Thank you so much for the Featured spot! This is amazing and I'm so happy and proud :) <3
It's been a while. 2 and a half years in the making. It started out as a little 10 year old boy with a big dream, now evolving into something I would have never imagined possible. If you told me about 3 years ago that I would be here, doing this, I would have thought you crazy. But here I am, doing what I love and being supported by this amazing community. Thank you.
Before I begin
I'd just like to take a moment to thank everyone here. The staff take a bunch of time out of their day to be here, moderating and being involved. Thank you Philip, Ryan, Jack, Barry, Alex, and the rest. Also, I'd like to thank this community, and everything they've done for me. Mostly everyone dealt/still deals with my often stupidity and noob questions. If I ever need anything, maybe even not PC related, I know I can ask here. I feel like I belong here, and that I have a place. Also, I'd like to thank pegotico for helping me out so much and for putting up with me at times. So just a HUGE thank you to the staff and this amazing community. <3
So allllllll the way back in October 2014, I had an idea. I created a little envelope for myself that I would save and build up. My original plan was to save up for a laptop, specifically the old generation (2009-2012) MacBook Pro (I know, I can hear you screaming in agony). After Christmas and my birthday I noticed my envelope had some pretty serious dough in it. I realized that the Macbook Pro might happen sooner than later. So I decided to research it some more. Here I learned that this certain model was from 2012 and featured a Sandy Bridge i5, Intel 4000 HD integrated graphics and a 500GB 5400RPM HDD. Yikes. So I looked again in Apple's lineup. I found the 2014-2015 Macbook Pro 15". The only problem was that it was $2,000, I decided I would save up and buy it. However, this thought of that it might not be the best for gaming stuck in the back of my mind. A few months later and I went to Microsoft to fix an old prebuilt. While I was there I saw the Lenovo Y50. This was about $1200, a good $800 less than the MacBook, and I believe it had a 950M/960M. This was great, and I looked into it more. Then for some odd reason (maybe because it was MUCH thinner and lighter?) I switched to the HP Spectre x360 which was about the same price.
And I kid you not, the day I was going to buy it I decided against it. So then a bit more time passed, I think it was almost summer of 2015, and I stumbled across the Dell XPS 13. I think what really caught my eye was the amazing InfinityEdge display. It is stunning. But then I started having doubts about build quality and reliability. Once again I switched back to Apple and the MacBook Pro (I can still hear your screams of terror). But I wasn't fully disregarding the XPS 13. A bit later I heard news of the new XPS 15 in about late summer 2015. It was not released yet, and I was
patiently waiting. Now, as the school year started again, the XPS 15 dropped. I was super excited and I read reviews upon reviews. One issue I found was the lackluster gaming performance. At this point I was only interested in gaming. So I decided to look around some more. I found a couple of gaming laptops online and I was hooked. I researched the many different models and specs. There was so much variety! The thing was, none of them fit my needs perfectly. So I decided, "hey, I heard of people building desktops, so why not build a custom laptop" (I know, what a noob, right?). I remembered someone telling me about this site called pcpartpicker.com (what's that, amirite?). So looked, and looked, and looked, and there was no way to build a laptop. :( Throughout this process though, I thought to myself, why not build a PC? So on November 15, 2015 I made an account. Hence the name Matthewtina2015 (Matthew + Tina + the year 2015) Voila! After all, I thought, what could possibly go wrong. Oh boy.....
Build Process and My Thoughts
So it's been a long ride, and a heck of one. It's been nearly 9 months since I ordered my first part of the puzzle, so to speak. So what took so long? Well I finished ordering the pieces I needed to at least post at the very beginning of August. I was out of town for the next two weeks, so my PC took the back shelf. I planned to go to the CA Newegg Hybrid Center at the end of August to finish things up. So I went to Newegg, and I thought everything would slot in perfectly and I'd go home with a great PC.
NOPE. I got to Newegg, and everything was going perfectly, until I got to the cooler. My first cooler, the Silverstone NT06-Pro, was said to be compatible with my case (Silverstone RVZ01), but not with my motherboard (Gigabyte Z170N Wifi). Also, my Corsair Vengeance LPX kit didn't arrive yet, so I used some Dom Plats off a friend. So I went home that day, excited but slightly disappointed, to start anew. Beginning of September, and I ordered the Cryorig C1 and returned the old cooler, thinking it would solve my issues. I needed to go to Newegg again, so I figured I'd bring my PC with me and try again. No luck. The C1 sat right on the RAM, 24 pin, and USB 3.0 Header. Back to the drawing board. Less than a week later, I went to Micro Center to buy a H55. This was a risk I took, as I really didn't like the idea of having water in my super small PC. But this was the only option that performed well, so I bit the bullet.
Two days later, and I finally had time to work on my PC. A few hours later, and Voila!, a post! My first ever post was exactly on September 5, at 5:55PM. Woo! Now though, I still needed a GPU. I waited days, weeks even, for a good deal. Beginning of October, I found one, and what a deal it was! A Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini, just about the only card that would fit in my case with the H55, was only $366.41 from jet.com! To sweeten the deal even more, there was no tax! The even more amazing part is that jet.com said it would arrive 9 days from the order date (October 12, 2016), but it arrived on the 5th! A +1 for Jet from me. So I put in the card, all good. Nothing went wrong. (surprisingly) But then I thought to myself "this 40" 1080p TV won't cut it, my 1070 is just laughing". So I began looking for a monitor. Then on October 6, 2016, I managed to snatch what I thought was a great deal. A QNIX 32" 4K VA Monitor that was on Newegg Shell Schocker. I barely managed to catch this one as there was about 30 minutes until it ended. Of course, the best part was the price, which was an unbelievable $389.99, a staggering 51% off of the $799.99 manufacturer MSRP. I thought it was too good to be true, but maybe I was right.
4 days later, and the monitor finally arrived. My first impressions were just ehhh. The monitor stand could not effectively support the display, the stand was ugly (personal opinion), the colors were pretty bad, especially for a VA panel, there was horrible backlight bleed/IPS glow, and finally the panel itself really hurt and strained my eyes for some reason. A month later (I wanted to get the most experience I could and be sure of my decision), I decided to email the seller and get a refund. Smooth is definitely not how I would describe the experience. I sent my first email the first week of November. After a couple of days, they finally responded. Apparently, they could only issue me a $40 refund! I was outraged. I demanded a full refund, stating that a monitor with a price tag like this, a supposedly reputable company, and you'd expect a near A+ experience. They came back saying that I had my hopes too high. I couldn't believe that a company could do this. Oh well. Eventually, they said to send in my monitor and they'd give me a full refund. Even through about two weeks of fighting against them, I felt I had done good. After I confirmed I sent it in, then they said they'll inspect it and they'd give me a refund if and only if the issues I reported were true. Luckily they gave me a full 100% refund .
All was good, except now I still didn't have a display. I knew I want high resolution (4K) and I wanted a 32"+ screen since my eyes aren't the best. With this criteria in mind, I searched endlessly. On November 23, 2016, I managed to find a great option in something you wouldn't normally associate with gaming; a TV. Yup, you heard that right. I also found it at an unlikely place, Costco.com. Exactly what I found was a Samsung 40" 4K IPS TV for....$289.99! I couldn't believe my eyes. A quality 40" 4K IPS (HDR supported) panel for $290! I pounced on it like crazy, and there was only one in stock. How crazy is that?! Now, 2 months later, I finally hit some more luck. Pretty much the last part I needed was some headphones. I was debating between the Steelseries Arctis 7 ($150) and the Sennheiser G4ME Zeros ($200), with a $50 premium on the Sennheiser's. Luckily this decided was made much easier when overstock.com offering the G4me Zeros for $150.99 plus no tax. Obviously I jumped on them and I've been happy ever since.
So now everything was ordered and ready. But where would I put this beast? Up until about a week ago, I was situated on the dinner table. Not ideal. Ever since I built my PC I always hoped I could put it in my room, in my own little space. I sketched layouts upon layouts until I found the perfect one. However, the only issue is that I could only fit a 55" desk. So I turned to Ikea, and found the Malm desk, which was 55". Perfect! So this past week I was busy setting up my room all over again and perfecting my desk setup. I am now extremely pleased of the outcome.
CPU - i7-6700k
I chose this CPU because I knew I want great gaming performance. So why not get an i5 then, you say? I want the i7 over the i5-6600k because 1) I don't know what I'll be doing in a few years and I want to be prepared and 2) It was only about $80 more (it was $289.99 at time of purchasing). So far this CPU has been great and I've managed to overclock it to 4.4GHz with stable low temps.
Cooler - Corsair H55
As you might have read earlier, this is my 3rd cooler. My previous 2 did not fit with my motherboard and case. I chose this because it had great performance, especially in a case like mine. So far it has kept my 6700k @4.4GHz at around 70c during stress testing. However, it is a bit on the loud side, and I'm not sure if it's the fan or the pump. Another downside was the price. I paid $67.99, which was about $8 more than it was at Newegg at the time.
Thermal Compound - Arctic MX-4
I chose this thermal compound because I had no idea what thermal paste came with the Silverstone NT06-Pro, my first cooler. Turns out I used it a bit more than what I'd like. It's held up well, and makes solid contact. The popular choice would have been Arctic Silver 5, but I heard the time it tales to cure is 200 hours.
Motherboard - Gigabyte Z170N-Wifi
I was originally going to go with the ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming, but it was quite pricey at $160. Then I found the Gigabyte Z170N-Wifi at MicroCenter for $89.99, which is $45 less than what it can be found for right now and at the time of purchasing. This was nearly half the price of the ASUS board while still being great.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2400
This was one of my best purchases in my opinion. Luckily I bought this RAM before the price inflation so I only paid $57.99 thanks to pegotico who alerted me of the price drop. These sticks work well, running at the advertised 2400Mhz. But then again, ram is ram.
Storage - Sandisk Ultra II 480GB
This was another great purchase. Once again I bought it before the price inflation on RAM and storage. Becuae if this, I only paid $94.99 which is crazy. So far I only used about 1/3 of the space on it. Booting up is so fast, it takes under 10 seconds. I haven't even touched my HDD since I got this.
Storage - Seagate Barracuda 1TB (reused)
This part was reused from my old FM2 prebuilt from 2013 (HP 700-147c). Although it is old, it performs decently and it's not loud at all. I almost never hear it. Also it was free, so that's a plus!
Graphics Card - Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini ITX OC
This was one of my easiest decisions. Since I ordered this after my H55, I knew that the GPU needed to be small enough to clear the radiator. With that in mind the only obvious option was this 169mm 1070 ITX from Gigabyte. Since I knew the card I was getting, I waited a few days to see if there would be a sale or a better price elsewhere. My waiting paid off. When this card was $400, I found it on jet.com for $366.41 and no tax! That's about $15 off MSRP which is new to Nvidia.
Case - Silverstone RVZ01
This was pretty complicated to figure out. I knew I wanted a small, portable case. So I narrowed it down to three options; the Fractal Design Node 202, the Silverston RVZ01, and the Silverstone ML08. THe ML08 was bigger than the RVZ01 and had the same features, so I disregarded it. The Node 202 and the RVZ01 traded punches. The Node 202 was smaller and looked much better. The RVZ01 was bigger, but had some features the Node 202 didn't have, like support for a 3.5" HDD and a 120mm radiator. I didn't think much of the radiator support at first, but the 3.5" slot was what convinced me to get the RVZ01. Looking back, I would've modded the Node 202 or ditched the HDD, and get the Node 202.
Power Supply - Corsair SF600
This was a relatively easy choice for me. I knew I wanted a higher wattage PSU for extra headroom and so that the fan wouldn't have to work so hard. With that said, it was between two options; the Silverstone Strider 600W 80+ Gold PSU, and the Corsair SF600 80+ Gold PSU. Looking at reviews, the Corsair was better overall, it could even reach 80+ Platinum efficiency, and it had a much longer warranty (3 vs 7 years). Since they were the same price at $120, I opted for the Corsair.
Keyboard - Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent
When it came to keyboards, they were a ton of options. I knew I wanted a quiet mechanical keyboard. So it was between Cherry MX Reds or MX Silents, which were exclusively to the Strafe. Once I found out Silents were quite a bit quieter than Reds, I knew I wanted them. Even better, they were available at Best Buy, where I had a $50 gift card, for $40 off MSRP ($109.99). I slapped on the gift card and the total dropped to $59.99. I use this keyboard daily and I can confirm it is amazing.
Mouse - G. Skill MX780 RGB
Whaaaaat? A mouse from a manufacturer that makes ram? Yup. Since I'm missing my right hand, I needed a good ambidextrous mouse. I was originally going to go for the Razer DeathAdder Left Handed Edition, but I didn't like the ergonomics. Once again pegotico helped me out a ton. He showed me the MX780 and I was hooked on it. I found it o amazon.com for $49.99 which was a decent price. Like the keyboard, I use this daily (who would've thought, right?) and it's super comfortable and even works fantastically for right handed people.
Headphones - Sennheiser G4ME Zeros
I needed some new headphones as my old Sony wireless ones weren't cutting it anymore and they were uncomfortable. I was debating between the Arctis 7 and the G4ME Zeros. The Zeros were clearly better, but they were also $50 more. My decision became night and day when I found the Zeros on overstock.com for $150.99 + no tax. As a daily drivers, these are super comfortable and much better than my old Sony ones. If you're wondering why they're marked as $0,00, that's because I returned my more expensive Sony headphones and used the money towards these.
Monitor/Display - Samsung UN40KU6290
I'll start off by saying this monitor is fantastic. The colors are sharp, the viewing angles are good, and it looks gorgeous. This is miles better than the QNIX I had.. To make everything even better, it was super cheap. It's now double in price ($600) at Best Buy. I love this TV and would 110% recommend it.
Build Log of my PC
June 17, 2016
Today I went to Micro Center and picked up a 6700k for $289.99 ($313 after taxes). This is the first purchase I made for my RVZ01 - 6700K - 1070 rig.
July 2, 2016
Today I went to Best Buy snd picked up a Corsair Strafe RGB for $109.99. Also I have a $50 gift card that made the finla price only $59.99! This is the second purchase I made for my RVZ01 - 6700K - 1070 rig. I really enjoy it.
July 6, 2016
Today I went to Micro Center and purchased a Gigabyte Z170N-Wifi motherboard for $89.99 via a sweet deal. The board is currently $139.99 at Micro Center, and I got $30 off in a CPU bundle deal and a $20 mail in rebate. This is the third part I purchased for my RVZ01 - 6700K - 1070 rig.
July 12, 2016
Today I went to Best Buy and bought a Sandisk Ultra II 480GB for $94.99. This SSD was on Prime Day for $95 and the 960GB for $165, but it went out of stock before I could buy it. :( Luckily I noticed that Best Buy had the 480GB for $95 and the 960GB for $165, same as Amazon. So I just had to have it. When I was there, I decided that a 480GB SSD was enough for my needs. This 480GB SSD will be my primary drive, on which I will store my OS, games,
cat pictures, etc. This is the fourth purchase for my RVZ01 - 6700K - 1070 rig.
July 17, 2016
Today I went...nowhere, actually. I ordered some PC stuffs from Amazon. I ordered a 4g tube of MX-4 for $7, a SilverStone NT06-Pro for $55, a Corsair SF600 for $120, and a SilverStone RVZ01 for $85 which my dad said he'd pay for the case. This is my biggest single purchase part wise, if that makes any sense at all. Probably doesn't though. So yeah, pretty cool. I believe they should be coming in around July 19-20th. I'm super stoked. :) This is my fifth purchase for my RVZ01 - 6700k - 1070 rig.
Update - July 20, 2016 - Case has arrived!
Update - July 20, 2016 - Case arrived damaged, sending it back
Update - July 22, 2016 - Case has arrived!
Update - July 22, 2016 - Cooler has arrived!
Update - July 22, 2016 - Thermal Paste has arrived!
Update - July 22, 2016 - PSU has arrived!
Update - July 22, 2016 - Mouse has arrived!
August 1, 2016
Today I ordered two parts. I ordered the Cryorig C1 from Amazon ($64.99) and the Corsair Vengeance LPX (2 X 8 DDR4-2400) from Newegg (($57.99). I opted for the C1 over my original NT06-Pro because the Silverstone was huge and it was not compatible. I ordered the ram in a flash because I caught it on sale (thanks pegotico!) for about $13 less than the previous price.
August 27, 2016
Since I was out of town for the majority of the past two weeks, I couldn't finish my system sooner, but today I went to Newegg to try to finish it. While I was there, I realized the Cryorig C1 would not fit as it sat on the USB 3.0 header, the 24 pin, and the ram.
Update - September 3, 2016 - I bought a Corsair H55 from Micro Center
September 3, 2016
Today I went to Micro Center and picked up a Corsair H55 for $67.99. Hopefully I'll finally be able to completely my build that I started, what seems like, ages ago. Cross your fingers!
Update - September 4, 2016 - Cooler has been installed successfully! Hopeful I can work on it more tonight to finish it up
October 3, 2016
Well this took waaaaay too long. Anyway, I bought a Gigabyte 1070 mini ITX OC from jet.com. Thanks to my good friend pegotico, I managed to find a killer deal on this GPU from jet. It was $396.41 (base price) which is normal for this card, but jet is offering a 15% discount on your first three orders (up to $30). This reduced the cost to $366.41 which is lower than the 1070's MSRP. And to put the cherry on the cake, they don't charge tax! So my order total was $366.41. The ETA is October 6 to 12, 2016 so expect an update soon.
Update - October 5, 2016 - GPU has arrived!
October 6, 2016
Almost finished. Phew, it's been a heck of a ride. Tonight I found an insane deal on Newegg. A 32" IPS 4K Freesync monitor for only $389.99!!! Shipping is gonna take a while though. For this price though I'm not complaining. I mean it was originally $799.99!
Update - October 10, 2016 - Monitor has arrived!
November 23, 2016
Today I picked up a Samsung 40" 4K TV from Costco for $289.99. I'm super lucky to find one in store. These have been out of stock for 2 days online. The Costco employee informed me that he sold 31 in one day. How crazy is that!?
Update - November 24, 2016 - Been using this monitor for about 6 hours now and it is fantastic! Much better than the QNIX I had before.
January 11, 2017
I'm almost done, I promise. Well I still needed headphones, and I was looking at the Sennheiser G4ME Zeros. Only issue is they're $200. Luckily I managed to find a brand new pair at overstock.com for only $150.99. To make it even better, there's no tax! Yay!
Update - January 14, 2016 - Headphones have arrived and they're great!