This computer has been over a year's work of progress and I figured I would finally post my build here on PCPartpicker. The prices I have listed are all just estimates as I don't recall exactly what I paid for it all.
My first venture into computer building started around 2012 after finding out about my favorite emulator program, PCSX2. My favorite console is still the PlayStation2 and being able to play many of my favorite past titles in HD was a dream come true. Unfortunately my favorite game ever, EverQuest Online Adventures, was no longer playable as Sony had shut down the servers (Will discuss more about this later) My first build was an i3-2120, 8GB RAM, GTX 550ti, 1TB WD Blue HDD, Rosewill 630w Green Series PSU, all in a Rosewill Challenger case. I use my 43" Vizio 1080p HDTV as a monitor with a wireless mouse/keyboard combo. This setup was a great value deal, but I wanted MORE!!!
Christmas last year I decided I wanted to upgrade to an i5 4690k because PCSX2 demands very high single thread performance and the Haswell architecture offered a huge speed boost over similar Sandy Bridge CPUs. I ran down to the nearest Microcenter and picked up the i5, Asrock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard and the CM Hyper 212 Evo. This is when I really started to enjoy PC building and I would search Newegg deals daily. Next I picked up the 840 Evo SSD when it went on sale on Newegg. This was the best performance upgrade ever, I will never be able to go back to a HDD boot drive anymore. The next upgrades I got were the EVGA 850w G2 PSU and the GTX 970. The PSU I also got on sale from Newegg (Yes I realize its way overkill, but I got this in case I want to SLI later on. The 10 year warranty speaks volumes about the quality.) and the GTX 970 I picked up from a local Best Buy. Once football season started up I decided to get the TV tuner so I could record Giants games because I worked every Sunday. I also realized I could use this as a video capture device for my modded PS2. I got Windows 8.1 for free through my college Dreamspark account and upgraded to Windows 10 on day one. The final upgrade I got was the Phanteks Enthoo Pro case when it went on sale. Cable routing in the Rosewill Challenger was dreadful and I wanted something that looked more aesthetically pleasing. I ended up sanding off the green GEFORCE GTX logo and think it looks pretty sweet white.
In my search of a way to play EverQuest Online Adventures again I found a Facebook group, "EQOA: Revival", that was looking to reverse engineer a server. They had a few packet captures of the game being played live and had a simple server setup that could get into the server select screen. They also had a modified savestate that allowed you to roam the HUGE map of EQOA in an offline state. This is when I really became interested in computer programming and started taking Computer Science classes at my local community college. Since then our server has progressed and now gets us into the character select/creation screens. I believe in the next few months we will be able to enter the game "through the front door" as we call it. I even helped write a cheat that bypasses Sony's DNAS authentication for the game (DNAS server will be coming down any day now) and was able to successfully reproduce the cheat in both PCSX2 and on a FreeMCBoot modded PS2! I typically run our testing server in a VM and have connected both my PS2 and PCSX2 client to the server. I seriously cannot wait to play this game again, it puts every other MMORPG ever created to shame. If you want to check out our group we have a wiki page here:
TL;DR : Like PS2 emulation, pc gaming + building + programming. Helping reverse engineer server for my favorite PS2 game.
All pictures were taken with my Galaxy S5, disregard my thumb in the corner of almost every pic LOL! Thanks for reading!
Great CPU, can overclock higher but like keeping voltages low. Running 4.2 GHz at 1.190V.
Good price-to-performance CPU cooler, may upgrade to an AIO water cooling loop in the future.
Good looking, feature packed motherboard at a great price.
16GB of 2133MHz DDR3. CAS latency of 9 is nice. 1.65v is kind of high though and I wish I got something that runs at 1.5v. This RAM kit is on the QVL for this motherboard though and runs at XMP speeds at 1.65v with no problems.
Have seen many reviews of poor lifespan for this SSD, but has performed great for me in the year of using it. Updated to the latest firmware just in case.
Cheap and holds plenty of stuff.
Overclocks well and never goes over 62C. Reference cooler does a great job and is very quiet. Very easy to mod as well.
This case is so much better than my previous Rosewill Challenger case. I have big hands so the extra space makes working in it so much easier. Cable management is beautiful in this thing.
Solid, reliable PSU with a ridiculous warranty length.