Description

For my first time building a pc, I wanted something that would never slow down for the multitude of things I run, from gaming, Photoshop, running virtual machines, and running servers. I had budgeted $2k over the years for this build, and was hesitant to pull the trigger, but after graduating college, I will never have as much free time as I have now.

I spent about a month and a half researching parts for the build using a lot of the builds here as examples, and I used PcGamer's High End Gaming Pc as a baseline. I already had two good 1080p monitors, a mechanical keyboard, speakers, an Xbox one controller, 1 tb 5400 rmp HDD, and a mouse- so those weren't included in the final price.

Processor: Intel I7 6800k $400 + Half Tax $13 at Microcenter = $413

This took an extremely long time for me to decide on. I was seriously considering going with the 6700k, but the 6800k's price was well within my budget as well. The 6700k is better for gaming because of its higher clockspeed and no games use more than 4 cores normally. The 6800k is better for everything else I was planning on using it for, and the future of gaming seems that more cores will be more beneficial as gaming grows past four cores. I could also jump to a higher end X99 chip in the future if prices drop. Both processors are equally overclockable. I was also looking at the 5280k, but I wanted something newer and didn't want to have to overclock right off the bat to have performance that matches the other two.

Motherboard: Asus X99-A II $214 + Half Tax $8 at Microcenter ($30 off when combined with CPU) = $222.20

Once I decided on the processor I wanted, finding a motherboard wasn't too hard. I wanted something that has a USB Type C port for compatibility with the new smartphones (like my Nexus 6P), and I wanted an Asus board because they seem to be the most reliable brand for motherboards (my research concluded the customer service sucked equally among good motherboard manufacturers). This Asus motherboard fit my requirements, and has more features than I expected. Only downside is it takes 10 seconds to POST, even with the newest BIOS.

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 $90 at Amazon.com, sold through Noctua Cooling Solutions = $90

I was seriously considering getting the Corsair H100i v2 because I thought liquid cooling was the best. After I learned about the risks of liquid cooling, learned that the D15 performs slightly better than the H100i, and that the D15 is significantly quieter, the choice was already made. This is a computer I want to leave on all the time and not have to worry about leakages, even if leaking is extremely rare. Also, I have heard of AIOs slowly evaporating liquid over time and their efficiency dropping significantly. And sometimes, the pump dies on AIOs. Sure AIOs look nicer, but I prefer functionality over looks. I have had absolutely no regrets with the D15 and the cooler is dead silent.

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW $610 + Tax $43 at Jet.com, shipped from Newegg = $653

Once I learned about the customer service from Evga, there was no way I was going to go with another brand. I was going to go with the Hybrid instead of the FTW if I went with an AIO for my CPU, but once I went air cooled for my CPU, I needed to have a well ventilated case anyway so went with the FTW. Works great, and the rgb leds are nice. If prices drop significantly in the future and I need the extra power, I left room to go SLI.

RAM: EVGA SuperSC 16 gb DDR4 3200 mhz $74.99 - $5 coupon ($5 of $30 purchase) + Half Tax $2.43 at Microcenter = $72.43

Wanted 3000 mhz ram, but Microcenter had this for a good price. Only went with 16 gigs because ram prices are always falling, and I can upgrade when I need it in the future (16 is enough for now). Ram runs well with XMP (but does increase CPU temp by 5 degrees).

Storage: Samsung 950 pro 512 gb M.2 $310 at eBay= $310

Fastest and largest storage I could get without dumping $1k on an Intel PCIE SSD.

Storage 2: Generic 1tb 5400k HDD $0

This was from a laptop I upgraded with an SSD, and will be used for storage. I think I will buy a SATA SSD for large games because this is quite slow.

PSU: Evga 850w G2 $119 - $20 rebate + Tax $7 at Newegg = $107

Evga has the best customer service, and I wanted something that would last me through multiple builds, hence the G2 10 year warranty. Also has ample power for CPU and GPU overclocking and SLI.

Wireless Network Adapter: Intel 7260 $44.99 + Tax $4.21 at Newegg = $49.20

Unfortunately I could not get an wired connection at the moment, so I needed a good wifi adapter. The requirements were for it to remain in budget, support 802.11ac, support 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz, and bluetooth. This fit the requirements, had good reviews, and the minipcie card is up-gradable.

Case: Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 Atx Mid Tower $125 at B&H Photo Video = $125

I was stuck between this and the Fractal R5. I went with this because I liked how it looked, and is very easy to modify thanks to the makermods. I am already looking at the Maker 5 I/O panel upgrade, which has USB-C, when the price comes down. This should last me through many builds. Since I didn't go liquid cooled, I probably could've gotten away with the MasterCase 5 or jumped up to the Maker 5 for the I/O panel. The three case fans create strong, but silent ventilation. If I go SLI, I have space left for three more fans.

RGB Led Strip: Generic 5050 RGB Led Strip at eBay $4

When I noticed my Motherboard had an RGB Led header, I had no choice but to pickup a cheap Led strip. Really makes my case look awesome from the window.

Monitors: Samsung SyncMaster S24B300 and Samsung SyncMaster S24D300

These are good monitors that I got on sale seperatley a couple of years ago. They look good and get the job done, but I may splurge for a third gaming monitor in the future. I was having issues with screen tearing until I set Vsync to "Faster" under the nVidia Control Panel.

Keyboard: IBM Model M13

I found this in my parent's attic a few years ago. Its awesome to type on, gets the job done for gaming, and is extremely durable. Its a rare keyboard and worth a lot (+$300) in such good condition, but I love typing on it too much to sell it.

Mouse: Logitech M705

I am very picky with mice, and spent a lot of time searching for a good mouse a couple of years ago. This is one of the best mice I have ever used.

Gamepad: Xbox One controller

I started out being a console gamer, and this control just feels so much more natural to me than a mouse and keyboard. Maybe when I get better with mouse and keyboard gaming I'll upgrade them.

Amplifier/Speakers: Sony STR-DH130 amplifier with Altec Lansing Image 10 speakers

Found these speakers in my parents attic years ago, and they still sound good. The original amp died, so I bought this Sony one to replace it.

I haven't permanently overclocked or run XMP yet, because the few degrees that the temp rises cause my room to get extremely hot right now in the summer. A bluray burner drive will be installed in the future.

I am extremely pleased with this build. Original estimates had the cost at $2250, but finding things on sale brought it to $2050. I learned so much from the builds on this site, that I felt obligated to post mine and my research behind what I bought. Thank you for all of your help, I hope this helps someone!

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Comments

  • 42 months ago
  • 3 points

+1 for that classic IBM keyboard. I love those things

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes. Good taste.

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Very detailed very nice build and well planned out. It's very refreshing to see someone else not going typical liquid cooling. Nice blue color as well, hides the noctua color ;P.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I have EVGA RAM and am planning to buy the Noctua or the be quiet cooler. Did you have any clearence issues between the RAM and the CPU Cooler?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

No, in fact you could use even taller ram if you wanted. The fans are are infinitely adjustable up or down..so if the ram ends up being too tall, just move the fan up (the fans are larger than the cooler anyway). With the Evga ram, the fan would just need to be moved up just 1-2 cm, which is easily accomplished.

This was my main worry too haha

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Not issues with ram clearance with the new noctua?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

nope, and the fans are fully adjustable to clear ram of almost any height.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you.

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