Description

*FORMULAR CHAMPION was primarily built for gaming, and some 3D rendering shenanigans. *

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I've included story time folks. After the build I've given a nice long narrative to my reintroduction in PC gaming; just setting the scene. If you want to get straight to the build log, it's right below.

**PS. This build was mostly bought BEFORE Skylake cpu's were released. As it were I still would have gone with Haswell. To me Skylake isn't worth the added price or minute performance.

Build Log

I've been planning this build for a very long time. I've garnered a few random assortments of componants until I find some better stuff:

-The Razer Keyboard I will admit, is a giant waste of money and definately not worth the asking price. I got it for half the price (like £110) and figured it to be a fancy little gimmick. I kind of regret not buying a nice mechanical keyboard and calling it a day. I don't use the touch screen at all.

-The Mouse knocked it out of the park however. Best mouse I've ever owned, and flawless for FSP games which require twitch reflexes and uber sensitive mouse buttons.

-Artic Silver 5: I just found lying around in my friends basement and bought it off him. It's quite ancient, but still provides great after market cooling, or at least people say it does. Hopefully it hasn't dried up.

-Gtx 780 (3gb edition): A failed birthday present for a friend. He didn't want it so I decided to ask for it back and stick it in the build. Works great still.

-Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD: Another relic of my collection. Originally used on an old system of mine. I used 'Darik's boot and nuke' to wipe the thing and got the thing ready for a fresh install.

-Windows 7(10): Bought this years ago for my laptops. Can be uses on 3 different systems, but I seemed to have used it at least 4 and it's still going. I'm not sure why, but probably best not to question it. Once the rig works and all the small things are installed, I'll be installing Windows 10 over it. Never used Windows 8 so I'm hoping for good things!

== First day of building ==

•All components are accounted for and ready to rock

  • Asus MAXIMUS VII HERO: An aesthetic choice more than anything. Also the ROG line is my favorite for overclocking and the BIOS is the best one there is bar none!

  • 16gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866mhz DDR3: A lucky find on ebay. I wouldn't have gone with them at full retail price, but since I must admit I don't regret my choice one bit.

  • Air 540: PCPP's fave case it seems. Everyone seems to love this case and I can see why. Insanely customisable and great cable management facilities. Best case I've ever owned.

  • 2x Western Digital BLACK SERIES HDD 1TB + 2TB:

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The year is 2013, I'm starting to get tired of console gaming. Too long has the shackles of 720p and 30fps kept me from truly appreciates the game. It doesn't help I knew what I was missing. Even before the Xbox 360 came I was a PC gamer. My favorite game of all time back then was 'BLACK & WHITE'; another mutant lovechild of Peter Molyneux. It was the game of my dreams. I brought up on hardcore RTS games like Age of Empires, and this was truly something I'd never experienced. I never thought I could be persuaded to try anything new..

Until 'HALO' dropped....

Never had a played a game like this before. Tight, responsive controls, great graphics, split screen MP; the possibilities were endless. However It wasn't to be as I could only watch in longing as my friends ran out to get the new console, and I could only sit and watch..

In my opinion, this was the only time a console had ever truly toppled the giant that was PC, and brought about the age of console gaming as we know it today (Whether it be good or bad). To make matters worse, I wasn't out on PC!!

For 2 years I languished. Games liked Quake, Unreal, and even my beloved RTS games couldn't keep me entertained. I seemed to be stuck on the wrong side of the fence, and while the hype train on Microsoft's new baby seemingly could no wrong, I was rutting in a corner sulking. PC and I had seemed to have a falling out. I was done..

And then Halo CE on PC hit..

Back to gaming I came, disk In hand [among other things. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ] and got to work. I was hooked.. Never had a game got me interested in the story like this before. And the soundtrack was out of this world to boot. I consumed all things Halo. The books, the Music CD's, posters, anything I could get my hands on. I had found my next gaming icon in the Master Chief, and once I had scrunched every last drop of Halo goodness out of the game in 2004, I happily waited for it's sequel 'Halo 2' to arrive on pc as well.. I was disappointed..

After 3 more years of roid rage, I had had enough, I scrapped my pc, sold it to a friend for a megure sum, and bought an Xbox 360. Thank god for backwards compatipality! Halo 2, for me was a bitter sweet morsel. Thought the campaign was truly great, I had missed what the game truly represented; an evolution of multiplayer gaming. By now the E3 trailer for Halo 3 had dropped, and it's safe to say I was almost frothing at the mouth to get my grubby paws on it.

A year passed, and I enjoyed playing on consoles a lot more than playing on PC. I didn't care about FPS on resolution, in fact I didn't even know what that was; this was a long time before I knew anything about such sordid concepts. Gears Of War held me for a long time, and I even managed to win a few competitive tournaments, which won me a copy of a game that no one saw coming.

Crackdown

A game that sold purely on the merit that the Halo 3 beta was included on it's disk. No one ever dreamed it would actually turn out to be a fantastic game in it's own right! So eventually the beta hit. I, among 10's of 1000's of other gamers rushed to jump onto the beta, and what the game I played then still remains my favourite game of all time. I had found the game. And so when the game finally dropped, I was there at the 12:00pm midnight release of the game. I rushed home, and played a solid 10 hours of some of the most fantastic gaming I have ever had the pleasure of imbibing.

Everything was perfect. Balance, graphics, soundtrack, community, multiplayer integration, and a something that seemed to be fine at the time, quickly became a damaging precedent on scene of gaming: MAP PACKS Of course I didn't care at the time.

Time flew past, I played other games. Gaming had more of less morphed into the "Console first" gaming environment we have today. I always came back to my old favourite. I played, and played, and played and played. New Halo games came out, I played them, I loved them, I made great friends on Xbox Live, and everything went swimmingly.

Everything Changed When The Fire Nation Attacked Or as they are more commonly known as:

Activision

During the closing days of Halo 3, Bungie (the devs behind Halo) signed a contract with the already infamous company which had already destroyed many franchises, and people were not happy. Bungie argued that they would remains the masters of their own 'destiny', and would basically autonomous from the machinations of Activision's grimy affairs. This was the beginning of the end for Bungie, and would spell the doom of my long love affair with their titles.

And so the days of Halo were numbered. The giant that is Call of Duty had fully come into it's own and was lying waste to everything that stood in it's way, and although the community's were always staunchly at odds (and still are), they were basically one and the same at this point. Both titles were under the shroud of Activision. Halo Reach had been launched, did great, and I munched through it like the good fanboy I was; knowing full well this was supposed to be the last Halo game being made, or at least, that Bungie would make. I was ready to hang up the helmet and my dear friend find peace; it had been a blast.

The of madness and disdain approaches Bungie announces their first major release in collaboration with Activision

People lost their minds. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. By this time I'd already started to get a little bored with console gaming, and had starting dipping a toe back into the realm of pc. Another juganaut which I had seen rise from nothing into the dominant party on PC; Steam, had bee drawing me for a number of years, and various games like Civilation, Deus Ex, and Half Life 2/Garrys Mod was slowly bringing me back to the fold. I was not ready to leave my baby just yet however. Over 100,000 Gamerscore isn't just abandoned in an instant. The roots of Xbox ran deep and I liked it there.

  • The Xbox One lands.

Under a lot of trepidation I buy the new console. The community response was...mixed. I found thoroughly underwhelming, and if it wasn't for the rather broken gen 'Battlefield 4' I would have sold the console pretty quick.

And then things are taken out of my hands. My Xbox One bricks itself My mind was made up, I would re-join "The Master Race", and enjoy 60fps/1080p gaming once more.

This was about the same time as the Destiny "beta" dropped. I was disgusted. The game had decent gameplay, as per what I expected from the team that brought us my favourite game of all time; but the soul of the game was black with cooperate tampering. Paid DLC, console exclusive DLC, paid add-ons on release day; the list went on and on. The game came out, and everything was exactly what I had feared. Bungie was not the community driven team I remembered, and a mere shadow of it's former self.

I had had enough. PC gaming it was then.

And so the quest to build a PC that was able to run any game at 1080p was bord. This quickly grew into something that I would not foresee. This would quickly become a game of entrepreneurial pursuits, shady deals, and quite a bit of white lying as I bought and sold components for less than they were worth and sold them on for quite a bit more. And so this went on for a couple of years.

The build I started with was fairly rudimentary, yet still enthusiast grade.

• An I7 4790K

A difficult choice to make. Do I wait for Skylake, or do I just go with the latest and greatest? I decided on the latter. By all accounts, or at least supposed leaked Information at the time of this builds making, Skylake will not be huge improvement, and If I was going to make the jump, I wanted to not waste any more time dithering. I intended to OC to around 4.7 Ghz. This part proved to be rather troublesome later down the line.

• Case: Corsair Air 540 The darling of PCPP and for good reason. This thing is an Airflow beast! Plus the cable management should be a breeze.

The complete parts list, rationale, build log and descriptions can be seen here: http://imgur.com/a/Meh4T

02/01/14 Updates:

I. Removed Miscellaneous, Taxes, Shipping and Handling Fees on the list to avoid price confusion

II. Finished re-wiring and cable management

III. Replaced all Red LED light strips with White LED light strips

IV. Added more photos

02/10/14 Updates:

I. Added another 1TB Samsung EVO SSD

II. Added more photos

04/16/14 Updates:

I: Added a new monitor ( Asus PB298Q 29 inch Ultra-wide screen monitor )

II. Added more photos

Part Reviews

Thermal Compound

The old guard of enthusiast grade thermal compounds. Still great, but starting to show it's age. Temps aren't as good as newer options out there.

Decided to upgrade further after getting this free.

Motherboard

Brilliant aesthetics and a beast of an overclocker.

Not to mention Asus' ROG BIOS Is the best around BAR NONE.

Memory

The best RAM I've ever used by a huge margin.

An enthusiast product by all standards; but worth it for the aesthetics.

Storage

Reliable, and just as speedy as when I bought it 3 years ago.

A pleasure to use.

Case

Still one of the best cases for Air Flow, and still the undisputed king of non rectangular designs.

An absolute pleasure to work with.

Power Supply

Beast of a PSU.

Wattage stayed consistently at peak levels and never dropped below 1200watts.

Cable sleeving was ok.

Operating System

Can't get any better than Windows 7.

The best and most reliable OS ever in my opinion.

Keyboard

The ultimate gimmick.

Bought on sale for 1/3 of the price and still not particularly impressed.

Chicklit keys are serviceable and the touch screen is pretty dope, but otherwise unremarkable.

Mouse

Still my favorite mouse to date.

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