So, my old prebuilt dell (i7 3770 and upgraded gpu to 750ti) was working fine for me and it was already capable of running all the games i played, (cs go, lol, gta 5) at pretty good framerates, although not maxed out. But my brother really needed an upgrade as he was having trouble running cs go at above 20fps on his e2180 and 7570. One of my friends very kindly donated an old e7500 to me, and I decided to upgrade my brother's pc with it. Sadly, when I tried updating the BIOS, it failed and I killed his computer. So I decided I would give him my old rig, and build a new one for myself.
I am relatively happy with my first proper build. It kicks *** in all games and rendering is much faster than with my old pc. It has crashed on me a couple of times but I have no idea why. Temps are solid, and it's pretty quiet (inaudible 80cm away from pc) during idle and light workloads, such as doing homework. The case isn't the best, I would recommend maybe a s340 and the PSU might not be the best as it may be causing my crashes. Overall though, this thing is kick *** and I think it's pretty cool that I managed to fit an i7 4790k and an R9 290X build into a $1600 AUD budget. I might have even shaved $100 off if I waited a bit, but i'm too impatient :)
I chose the 4790k because it is a beast of a cpu. Although it wasn't necessary for gaming, and I was originally planning to get an i5, I was coming from a 3770, so it would be weird downgrading in a newer build. This cpu is extremely op, and I probably don't even use half of it's power most of the time. One of the downfalls is the thermal performance. When I ran a stress test on this cpu, temps rose to 100c within 20 seconds. This was on stock settings on the stock cooler. I reseated it a couple of times with the same results. I contacted Mwave, and it turns out their warranty support is terrible, so they refused! I contacted Intel and I had it RMA'd within a week. Temps are a lot better now and I am still using the stock cooler for now. Load is about 82-85c with in AIDA64 and Prime 95.
I was really unsure of what motherboard to get with my build. Originally, I considered buying a cheaper board, something around $150 AUD, but I couldn't quite decide which one. I was about to buy the Gigabyte z97x sli, but it was out of stock everywhere I looked. I then found this board, and damn does it look good! So it's a lot pricier, but it's got all the features I need, a ton of options for upgrades. I'm lovin the BIOS, the software could be a little better, but it can overclock good, and really has all that most people need.
I didn't have a huge budget for this build, and I wanted to get parts that could get me the most performance per dollar, even if it meant I skimped out a little bit in some areas. RAM was one of these. I decided to go with Kingston valueRAM 1600mhz DDR3 8gb. It's pretty standard stuff and it performs great, as we all know RAM doesn't really impact performance, especially in gaming. I grabbed two sticks of this stuff. It's great, easy to install, no heatsinks so any cpu cooler will work with it.
I know people are going to start flaming at me saying I need an SSD, but I don't have one in this build because I was really focused on value for gaming and video editing. An SSD will help me load my OS and games faster, but the extra $150 could be spent elsewhere, such as the graphics card or cpu. I would've had to skimp out on one of these if I chose to have an SSD. I ended up getting a 3TB Seagate Barracuda, because I have a lot of junk to store on my computer, video files and games are huge, so I thought this hard drive would be a good choice. I have seen some reviews claiming that these HDD's have high failure rates, but mine has been going fine so far (fingers crossed).
With the gpu, it really was a tough choice. I was originally planning on a 290, but then found out about the 970. My previous experiences with nvidia (750ti) were great. They were quiet, fast, and the software and drivers were amazing. AMD, on the other hand, was a different story. The drivers were crap, optimization and performance was also crap. To be fair, my AMD experience was with a 7570, which is an absolute piece of junk. As you can see, I really wanted a 970, but at the time of purchase in Australia, 970's were $500-550 and 290's were as low as $380. I was about to buy a tri-x 290, as they are quiet and cool, but MSY decided to put out a special and I picked up a 290x Windforce for $380 in a heartbeat! My experience with this card is mostly great, the performance is mindbogglingly good and it felt so good to tell everyone, I had the flagship card of AMD! (not anymore after the new cards were released :( ) But after a while, the noise and heat of this card got annoying. The triple fan windforce cooler is seriously loud when under full load in intensive games and it is very audible, even with headphones on. The drivers aren't the best, but it's better than they used to be. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the 290x, the noise is a little annoying, but the performance is great, especially for the price.
With the case, I honestly did not know what to get. I never really thought about it until purchasing the parts. My friend recommended me to get this case, and I can't say it sucks, but..... if I were to build a pc again, I would not buy this case. It does look quite nice on the website, and the inside is all painted black and it feels incredibly sturdy. There are a lot of options, and it can support big cpu coolers, and apparently a 240mm rad too. But it looks a bit weird with an optical drive installed. Most of the case is really nice, the window could be bigger, but it's much better than nothing. The downfall of this case is cable management. I spent many hours trying to get it cable managed but it still looks like crap. When I first built this pc, I didn't even bother. Later though, I came up with many creative ways of using what I had. Another pretty big problem I had was a space issue with the usb 3.0 header. The header on my motherboard is a right angle connector, which is great because it makes the wires look neat. The problem is, this case has a raised bit of metal that obstructs the path of the cable, and I had to buy a 3.0 extension cable later on so I could use usb 3.0.
With the power supply, I chose to go with a CX750M from Corsair. It's semi modular and it gets the job done. People have told me corsair psu's are dodgy, but I heard the 750M has different capacitors. I'm not sure, but I think this PSU shoud handle my rig just fine.