differently, don't hesitate to say something, and I'll (probably) take it into account next time I build a computer.
All I needed for my build. Runs good, doesn't heat up too much, and can obliterate almost any task I throw at it.
Keeps my Core i5-8400 at around 38°C when idling, and 59°C under load. Runs with a negligible amount of noise, and looks nice as well. Installation was a breeze as well.
What can I say that hasn't been said? Easy application—no spreading needed—and has worked better than the stock thermal compound included with the CRYORIG H7.
Looks really nice, has support for Asus Aura Sync, and comes with a driver CD for convenience. Also, my CPU fits in it, so that's good. Bonus points for the built-in IO shield.
I'll be honest, I was a little skeptical about buying from Team, a company I'd never heard of, but everything's been working wonderfully. Beautiful RGB lighting with built in support for Aura Sync.
Boots Windows 10 in 20-30 seconds, and can open many of my favorite games in under a minute. Bonus points for not taking up an internal 2.5" bay.
Hard drives pulled from an old prebuilt machine. Do what they need to, and work well enough. Not sure how long they'll last, since they're both over 10 years old at this point.
Does what it needs to, and can launch most games I have saved to it pretty quickly.
Can run most games at 75 FPS (My monitor's refresh rate) with little to no effort. Fans only turn on when needed, so it saves a bit of noise that way. When idle only heats up to 42°C and under load reaches 71°C, so a little toasty but nothing really bad.
Beautiful case, love that it came with 2 blue LED case fans. -1 star for the weird window shape, the front IO cables blocking the top 5.75" bay, break-away PCI slot covers, ugly fan cables (easily hidden), and the water-cooling grommets that are so thin they bent when I looked at them. Other than that a wonderful budget case.
Not much to say other than it's kept my PC powered and due to its semi-modular nature I don't have any cables I don't need cluttering up my case. Bonus points for not exploding.
Matched my case's included fans perfectly (probably because they're the same ones). Aren't too loud, and look great.
Nice picture quality, no noticeable backlight bleed unless the screen is completely black, which it rarely is. 75Hz is plenty as well, and the UI is pretty good too.
Blue key switches, blue LEDs, and a black brushed aluminum finish. What's not to like. Unless you don't like the things I mentioned, in which case you probably wouldn't like it. Mine arrived a little banged up on the corner, but it's nothing I couldn't fix.
Sounds great, with good mic quality. My teammates are usually able to hear things happening in the background so I end up lowering my sensitivity. They're also pretty comfortable to wear for extended periods, something I find very important in a headset.