It's been a while since my last build...12 years or so! I've been using laptops since then for the most part. PC gaming went to the side for console gaming. I picked up a Lenovo ThinkServer a few years back (to use as a Plex machine and NAS) and slapped a GTX 750 Ti into it, but it still had limitations on the games I could play. A new gaming PC was on the back of my mind for a while.
Then comes the latest Nvidia 10 series cards...they totally captured my attention. The price/performance ratio was very good and with VR and great new games out, I knew I had to get my hands on a capable PC.
My goal was to play BF1 on Ultra settings in 1080p as an immediate need, but I also want to grab a VR headset by mid next year. Using the Black Friday sales as an opportunity to cut costs, I jumped on sales as they came up.
I started with a capable CPU. I pondered for a while between the i5-6600k and the i7-6700k, but for gaming, the i5 proved to be the economical choice. That said, I concluded that it will still be relevant for years to come.
I'm lucky to have a Micro Center nearby, so I was able to pick up a Gigabyte Z170 mATX board for $30 off and another $20 rebate. This board gave me options to overclock, has 4 DIMM slots, solid reputation, and even has an m.2 NVMe port. I'm looking forward to picking up a Samsung 960 EVO when it comes out for even faster read/write speeds.
I, again, pondered whether I should focus on immediate needs or if it was wise to pay a little more to get a more formidable GPU. I went with the latter, so I grabbed the Asus GTX 1070 Turbo. A lot of people seem to have negative opinions on a blower style GPU, but I was attracted to its cooling capacity. By having the blower exhaust the hot air directly to the outside of the case, this reduces heat soak to other components of the rest of the machine. I saw this as a risk item especially for the CPU, as it sits right above the GPU. The noise of the blower fan, honestly, is not noticeable and I'm glad to find the case and CPU stay at low temperatures even when playing games.
That said, the case at the moment only has the one fan it came with. I'm waiting for the two be quiet! case fans to arrive so I can add one to the back and top exhaust slots. The CPU cooler is also a compact type from be quiet! and while it may not be the best for overclocking, it has been doing a great job maintaining low temperatures, even at 100% load. I've been very happy with the cooling performance of this setup so far.
Overall, I am very happy with the rig. It has played every game I've thrown at it with ease and it has been a very stable platform. I had no issues of any kind so far (knock on wood). For under $1000, I think I was able to get a great deal on such a capable PC!
Notes: Prices reflect actual costs. I am technically waiting on $50 worth of mail in rebates to come back to me, but I figure I post the real final cost (including any tax).