Description

Let's get all the background info out of the way. I am going into my senior year of college as a mechanical engineer and have been looking to build a computer for a couple of years. I knew very little about computer parts and what what works and doesn't work back then, but I studied up on the topic as all "good" college students do when they don't know something. Turns out saving money each paycheck actually adds up to a significant amount over time, and that is how this build was possible.

This PC will be used for gaming (when I have time), everyday stuff like web browsing and word processing. I also suspect I will need to do some CAD modeling.

At the moment, I do not have a desk, so I use the floor. It works and I also get to lay down when I want to :)

Now onto the build itself:

CPU: I was originally looking at AMD, but I decided to spend the extra money to get Intel for the efficiency and single thread performance. I have not over-clocked yet because I do not see a need to at this point.

CPU Cooler: As everyone knows, this thing is hard to beat in the performance for the price area

Motherboard: It looks cool first of all, but it also supports over-clocking well from what I have read. Another thing that attracted me to it is the SLI and Crossfire capability at this price point.

Memory: Back when I started looking into computer building, RAM was being given away for free with a motherboard purchase... I wish that were still the case. Oh well. I went with Gskill because I have heard nothing but good things about the company's products and it also looked nice with my motherboard.

Storage: I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend the extra money on an SSD, but I am glad I did. My PC boots up in what feels like no time at all compared to other computers and the programs I have on it load up really quickly :) The HDD is pretty standard for most people, so I went with the crowd on this one.

Video Card: This was by far the hardest choice of the entire build. When I convinced myself to spend more on the GPU then was originally intended, I decided to get a GTX 770 or an R9 280x. In the end, I figure the performance difference is not that big and the extra VRAM will be handy for modding Skyrim and if I run Crossfire at some point. Then I went with the Gigabyte version because I read from multiple sources that it was having less failures and artifacting than competing cards. Also, I supported the end of the card with a zip tie to prevent sag as shown in one of the pictures.

Case: People say that this case is very easy to build in, and they would be correct, especially for a first time builder. I was going to get the regular version with no window, but I found this one on sale for the same price and I impulse bought it. No regrets here.

Power Supply: The R9 280x recommends a higher wattage rated PSU, but when I looked into how much power people were actually drawing from PC's with similar specs to what I was planning, I knew that the higher efficiency and slightly lower wattage would probably be a better choice in the long run. It is silent, has a good warranty, and appears to be stable, so I am happy with my choice.

Operating System: I got this cheap (relatively) through my school. I like Windows 8.1 unlike some people.

Keyboard: I knew I wanted a mechanical keyboard, but I didn't want to spend lots of money on one. I was fortunate that for my birthday, my parents got me a gift card to Microcenter. I also found this one open box, so the final cost to me was about $60. Thanks Mom and Dad :)

Mouse: I have had this thing for several years and have loved using it the entire time. This was also a gift from my parents back in the day.

Headphones: I got these about a year ago to drown out the background noise in my apartment at school as well as listening to music through quality headphones instead of crappy earbuds. Let's just say I have used these almost everyday for several hours a day and love them. When they wear out, I suspect I will get the new version because I like them that much.

Monitor: I got this at the start of freshman year, so that is about 3 years ago. It gets the job done and it also has a TV tuner in it which can be handy. I want to get the Asus PA248q at some point because I want a 1920x1200 IPS screen for the added vertical screen space and picture quality.

In the near future, I plan to put some LEDs in the case to show off the parts as well as add another intake fan. Later on, I will over-clock my CPU and maybe upgrade the CPU cooler to a liquid cooler all-in-one. Thanks for reading this far. This was a fun project and I officially have the PC building bug. Looking forward to the next one, whenever that may be. Comments are welcome.

Comments

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 nice build

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice setup. Good Parts. +1

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Great part selection, +1. You should get that tower off the carpet though, it's going to suck up a ton of dust. Some tiles, or even a 1x10 piece of pine will work, just something so it isn't sitting on the carpet.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I have gotten it off the carpet since the pictures were taken. Also, I opened up the case to make sure there wasn't too much dust in there, and it turns out the dust filters did a good job. They just needed a good cleaning.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you like the M50's? I was thinking about getting a pair.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I like them a lot. I have tried several headphones in this price range and these seemed to be the best overall to me. If you do end up getting some, get the updated version. They have the same drivers in them, but there is a detachable cable.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Your case has legs so the PSU doesn't really have to be flipped especially in the short length carpets, but it would be highly recommended that you do flip it, if in case you do decide to lay it directly on carpet. great job on the parts and price! fun case!

  • 60 months ago
  • 0 points

Heya! Which CAD program supports AMD cards now?