This is my first ever (real) gaming PC. I had this old ****** HP Envy 17 inch with a GeForce 740M that could barely run Need for Speed: Carbon (a game all the way from 2006) without crashing. This computer can do that, and much more. I bought it ON Thanksgiving, and I'm glad I bought it when I did because most of the parts went out of stock within the next 3 days that I ordered it. The price is different than the list price, we got it for about $990 after mail-in rebates. Plus it came with 2 World of Warships codes (the same ones) and the Blades or Bullets NVIDIA promo, which I choose Rainbow Six Siege. It was very nerve-wracking putting it all together, worried about static electricity and breaking the CPU pins. (Which I almost did because I tried putting down the retention arm for the CPU socket and heard cracking, had to get my dad to help force it down. After Googling realized that other people thought the same but it was just the socket frame being pressed down) I built it with him, and it was very fun father/son bonding. (Although very stressful.) We built it all in one night, which took us 6 hours. We had trouble trying to find out where the case headers went and which pins to put them on, even after reading the manual, haha.
For performance, I went with an i5-6500. I really wanted to get the 6660K, but it was out of my price range + a cooler. I do plan to add a cooler; however, since the Intel one is really ******* ugly. I chose the ASUS-Z170 because it was simple, cheap, good looking, and people had nice things to say about it. I will say however that the I/O shield is REALLY cheap. And I mean cheap that it was impossible to line the Mobo up with the standoffs AND the rear ports. Really it would be a 10/10 product if it weren't for that I/O shield. Plus the installation discs were loaded with bloatware if you weren't careful to de-select it. For GPU, I first wanted to get an R9 390 MSI, but I chose not to because of A) Better drivers, software and support, B) Temperature and Power concerns and C) I like NVIDIA better, IMO. I figured if I wanted to SLI I'd need to have the power to do so, and with my PSU that fit my budget I would never be able to crossfire. I choose G.Skill Ripjaws V RAM because of the looks. And they exceeded my expectations, they were a really nice metallic finish and don't stand out too much. But its RAM, nothing too fancy.
With any build, an SSD is an absolute must. I barely used half of my 1TB hard-drive I had with my laptop. And after installing all my programs onto the SSD, everything is LIGHTNING fast, and I haven't even gotten to 1/3 capacity yet. The 1TB HHD is for games, dog photos and memes. Nothing fancy. I was very disappointed to find out I could not install my SSD to the front trays in front of the window, because of the 2 SATA cables that came with the PSU were a 90 degree angle on the connector to the SSD, not a 180. Because of this, the SSD couldn't sit flat on the viewing bay AND reach the cable management holes in the back. This is very poor design on EVGA, so keep this in mind when buying an EVGA PSU and planning to add an SSD to the H440's front window SSD bays.
In terms of looks, I went with the H440 because it was my favorite case, before buying. It was a one of a kind. There was nothing else that I liked, or had what I wanted. The PSU shroud is so nice. Plus weeks before buying, the updated model came out with a PWM fan hub (which is still plugged into the wrong header on the motherboard and I'm too lazy to fix,) and better airflow. Which you will see in the added temperatures is insanely low for such a quiet case which has very few areas for air to enter. For anyone looking for a white mid-tower, choose the H440. You will not regret it. Best Mid-Tower out there.
I felt like the system needed some spice so I went with some cold cathodes. I hear a lot about how LED's are better, they cost less power and don't produce as much heat, which is true. But these things aren't even that hot, don't take a lot of power with the PSU I have and are MUCH, MUCH brighter and consistent. Instead of little LED bulbs that produce non-even lighting, the cold cathodes have a red tube inside a clear, outer tube. They're so bright that when you look at them and then look away it has the same sun effect, where you can see dark spots in your vision for a few seconds.
All in all I think its very worth it to build computers now a days. Prebuilts cost so much for what they're worth, and half way through building when we were confused with everything my dad said he just should have bought a pre-built. But it was so rewarding. And my brother was so jealous, since he had a
Cybershit Cyberpower prebuilt PC, which looked like a mess and cost more than it was worth. I'm just really happy to play games at max settings now, and I don't have to decide which settings I want to lower to maintain a constant 60.
(I wish I wrote this good on essays)
CPU: 4/5. Sad I couldn't overclock. Cooler is ugly. Motherboard: 3/5. The discs that came with it were loaded with bloatware if you didn't manually deselect the programs. (Looking at you Norton.). Bad I/O shield. Memory: 5/5 SSD: 5/5. Love the Samsung Magician software and the looks. HDD: 5/5 GPU: 5/5. Amazing card, amazing looks. Case: 6/5. Will always buy cases from NZXT, and you should too. PSU: 3/5. Poor SATA connector design. Lights: 5/5. Bright, colorful, sexy.
Great entry Skylake CPU. Doesn't bottle neck 970, and added with a Z170 chip-set, going to be great when I get an aftermarket cooler and do the BCLK trick.
10/10 would CPU again
Love the BIOS, try's to install bloatware when loading drivers from disk, so watch out.
However, a very, very very very bad I/O shield. Like something that comes in a cereal box.
Love the look and plenty of ports for what I need.
10/10 would Motherboard again
Sexy looking RAM, what can I say. Ram is ram. got it for $31 too.
Amazing fast SSD after upgrading from a 5400RPM HDD. Samsung Magician software is a work of art, and RAPID mode increases speeds up like 400%.
Best SSD out there. Will always buy storage from Samsung from here on out.
Stores my dank memes. 10/10 would hard drive again
What a sexy looking card. Love the dual sided blower design. Temps never above 60c when under full load in a H440. Amazing card.
Best ATX Mid Tower out there. No question about it.
SATA power cables suck. Couldn't put my SSD in the front window drive bays of the H440. If you are getting a H440 and a SSD, do NOT get this power supply.
Although works from what I can tell.