My pc life started off 6 or 7 years ago with some old dodgy, poor airflow case, with an Athlon II (I think) CPU, Windows 98, the rest... PSU/case etc., I don't remember specifically what they were and no computer knowledge at all.
It was slow, loud and prone to crashing, so I decided to upgrade, but had to do so on a restricted budget. Plus playing all my games in 360-720p on Xbox (various generations ending with the 360), paying for Xbox Live, when already paying for my internet connection and then seeing my brother playing games like Assassins Creed on his PC in full 1080p glory, was the final straw!
First upgrade was approx 4 years ago with an inherited 965BE, Gelid Tranquillo cooler, 8GB value RAM, x2 Nvidia GeForce Xpertvision 8600GT 512MB in SLi all on an Asus M2N-SLi board. The last two pics show that build in the Fractal case, with the Gigabyte board, after the Asus died. This started the current upgrade approx 2 years ago and slowly but surely, I added the rest of the parts listed, which involved lots of reading and watching reviews etc. I wanted cool & quiet, but powerful (stealth).
What I have noticed, is the more I do, the quieter I want it, notwithstanding the ever escalating cost. The upside is, I've sold all of my replaced working parts on eBay to help with funding.
I recently swapped all the Fractal fans out for Phanteks' and they are excellent. Even swapped the Coolermaster Evo fan for a Phantek. The only real noise issue I have now is the PSU, which has a (I believe) a high pitched whine (coil whine?), enhanced by the quietness of the Phanteks', very likely. As a result, it will eventually be swapped out for a be Quiet! Dark Power @ 750w, which should allow for any future upgrades & it's semi modular, so win, win. Note that I say eventually, as it's quite expensive. However, once purchased I don't intend to change it for a very long time.
I'm really happy with this build, considering this is firstly a multimedia machine, that also allows me to play any game that I want, within reason, at their highest settings. Looking forward to the next gen driving games, especially Project Cars.
I love how fast the PC is overall, especially with Windows optimized for the SSDs', regardless of what I throw at it and I can be an impatient so & so, sometimes. Multitasks excellently, web browsing and torrent downloads are just fast (enhanced with 150Mb broadband), video conversion of 1080p movies in less than 45 minutes, plus they look and sound great and it's even played 1440p videos without any issues, so happy days.
Sorry for the ramble, but I'm quite proud of my little system and I think I did ok for a novice (or noob, whichever you prefer), what do you think? Update Mar 2017 New monitor, graphics card, cooler, case and storage.
Running at 4.6Ghz, at min 34, max 56 degrees c & never missed a beat.
Best and quietest air cooler I have used to date.
5yr warranty & TUF.
Fast & reliable
Excellent for game storage (Origin)
Excellent for game storage (Steam)
Fast, silent and cool.
Excellent to build in and looks great.
Silent & powerful.
Almost inaudible, especially on idle, web browsing etc.
IPS 1440 glory.
Comfy and well made.
8 years and still going strong.