Wireless Network Adapter
I call her Ruby, since I tried to relate it to my personal preference of colors, and my birth gem. I use her for email, surf the Internet, Word, Powerpoint & Excel 2013, video editing, CS5 Photoshop & Lightroom, Music Maker, 2D/3D ViaCAD, and Eclipse for programming. I use Photoshop for my art, screenshots and some of my photos but Lightroom is most preferable for the photo editing. (the posted photos on here weren't touched by Photoshop & Lightroom). It's all from my Nikon D5100.
I still need to add in a blu-ray playback to watch Blurays. I'll do this very soon.
The build itself came to a total of $1772.10 with a small (not really) shipping fee on 1 part. My parts were gradually bought per month. From September throughout early January. (I had a mishap shipment with 1 fan and than other unexpected events occurred so I was very late to build this.) Then I stalled for two paydays to upgrade my 212 EVO's fan to a push and pull effect which was March. The last thing in April was the 140mm fan filters since I had to save money for other things in life.
That's why some of my prices are so yo-yo. At the time I had great deals from 2014 but others not so much.
The reason my Windows 8.1 Pro is listed zero, is because I had received it as a bonus from work so it cost me absolutely nothing but sure it cost something for work. I truly appreciate it and was extremely happy to have it. The funny thing is I had a problem with it when I installed the OS on February 4th. By the 7th I couldn't use WiFi anymore. Manually re-installed the driver for the WiFi adapter but it didn't work.
On the 9th I was desperate and my logical thinking wasn't present. I tried to use the PC Repair from Windows (Nooo~ don't do it~). I got trapped in a repair loop so I had to wait until my weekdays were over due to work & college. Fixed the loop repair and WiFi Adapter driver by doing a clean re-install of the OS. "Power-saving" also interfered with improper updates for Microsoft. So make sure all power-saving abilities is turned off and give them max performance.
Do I like the features it gave? Sure I do but for the common personal uses, stick with the standard version. The DVD playback doesn't exist which I thought Pro was suppose to but nope, stupid me. I'll thank VLC Media player for this. And yes I'm using the 64 bit.
I overclocked this a little, keeping it 4.4GHz for now. How do I say this... the i7-4790K is beyond my expectations. I have a laptop with an i7 but it makes it old news comparing with this processor. I've been extremely happy on how it handles my office, games and video editing. There were some programs and games I couldn't even play on my laptop anymore but having this i7 has allowed me to handle the programs I use, unlike what I couldn't before from my laptop.
The one thing I am very much aware of, it expels heavy amounts of heat. So if you don't have a good CPU cooler, please do grab a good aftermarket fan or liquid cooler. I had some issues here before, but I figured it out by adjusting the vCore. I set it around 1.205, this helped my processor become 9 °C cooler.
I have been happy to have this. First time of using the CM Hyper 212 EVO, and I was quite nervous to try this but determine to do it. The process to install an 212 EVO is scary for the first time but once you get the practice, it's not so bad.
The default fan was OK but I still had uncomfortable temperatures. Discovering the most heated task was SWTOR which averaged 72 °C and this is with the vCore being 1.219. I lowered the vCore again but it did not effect the temps enough (~2°C less). So the best solution was to grab better fans. (Now I see 54 °C after a month later in SWTOR, yes!) I was very happy to get the EVO for 30 dollars and I been extremely happy to own this, despite my human errors for the couple attempts to install it. I would recommend this cooler for those who may prefer fan cooling over liquid.
And combining this with the Arctic Silver 5, is great. Easy to apply and clean when needed. When I re-installed the CPU with my new fans, I take my processor out of the MOBO. Thanks to an anti-static mat and arctic cleaning solution with paper towels and coffee filters.
I fallen in love with this board when I first saw it. It was matching my theme for what I was aiming for and because that eye is there, I get so memorized by staring at it. I intend to add in a 1 TB SSD, more HDs and probably upgrade the GPU to a GTX 1070. I like the possibility to have upgrades in the future. I'm not talking about future-proofing because technology changes everyday; I meant more on how long can I make good use of it as much as possible.
I will be honest though, it was difficult to install this big board in a Corsair SPEC-02. The heat pipes on the board and my type of CPU cooler can interfere with fan installation and makes you rethink on how to install. To my major surprise, I had no idea there would be a thin led strip within the board. That made it awesome and the button glows despite they are more orange but no biggie. They could have been green and then I would have been: "Oh gee, that bugs me a lot..." I updated the BIOS to F5 for improved SSD performance which has been great.
The BIOS is very new by a change of start-up interface but frankly it's not hard to navigate. You can change the start-up anytime if you don't care for the default in the BIOS. Since I mention this early about heating issues for the CPU, the vCore default was set to 1.446. So do change it around 1.2~1.250 but my vCore is 1.205. I have no slow down what so ever and since I OC'ed the processor a little bit, seemed to found the right spot for now.
So when I saw the Kingston Savage for the first time, I also fell in love with these. I love how they look and felt they can match my colors.The best part is their latency was 9 for the 1600 & 1866. I would have gone for 1866 but at the time it was too much money. So I went for the 16GB (2 x 8GB) 1600 when I saw them dropped price and Thanksgivings was over by then. The reason for the 16GB is due to video editing and to use my CAD for 2D and 3D design.
8GB would have been fine too but due to my major multitasking habits, I think it would begin to eat up my temporary memory super fast. Yes I'm very guilty of having 3-5 programs running in the background with an office and 20 browser windows with 5~8 tabs in each one. I think 16GB will help there and so far it has. My laptop has 8GB and I could imagine my laptop saying: "What the hell is wrong with you? I can only go so far until I lag and crash." So this will be plenty for my current uses and I'll upgrade to more RAM but that isn't a major need for quite some time.
The Samsung 850 Pro 256GB is absolutely amazing! I honestly do not regret buying this SSD. I love that I am booting 3 seconds and 7 seconds to load windows.
I did use the Samsung Magician and would recommend to use it. It helps improve your reading and writing performance plus can trim when need to. You can also adjust on what you would like the SSD's performance to focus on its usage. Also can test your drives anytime with the Magician but only able to see their reading and writing results. I have SWTOR, Rainbow Six and many other programs on this but its been plenty so far and whenever I get another SSD it will be the 1TB version to store more of my favorite programs and games.
I got the WD BLACK SERIES 2TB HD for one obvious reason, to store games, photos and to capture some video records on gaming. Yes I have Origins (bleh) and Steam account. I intend to get the 4TB versions down the road so I can separate the photographs, screenshots and video records. Its filled up pretty fast over the months so not a shocker! I have around 900GB remaining so yep its been awesome so far. Been impressed with its performance but it will make a sound when cranking up certain games that I've noticed but its a short-term of 5~10 seconds of spinning in the HD then it's quiet. Great drive and love how much it can handle my data since I added in some old games and a couple of new ones.
I purchased the MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V for three main reasons: One is the colors, two it was good enough for what I do presently, and three it was a reasonable price versus a 980. I'm not saying a 980 is horrible! I just couldn't justify it to myself by the price and performance increase for my current uses on a desktop. I've been happy with the MSI burner and able to adjust the use and rpm of the fans with ease, and with the MSI gaming app you can adjust the colors for movies, games or customize the colors to your preference. It's usually not loud for my uses but if you crank the fans about 80~100% you can hear them but I had not much heating issues with this card so I love it. (I also adjust the led glow from the msi dragon, can even alter the light effects if you have the correct specs to do so but mine is set to 35% glow and no effects)
It may sound like I game a lot, even though I have a Steam account, but quite frankly not really. I used to but its more of "when I have the time I will play something". I don't buy new games to often and I only pick and choose with what peaks my interest. I do love that I been able to record my games since never had such a feature in my life and I don't want to use FRAPS again so the NVIDIA Experience has been great so far. Too bad streaming part isn't so great yet because I would like some of my gaming friends to see what I am gaming by their own computers. Not use a NVIDIA device and I could download something else to solve it but it doesn't guarantee that will work either.
The downfall which I am very certain many know this by now but it's really starts at 3.5 GB of vRAM and becomes 4GB until that .5 GB is required and accessed. I known this since the reviews but again I am OK about it. Just a fair warning for those who may be worried about why the vRAM is not fully utilized right away. If you want more oomph for gaming focus then the GTX 980 Ti or the R9 390 are possible options for those wanting more graphics. The GTX 970 is a great card regardless on what is said here and is affordable if you can buy it. Since I do more than just gaming with, I been very happy with it so I have no regrets.
I got the Corsair 760W 80+ Platinum Power Supply for the reasonable price at the time plus I broke budget so I couldn't afford the 860W. It's good enough for two SLIs. If I ever need to increase my wattage down the road than I will but not right now. It will depend upon the amount of upgrades.
I do love the cables so much and they are easier to work with. I was also majorly happy to connect my first decent video card since yes never had such a thing either in my life. I hope I did OK with the connectors, had zero issues so far. I also love how the colors are on the stickers so it's a bonus of joy! Happy ~ happy ~ happy!
Sorry for being so repetitive but I guess not really. I fell in love with the Corsair SPEC-01 when I saw it but the problem was I wanted some easy SSD holders so it wasn't satisfying until I saw the other two versions. I preferred the SPEC-02 because I loved the curves and it was exactly what I wanted for my personal uses. Mid Tower, capable of holding an ATX board and I loved how it looked! I will mention a few issues I had of course. The side window is plastic obviously but it was scratched up when I got it but my fault for not checking it out for a couple of weeks. I had plenty of time to plan out the build since this was bought near September, 2014.
The other issue I had was the paint can easily be removed if not too careful on how one cleans the case or when you detach screws and adding parts. I'm still happy for what it appears to be, too bad I had a little piece of plastic glued from past texture painting which managed to make my bottom have a metal strip with no paint but oh wells. The last issue is probably just my own human error but cable management was rough for me. Still grateful it had some kind of existence to zip-tie things down onto the back, but it looks like crap. Again this is just my build, not others. When I add more storage, I'll fix this. Main purpose was to try to pull the wires back as much as possible since you can't cover the wires.
This does not mean cable management doesn't exist for the SPEC-02. It is very much manageable for certain. Keep the "thick" cables flat as much as possible and not be on top of each other. You be all set. In my situation, I was doing my best to pull them tight enough to keep it clean. This is not a necessary step but you see my results on the photos (# 4, 102-105). Though the drawback is my wires look like a mess so I do apologize for the horror.
I should mention this but yes this case can only hold up to 3 video cards. Not the reason for this but I will eventually change my case down the road but going make good use of my SPEC-02 with the current components that I have for now. I am not configuring 3 or 4 SLI anyways, a quick clarification here.
Holy fans. Holy molely fans. Yes I bought so many AF fans due to they are good for cooling the case, and I wanted glowing red led fans badly. Not super bright ones because I was tempted to buy a red led strip but I dumped that idea due to I would eventually hate the red being bright and it would annoy me. I love the soft leds and glad it's just enough to glow inside and gives it some prettiness.
I only have one SP fan because I originally was going to use it for the CPU cooler. When I had retrieve my last RED LED AF fan, it was BLUE LED version from HotDeals4Less. I was pretty disappointed, not impressed with their email communication and I sent it back though I do understand mistakes happen but I guess how quick they were to defend themselves only made me felt "...really?". Not too long after my grandma fell when I was cleaning dishes for her. She broke hip. :(
So not only was I late building my PC because of 1 fan LED was wrong but had to make sure I checked on my grandma as she recovered while Spring semester is coming around the corner. By this time, I changed my mind for wanting an RED LED AF120. So the SP fan that I already have is on the bottom as my intake. The rest of the 140 AF fans are my intakes for the front, and my AF 120s are the exhausts from the top and back.
All these fans keep my system temp at 33 °C. Also part of the reason for all these fans was because I'm at the tippy top of my house where my room is. So it gets awfully super hot easily and we all know heat rises.
Thus this was the main reason I grabbed the CO-9050014 120mm fans is because I liked how they appear and I wanted better CPU cooling. My gosh these have been extremely helpful for my CPU and I don't regret buying these! I love how you can change the ring colors and for my current uses, I don't hear them to loudly. Yes I did test all my fans to 100% but that's obvious since that makes everything is very hearable. I am not going to claim that these are super quiet fans but if you have my CPU fans at average 1500 rpm and the cases fans' average are around 800 - 1000 rpm (about 50~55% of speed) than they sound not too bad.
Took some time to getting used to since I never had a 24" but I been very happy with it. To adjust the colors, brightness and contrast you use the buttons underneath the monitor so keep that in mind. Windows 8.1 doesn't adjust this for you but you can adjust the resolution and hertz from the OS. I use 60~120Hz about 90% on my games so its easy to adjust if know where to look for or maybe depends on the game settings. Yes I also sometimes used the 144Hz too but it depends which game is OK with it.
One last thing, I swear I had no clue about the red colors behind the monitor so it makes it pretty cool and matches the colors!
I am super happy with my build. I been gradually updating my parts and with better peripherals. I will eventually show the new transformation when the time comes but this will be a while.
I know I've overspent a bit for the whole build but I'm just preparing for the next phase that I intend to do for it. It's been my dream computer so I went big for a black and red scheme. If I went with no scheme and cut out a ton of unnecessary things than yes I could of saved a ton more money but then... I wouldn't have been satisfied because I would have changed the entire build, all over again.
So I'm very happy and grateful for what I got and I should be thanking work and my family for the sum of money earned and given. I should mention one more thing, 700 dollars was already saved from past birthdays and gifts so... the original goal was to spend 1,200 the most. I have changed the goal dramatically since it came a little over 2k. (Ironically it's as much as my old desktop but that poor guy is about 9 years old. Summer project!) This is my gem and I'll treasure it more because I made an effort to build my computer with my own two little hands.
My last big thanks is towards the inspirations of your computers and the amazing community from PCPartPicker. None of this would have happen if I had not seen this website, since 2013. Questions, constructive criticism or feedback is welcome here. Fair warning, "most" jokes do fly over my head because I take everything too literal, sorry.