I haven't posted on here in a while, and there are a few reasons as to why. Mostly school, studying for my A+ certification, life. But I've been upgrading this PC since I built it (and have posted 2 previous versions of this build here before) but now that these final upgrades have been made, this PC has finally become everything I've wanted from it.
This PC was meant to be an excellent 1080p gaming PC, something to get me out of my console peasant phase. There were a few hiccups along the way (like starting off with a GTX 950 for whatever reason, as well as waiting until just a few months ago to actually buy a monitor instead of using a TV), but now, it crushes benchmarks, runs almost every game at max settings at 60 fps or more, and overall is perfect for what I need at the moment.
Pictures will not include all the parts, but only the ones that have changed. This is because I'd rather not reopen/rebuild my PC just to show every individual part. However, completed build parts are included to show the final product.
If all you are doing is gaming, an i5 is perfect. Even this old Haswell runs games perfectly fine. However, CPU-intensive moments do bog down this processor a bit, but if all you're doing is gaming, then it won't bother you too much, if at all.
Even when it was $35, this air cooler was well worth the price. Now, it's even more worth it.
Good thermal paste. Not much else to say.
When I bought this for $75, it was perfect for the price. Only issue was the lack of overclocking ability, which I wouldn't even make use of anyways due to me having a locked CPU. However, with its price heavily inflated, you're much better off buying either a Z170 or Z270 board and buying a Skylake/Kabylake i5.
It's RAM. 16GB is perfect for a gaming-only PC.
7 months later and this is still one of my favorite upgrades to my PC. Windows boots insanely fast, games stored on it load almost instantly, and it's 500GB of storage. Probably the best SATA SSD you can get.
I use this now to store Steam games that I won't use as often. I also use this for documents, download files, pictures, etc. It serves more of an archival purpose for me. Western Digital might still be the king of HDDs overall, but Seagate has stepped up their game from the old days that my IT professor at my local community college lived through where they would fail constantly. Not a single hiccup from this thing in over a year, and I love it.
Bought this 6 months used from a friend of mine from high school. He's currently deployed right now. Godspeed to you, man, and thanks for your service. This card is the biggest feature of the upgraded build. It is the best graphics card you can get relative to the price (or at least, at its original $400 price, it was). My benchmark scores in Fire Strike literally doubled. The PC could actually run Time Spy without it being an average of 12-15 fps. I can max out every game I have at 1080p and still get over 60 fps (with the sole exception of GTA V, and I'm thinking it's more due to possible CPU limitations, and even then, I can almost max it out). I actually like the contrast the red color gives to the blue of my motherboard. Should be running this thing for years, even if I move to a new build with an upgraded CPU/motherboard.
Only issues with this case is cable management. No slot to run the 4/8-pin CPU power cable, so I had to run it underneath the motherboard. The back panel also doesn't give enough room for the cables, meaning closing this case is a little troublesome. Outside of that, though, it's a great mATX tower.
Fully modular, 650W, 80+ Gold, and by one of the kings of PSUs. Doesn't get much better than this.
THE OS for gaming. Just make sure when installing you turn off all the tracking settings that are enabled by default.
Wireless Network Adapter
It was worth $5. It can use 802.11n, which is a very good WiFi standard. I almost always use ethernet for my PC, but there are times where I need to connect a console to the internet, but don't want to disconnect my PC entirely. This thing comes in handy then.
Another big feature of my upgraded build. I used to be an idiot and use a TV as a monitor. When I started noticing frame-tearing all over the place when games ran over 60 fps, I started realizing I needed something different. This monitor is stupid good, especially for the price. 144Hz refresh rate, 1080p native resolution, connects to my PC using DisplayPort and my consoles through an HDMI splitter. However, this is (duh) gaming oriented, so if you're looking for something more along the lines for video editing use, you'll want to get an IPS monitor instead.
Even when I got this keyboard for $50, I loved it. While not mechanical, the key switches don't feel too heavy. The programmable G keys as well as the ability to switch between multiple profiles is also a huge plus. For $30, it's a freaking steal.
My old mouse had clicking issues, so I also upgraded this. Can switch between 3 different profiles, has a ton of programmable buttons, fits really well in your hand, and is overall just a great mouse. I know some people have reported issues with it being "fragile", but after 3 months of use, I have experienced no issues whatsoever with it.
Pros: 3TB of storage. Cons: Requires its own power plug. Yes, really.
Not sure if the 2TB model needs the power plug or not, I bought this one because it was the same price as the 2TB model, and I needed a backup drive that was bigger than my actual storage space. My old backup drive (a 1TB model) is now used to back up my laptop.