I ditched my desktop and used a Lenovo Y510P (SLI) for a few years which isn't a bad laptop by any means, but it was less powerful than the desktop I came from. I travel a lot, so it didn't make sense to build another desktop just to leave it at home all the time, so I just left things how they were. During these few years I configured, built, and tested almost two dozen desktops for friends/family/clients(?) in exchange for sushi, and died a little inside every time.
I've been saving for a bit, so I spared (almost) no expense for this build (note that this build is not quite complete, the RX 480 is a placeholder). My target was to build a machine that could play 1440p proficiently while handling large (hundreds of components) CAD projects and physics simulations, mostly because I bought an MG279Q (1440p, 144Hz, Freesync monitor) when I was not of sound mind and my laptop surely couldn't handle that.I then bought a 1TB SSD because I absolutely hate the sound of spinning disks. This build also worked out somewhat because I hate my work computer and needed more power for projects.
There were two difficulties in assembly: One - I definitely should have plugged in the fan headers before installing the CPU cooler, it's nearly impossible to get them plugged in once the cooler is in place and the motherboard is in the case. I really should have known better on this one. Two - The PSU cables are meant for an ATX mid-tower or full-tower case, so there's a lot of extra cable left over. Cable-management was a little frustrating because of this.
I love it in its current form, between the fans, sound dampening, and a custom fan curve, this rig is almost silent during normal operation and very tolerable under severe load (and it currently sits two feet from my head). I'm happy with all my component choices, reviews will be below for them.
-New Video Card: The RX 480 was never meant to be a permanent addition, I'm waiting for more powerful AMD offerings so that I can take advantage of Freesync on more demanding titles. Also, on my larger projects the RX 480 begins to struggle, and that's just unacceptable.
-New CPU Cooler: My work benefits from a faster processor, and currently my overclocks are limited by thermals. I dislike pump noise so I don't want to go with water cooling or an AIO, but I'm not sure what my upgrade options that would fit in this case are, other than something like an H5 Ultimate.
-New Peripherals: G502 Spectrum has actually already arrived, but I'm too lazy to get new pictures. A new keyboard is in the works, maybe a Ducky One TKL RGB. Not sure yet. Open to suggestions, preferably a TKL or 60% (have enough full-sized mechanical keyboards).
-More Monitors: My second monitor is actually a 40" 1080p TV that sits where those cardboard boxes are in the desk pic, which works well for Spotify and web browsing, but I want to get at least one more cheap monitor for the left side.
-Aesthetics: I kind of want to get a set of Cablemod cables and an NZXT Hue+, despite it not being necessary. These are just one weak-willed night away from happening.
Schiit Stack: Schiit Modi 2 and Schiit Magni 2 - Excellent budget Amp and DAC combo - will drive almost anything you've got and performs as well as more expensive, flashier options. Excellent value, will drive even difficult headphones.
Keyboard: Filco Majestouch 2 Ninja (Cherry MX Brown) with Vortex thick PBT keycaps (side-printed) and o-ring dampeners - My daily driver, because I live with other people. Love the keyboard, wish I could using something louder. There's definitely better keyboards for the money nowadays.
G400S: Bought to replace an MX518. Optical, decent. Not enough buttons. It has been replaced.
Asus MG279Q: Bought it refurbished while otherwise affected. Excellent depth of color, crazy high refresh rate. No dead pixels, no significant backlight bleed, and the only serious issue is that every included cable (HDMI, DP, etc.) didn't work, which is why I assume it was returned. Used my own cables, worked fine. Out of box the color tuning was pretty bad, after calibration the picture is lifelike.
Thanks for reading!
Excellent, works great for me as I need the additional threads for non-gaming applications, extreme overkill for gaming however. I need the additional speed and have it overclocked to 4.5GHz on a simple air cooler. If only gaming, get an i5 instead, the i7 is not worth it for that application.
Very good, I've used this in multiple builds for other people, quiet, performs well for the price, looks good, and is the easiest install out of any cooler I've worked with. Definitely worth the small premium over the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo.
Easy to work with, used the ATX version a couple times in builds. BIOS is easy to navigate, and I haven't had any issues with them before and it's pretty feature-full for an ITX board, so I figured I'd just get the ITX version for my build.
This is RAM. It is fast RAM. It works at the advertised speed. I needed fast RAM for things that aren't gaming.
To be quite honest, I kind of wished I spent a little more on the SSD, as it was quite a large commitment. The Reactor is the cheapest MLC SSD on the market, and it does perform very well. However, after coming from an Arc 100 SSD, there is a very small, almost imperceptible speed difference in the Arc 100's favor. This is a fast SSD, don't get me wrong, but it seems to be the slowest MLC SSD. Still a good value though. 3.5 stars if I could.
This is the best budget card I've worked with, and possibly the best reference card I've used. For a blower card it is extremely quiet (note I say 'for a blower card', it's still louder and hotter than a proper AIB card) and I can't say I expected its level of performance for under $300. It handles large CAD projects and get a consistent 80+ FPS at 1440p on Ultra in games like RB6 Siege and other FPS's like it.
Excellent case, very easy to work with, quiet, and understated looks. Love the included velcro straps, the included fan splitter, and the sound-dampening foam. Only complaint is that there's no top dust filter if you remove the top Moduvent cover.
Excellent power supply, 7 year warranty, quiet, and pretty good included cables. I love EVGA's PSUs and I try to use them when I can on builds.
The fan is quiet, its airflow is okay, but it's priced well for a 140mm fan, mostly due to its hydraulic bearing.