Sorry for the poor quality photos - I don't have a better camera!
The Story: This is my first PC build. I'd previously done all my gaming on a Lenovo Z500 laptop with a GT 645m. I was content up until the release of Fallout 4, where the specs didn't meet the minimum requirements; I spend hours modding my game to increase the performance whilst decreasing the visual quality. I managed to clock around 120 hours into the game before exams came up. While studying I came to the conclusion I needed a new PC - not a prebuilt one, a custom rig available to upgrade for many years to come.
So, within the breaks from revision, I spend the time researching all the parts and learning all the technical knowledge around building a computer (which conveniently helped with my computer science revision). YouTube channels such as LinusTechTips and Austin Evans were extremely helpful, and, of course, this beautiful website for so conveniently providing a way of easily comparing and compiling a part list made the process so much simpler.
After finally settling on the parts, I ordered them to arrive on the 22nd June - the day of my last exam.
The actual build went fairly smoothly and I was surprised about how easy it actually was. I had a bit of trouble screwing in the CPU cooler but it was quickly resolved. My favourite part of the built was installing the GPU, mostly because of the simplicity, but also because of the satisfaction that I've just given my PC the power to run any game at high/ultra settings - this was a great contrast to my old laptop.
The physical build took me about 4 hours in total. I was super excited when it powered on with no issues! Windows and driver installation took about 2 hours.
So I now have a proper gaming PC. It was a great experience, and I am sure to build many more PCs in the future!
The Future: I am pretty content with the performance of this PC at the moment, but I will do some overclocking later on. I do some video editing so overclocking the CPU may come in useful, and an overclocked GPU would be nice to get a few more frames.
In terms of upgrades, I will be purchasing 2 more sticks of RAM for a 16GB of RAM in total and I have plenty of space for more HDDs and SSDs, therefore I will almost definitely upgrade my storage capacity for all my games. It is possible I may go 2-way SLI when the 970 starts to become obsolete, however, it may be a better option to upgrade the card completely.
Side Notes: The RAM price is set a £0.00 because I got it for free in a bundle with the motherboard. I also already owned the mouse and headphones, therefore I listed them as purchased. :)
Updates: (30/08/16) Added a RGB LED strip along the back of my desk. (01/09/16) Added a white LED strip in the case to light up the interior. (02/10/16) Installed two more 4GB sticks of RAM, totalling to 16GB. (25/12/16) New mouse: Logitech Proteus Core G502. (25/12/16) Headset: HyperX Cloud Stinger. (07/04/17) Installed a 2TB hard drive.
Thanks for reading!
Perfect CPU for gaming. No issues at all while running games. Of course not as good as the i7 in video editing, etc. but still holds its ground well if you occasionally partake in CPU intensive tasks. The ability to overclock is also a plus, but make sure you purchase a CPU cooler as it does not come with one!
A bit of a pain to install, but works great and at an excellent price.
Packed full of features at a reasonable price. BIOS is friendly and easy to navigate. Build quality is great and it board is very pleasing to the eye, including the red LEDs.
High quality RAM at a good price. Nothing else to say.
High quality, fast, robust SSD. Great for storing large games that have long load times. Fallout 4 takes about 8 seconds to load.
Well priced, robust HDD. Not a single issue.
Despite the release of Pascal, this GPU is still amazing. It can run almost all games at ultra, 60fps at moderate temps of 60-70°C. The MSI design looks slick and will complement any build, especially the popular red and black scheme. There is also a white LED showing the MSI logo on the side.
This chassis was a pleasure to build in. The open space design allows for easy installation of components and is great for air cooling. A wonderful amount of storage potential, also. Moreover, the steel/plastic build quality is great, including the side panel window.
You will need to purchase more fans, however, as the case only comes with one.
Superbly high quality PSU; no problems at all. Easy to install, robust, includes threaded wires.
Wireless Network Adapter
Works as intended and looks good. Antenna is a handy feature to increase WiFi strength. Great for the price.
Exceptional fans from Corsair; they push plenty of air. I seriously recommend these for any build to keep your parts cool.
Great monitor from Asus. Super smooth. Colours not as good as other monitors, but not an issue as the colours are still vibrant enough.
Not mechanical, but still a great keyboard. Looks stylish, comfortable to type on and includes some great features, such as macro keys and a Windows lock key.
Looks and feels (once you get use to it) spectacular. Good amount of features for the price, including a handy 'sniper button'. 5600 dpi is enough for me, personally.
The sound quality is great for gaming and music, and the headphones are comfortable to wear for a long period of time. The mic that comes on the wire is not of great quality, however. Furthermore, the plastic build is creaky and looks 'chunky'.