When I started college I wanted to focus on my studies so bad I sold my old gaming PC. Now I decided to build a new, possibly a much more powerful one. I participated in a few PC builds, so I could gather some experience for my own build. I wanted something excited, something new, of course within a reasonable price range (~ $1.000). Sadly, in my country we have to pay a little more money for the individual parts, so I had to keep in mind that I have fewer options. Also, I had to shop every single part from a specific shop (this benefits me the most), so browsing through all the manufacturers' list was kinda useless. Ultimately I had to choose from what hey had in stock. I know I'm kind of biased about this rig according to my reviews. But this PC has been in the making for 5 months now and I'm just happy to see that I got exactly what I was planning to acquire with this.
When I began to search parts for my build I had an i3 in mind. I knew I had to save up for the GPU, and for my studies a strong single-core performance CPU would be enough. However, all my PCs in the past ten years were mid-range gaming rigs at best. So i thought it was time for an upgrade. I was thinking of the i5-6500. Then I saw the Z170 Mortar mobo, for a great price. The 6600k costed $36 more, but hell, at this point I was on fire! I don't regret this at all! The only thing worth mentioning is that I can reach 4.5ghz easily, but I'm unable to push it any further. Yeah, I know not all the K CPUs have the same performance, it just bugs me a bit. Still got 726cb score, which is perfect for me.
I had like a dozen coolers in mind at the time. Then one day I accidentally found this beauty. This was the only cooler that almost shouted out loud from the reviews: hey, I'm the best price/perf air cooler in this range, I'm your guy. To be specific, this cooler has almost the same cooling performance as the NH-D14... Well, I'm amazed. I ran Prime95 torture @4.5ghz, 1.32V for like 20 minutes or so, and the highest temperature my CPU reached was 65°C (!!). I wonder if there's anything this beast can't handle.
I saw this mobo on a 'weekly sales' list, and I immediately fell in love with it. I've never had an MSI product before, but I didn't hear any specific bad about it either. So there wasn't too much to think about. The BIOS menu is heaven compared to those old, blue 8-bit designed dull ones. Everything's easy to find, easy to handle. And the software support is just awesome. I remember I had to deal with every single driver, bios update repeatedly. Hate it. Now it's just one click, and everything's taken care of. Including the bios update. I'm sorry, I'm just sold.
I can't think of anything else than Kingston when it comes to RAM. I'm sure there are other excellent memory modules on the market. The thing is, we only used Kingston RAMs in the past I don't know, many, many years. And we never had a simple problem. Not one. Which is important in this consumer world. With the extra 8GB I would be way out of my budget, so for now I work with 8GB. I haven't tested the memory specifically so far, but haven't have a problem with it either.
The original plan was a 250GB SSD + 1TB WD Blue. But I got luckier, and I recieved a WD Green for free. So I got that money back and I invested into a twice as big SSD. This had de best price and the most IOPS in that shop. I wasn't thinking of choosing Sandisk, but this came in the very last moment. It's great so far, faster than any other SSDs I had. Hope it will last!
Not much to say about it. It's simply just for storing, nothing else. Will not run programs on it, so the 5400rpm won't be a problem. I'm just happy I got it for free.
My knowledge of GPUs was minimal when I started to choose parts. But I already new at the beginning that either the GTX 960 or the R9 380 will be the one. First, I was gonna go with the nVidia, then some forums opened my eyes that the R9 has actually a better performance. In the last two months the 380X prices lowered a little, so with an extra few bucks I could afford one. The store didn't have the Sapphire version and all the others had low clock rate. Except this. This had almost the same clock speed and it was cheaper. Best bang for the buck. I've never had a GPU like this. DA:I runs with stable 60+ fps with maxed out setting @1080p (HBAO minimal, AA turned off ofc). Even when OC'd, it barely reaches 70°C. I love this card. One funny thing I noticed in the Catalyst is that you can have virtual resolution. I've never heard of this. I can run games at 1440p, on a 1080p monitor, lol. Well, the difference is minimal, but the FPS is affected by a lot, so it doesn't worth it, but it's still fun. I am pleased.
I knew this is going to be fun when I first layed my eyes on this case. I just knew I had to get this. Even though it's a Micro case, all the modding options, all the room for.. everything - it makes it huge. The front 200mm fan's a great idea. The case is a wonder, I could not have asked for a better one.
I was in trouble, because the store didn't have much higher quality PSUs. And I was certain I needed a reliable one for a K processor and a 190W GPU. I read reviews, I calculated a lot and I came to the conclusion that this will be enough. It's reliable, it's enough and worth the money. Had 0 problems with it so far, I like the wiring and the design.
If I have the option to mod, why not? One to the back, and one to the side of the GPU. The temps are great, I haven't noticed any anomaly or turbulance. The fans are quiet and working decently. I hope these will help in the long term.