This was my first PC build and it was so much fun to research and put it all together. I was looking for a computer that would play AAA games, while also capable of doing graphic design with several Adobe programs open and lots of research browser tabs open at once. The Intel i7-7700K is wonderful for gaming so far, but I've only played Skyrim SE and Fallout New Vegas. When I get The Witcher III and Rise of the Tomb Raider, I'll see more of the build's potential. The MSI PC Mate Z270 motherboard is great and has tons of internal and external ports for my extra storage drives and peripherals, with more room to grow as money is available for new drives. The Crucial SSD is my Windows and program drive, the Seagate is my permanent storage and the Intel 600p is my working Photoshop scratch drive. If there is a bottleneck in my system, it is my old 1080p monitor. While the games look worlds better than on my old laptop, I'll upgrade the monitor first chance I can. 
 For me, the hardest part of the build was working in the case I selected. The computer needed to be a proper desktop, as there is no room at my feet for a tower and I didn't want a bulky tower on my dresser. The Silverstone GD09B case was perfect, but there was very little room inside for routing cables. I had to return the internal optical drive I wanted to use because the power and SATA cables hit the CPU cooler. Finding a cooler for this case was tricky, as all the best reviewed are either very large or very expensive, but the Zalman is gorgeous, works well, and just fits. For some reason, I decided to paint the case metallic orange with a snakeskin texture. You'd never know I went to art school with the ...interesting... results (spray paint is not my medium) , but on the bright side, it doesn't look like anything else. Add an extra $30 to the price for my painting experiment, which inspired the computer's nickname, Marmalade. 
 The parts were ordered mostly from B&H Photo, NewEgg, and Amazon, with a few MicroCenter items. They were all great, but the free shipping and zero tax at B&H saved me money on the big ticket items, enabling me to buy some extras like the new keyboard and mouse. Big thanks to all the Youtube tech videos I watched repeatedly to prepare myself for the build, Paul's Hardware and Tech Deals in particular. An even bigger thank you to my mother, who funded the entire project as a graduation gift. Grazie mille!

Part Reviews

Case Fan

Fast, wonderfully quiet and adjustable. Purchased for additional intake fans and they work well keeping my case interior cool. When on full-blast, they are audible, but quieter than the occasional hard drive noise. These fans were a great purchase and I'll buy them again when when I work on other computers.

Case Fan

Fast, wonderfully quiet and adjustable. Purchased as exhaust fans and they work well. To run the two exhaust and three intake fans I wanted on my motherboard, I did need to buy a fan splitter, so check your specs to see if you need one as well. Barely audible, as they are in the back of the case away from where I sit. These fans were a great purchase and I'll buy them again when when I work on other computers.


I'm glad I found this mouse, as it has the 12-key side buttons within my budget. My thumb is just a shade too short to use the 1-3 buttons without moving my hand up, but that isn't the mouse's fault. Best for palm grip users. I simply can not get used to having my middle finger on the scroll, with my ring finger on the right button and pinky on the pinky rest, so I skipped the scroll and moved everything over one finger. It works fine for the RPGs I play, but would be slower for FPS games. Again, that is all me, and not the mouse. It does have a slightly textured, matte surface, which help the hand from sliding around and prevents fingerprints. There is driver software to set up custom hotkey gaming profiles, which I haven't used to full advantage yet. The RGB is one color at a time, so pick your favorite. The cord is quite long and covered in a nice, woven material. For my system, I have to have it on the lowest pixel setting, as it is designed for a higher resolution or multi-monitor system. I'm very happy with this little mouse.

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  • 35 months ago
  • 4 points

That cooler though

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

You may want to download SpeedFan and CoreTemp to check your 7700k isn't overheating. Are the white fans intake or exhaust?

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point


  • 35 months ago
  • -1 points

Why would you use the i7 7700k when Ryzen comes out in about a week or less? It costs the same but with 8 votes and 16 threads. I understand if it was built like 3 months ago when Ryzen wasn't announced

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