I've been involved with pc's since the 80's, when my friend in High School bought his first Apple II, with a whopping 8K of RAM. We'd load games using a cassette recorder, and walk away until it was done. Later, I joined the Air Force and was a Communications/Computer Systems Operator, working on mainframe systems and later LAN administration. I've been building computers for quite a while, but this is the first all-new, from scratch build I've ever done for myself.
My old pc was cobbled together way back in the mid 90's, and over the years had one part or another replaced, until there was nothing left of the original. I had decided to upgrade from my old Core 2 Quad, and realized that not only would I need to replace the processor, but also the motherboard, and the RAM. So why not just make a clean start of things? The original plan was a lot more modest; a mid level AMD GPU and processor, new case, etc. This was back in October, and GPU's were in short supply. Not as short as now, but still. Next thing I knew, I got an email from Massdrop, and there was the Gigabyte 1080 Ti, and in a moment of desperation, I pulled the trigger. Good thing, too. They sold out in minutes.
So now I have a top of the line GPU; the mid level plan was kinda out the window. I decided to go all out with the best I could afford. The only thing I've carried over from the old pc is my soundcard; I really like the Essence STX, and I like the cosmetic back plate on it. It looks pretty clean.
The GPU has been great; no coil whine, the fans almost never seem to turn, and I really enjoy running everything at the highest settings. The price was pretty good, too.
I delidded the CPU, and I gotta be honest, I was not prepared for the drop in temps. When I first put the new build together, I had a delid tool on order, but my old pc was dying, so I went ahead and got the new one running before the tool arrived. I ran Prime95, and the temps stabilized at 93C on a stock clock, which was way too hot for my comfort. After I delidded, the same test stabilized at 71C. I'm running a pretty mild OC at the moment, since I want to see how it behaves during the heat of Summer. I may watercool at some point, but not now.
The CPU cooler works very well, and looks good with the rest of the build. I read the horror stories of installations that seemed impossible and took years off of people's lives, but I didn't have a problem. There's a great installation guide on Youtube, and now the Dark Rock Pro 4 has an even simpler installation method. It's hard to go wrong.
In addition to the Be Quiet! cooler, I added some Silent Wings fans. I like the appearance better than the Phanteks stock fans that came with the case, and they live up to their name. Very quiet, very effective. Now the noisiest part of my build is the old PSU that's sitting in my case until my next purchase spree.
The G.Skill RAM looks great, and it works. I was worried more about clearance when I bought it, but there's about 1mm between the RAM and the CPU cooler, which was a huge relief.
Can I just say that I love the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv case? I knew I wanted one the minute I saw it. Now that I have it, I realize that not only is it nice to look at, but the feel of it, and the ease of building in it, are second to none. I have never built with a case that makes it so easy.
I'll update when I've completed the build, but for now, try to ignore the old cabling.
I probably spent more than I needed to on this, but I don't regret it. I've delidded mine, using a Dr. Delid tool, and Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut. The paste it came with was more like putty than anything I've used before. I saw a solid 22C drop in temps running Prime95 after the delid; 93C to 71C.
It works. It's quiet. It looks good. It installed very easily, at least for me. Yes, I could've gotten an AIO, but I didn't. I'm contrary that way.
Tons of OC options. I love the UEFI BIOS. Asus is another brand that's always been reliable for me.
I kinda wish they made these in all black, but whatever. I've used G.Skill a lot in the past, and it's always proven reliable. These feel solid, and the RGB isn't as awful as I thought it would be in the beginning. The design looks really nice, too.
It's tiny, and it's fast. Really fast. It's also hiding under a heatsink on the motherboard, so it's the one component I can't see.
I got really lucky with this one. I happened to get the email from Massdrop with this thing listed, and since I was frustrated at the lack of GPU's available at the time, I bought it. Immediately after I submitted my info, I got an alert on Paypal that the money had been withdrawn. It sold out in minutes.
I haven't heard any coil whine, or had any issues with the card at all. I have yet to increase the clock, but I don't really feel like I need to. Everything runs at the highest settings, and a lot of the time the fans don't even turn on. This card is loafing most of the time. I'm still trying to decide if I want a triple 1080 setup or a 3440x1440 monitor, so I'll find a way to stress it eventually.
Best case I've ever owned. The quality look extends to the way it feels. Sometimes I'll find myself just admiring the way the thing looks. I know there's a tempered glass version out there, and yeah, if I had the chance to go back in time, I might well put down the extra $20 or so to buy it instead. Does that mean I'm disappointed in my purchase? Not at all.
Seasonic makes a lot of PSUs for different companies, who then relabel them; makes sense to go straight to the source. High quality performance from the brand that other companies trust to make them look good.
This is the only component that has transferred from my old build, aside from my SSD and PSU, both of which will be removed when I get the M.2 drive and new PSU. I like the way this soundcard performs. It pairs very well with my Sennheisers, and I've played around with the opamps to tailor the sound more to my liking. The backplate is purely cosmetic, but it cleans up the appearance.
Truth in advertising. These are really quiet fans, especially if you're running them at low speed. Also, they're all black, which looks better in my mind than the white Phanteks fans that came with the case.
This thing is something else! I had a 24" 1920x1080 60Hz monitor, and I never realized how smooth gaming could be. There's only a minor amount of bleed in the corners, but I doubt anyone would notice it during a gaming session. Not cheap, but that's G-Sync and a quality product for you.
No, it wasn't very expensive, but it works. It comes with weights to adjust the way it feels, and I like assigning editing and browsing functions to the keys on the side. I can also play around with the lighting and mouse speed as well. Not bad for the price.
These aren't genuine HD 650's, but the only difference is cosmetic. They're built in the same factory, using the same parts, but with different colors and a Massdrop logo. I've got a Modmic attached for gaming. Best $200 you can spend on a set of cans.
This thing is solid. I got mine with the silent reds, making it a keyboard with all the noise of a membrane switch, but the feel of a mechanical. I spent a lot of time with a 10 key, so I like my keyboards equipped with one as well. I don't JUST game.