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The Particle Accelerator

by Photon



Date Published

Aug. 20, 2015

Date Built

July 13, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.279 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz


This is my PC. Just your average mid-level gaming PC.

Back in 2014, I had a MacBook Air 2013 model that I found to be not half bad, as it met my needs (decent gaming laptop, good for school work, etc.), but then my cousin spilled water on it, and we weren't able to recover it... So, I had to buy a cheap Dell laptop that had an Intel Core i5-520M. Horrible situation, right? Well, if it weren't for my cousin spilling water on my MacBook, I probably wouldn't have bought that Dell, which was the reason I wanted to build a computer, as it was HORRIBLE. After a week of using the Dell laptop, I was already complaining to one of my friends about how crappy it was. Heck, I couldn't even play Minecraft with him anymore, let alone other games that I had, like CS:GO, Portal 2, etc. Then, he told me about the glorious and magnificent pcpartpicker.com, and how I could build a computer. When I got home from school that day, I immediately went on to pcpartpicker.com, and I started picking out parts for a potential computer. I figured I would have to wait half a year for my birthday to come around, so I would have enough money for the PC. So, for the rest of the school year, I would come home from school, wait 2-3 minutes for my laptop to boot up (yes the boot time was that slow), and then go on pcpartpicker.com to look at potential parts for my potential computer. Then, my birthday came around, and by then I had enough money to build my own computer. The long 6 months had been over. I could finally build my own computer. After 6 months of deciding on potential parts, I finally made up my mind on the parts that would go into my computer.

For the CPU, I went with an Intel Core i5-4690K, because it was a pretty good processor, and I figured it would easily be able to handle the games I play.

For the CPU Cooler, I decided to go with some cheap cooler that had good reviews, because I did not really want to invest in some fancy $100 water cooler.

For the Motherboard, I wanted a Gigabyte board, because from what I heard, Gigabyte boards are good for dealing with dual-booting (I plan on buying an SSD so I can do that soon). I found the Gigabyte Gaming 5, and it seemed like it was pretty good for the price, so I went with it. But, the mobo is not the normal atx size, which was a real pain for me to deal with while building this computer. IT TOOK ME 4 HOURS TO GET THE MOBO SCREWED INTO THE CASE! 4 HOURS!!! In order for me to get the thing screwed in, I had to use all kinds of different screws that came with the case...

For the RAM, I just wanted a good 8GB stick of memory. This fit the bill perfectly.

For the Storage, I went with an SSHD because I wanted to have a lot of storage space, and I wanted a little bit of SSD space too. And when I found a combo deal for this SSHD with the RAM that I wanted on Newegg, I bought the combo immediately, because I found it to be a pretty good deal. The only thing that bothers me is that the noise it makes sometimes... It literally sounds like there is a thunderstorm at my desk...

For my GPU, I wanted a graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. At first, I didn't think I would have enough money to get one, so I was originally going to go with a 750 Ti. But, when I realized I had enough money for a 4GB 960, I was instantly buying the card.

For the Case, i just wanted a nice looking mid-tower case, and I found this sexy beast. The 'Phantom' design is great, the chassis has a nice finish that makes it look really slick. The window on the side is pretty nice too. My only complaint with this is that the case fans seem to never turn on, even though I hooked the fan controller cable into the PSU cable for it.

For the PSU, I just wanted a power supply with at least 500W, 80+ Bronze efficiency, and semi-modular (if not modular) cables. It was the perfect power supply for me.

For the Monitor, I just wanted a monitor that had a resolution of 1920 x 1080, an IPS panel, and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The monitor is great, and 60 Hz is really nice. On a side note, pcpartpicker.com lists this monitor of having a response time of 6 ms, but the manual for the monitor says 4 ms.

In conclusion, this is a great PC that does what I want it to. I can finally play the games I like in 60 FPS easily, even at high/max settings. I can also finally play games with my friend (who also built a computer himself). Overall, this is a great PC, and anyone looking into building computers should definitely do it, as the experience was great (but a bit frustrating at the same time).

Also, the reason why it is called 'The Particle Accelerator' is because I have a strong interest in physics, and my computer is pretty fast, just like a particle accelerator.

Thanks for reading my essay about this, and have a good day/night! :)

Part Reviews


Great processor for anything, really. I can play games at high/max settings with 60 fps easily. It can also render videos pretty quickly too.

CPU Cooler

This cooler gets loud under load, but it does its job well.


Great motherboard, except I had a hard time getting this board to be fixed in the case, as it is smaller than a normal ATX size, but bigger than a micro ATX size.


It has a lot of storage, and the SSD part of it is very fast. My only complaint is that it makes it sound like there is a thunderstorm at my desk sometimes.

Video Card

Amazing GPU that lets me play on high/max settings in games without lag at 60 FPS.


Very nice looking case that does its job.

Power Supply

This thing needs to learn how to be quiet..


Great 1920 x 1080 monitor that has a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The response time is actually 4 ms, even though it says 6 ms.

Comments Sorted by:

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

I'd replace that PSU. 500w is enough, but that unit is poor quality. A PC like this deserves proper protection from a proper quality PSU. Otherwise, look s great!

Photon submitter 1 Build 0 points 43 months ago

Thanks! From what I have heard, the PSU I have should be okay, but I might replace it in the future.

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

I disagree. It is a lower quality unit built with junk capacitors. It has terrible ripple suppression and poor voltage regulation. I see them fail all the time and damage PCs. I'd replace it, for the safety of your PC.

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Ah okay. I was looking at a PSU tier list on Tom's hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-2547993/psu-tier-list.html), and it has it ranked on the third tier. Once I get the money, I will definitely replace it. Thanks for the heads up :)

EDIT: Never mind... It's on the fourth tier... I am looking up good power supplies right now...

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

I can help if you like. What is your budget for the PSU?

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

I already found a good one that is rated #1 on that list. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-power-supply-220gs0650v1 EVGA SuperNova GS

Banshebot 1 point 43 months ago

My CX lasted a month in my gaming rig before it killed itself. They are bad. Scream like hell at full load too.

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Yeah that thing and my CPU cooler are very loud under load... I'm gonna try to replace my CXM soon.

[comment deleted]
Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

I am thinking about the EVGA SuperNova GS http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-power-supply-220gs0650v1

[comment deleted]
Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Okay. A G2 seems to be the same price as a GS.

tmad40blue 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

+1 on getting a better rated PSU. You don't want who-knows-what taking out your hard work. Otherwise a very nice build! Enjoy your new source of ultimate power =)

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thanks man! I was cautious to avoid those 'dangerous' power supplies.

Atron 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

My brother got a GIGABYTE board and it seems weird as well its an AM3+ 970 DS3P one for my brother and it sticks over the ATX board holes by around 30mm maybe GIGABYTE make weird boards everywhere but IDK its annoying when you have to push in the 24 pin socket since the board bends like crazy. Personally I prefer MSI or ASUS when it comes to MOBOs since I now have an MSI Gaming 5 for my i7 and it fits without stupid stuff like this and has an automatic OC function which is nice.

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Yeah, I had to use some of the longer screws that came with my case in order to screw the MOBO in. Also, the 24 pin socket didn't seem to be much of a problem for me.

Atron 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Mine wasnt a 'problem' but if you didnt support the back it would probably have snapped

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Well, the back of the MOBO was supported by the case.

a2242364 1 point 43 months ago

Hey man cool build :)

One thing I noticed is that you spent a whole lot on that glorious CPU, but I can't help but think that it might've been a bit too much for your needs. I'm under the assumption that this PC is primarily for gaming (which could be completely wrong), so I feel that a mere 4460 would've been sufficient. That extra money could have been used to buy a GTX 970 or an r9 290x, which you would definitely see a performance boost from the 960 you currently have. But regardless, whenever you feel that you need it, you can always upgrade your GPU. Having a nice CPU like that is always satisfying, I would imagine. Just my 2c :).

Congrats on the build.

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thanks! The PC is mostly for gaming, but I am also doing stuff like rendering videos, programming, school work, etc., so I think the processor is okay. Plus, the i5-4690K was only like $30 more than the i5-4460 at Micro Center, so I decided that the i5-4690K would probably be the best thing for me to buy.

Captain_Chicken 2 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

+1 for trying something new, but i'd start doing backups off that sshd if I were you.

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thanks! :)

mattgu16 1 point 43 months ago

I believe I am that friend of yours? :P

Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago


PrestonC 0 points 43 months ago

In the future, try to get hard drives that are not made by seagate, it's hard because the price temptation is big but they have a 9% failure chance in the first year in comparison to 2-3% of western digital. Where did you buy your windows 8.1 pro? If it's online, I might take a look and see if they have a win 7 pro key. That is a great price on that

[comment deleted by staff]
kmno22 0 points 36 months ago

Why didn't you get 2 4Gb sticks of ram? They're more efficient than 1 8gb stick

[comment deleted by staff]
Photon submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

LOL I recorded the video with my phone, and I didn't realize there was a problem until I finished uploading it...

And for the storage thing, it's really annoying, and hopefully something didn't happen to it...