[Birth Date: 11/9/2014]
Pictures will be updated throughout the week so stay tuned! I'm planning on doing more cable management whenever I have the time.
If anyone wants any close ups on any specific part, let me know!
This was my very first build! (It is still in process of being fully completed. I am pending ugprades)
I was doing some research about building a PC a year ago and I have always wanted one because all of my friends did it. What do friends do to other friends? Force them to conform and by jolly I conformed. I initially started off planning my part list to be more on the budget friendly side because money is always an issue. I first set my part list to around $600. Then I got power hungry; I raised my limit to $800. I still didn't think I was going to get the performance I wanted. Then I bumped it to $1000, even if it meant it had to prolong my PC's Birth Date. Guys, the thirst is real. The build now says $1400 because that's the total I've spent up to today but when the PC was first born, I only had thrown $1000 on the table.
Now being that this is my first computer build, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I researched for days on out, morning to night. I didn't realize there were so many different brands and so many different models and parts. I even considered buying a pre-built iBUYPOWER gaming computer. After further research I realized that building your own computer is the way to go and it's fully customizable. When searching for my parts, I tried my hardest to find all blue parts. I wanted the blue colored scheme to resemble my cold temperatures and blue is my favorite color. However after acquiring the NZXT Hue, I changed everything to green just to match my Razer Peripherals.
I am debating on whether to add a new SSD [Samsung 850 PRO] because the SSD now is slower than it once was, and I heard great things about the Samsung 850 PRO. It's fast and extremely reliable. I would just have to back up my program files from my existing SSD to one of my HDD, then reinstall the OS on the Samsung.
I am also debating on whether to change motherboards. I want to upgrade motherboards because (the thirst is real, just kidding) whenever I do purchase my 980Ti, I want a bigger and beefier motherboard. The mid range one I have now is much smaller compared to high end motherboards. The thing is, is it a need vs is it a want? The motherboard now can certainly handle it, I won't be using SLI, and I can still overclock so the motherboard I have now will still suffice whenever I do upgrade my GPU.
I am also eventually wanting to have a three monitor setup whenever I can go to IKEA and find a larger desk to be able to place three monitors and the tower all on the same platform.
Now let's get on with the parts and why I chose them and how its performance has been this past year.
[Tower Cover - Computer Dust Solutions]: I am adding this to the list just in case any one else wants to know where I found this case. I got the Server Tower size case. The dimensions are perfect for the 750D. I put this cover on every time I turn off the PC. The dust build up will be extremely minimal. What I also like about the case, is that the rear panel is just short enough to where I can keep all my cables plugged in my Rear I/O so I never have to plug anything out when covering it up! Computer Dust Solutions Tower Cover
What do you all prefer? Razer Blue Theme or Razer Green Theme?
I selected this CPU because it best suit my needs. This computer was going to mainly be for gaming and streaming. The i5-4690K easily handles all of this. I also wanted to be able to over-clock in the future. I was really on the fence about getting an i5 or an i7 but after finding out what my needs are for this PC, the i5 was the better fit. Plus, I was able to get it for $200 at my local MicroCenter so I saved a lot on costs. Performance wise, it's great. On idle it sits around the mid 20's and under-load it sits around the 50's. Keep in mind I live in Texas so it is already hotter than an oven so these temperatures are excellent.
This CPU Cooler wasn't purchased until last month. I've been using the stock cpu heat sink until I acquired this bad boy. I switched to a water cooling setup simply because it looks cool, it keeps my temperatures colder, and it will also help with my overclocking in the future. The software NZXT CAM is all right. I wouldn't give it five stars because it is a little buggy. At least it monitors CPU and GPU temps, you can control fan speeds and has awesome light-up features. I never had any issues with noises that a lot of people complain about. I only had a bubbling noise when the device was initially set up because all of the liquid needed to "break in" when it's first turned on. I am only rating 4 stars because the light feature on the kraken is a little off. If I try and select blue, it gives me a white color. If I try and select a bright red, it gives me orange. If I try to select dark red, it gives me magenta. It looks like only green works accurately for me. And the software is a little buggy. Other than that, it does the job and keeps my temperatures low.
I selected this motherboard because this was the best bang for my buck at the time. It offered overclocking capabilities, it had good ratings, and it was blue. It does not have SLI capabilities but that's okay with me. I didn't want to touch the realm for SLI nor was SLI in my budget. I also got this motherboard at MicroCenter for $80 so I could not pass that deal up. The BIOS is very easy to maneuver around. There are a bunch of drivers and utility programs that come with it that I never use, so I sort of consider it bloatware but, meh. It's not affecting performance.
I selected this RAM because of its highly rated reviews, speed, price and color. I initially only had bought one of these and only had 8GB of RAM in my PC. I didn't get 16GB of RAM until half a year later. These sticks are great. Each pair of sticks only cost me $40 on New Egg. Nothing really else to say. They do the job, they look really cool with the blue heat spreader and it matches with my blue motherboard.
I selected this SSD because of the capacity and price. I purchased this at MicroCenter for only $50. That's an amazing price for an SSD of that size. I only needed an SSD large enough for Windows 8.1 and some programs. After a year, I noticed that the start up isn't as fast as it used to be when I first installed it. It used to be a 10 second start up but now it's longer. Not sure if it's because of all the programs I have installed (which isn't a lot) or just age. And for this decrease in performance, I'm giving 4 stars.
I selected this HDD because of the capacity and price. My Steam Library wasn't that big to begin with so I figured that 1 TB full of space is enough to start off with. This was only $50 at MicroCenter as well. It works well, it didn't take long to setup. It's also blue so that was a great match for my initial theme :D
This HDD was purchased several months after the Birth Date. I selected this HDD because of the capacity and price. This was being sold on Amazon for only $70! I definitely had to snag this one for the price. I never had any issues when installing and partitioning it. It was easy as 1, 2, 3.
Now before you guys flame me on this one, keep in mind this was initially a budget build! $100 on New Egg for this GPU is a great bargain. People really need to stop shunning this graphics card. It's an amazing card for the price. In League of Legends, I'm around 200-300 FPS on max settings. In GTA V I'm around 50 FPS on high settings. In Tera I'm around 60 FPS on high settings. In CS:GO I'm around 100-200 FPS on max settings. Those are examples of completely different types of games and the graphics card doesn't even break 60C. It's a powerful little work horse. This is probably the best budget graphics card out there IMO in regards to performance and temperatures. I am in the market of purchasing a 980Ti. Ever since I used this 750Ti, I want to continue the Ti Legacy so whenever I have more funds, I'll upgrade to the 980Ti but as for my gaming experiences, the 750Ti does just what I need.
I selected this case because of its size, modularity, aesthetics, window size and tool-free capabilities. This is a beautiful case. I know some of you will say that it's over-kill but it really isn't. I wanted a budget build, with room to improve in the future. This is exactly that. The size is perfect. I love the ability to remove or rearrange the HDD bays. I was able to move the HDD bays from the bottom of the case to be suspended beneath the Optical Drives, that way I can add two intake fans on the bottom of the case for more positive pressure. I love how it's tool-free so I can remove the side panels with the thumb screws. I can also remove the SSD brackets as well be just lifting a latch. I can add HDDs by just flexing the HDD tray wide enough to where the HDD will sit inside and the pegs fit inside the holes. The grommets are very spacious for better cable management. This case allows me to have 7-8 fans total. The front fans and the filter is easily accessible by just pushing on the front panel. The top of the case comes with a filter. The window practically takes up one whole side panel so I can admire all of my components without any obstruction.
I selected this PSU because it was semi-moduler (though it really might as well be considered fully modular because the only cable that isn't modular is the huge main cable to power up the motherboard. That cable has to exist anyway so there's no point in making that cable modular. Unless someone prefers third party cables). It was also 750W which is plenty enough for all of my components for my build and I'm big on efficient so I had to get at least a Gold Certified PSU. I purchased this PSU for only $50 on New Egg so that's a great price. It also came with multiple PCI, SATA and Molex cables.
Wireless Network Adapter
I selected this simply because it offers wifi + bluetooth and it was cheap. I do like how the antennae is magnetic so I can place it anywhere on my tower and the antennae can be positioned straight up or sideways so that helps with aesthetics. However I don't like how often times the wifi would randomly disconnect. Now I usually use Ethernet anyway so this isn't an issue for me but because the wifi randomly disconnects, the task bar opens up a notification and sometimes when I'm in game, the notification either blocks my screen or it minimizes my game completely so that's a hassle and a nuisance. I'm giving it 3 stars because of that annoying pop up and constantly disconnecting.
I acquired these fans several months after the Birth Date. These fans were pretty inexpensive and I liked the fact that it has rubberized mounting screws to reduce fan noise and help with easy install. Unfortunately, I was unable to utilize the rubberized mounting screws and I ended up having to use regular screws. That was my fault because I didn't realize that the rubberized mounting screws wouldn't work with the bottom of my case. I won't take off for performance due to my lack of research. Even with these fans installed using regular screws, these are still dead silent and they keep the inside of my case pretty cool.
I purchased this several months after the Birth Date. I selected this simply for the aesthetics. It does the job. The only negative thing I would note about this product is that the adhesive is poor. I love the different shades of color it has and the different lighting modes. Other than the poor adhesive, the lights look great. It really illuminates my whole case. There length of the lights was just perfect for my tower, it fit all the way around without any overlapping. After I purchased this, I changed my theme from blue to green just so I could match my peripherals. I am giving this 4 stars because of the poor adhesive.
When I was looking for a monitor, I wanted to look for a response time of < 4ms and refresh rate of > 60 hz. This monitor has a response time for 2 ms and refresh rate of 60 hz and I purchased it on New Egg for only $100. This was the best bang for my buck at the time. I love this monitor. The gaming experience is awesome. I do love how it has the Blue Light feature. At night, the screen brightness really strains my eyes and I don't like Flux and I usually leave my Gunnar Glasses at work. Blue Light feature even has multiple settings for gaming, movies, or reading.
I have always been a fan of Razer and I love the green clicky keys. I really like how the keyboard has a USB port and headphone/mic jacks on the side. This makes for easy access if I wanted to use headphones or plug in a PS3 controller. The cables are nice and thick for durability. The only minor issue I have with it is (and I'm not sure if this is the keyboard's fault of my tower's fault) when I plug in the headphone jack into my tower, sometimes I only hear out of one side and the other side is muted, or sometimes both are muted and I have to turn the jack clockwise or counter clock wise to get it to where the sound is properly coming out of both sides. The software to setup macros is very nice. I am going to give 4 stars for the poor headphone output jack. You pay $100 for a mechanical keyboard and they cheap out on the cables.
I have always been a fan of Razer and I love the thumb buttons. These really help with games that require multiple buttons like League of Legends or Tera. The mouse is really smooth and very responsive. It's also extremely ergonomic. The software to setup macros is very nice. The cable is extremely long so this helps for anyone who have a hard time reaching their tower if it's far away from them. It also helps for peripheral cable management! I got this for a pretty good price. It was $50 on Amazon.