Description

Build #1

Date of Build: September 2015 (original), November 2016 (re-build)

Name: As with all my devices, this one is named after a Vocaloid. Miku seems fitting as she is the first and most popular of the characters. I use this computer to make songs with her voice banks. The build's original color was blue, which is her signature hue.

Recipient: Me

Purpose: Moderate Gaming, Music Creation, Light CAD, and College Work

Special Notes: This build has gone through many component changes. One of the P300 Hard drives is configured as an image backup. The 160GB Seagate is running Mint 18. The two Dell monitors were hand-me-downs and the P300 Hard Drives were a Christmas present.

The Story Behind It: So back when I was sixteen, my parents, in a surprise move, took away all my video games and consoles. I had remained very bitter about this for several months afterwards. Even though I am now a full grown adult, I am still not allowed to play video games at home. Once I had gotten into college and moved out, my roommate introduced me to Steam, aka: games that my parents could never take away from me. I started out playing just a few choice games on my laptop, but as the months went by, I started to gather a collection.

By the second year of university, I was ready to build myself a computer. I spent all of my summer earnings on it and I loved it to death. I was still very obsessed with finding upgrades for it, however, and as such it has gone through many hardware changes since then. I'm back at home now, so I can only play games whenever I visit friends or my parents are out. This is the most recent version of my beloved Miku.

Major hardware changes since the original build, in chronological order:

2x4GB DDR3 > 4x4GB DDR3 (Wanted to fill the empty RAM slots)

Intel Stock Cooler > Phanteks PH-TC14S (CPU was throttling during Prime95 tests)

Corsair CX500M > EVGA G2 750W (Worried about CX-series' reputation for being mediocre)

No WiFi > Dual-Band WiFi Card (Just in case I took this to a LAN party or had to move away from the router)

Fiio E10K > ASUS STRIX Soar PCIe Sound Card (Needed ASIO support for music creation)

1080p Monitor > 3x 1080p Monitors (Hand-me-downs)

EVGA GTX 750Ti ACX > Sapphire RX 470 OC 4GB (Polaris hype!)

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv > Be Quiet Silent Base 800 (I wanted more space for HDD's and PSU)

WD Blue 1TB > 2x Toshiba P300 3TB (I wanted more storage space and data redundancy)

Part Reviews

CPU

Good performance. Decent value.

CPU Cooler

Looks awesome, doesn't block RAM, cools well, and is very quiet.

Motherboard

Lots of features, no legacy PCI slots, M.2 SATA and PCIe support, and a decent headphone amp. Most motherboards just disable two of their SATA ports when the M.2 slot is in use, but ASUS decided to just get rid of them instead, which is unfortunate.

Memory

It's RAM, it works, and it looks good. All par for the course, of course. To be honest, I don't know if there is a single RAM kit out there that exceeds my expectations. This very low profile kit should fit most, if not all, CPU coolers.

Storage

Fairly slow by today's standards, but I got it cheap so I won't be complaining.

Storage

Excellent price-to-performance as well as price-to-capacity. I'd give it five stars, but the warranty period is only two years and it isn't exactly quiet.

Video Card

Fan gets annoying past 50% speed and the card runs fairly hot due to its bargain basement heatsink. Core OC is okay, but the memory can't overclock to save its life. The included back-plate and exclusive "Platinum" color scheme are a nice touch, however.

Case

This is a pretty standard-layout mid-tower case. Three 5.25" bays, seven 3.5" bays, and 2 SSD mounts. The panel tabs are kinda weak, the drive bays aren't exactly "tool-free," and the sound dampening doesn't seem to do much. Despite it's flaws, this case has really grown on me. It has tons of character, yet remains very professional looking. I definitely plan to keep it for my next build.

Power Supply

Great value, lots of extra goodies in the box, epic build quality, and a legendary 10-year warranty. I couldn't be more impressed by a power supply.

Optical Drive

It was cheap, has decent build quality, and it does what it says. Sometimes the driver gets corrupted for no reason, and when it does, it is impossible to correctly burn a DVD without resetting it. I ended up with a lot of coasters before I realized this.

Operating System

Wish I had gotten the Pro version. Home editions can't defer automatic updates which is really annoying.

Sound Card

Makes a loud click whenever you switch outputs, but is otherwise a very nice card. ASIO 2.0 support, 7.1 speaker support, 116dB SNR, a strong headphone amplifier, and has good Windows 10 support. You'll need an extra 6-pin PCIe connector to power it.

Wireless Network Adapter

Best value card on the market by far. Supports Linux and includes Bluetooth!

Monitor

This is a VA monitor, which is somewhere between TN and IPS in color accuracy. 6ms latency is kind of a downer though. Only DVI and VGA ports on this monitor.

Monitor

Not great, but not bad either. No height adjustment and no HDMI or DP.

Keyboard

I love the metal body, replaceable cable, and the Cherry Reds, but dislike that the bottom row is non-standard. Finding replacement caps is going to be difficult. Uses Mini USB instead of Micro USB, which is a minor annoyance.

Mouse

Very comfortable but also very heavy. Sniper button is positioned way too far away from my thumb. My first mouse literally just died on me not one month after purchase. The replacement they sent me worked for about a year before the middle-click stopped working reliably.

Speakers

Not very accurate but isn't badly priced for a budget 2.1 system.

Custom

Not really "professional" quality, but for team chat and podcasts, this isn't a terrible option if you are low on funds.

Custom

Meh, didn't notice much of a difference. Seller offered a refund, but allowed me to keep the item.

Custom

The outer shell for this drawer is super heavy duty, the drawer itself is a mediocre plastic. Can fit a decent amount of small accessories, including CD's.

Custom

I didn't think good sound quality could come this cheap! I originally planned to use these headphones with my smart phone, but I found myself using them on my desktop more and more. I prefer the sound signature to both my K271 and K612 headphones.

Custom

Comes with Ableton Live Lite. Works just fine with Studio One. I'm no expert on pianos, but my sister says the keys have "nice" action.

Custom

Acts just like a regular SATA port. Bios recognized it immediately.

Comments

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build but why the hell are your parents like that? Seems like they are either way too over protective or don't understand what video games really are.

  • 34 months ago
  • 3 points

My parents used to play video games with me when I was younger. I'm not sure what caused them to freak out all of a sudden, but they think that the video games are somehow making me very reclusive. I don't buy it though, because they'd sooner let me watch TV all day than play video games for 30 minutes.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey! I am a bit late to the parade but I love your build!

If I could do one thing to it, I would probably work on cleaning up the cables a bit. I know visuals don't matter at all because it's a closed case, but clearing up cable traffic will improve airflow and lower temps. I love the drawer you have in the OD slot too haha :p

And I definitely agree with you and your parent situation. T.V. and Video Games have few differences. If anything, gaming is healthier for you. You stimulate the mind. I'm not too sure why parents worldwide have grown to hate it. Well, best of luck with your situation. Happy Gaming, Composing, and Working!