UPDATE: I added a side panel window, it looks pretty good for the first time I've tried that. I'm glad I didn't go with the Tesseract SW, I've been planning this ever since I got the case.
UPDATE: I am now having trouble with my front audio headers, I can only use the motherboard's, pretty sure its the header cable
UPDATE: I went through and finally did something about the green PSU letters, took some duct tape to it. I like it better than if I had just taken off the logo
UPDATE: I redid the cable management, the case closes much better now.
UPDATE: I finally changed out the fan, it's so much better, I can barely hear my computer now.
This was my first computer build I'd done. I decided upon a blue and black theme for my parts. Though I spent a while looking all of my parts, I ended up using refurbished parts from Newegg and Amazon. All of the prices also include tax and shipping and handling, so this is the total cost. I will definitely be slowly adding to the build over time.
My friend had built his own computer and I thought, "Hmm, this seems pretty cool." So I set off to choosing out my parts. I started off with with an i3 build with some random power supply. But over a few months of refining and monitoring my components while I saved up the money, I eventually got to the build I have now. I really put my eggs (no pun intended) in one basket, Newegg's refurbishing program. My Video Card, Motherboard, and HDD are all refurbished to lower costs. Here is a quick run through of all my parts and why I chose them:
CPU: I went with the Core i5-4440 because I wanted an i5 processor and I wasn't necessarily concerned about overclocking.
Mobo: The motherboard choice was very much about price and aesthetics, MSI is also a well-known brand when it comes to motherboards. I also wanted a motherboard that could handle overclocking if I choose to upgrade my CPU in the future.
Memory: Memory was also price and aesthetics, I just wanted cheap RAM that stuck with my build.
SSD: The SSD was an after thought, I got this a few weeks after everything else. This SSD was very fast, an advertised 554mbps read and 512mbps write. It was also very cheap.
HDD: I really just wanted 1TB of storage. Nothing special, does its job.
GPU: After quite a bit of research, I found that the GTX 750ti was one of the best GPUs in my price range ($650 w/o monitor or OS) I also found that EVGA's FTW ACX was the best of the bunch. I found it at quite a reasonable price, $117 before tax.
Case: The case was like many others a choice of price and aesthetics. I do think the case looks very nice.
PSU: Prices were fluctuating tremendously at the time of purchase. This was one of the cheapest PSUs at the time and it was semi-modular and 80+bronze both pluses in my book.
Case fan: the case I bought only comes with one fan pre-install, I knew I wanted a blue LED fan like the one in the windowed version of the case, so then it was all up to my old friends price and aesthetics. It is very loud though,like louder than anything else in my system, so I might switch it out.
Keyboard + mouse combo: I really wanted an illuminated keyboard and though I already have a mouse I could use, and I originally planned on just selling the mouse and using the one I have, after seeing and using it, I couldn't help but keep it. The braided cords are a nice touch, it looks very nice.
Optical Drive: I really just needed something for the OS
Networking Card: Being 100% honest, I actually only got this to fill an expansion slot I accidentally tore off (See case review below).
Monitor: My requirements for a monitor were 1080p, HDMI, built-in speaker and webcam. Other than that, nothing crazy.
OS: Honestly, I just got this in the mean time before windows 10, for the free upgrade, it was the cheapest one.
Default: Core clock: 1189 MHz, Memory 1350 MHz, Boost: 1268 Overclock: Core clock: 1314 MHz, Memory: 1365 MHz, Boost: 1393 MHz
Benchmarks: So far these have been my benchmarks,
3DMark Skydiver: 14067 (17942 graphics, 6689 physics, 14579 Combined) Unigine Valley benchmark Quality - Ultra, AA - off: 2031 (min FPS 24.8, max FPS: 90.1, FPS: 48.6) 3DMark Firestrike benchmark: 4617 (5279 graphics, 6256 physics, 1979 combined) 3DMark Time Spy benchmark: 1519 (1412 graphics, 2680 CPU) Cinebench R15: CPU- 457 cb, OpenGL- 96.87 FPS Intel XTU Benchmark: 636 Marks, highest temp: 56˚C
from BIOS to login ~ 9.5 secs from power button to login ~ 30 secs
The case is very nice looking, cheap (in price not in quality), and has plenty of airflow. My only complaint about this case is the tear-out expansion slots, if you tear one out, there is no getting it back in
I was surprised with how well this keyboard worked, especially for a $25-$30 keyboard. One of my friends actually thought it was a mechanical keyboard. It has served me well