I got a 15" MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) for college, upgraded it with a 500GB SSD and 16GB of RAM, and had been using it heavily for work. Although it could hold it's own, its age was starting to show and I could tell it was almost on its last leg. My boss generously gave me $1,400 to replace my computer, but a comparable 2018 MacBook would have cost double that. I had been excited about building a PC for a long time, and realized I would get a way better bang for my buck doing so. I decided to invest some additional money into making it look exactly how I wanted it - clean and simple, black and white - inspired by one of my favorite things: Stormtroopers. This is my very first build and I'm really proud of it, but I would love comments and suggestions so that I can learn more going forward.
CPU - Ryzen seemed like the clear choice when it came to CPUs. With an amazing cost to performance ratio, the ability to overclock, and support through 2020, it was sort of a no-brainer. Plus Micro Center had a $10 discount!
CPU Cooler - Why get a cooler that cost as much as your CPU? Couldn't you just get a Ryzen 7 chip instead? Well... yeah. As you can see in this build list, I bought into the NZXT ecosystem. Originally I had the NZXT Kraken M22 and installed it as a rear exhaust. This cooler was TERRIBLE. I would never recommend it to anyone. Unlike other Kraken models, it's not based on Asetek, and the mounting screws that come with this cooler don't actually secure it to the CPU properly. I drove to NXZT headquarters and spent two hours with their staff showing them that the brackets wouldn't mount to either an Intel or AMD board correctly. Stumped and confused, they sent me home with some extra washers and longer screws. Still, being inadequately mounted, I never got the temps I wanted out of my M22, didn't like the placement in my system, and wouldn't be able to add an RGB fan to it because NZXT doesn't make static pressure RGB fans. Long story short, the X62 really filled out the front of my case nicely, cooled my CPU way down, opened my top and rear exhaust slots up for some cool RGB fans, and cost the same as my CPU. Oh well ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Motherboard - I got a B350 board three weeks before they launched the B450. Maybe I didn't do enough research or was just impatient, but Micro Center offered $30 off any motherboard with a compatible CPU purchase, so I still got a really good deal!
Storage - I got another great discount at Micro Center on my Samsung 860 EVO and got a Western Digital 2TB drive from my dad which saved me a bit on storage costs.
Graphics Card - My brain: "If a nice 1070 is $429, why not just bump up to a 1070 Ti? But this really nice 1070 Ti is on sale for just $489... Then why not bump up to a 1080 for $529? Oh, I don't have enough money for that. 1070 Ti it is." I also know it's a bad time to buy a graphics card, but with EVGA's Step-Up program, I can pay the difference and upgrade to an 11 series when they launch so I'm not outdated within months of purchasing it.
Monitor - The Dell S2417DG was the best G-Sync 1440p monitor I could find for the really reasonable price. While I'm super happy to have it, I definitely forgot to factor a monitor into the cost of my build so I paid a bit more out of pocket that I originally budgeted for.
Stormtrooper - I tried to pick the best value and quality components for my build, and while I really like these parts, I mainly chose these to really build on the white and black aesthetic: Memory - Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB Case - NXZT H500 Case Fans - NXZT Aer RGB 120mm Fans & Hue+ Controller Cables - upHere Sleeved Cable Extensions, Headphones - Corsair HS70 Wireless Gaming Headphones
Everything works and looks exactly how I wanted it to. I'm currently running a very stable 4.0GHz all-core overclock on my Ryzen 5 2600 and am getting really good temps with my overkill cooler. Right now I'm primarily playing The Witcher 3 on ultra settings and it runs like a charm, but I'll report back with additional games and benchmarks as I add and test them!
Thanks for checking out and reading about my build! I can't wait to hear what you guys think!