I built my first ever gaming PC in 2011 (link). I wanted the best I could buy with the money I had (about $1000) and set out to put together something I could use for years to come. I was, and still am, immensely proud of what I built. It could handle everything I wanted (high-end gaming, streaming, video editing, development, etc.) without issue. None of it was the best of the best; however, I could run just about anything I wanted in Ultra settings until about a year ago.
Late last year I decided it was time to upgrade and, being the savvy shopper I am, spontaneously bought a GTX 980 the day before they went on sale for the holidays. The initial buyer’s remorse wore off almost immediately when I plugged in the 980 to my current setup and instantly saw how much better Dota 2 (the only game you will ever need) looked. So, with the video card bought, it was time to plan the new build.
I had a few key points in mind when I started research for my new build:
- Silence: I wanted my new build to be quiet. I gave no consideration to noise reduction in my first build, and it was loud as shit at night in my bedroom. Also, I never cleaned it, so learn from me, and clean your PC regularly.
- Space: I wanted a lot of space inside my new case. Space helps a lot with the first point and the next point…
- Cable Management: I didn’t give a shit about this in my first build, but this time I was going to do it right, like all those dope builds you see on r/buildapc.
- Minimalistic style: My girlfriend and I have this dream of a minimalist style in our apartment, so I wanted my PC’s exterior to match. I wanted a simple-looking white case to match our entertainment center, Xbox One, and PS4 (even though it’s not even by them. Whatever. Shut up.)
- Future-proof: I don’t want to think about upgrading for another 4 years or more.
- SSD: It was time.
- Fully-modular PSU: I previously had a semi-modular one and wanted more freedom in cables.
Let’s get to what I bought and why. I was heavily influenced by this reddit post of a “Whiteout” PC build. You will see a lot of parts from that build in mine, including the case, CPU, CPU cooler, and PSU.
- CPU (Intel i5-6600K 3.5GHz): This was already on my list before seeing that guy’s build. I went i5 over i7 because the extra cost vs. the advantages of the i7 did not seem worth it to me. Plus, I wanted the unlocked version. Why buy the unlocked version? Overclocking, duh! Not that I really intend on doing it, but I want the freedom to choose. And because I have the unlocked processor, I will eventually get around to overclocking.
- CPU Cooler (Corsair H60 54.0 CFM Liquid Cooler): Always wanted a liquid cooler. I see this one recommended a lot, and it’s pretty cheap.
- Motherboard (MSI Z170A Gaming Pro ATX): To be quite honest, I only bought this because I needed an upgrade with the CPU, and I had seen it suggested as a good one. I don’t much about what makes a good motherboard, and I probably could have saved some money on this piece, but this one has flashy lights!
- Case (Fractal Design Define R5 White): I LOVE this case. It is simply beautiful and has a lot of great features: removable air filters, holds up to 8 HDDs, fully removable HDD & ODD cages, big enough to fix most modern GPUs, water-cooling support, USB 3.0 ports on the face, the swivel door on the front can open from either direction, and it is built for noise reduction.
- PSU (EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply): Like I said above, fully-modular was a must. I saw this one in that dude’s whiteout build and copped it.
- SSD (Samsung 850 EVO 500GB): Top-notch for the price. Boots my PC in 22 seconds. Love it.
- GPU (EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0): I settled on the 980 simply because I did not want to spend $600+ on the 980 Ti. I read a lot of benchmark articles on 980s during my research, and the EVGA was always mentioned at the top.
Now the fun part: pictures. There you have it. My new PC build and a few reason why I got what I got. I am not an expert by any means, and I know I could have saved a few dollars here or there, but I am loving the end result.