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I've been planning on doing my own build for nearly a year now, and I finally got round to doing it. The goal was for me to create a good looking PC that will also perform well and be able to play a variety of games at high settings.


CPU - The i5 4690k is a popular sweetspot for gamers, and as I won't be doing any heavy editing or rendering with this build I decided against going with an i7. In hindsight I probably should have gone with the 4670k as it would have saved me a lot of stress and hassle, which I'll explain later.

CPU Cooler - The H100i is another popular choice among builders, and I chose it for two reasons. The first reason being the cooling performance - at stock speeds it's keeping it around 20-25c at idle, and I'm confident it will keep it cool when I begin to overclock. The second reason is purely for the looks; I wanted my build to have good performance but also look good sitting on my desk, and the H100i is definitely a looker. One thing I didn't realise when looking at images of it online is just how big the pump/CPU block is, so that took me by surprise.

MOTHERBOARD - This was definitely the biggest source of stress and frustration in this build. When looking at Gigabyte's website it looked as if it came shipped with the BIOS that supports Devil's Canyon processors, however it didn't. This led to a few hours of stress before we realised it needed a BIOS update; so we contacted Gigabyte support and they offered to perform the BIOS update free of charge. As we were installing the CPU socket cover on the motherboard for it to be sent off, we bent some of the pins in the socket - which ended up costing us £15 to get fixed. This was over the span of about two weeks, but now the motherboard has been fixed and the BIOS has updated it's a great motherboard. It looks amazing, and the UEFI BIOS is well designed.

MEMORY - I didn't really think about the selecting the RAM too much. 8GB of RAM is the sweetspot for gaming, and the green colour matches my colour scheme perfectly.

STORAGE - This is a very common storage configuration and has been working well for me so far. The 120GB SSD is for Windows and some important programs, and the 1TB HDD is for everything else. Both the 840 EVO and the WD Blue are reliable products and known for their quality and performance.

VIDEO CARD - The OcUK 970 is the reason for my green colour scheme;, I love the look of the Nvidia refrence cooler and the only 970 reference model in the UK is the OcUK version. The 970 has a great price/performance balance and is an amazing card as many of you will know.

CASE - The Parvum Systems S2.0 is a really good looking case, and I love the layout of it with only the important things being shown off. I got the green and black version as it matches my colour scheme, and although it takes a while to put together as it comes flatpacked I would definitely recommend it.

POWER SUPPLY - I went with the EVGA G2 power supply as it's relatively cheap, reliable and the black cables look fantastic. I went with 750W incase I wanted to add another GPU.

PLANNED UPGRADES - When I get some spare money I'm going to get some green/grey/black sleeved cable extensions, another 970 and perhaps a custom loop if I feel confident enough.