Description

I always wanted to build my own PC but for the longest time I felt intimidated by the process. I have been gaming on and off since my brother let me sneak in few minutes on his Atari 65XE. However, I did not purchase my own computer until 1997. I still remember my old Pentium MMX 200. What a machine!

For this particular build I wanted to build something pretty powerful that will last me a long time. I wanted to build something that will allow me to game without any reservations and allow me to get into photo/video editing if I finally find enough free time to do so. This was not a budget build so I do realize I probably overspent on some parts. I was going for the classy, clean look - not the Christmas tree look.

Parts breakdown:

CPU - It was a tossup between the i5-4690k or i7-4790k. The $80 difference between the two at Microcenter wasn't that much so I figured if I am going to spend two grand on a computer, what's another $80.

CPU Cooler - I probably should have gone with a larger cooler or a water cooler. The temps at idle are OK. However, at full load the CPU temp hovered at 70 to 74 degrees. I am still a little unclear if that is good or not. I did buy an extra fan that I initially installed as a push-pull setup. Then I read in the Noctua manual that because the cooler is relatively thin there is almost no need to have the second fan pulling the air as the push fan can easily force the air through. The temps appeared to be pretty much the same in both setups.

Motherboard - I wanted something sturdy and I like the look. It was pretty easy to work with and the 5 year warranty doesn't hurt either. I was going to go with a cheaper Asus Z97 Micro ATX board but again the price wasn't that much lower.

Memory - Not much to say here, it does the job. I could have gone with Ballistix Sport and saved a few bucks but I think this one complements the motherboard a little better.

Storage - I took out the HD cage and used old trusty Velcro to mount the SSD. I use the black HD for storage and older games. I may get one or two more SSDs in the future if i run out of room.

Video Card - May be a slight overkill for one 1080p monitor but for once in my life I wanted to max out my game settings. Most games I play are older RPGs so I don't need so much firepower but at the same time I do want to be able to run Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 when they finally come out without any problems. The computer case manual recommended a blower fan type of card so I went with EVGA.

Case - I like the classic look. I like that it's small for Micro ATX. I like that it's metal. I like that it's not an UFO or a neon bar sign. The customer service at Silverstone was great too. The front USB 3.0 connector wasn't working so they quickly shipped a new one. The case dose have a ton of screws and it is probably not the most user friendly for folks who change parts frequently.

Power Supply - A bit of a pain to work with as it is semi-modular. The non-modular CPU power supply cable did not match but thankfully SeaSonic included another modular one that did match. I chose SeaSonic mostly because of the good reviews. It's been pretty quiet so far even during long gaming sessions.

Optical Drive - I still have music CDs and older PC games. Guess that's considered old school nowadays. Guess people who say nowadays are considered old school too.

Operating System - I picked Windows 7 Professional because of the XP mode and mostly because I have not heard good things about Windows 8 (8.1 supposed to be better I guess). In my mind I wanted to build a truly last classical Windows PC and I feel that Windows 8 tries to do too much by appealing both to the tablet crowds and the PC smaller crowd

Monitor - Super duper cheap on Amazon. It suits me for now

Keyboard & Mouse - I fell in love with the compact keyboard but the Cherry MX Red switches are a little louder than I thought. My wife says I sound like a journalist typing something important when all I'm really doing is looking at silly computer stuff. So yea, I definitely hear it from my wife when I type. The mouse was a bit of a disappointment. I liked the feel but the right mouse button betrayed me once too many times. I use mostly a palm grip and I would accidentally press the right mouse button way too many times. Sometimes it felt like I couldn't even rest my ring finger on the right mouse button. Needless to say, quickly went back to my old Logitech MX 518. At least that mouse never betrayed me.

Overall the build experience was fun. Most of the frustration stemmed from me being a first time builder. I would most likely do it again.

Thanks for reading!

Comments

  • 64 months ago
  • 12 points

This.. This is nice.

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build man. Are talking about 70 Celsius? if so you should be good as long as don't go too much over that. Plus anyway you probably cant get a water cooler in there. You were right not to get windows 8 and 8.1 is no better. They just suck. How is the monitor working for ya? Im looking for something like that too.

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! And yes, Celsius it is. I did see folks fit a Corsair H80i in this case but I'm not sure if the temps would be really that much lower. The monitor is pretty basic...nothing to write home about but it does the job. It does have different modes to play around with (scenery, standard, theater, game, night view). For the price, I have no complaints.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

The temps wouldn't be all that better; you're all good!

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build indeed. Very VERY elegant all the way around.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

get that armor kit for the gryphon asap looks amazing with it

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Classy :)

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

That case offers such great positive pressure solutions, nice! +1

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build bro! I always wondered if those Noctua fans are really worth it for their price. Enjoy your monster machine!

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

They are super silent, thanks!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build, small form factors are my favorite

+1

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the case. Like how you took the drive cage out. +1

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you get your CPU for such a low price??

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

There is a Microcenter store nearby where I live. It's their "in-store pick up only" price. My guess is that they are banking on customers buying other items at the store hence such a low price.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I did likewise, but the true cost would reflect the tax too, which puts it around $305 give or take.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Ooh yes a h80 will fit perfectly here :) Sick build!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Fantastic decision on cooling!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome quality pics. And if you're playing a game, and your cpu skyrockets to 95, EFFING RUN. nah jp, just alt+F4 and make sure your cooler is on there good. From what i've been told 90 is redline for CPUs and from experience, after I painted my tubes of my H105 and let it dry, I didn't have a cooler set up thinking, "oh, cpu cooler doesn't make that much of a difference." Started up Neverwinter and Oh. My. God. The CPU got up to 98. What told me this was the game was skipping so horribly, I couldn't move. I immediately quit the game and found the stock cooler and set it up in there. Everything was perfectly fine then! Of course after the paint dried on my H105, I set that ho up and was good to go!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Really love the build. My next build will be small form factor for sure. One personal qualm is that I would have spent a little more on a monitor considering the 500 dollar gfx card

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! For now this one will do but I agree...maybe once the 4K monitors drop down in price I will get one. I built the computer with the intention of not upgrading anything for a while but that's the only part I may upgrade sooner than later.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I like this Loved the picks Excellent ram it seems you have been choosing your parts for a while I will take the same cpu and its cooler with the same mobo but armored and also the rams But 750 platinum ss psu and gtx titan oc evga gpu along with a tiny cooltek u3 case Any advice as a mostly same build owner?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol, yea picking the parts took way longer than building the thing. It looks like you're all set to go. No real words of wisdom to share aside from just have fun with it. Looking forward to the pics if you post the build.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

hey man! i really like how you built this. but one thing makes me wonder, how did you put velcros on the ssd and the harddrive cage? did you put adhesive on those?

thanks!

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey! Thanks! I just bought some plain black adhesive velcro strips at Home Depot. They already had adhesive on them. So I just slapped two strips on the cage and two on the SSD. In this particular case you can even mount an SSD in the cage at the bottom but I went for the dual SSD/HDD setup. You can even take out the cage completely if you want. It looks like the SSDs can be pretty much mounted any way you want it. I've seen them on the cable management side of the case hanging loose in between the wires.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

wow. just... wow

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

So does that cpu cooler keep the 4790k cool?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes! 28-32 at idle. No issues under heavy load. Noctua is definitely a quality brand.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Very classy build, I like it very much. :-) I'm kinda caught in the middle between the minimalist, classic look (like this) and the flashier neon sign computers, lol. One half of me would like a classy, functional look and the other half wants the liquid neon thunder lights that flicker like lightning. XD

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