the avenging or punishing of past mistakes or misdeeds.
Just over 4 months ago, I made a huge mistake while trying to work on cable management in my PC. I cracked and broke what I believe was one of the caps on my motherboard, right next to the cpu power header. I was resigned to my 13" macbook pro from then on. I concocted my Christmas list and insisted that I wanted a new motherboard, cpu and memory for christmas. I got the first two items :D
While my previous build was more of a build log and while most of the parts, denoted in the part list in € (with approximate prices at time of original purchase), in this build are from the Thinkstation Frankenstein I class this as a brand new PC because nothing of the original Thinkstation remains.
While patiently waiting for the new parts for crimbo it was decided that I would move from the NL to the UK for educational purposes. So you could even class this as one of those popular college builds! This lead me to packing up all of the parts I could in copious amounts of newspaper and bubble-wrap to ensure that my pc would arrive in the UK in one piece. Since I could not leave without my G-sync monitor and that doesn't exactly fit in a hand carry I was forced to tempt fate and place all my parts in a large suitcase to go into the plane's cargo hold. Miraculously (or should I say through thorough packing), everything is working and in one piece!
I needed to replace two parts due to space and different power sockets. Yep, a new case and a new power supply were in order. So while my old build had a Corsair CX600M, I decided that just wasn't good enough and opted for a better brand and better make of PSU. I also decided that I would get a new case, one that would fit in a very small space, was Micro ATX, looked good and had pretty good cable management. I set my sights on the Air 240 White.
I was set on a Skylake cpu. I have no desire to overclock but I wanted a good cpu for gaming. I was originally going to go for the i3-6100 because I just didn't have the guts to ask for any better. But when even my father frowned at me asking for an i3, the i5-6500 it was.
"B150?? No M.2?? No USB3.1?? WTF??!?" ...right, why go for such a bland motherboard? When it comes to feature set it has very little to offer. Yet it has everything I need: 6 rear USB ports (you would be surprised how hard that is to find in skylake mATX boards), PCIe 3.0 slot, DDR4, mATX. Skylake. And nothing I don't need, meaning I won't be easily tempted. I'm looking at you m.2 boot drives! As a bonus it looks rather sexy for a basic board and god I'm a sucker for the white led back glow.
Fastest DDR4-2133 sticks for the price with a CAS Latency of 13. I probably would have sufficed with 8GB, but I was spoilt rotten with my previous desktop and really wanted 16GB again. Corsair's a good memory brand as far as I know. I didn't think I could go wrong. Black heatspreader, nothing special. If only kingston did their HyperX series in white for DDR4....
I suppose I lied earlier when I said that nothing of the Frankenstein remained. When I was sorting through the parts lying around my room, buried in the carcass of its former shell of a case, I found its original 500GB WD Caviar Blue boot drive. This drive was slightly dusty but in working condition and I wiped it to use as extra storage. It had never been plugged into anything since it was replaced by my Samsung 840. Still love the ssd to bits, its fast and reliable, I dread the day I'll need to replace it. The 2TB hard disk is another one that has served me better than I deserve. Extremely reliable, due to this drive I will always buy Seagate again.
When I got this card I knew very little about pc building. It was the best card my father was willing to buy for christmas for me two years ago. The GTX 760 has served me at 1080p better than I could imagine, especially with the bottlenecking I faced from the xeon workhorse that powered my frankenstein. Now its given free reign with the i5 I truly realise how awesome this card is. Don't knock it ;-)
Originally I was going to go for Fractal Design's Arc Mini R2 however due to space restrictions. I needed to find a case that was no higher than 35cm and no wider than 30cm to fit in the allocated space. It also needed to be an mATX case. Basically making this case the only possible option. I liked the look of it. I liked that it had two separate chambers to make cable management very easy.
Once more, I had a different one in mind. I wanted to go for the slightly cheaper option, the Semi-Modular 80+ Bronze XFX unit. However I had ordered all of the components I needed to buy from Aria PC, the memory and power supply were out of stock and the whole shipment would be sent once these two parts were back in stock. The memory was back in stock in a matter of days. While I waited two weeks for it to restock I got impatient and contacted customer service to change my order to the XFX XTR series psu. Why 650W? On the green team there isn't a single graphics card currently on the market (except for the Titan Z) that would need more than a 650W psu. Thus its a slight bit of future proofing for when I decide I need a new GPU.
This monitor is a miracle worker, having survived traveling in a suitcase. I got it as a Birthday present last April. It feels huge! For a tn panel, it has wonderful colour quality and well, the g-sync when games are playing at 40+ fps is definitely noticeable. They. Look. Stunning.
The Razer Naga has been my go to mouse ever since I started WoW. While overtime as the game reduced the amount of spells you had and or needed to simplify it made it slightly redundant in WoW to have all 12 keys bound. I still find uses for them. Definitely nice to have shortcuts under your thumb and I don't just mean for gaming.
The Steelseries Apex is a great keyboard, once more it has more macro keys than I know what to do with. But I would much prefer to have too many than too few. If I must admit, Razer does a way better job with their macro-editor than steelseries. It's a bit temperamental at times. Otherwise, good keyboard with comfortable keys. Sorry guys, I do NOT like mechanical keys.
Sennheiser PC330. My friend had a pair of these. He let me try them and I decided that when my dying Razer Krakens reached their limits, I would buy a pair. Haven't regretted it. I will warn you: the earcups are on the small side for those with big ears. I don't suffer from that issue, but I chose this headset because of the microphone, sound canceling microphone works superb, the swivel ear cup is sweet for when I still wish to hear what's going on around me. And you can't complain about sennheisers actual sound quality. When hooked up with Razer's Surround Pro software it is just amazing.
- I had decided to install the fans into the case first with the NZXT Grid. While this for the most part was a good idea, hooking all the fans, including the side panel fan proved to be a bad move. Having the sidepanel dangling from the case throughout the build was quite a hindrance and the other cables got in the way of installing the PSU
- Be careful with the pci-e hinge, if pushed too far it WILL snap off, I did this accidentally and it took me a while to figure out how to snap it back on.
- This pc is also hooked up to the tv via an hdmi cable for Netflix purposes mostly. I will be investing in a pair of Logitech F710 Controllers to have some living room gaming fun with the kids or the girlfriend. However when I turned the tv off, the pc still believed that the tv was connected, even when I disconnected the display. A free program called Display Fusion resolved that issue. May buy the pro version some day. It's good
- Installing the cpu was a lot less painful than I feared. While videos made it look easy, it really is.
- Began forgetting to take pictures towards the end... sorry guys! If you want any more pictures of specifics don't hesitate to ask
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Average 49.9 fps @1920x1080p, DX11, Quality: High, Moderate Tesselation, AA x4
Average 50-70 fps @1920x1080p Medium-High custom settings
Tomb Raider 2013
Average 66.7 fps @1920x1080p Ultimate Preset
Dragon Age Inquisition
Average 70-85 fps @1920x1080p High-Ultra settings
Very basic Skylake board but has everything I need personally.
Gets pretty hot under load 70-80 degree's C. Otherwise plays all but the most demanding titles at High or greater at Full HD. Won't be looking at an upgrade for a while.
Brilliant mATX case, deceptively small. PCI-e hinge is prone to snap off if pushed too far back. Acoustics aren't the best. While it is still relatively quiet and very manageable, you do notice the sudden silence when you've turned it off. However the dual chamber design makes it a beauty to look at even for a novice at cable management like me
According to multiple PSU rankings this classes as a Tier 1 psu. The hybrid fan mode is nice for a bit of added silence at cooler temps. However some of the provided cables don't plug in properly to the psu, had to reconnect the motherboard cables.
Very bright. Horrible to screw in
Beautiful colour, crisp even without my glasses and the g-sync is amazingly fluid once you surpass about 40 fps. Very reliably built, survived a flight in a suitcase in cargo hold
Great keyboard overall, docked a star for the lousy macro editor
The option to have just about anything under my thumb is pure bliss. I will always buy a razer naga