I started building a year and a half ago. Since high school, I had dreamed of building a pc. Part of me wasn’t ready for the price, and another didn’t know if it was something I could figure out on my own. Once I entered college, I saw that it was something I could handle - and justify. I started asking around, talking to friends I knew who had built pc’s. They encouraged me that building one wasn’t that bad and that you get a lot of appreciation, pride, and joy from the hobby.
They turned me to this site, and I think they underestimated how much time I would spend on here gawking at computers. My freshman roommate began jokingly calling me “computer-sexual.” I think I underestimated how creative it could be: my all time favorite builds are the custom desk / case all in ones. By reading comments here, looking at build guides, spending hours upon hours of reorganizing fantasy part lists (those are for when the money comes ;)) on this site, comparing and contrasting value versus price (mostly using passmark software), reading building tips or tech jargon on tom’s hardware, and keeping up on all the latest hardware via youtube, I can say I’ve fully grown to love this hobby. The amount of information I know about modern hardware has become... too much.
May I mention that I have this hobby, am a student worker at my school’s IT Help Desk, and was formerly a Computer Science student? I wouldn’t have to talk much about discrete mathematics or the theory of computation before you understand why I became a philosophy major :). But anyway, across this journey of a hobby, I’ve made a build I’m pretty happy about. I wish I could do better for cable management (I’m pretty neat) but I’m not willing to buy custom cables just yet, and can’t make sense of buying them because the focus g can barely fit stock cables as is. The case itself is the one thing I don’t like. When I figure out how to add my pictures, you’ll see I don’t have a picture of the side panel on. This is because some liquid from an accident melted into the plastic and left some nasty drips, so I tried to remove them and ended up just scratching up the plastic.
This build has technically been created in January 2018, but I’ve upgraded it so much that the only remaining original parts are the case, power supply, wifi card, and hyper 212 evo. I just upgraded to the 7700k, ROG Maximus IX Hero, and Vengeance RGB Pro today from an fx 8320. After some scares (it was from facebook marketplace), my $290 mobo and cpu achieved stable temperatures (If you’re wondering why I went for an old-gen cpu, it was the value of the package. Together on market they’d actually be $~700). Man the 7700k has problems without some key bios settings. I had thought I didn’t reseat my hyper 212 evo backplate correctly or tighten it enough. The RAM, oddly, is stable at its highest speed at 2933 MHz, though it’s rated for 3 GHz and the board can handle up to 4 GHz. Also, for it to be stable, I had to set it to 17-17-39 at 1.5V.
Hope you all enjoy! I know the build itself isn’t special, but I bet we all enjoy backstory to these builds, and we can all share the joy of being builders on this site!
Update 4/19/19 - My Ram was able to use its advertised speed of 3000 MHz with 16-20-38 timings at 1.35V.
P.S. - note that not all of the pictures are of the CURRENT iteration of the build. I’ve tried to organize them from most to least recent: some of the pictures still show my old CPU, motherboard (Asus MFA99FX Pro R.2), RAM (16GB G. Skill 1600 MHz simple) and Zotac GTX 1050ti mini. At that time I didn’t even have an ssd for the OS yet. I’ll try to get better pictures of the current build.
2018 Spring Creators update has made Windows 10 bounds better than the original
Wireless Network Adapter
This is one of the best wifi cards you can buy. It’s affordable, and it has the huge extra benefit of being able to connect bluetooth devices through its optional usb 2.0 header. This is necessary for windows 10’s file sharing feature so that I can swap between doing my work on my laptop and pc easily.
These fans are really great. They’re not so flashy with RGB (as a good thing) but they’re not the ugly beige of Noctua. I use four in conjunction with my case’s two fans pulling in air from the front. One is the exhaust to the back, two push air out the top, and one pushes air out thr bottom. The pressure From outtake > intake creates a good evacuation of hot air. i swear sometimes my pc is what makes my room so hot. But PC thermals? Great.
This monitor is beyond amazing. You really have to work with the colors when you first get it, then you’ll wonder why you considered buying an IPS panel! As someone who really cares about colors, this doesn’t bother me at all. I wouldn’t buy it for art or digital media, but for gaming it’s wonderful! Really, make sure you mess with the settings.But, most professional looking performance monitor you can find. I’d even argue for 1440p over 4k because of frame rates, especially with better hardware.
For my first mechanical keyboard, I get it. When I use other keyboards now, my fingers feel weird. The lack of pressure required allows you to resist fatigue. Also, it sounds stupid, but I picked this specific keyboard because of the plush wrist rest. Very comfortable!
Just love it. Mice are usually too small for me or awkward in my hand. This is very ergonomic. I also enjoy the weights (I use all of them) because my hand is kind of shaky, so it really helps me with accuracy. The dpi goes up to 12,000. I don’t know why you’d need that. I’ve always been a high sensitivity person, but I could only handle 2,400 dpi. Over time, though (I’m new to pc - about 1.5 years in) I’ve gone down to 800 dpi as I can control mice in fps better. The ability to lock the wheel for games and then unlock it for scrolling while browsing or reading is great (I still use 2,400 dpi while not gaming - my monitor is kind of big so without this mouse, it’s hard to navigate).
Since call of duty black ghosts, I can’t play without surround sound. I know a lot of people bash VSS as not real surround sound, but I find it extremely accurate in locating direction. There’s also the argument that without headsets your sound isn’t fully diegetic. The sound on these is pretty good, but make a profile that suits you. Advise for fps though, lowering your bass is actually a good thing - bullets and footsteps are tinny. You can always make profiles in iCUE with better bass for movies and music. These have better sound than corsair voids by the way.