For the majority of my teenage years I used an old system which had a combination of:
- Asus M4A87T
- AMD Phenom II x4 955
- GTX 550 Ti
- Hitachi HDT 7210 600gb (a drive so obscure that there exists little evidence of it on the internet)
- 8gb of DDR3-1600 Corsair Vengeance RAM
Recently, I acquired a job. With that job came... well, money. Money that I could put towards a new computer. I'm tired of messing around on a computer that was considered "budget" in 2012. I want something more.
So, here we are. I am going to gut my old PC and keep its case (after a thorough deep-cleaning) as a memento, and in the process of changing over I'll be shedding nearly a decade of history. This purchase is somewhat symbolic of me moving on into adulthood, into maturity. Most of my childhood was spent on that computer due to living in a bad home and being quite hooked on gaming and the internet in general. I met every friend I know, my husband, I learned and grew and became who I am through that computer, so I owe as much to it.
But, now that I've moved on from that bad situation, now that my childhood has come to a close, it's time to move on from my old computer as well and graduate to something much more befitting of the position that both gaming and the internet holds in my life.
Thus, Oracle α, so named for its position among my devices. Soon, I'll be purchasing a gaming laptop as well, which will obtain the title of Oracle β, and my phone counts as Oracle γ; Alpha, Beta and Gamma respectively.
There were a lot of times in this build when I absorbed the cost of a part that I knew would give me an advantage, but one insufficient to necessarily justify its price for most users. This is one of those times. I also maybe regret waiting to see AMD's challenger.
Still, the i9-9900k is exactly what you think it is—it's a monstrous workhorse capable of chewing through whatever task you sic it on. Just go into this purchase with something in mind: that you could probably be getting similar value out of an i7, an earlier i9, or, most likely these days, an AMD CPU. If I had to guess, this CPU's time in the limelight will be short lived due to its poor market positioning, but that's fine by me—it'll serve me well for years to come whether the spotlight is shining on it or not!
This thing is gorgeous, and so far I haven't absolutely hated CAM like others seem to. Its cooling is superb and the thing is utterly dead silent. I'd recommend it, if not for its excellent cooling then at least for its wonderful pump design.
Note: I could find very little about this board online, so for any wanton motherboard-seekers that want to know, YES the stripes light up across the board but they are not always spectacularly visible.
Frankly, I bought this board purely for its aesthetics vs. others in its class. It's probably the most elegant and understated of the Maximus XI line, but it has a perfectly good featureset and so far I've found its AI overclock quite effective, with a bit of tweaking.
However, I'm not sure I'd recommend the board from a purely performance standpoint vs. others in a similar price range. But it was enough for me!
It's gorgeous. The RGB effects on the Trident Z RGB RAM are some of the most impressive in any system, and they kick about as much *** as you'd expect from their price. I can't recommend these highly enough.
I went to transfer some large video files to another drive... but when I opened the other drive to paste, I'd found the files had already been moooooved!
Not really, but this thing is fast as all get-out. It's the fastest, strongest, generally best SSD on the market right now. I'd recommend it if you can swallow that price.
Upfront, this drive is great. It does exactly what I need it to.
But hey—probably the main factor in drive choice is how long it'll last... we'll see!
This thing is pretty much dead silent. Genuinely. With its 3 humongous fans and sag-inducing weight, you'd expect it to sound like a jet engine taking off... but it's quiet as a casket even at full load.
Not to mention, it kicks the hell out of anything you might want to run with it. I mean, of course it does. It's fourteen hundred dollars and it's among the most powerful cards on the market at the time of writing. Is anyone really surprised?
This case was a bit tough to build in; the top panel just refused to go in right so it would take a while to close up. Also, although the Razer underlighting is quite nice, I found the lighting on the front to be tacky. It illuminates the entire front panel, bringing out any scratches or smudges or dirt in full view! So, I just turned it off. But really, the underlighting is worth the premium.
All that said, this case is BEAUTIFUL. It's among the most beautiful cases I've ever seen. Without any other severe reflections, it's like the glass isn't even there. It was worth the trouble of building in it... but if you could see the wire hellscape behind that back panel, you'd be haunted for the rest of your life.
These things are almost nonsensically expensive, BUT they're surprisingly quiet and they are, as the price would imply, probably the most gorgeous looking fans on the market. If you're willing to swallow a heavy price tag, and that's a big if, they're going to meet or exceed what you expect from them. However, make sure you're careful to rig them up right and get the correct fan controllers for them.
This monitor is positively gorgeous. I cannot recommend it highly enough for the price point. Perhaps I won the panel lottery or something of the sort, but it's a truly beautiful panel and it's worth the money 100%.
I, honestly, cannot claim to know whether or not the opto-mechanical thing is really anything to be excited about.
However, for what little I know about keyboards, this thing looks and feels GREAT. The keys are light and quick beyond measure (to the point where, having used a membrane keyboard for a while, I sometimes find myself resting my fingers just a touch too heavily and accidentally pressing a key). They also sound loud and clicky and are quite tactile.
The lighting on this keyboard is beyond anything else on the market, especially with Razer's advanced lighting systems. It's just a shame that outside of its direct power, Razer Synapse is an often unstable software that has some pretty janky controls in Chroma Studio.
Also, everyone else is exactly on point: The wrist rest is VERY comfortable.
This is a great mouse for its price! The lighting effects are nonpareil among mice of a similar price point and it... well, it's a mouse. It does exactly what you'd expect to and is nice and smooth.
This is a pretty great mic, but I'd suggest a USB converter to help it amp the sound a bit. At least, that seems to be the consensus; I ordered mine and will receive it soon and make note of whether or not it helps. Until then, it's pretty quiet and requires boosting that will bring out a low, but present, buzzing noise.