This was my very first Gaming PC build. It took me about a week and a half of research. I had to get some input from a variety of different folks who kept recommending different parts. In the end, I decided to go with parts that I could pick up all at once from my nearest Micro Center -- because screw waiting for deliveries, am I right? This whole build took me about three hours -- forty-five minutes of which was spent trying to figure out why the heat-sink wouldn't stay locked (because I had the mounts upside down, lol). The last thirty minutes of my time building this was working with the cables. I was honestly surprised I didn't break anything while putting this together.
The combination of the CPU, Motherboard, and the Graphics Card (all of which, I think, are considered "high-end" for budget builds) runs a wide variety of modern games at phenomenal performance.
Battlefield 4 averages between 55 - 60 FPS on its Ultra settings. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn averages around 70 FPS while not in major population centers, 45 FPS in major population centers. It basically tanks wherever there are multitudes of players but it never dips below 30. Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor averages around 55 FPS on its ultra-high settings.
I'll run some more tests whenever I get more games.
There are many concerns with the GeForce GTX 970 and its capability of handling high-capacity gaming, but if you're playing at 1080p (or even 1440p) then you should have no problems with this card on its own. It's still very much a terrific GPU for its price.
I upgraded from a laptop -- an ASUS G74Sx with an Intel i7-2630QM. Needless to say, this processor was a worthwhile purchase. It gets the job done, and combined with a great motherboard (for the price and deal) as well as one of the best single-GPU cards currently on the market the i5-4690k is perfect for my gaming.
I wanted the EVO 212, but Micro Center said that it wasn't to be. So I picked up what was, what I thought, the next best thing.
Had this alongside Micro Center's Intel Core i5 bundle deal, where I buy an Intel processor bundled with a Motherboard of my choice. Honestly, this was the most logical for what I needed -- and what I needed were more USB slots, for all of my peripherals. Performance on the Motherboard is also stellar, and the overclocking capabilities are amazing.
While not my first pick, these were cheap and they still get the job done.
Oh my God, these boot-up times. For everything. I'm literally salivating, after coming from a laptop that took ages to load everything on boot-up. THE ONLY DOWNSIDE is that I'm getting some pretty fatal crashes that forces me to restart my computer.
Hard Drive's a Hard Drive, and Western Digital, I feel, is plenty reliable. I wish I could have gotten more storage space, but I had a budget that I needed to stay within.
For 1080p this was probably the best investment I could have ever made, considering it was also for my very first computer build. The GTX 970 STRIX operates like a dream and enables me to do something I'd never been able to do -- run every single one of my games at their highest settings without even breaking a sweat.
While not the prettiest-looking tower, it was affordable and exactly what I needed for my first PC. Without dust filters, though...
I originally had a Corsair CX750M picked out when I was first building my PC, but I had a lot of folks tell me how unreliable it was as a power supply in general. So I picked something that I knew was reliable, and it only cost slightly higher than what I was willing to spend. Worthwhile investment, and I haven't run into any problems whatsoever.