This totally started out as a budget build. It really was meant to replace an old HP media center PC which bit the dust. I wasn't in a rush and spent nearly a year accumulating parts for this build. My desire to build my own computer goes back for as long as I can remember. The idea of building a new computer (vs buying a pre-built) meant it would have a healthy upgrade path and gave me control over what went into it.
Though it started as a budget build, there were some items where I ended up spending a bit more for the sake of quality and longevity; CPU, PSU, motherboard. Some items were purchased new through NCIX, Canada Computers and Amazon while other items were salvaged from the old computer. (WD HDD, Monitor)
The initial idea was to keep component costs at or under $100 per category and this worked initially. The 'finished' build came out to about $1000, which was probably $300 more than I really wanted to spend. I say 'finished,' but that would be a lie. Two stock case fans became 4 and 16 gigabytes of RAM needlessly became 32 gigabytes. The stock CPU cooler saw its upgrade to something that would help overclocking, my 3GB GTX 1060 became a 8GB GTX 1080 and my i5 4690k became an i7 4790K. More upgrades to come for sure . . .
What I thought I was building the computer for and how I'm currently using it are pretty different things. As I drew closer to the actual build, my intended use for the computer kept changing. I originally wanted it for day to day office / Adobe Photoshop type work but slowly I got the itch for gaming. Though I'm not a huge gamer by any means (I have a PS4 for that) I wanted something that could hold its weight down the road: Z97 motherboard, K processor and a case with decent ventilation options. To scratch the gaming itch, I started with a 3GB EVGA GTX 1060 SC but eventually upgraded to a 8GB EVGA GTX 1080 SC. The final upgrade will likely be to the processor to alleviate any bottlenecks the system may encounter from CPU intensive games.
Though the i5 4690k is more than capable in most gaming scenarios (current games are starting to fully utilize 4 or more cores) the transition to the i7 4790K was only natural. The increased clock speed (3.5ghz vs 4.0ghz) plus the additional virtual cores will help in future proofing the system; realistically taking this LGA1150 build as far as it goes.
Motherboard has plenty of connectivity though I wish Bluetooth and Wi-Fi were built. (I wouldn't complain if it had more case fan headers as well) Overall though, very durable and well built board. The Z97 unlocks the potential for overclocking down the road.
Would absolutely buy again.
Fast RAM in a low-profile configuration with great timings / OC options. Just remember to enable its XMP profile in bios or it will default to your motherboards lowest supported clock speed.
No complaints. Reliable, quick and quite. I probably should have opted for a higher capacity, but its serves just fine as a boot drive.
Great media storage drive. Great for music, photos and games. Not very noisy.
Used this case in my first build. For someone who has never built his own PC, this thing was a breeze to work with. Features excellent accessibility and cable management; the power-supply and HDD/SDD cages are located in a section behind the motherboard area.
This helps with cooling and organization, but hurts slightly when shopping for CPU coolers (cooler maximum height cannot exceed 130mm) and certain GPUs. (GPU height cannot exceed again 120-130MM)
Other than that, fantastic building platform.
Safe, Stable OS.
A welcome change from previous versions.