This was my first build. It came into being through a culmination of events, including my friend suggesting I build a PC, me earning a lot of money from a summer job, and me being tired of gaming on an iMac. My friend and I started talking about it at the end of last school year (2017). I the researched parts throughout the summer as I was earning money as a lifeguard.
I originally set out with a $1500 budget, but as the summer went on, I found that I could spend more as I was earning more. I started adding better components to my build. A better cooler here, some more storage there, etc... I turned a half-blind eye towards how much it was totaling up to, and at the end of the summer the system and monitor were over $2000. Fortunately, I had enough. Then, in this school year (2017-2018), I've been making more cosmetic-type enhancements (and finally buying the full version of windows 10 lol) with other money I've gotten. That, along with other peripherals that I had, is how we get our final total of $2686.
Also note that these prices are before taxes, with a ~7.7% rate in SoCal, so rip me.
I originally went for a black and red theme (I know it's overused) and eventually added more rgb elements to allow different themes. I started off in a NZXT s340 red/black, but after half a year rebuilt the system in the Cullinan MX because of the larger glass side and front panels and the included rgb fans. While I mostly play csgo, I put my 1080 to good use when playing Planet Coaster.
To put the component temperatures in context, the fans are currently in a mishap arrangement and I will be doing some work on my pc soon and will arrange that fans so they move air more efficiently.
It does it's job well and I have not had any issues. I'm taking off a star because it is criticized for being very similar, in terms of performance, to the previous couple generations of its model. I don't think it would have been worth it to wait for the 8700k because I needed the comp.
I'm gonna admit it. I got this for the RGB logo on the heatsink. However, it cools my CPU well, and keeps it around 50 degrees C when playing most of my games.
This motherboard is fine and offers a lot for the price of $112 in my opinion. I am taking a star off mostly for similar reasons to the CPU. This mb is not compatible with the new 8 series intel chips so I can't easily upgrade. However, I believe it may not be working well with my RAM. The RAM I bought is GEIL Potenza 2400 speed but I cannot get it above 2133. I don't know if this is because the mb, the iffy brand of the RAM, or something else. This is where I could use some help still.
It's fine but as I said above, I can't get it above 2133 speed when its base speed is supposed to be 2400. This could be due to the mb but I'm pretty sure the ram is just bad quality. I will probably buy from a more trusted brand next time.
This is my boot drive and I keep certain games and programs on here. Boot times are around 10 seconds so I'm happy.
It stores stuff. It hasn't died yet. :D
I am very happy with this purchase. Not only did I get it for $100 below msrp for the reference card, but it works very well. I need to find a solution to it sagging on the right side.
I knew recently that I wanted to upgrade my case from the nzxt s340, but this was still sort of an impulse buy. I love the glass side panels and the included rgb fans. However, I had a few compatibility issues with the case. While I did not do too much research, I was disappointed when rebuilding in this because my kraken radiator could not fit under the top two fans slots. The top of the mb and ram was in the way so it wouldn't fit. I had to move the 120 mm fans to the top to fit the 280 mm rad in the front. But when I unscrewed the fans, large portions of the paint peeled off the brackets, leaving ugly patches of steel showing. Thankfully, the tinted glass shields it a bit. I have found a solution to these problems but it was a hassle. I should also mention the fans have a built in speed controller (low and high), but the low setting produces a high-pitched whining that is apparently present in all the examples of this model. UPDATE: I forgot to mention the magnetic strips on the dust filters fell off right away. They were not glued on well, but I applied pressure to them and they seem to stick now
It provides power and hasn't died. :D
Damn this is expensive
Wireless Network Adapter
I have not used this much because I am connected to Ethernet. However, when I go off to college this fall, it will be time to prove itself to me. I took off a star for fear of the unknown.
This monitor is great with its 144 hz refresh rate. I am also it didn't show up with any dead pixels. There were cheaper 144 hz monitors from acer, but they have lower build quality and are more prone to other issues (I have heard).
I got this when I still had an Imac. I have not had any issues. Very colorful and am now addicted to mechanical keyboards.
This is technically the first item I bought for this build before I even knew I would be building a PC. This was my first taste of rgb and now I'm pretty much hooked. I took off a star because it has had continuous issues with it randomly crapping out and not working for periods of 10 seconds. It is very annoying, especially when I'm in the middle of a csgo match.
I probably overpaid for these but they are great. The retractable mic is very nice, I am always using the volume control on the headset, and it's comfortable with glasses.
I know these are cheap, but there is too much bass and you cannot adjust the bass/treble levels. Therefore, I rarely use them. They will be especially bad in a college dorm with people living all around you.