Welcome to "Bockscar" - a PC tribute to the B-29 bomber that ended World War II. The real Bockscar is on display at Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. It dropped the plutonium "Fat Man" atomic bomb that destroyed Nagasaki, Japan on August 9th, 1945. That detonation (and the Russians attacking Japan) caused the Emperor to finally admit defeat and accept unconditional surrender thereby ending WWII. Bockscar should be much more famous than it is! When I looked at the Corsair Air 540 case it reminded me of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress - big, lumbering, and able to carry a mighty payload. Also the box-like shape is a nice pun off "Bockscar" (check out the nose art on the side). Hope you enjoy! Appreciate your comments but remember to be nice (it's my first build and my kids are going to read this too!).
Goal: Always wanted to build a PC. This site has given me the confidence to do so! But what to build? I wanted to do a fun build with my kids (11, 8, & 6 years old). Something we could all learn from. Must be good at light gaming (for example my son loves Titan Quest from 2009) and something I can learn to overclock on and expand into the future. Needed a low power graphics card I could someday move to my old PC (i7-920 with GTX 260). Also had a few parts to reuse (Evo 840 SSD, a couple 2.5" laptop HDDs, Chroma Razer keyboard with mouse, and an ancient Dell monitor).
Case - Corsair Air 540 (silver): Yes, I started with the case - sorry! But the theme required something very specific. It's been great to work in. Tons of space. Easy to open back up and add another part without worrying too much about cables. Looks terrific! I might buy some more dust filters - will see how quickly it gets dirty.
Motherboard - EVGA Z87 Classified: This board looks great; nice overclocking features and fits the theme (it's "classified"). Decided to save some money by going with Z87 (instead of Z97). Though dated can still use all the CPU's I care about after a bios update (G3258, i5-4690k, i7-4790k). Used Rufus to make bootable FreeDOS USB with latest EVGA driver. First start-up attempt gave error code FF ("reserved for future error codes") and nothing on screen. Uh-oh. But power off, power on, and successful boot of USB free-DOS. Flashed the bios and it's been working great ever since. Nice to have 3 separate motherboard bios on EVGA classified (switchable) - no fear of bricking it. The EATX board fits really well in the Air 540 case.
PSU - Corsair HX850: Plenty of future power for multiple high end GPUs (just daydreaming for a sec). Since it's on the other side of the case I didn't care that the blue "HX" would clash with my red and yellow theme. Semi-modular has been fine (very little of the cables actually show thru on the other side before disappearing through the rubber grommets). No complaints.
CPU - Pentium G3258: Needed something I could overclock and not be afraid to accidentally melt. A $70 CPU I can overclock without fear! Also "anniversary edition" fits well with the "old yet powerful" idea related to a B-29 bomber theme.
CPU Cooler - stock (for now): The CPU's been running so well on the stock cooler I hate to spend extra $ on a new cooler. Still a little tempted to get Zalman CNPS9900 MAX (red) since it looks like it belongs on an airplane. But might just wait until I update the CPU someday and then spring for a nicer cooler. Added a radioactive sticker to cover up the Intel logo on the stock cooler.
Memory: Easy choice - look at that plutonium symbol on the side! Had to be Mushkin radioactive.
GPU - Asus GTX 960: Actually bought this to replace my 6-pin GTX 260 on my previous computer (yes I still am running a 260 and it works amazing well with older Steam games). Someday I'll spring for a high end GPU, move this one over, and retire the GTX 260 to the bone yard. But both still flying high for now.
SSD & HDD - Samsung Evo 840 & 2 x Seagate NAS 4TB in Raid 1: Already had the Evo 840. Raid 1 on the hard drives for dependable storage. Eventually will get Windows 10, put that on the SSD, and move Linux Mint over to an old 2.5" 360MB hard drive for dual boot.
Monitors: I had an old (but perfectly fine) Dell 1907 monitor. So I bought two more identical monitors off Ebay and am running at 3840 x 1024 surround (4000 x 1024 with bezel correction). Really happy! Looks great and not so many pixels that the GTX 960 can't keep up. Plus silver legs match the theme and the 3 monitors side-by-side remind me of an airplane wing.
Extras - Nose art car magnet, B-29 toy, fat man nuke toy, name plate, RGB LEDs, mirrors: I think it looks fantastic! Pictures don't do the LEDs justice. Looks like a giant toy at night. The kids love it - and so do I!
What's next: Any good suggestions for the 5.25" bays?