TLDR: Built a Gaming PC back in 2014 when I knew little to nothing about computers and parts, made rookie mistakes, learned a lot, upgraded, modified and added to it over the years, and have really just enjoyed the whole experience and the PC community. So thanks for having a look
Finally getting around to making a post on here, as the tittle suggests this post goes over my first build back in 2014, and the updates I have made over the years and recently. I find it quite interesting and pretty funny to look back at some of the novice decisions I initially made and how it's been a learning experience as I'm still running the same rig now. I initially got the idea to build a pc after watching a friend build his and seeing how excited he was unboxing all these cool parts, putting everything together and turning it on the first time. I was deploying soon but I had pretty much decided that a gaming pc was a must when I got back. So over my 6 month deployment in my spare time I was buying every new copy of Maximum PC, and when I had internet available I was all over this site checking out the features and everyone's new builds. Eventually I decided to go with one of the intermediate builds featured on Maximum PC. Every issue they have a budget, enthusiast, and high end builds, usually featuring some of the parts they reviewed that month. Either way I used the enthusiast build as a foundation, and just swapped a few parts for ones I had chosen. Eventually I had my parts picked out on here and had my budget set at 1000 dollars, but we all know that that goes lol. Fast forward, I'm back in the states and between Amazon and NewEgg i've got my parts ordered and within a few days I have all my parts and i'm ready to go. So after some youtube tutorials a few hours of unboxing, installing parts, applying thermal paste and just feeling unsure about everything I installed. I hit the power button and to my surprise everything comes on and the bios screen appears. It was also about this time I started to feel like my computer wasn't very ascetically pleasing. If you look at some of my old pictures it's just a mix and match of colors and poor cable management. However I was just mostly happy that it worked, and was enjoying the whole experience of playing games on a fresh PC for the first time. Now for the name, at the time I was in a Fantasy Football league and Marshawn Lynch aka BeastMode happened to be my running back. I'm not even a football fan but BeastMode was destroying every week. So of course I named my PC BeastMode, because I felt like it was a beast at the time, and little did I realize it was such a cliche. Fast forward a year later, I'm already starting to feel like my R9 290 is aging, especially with some of the releases at the time, Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Arkham Knight. So i ended up getting a second 290 on Ebay for 180 which was a steal, first ebay auction I had ever won too. Unfortunately CorssFire was not the answer to all my problems, at the time i had no idea all the issues you could run into trying to get games to run smoothly with multi GPU setups. Then AMD announced Vega and I really wanted to pick up a 64 but with the way things went last year with the GPU market i just couldn't afford it. Now even with the prices dropping, i feel content to wait till next gen so instead i decided to finally go back and try to make my rig look the I way I always wanted it too, so when the time comes for that GPU upgrade. I can just throw in the card and be set for another few years. So that's currently were I stand now with this build, and honestly I don't see my self starting a new build till I feel like it's time for a CPU upgrade.
Upgrades: Now lets get into the recent upgrades. RGB on everything wasn't really a thing yet when I first built this pc. Now it's everywhere, incorporated into the motherboards so that all your RGB elements can be controlled simultaneously. Well not with my old LGA1150, luckly the few lights it did have on it were orange and the heatsinks are this off gold color, which kind of fell into the Orange and Green theme i had going on. Maybe a year ago I had replaced all my fans with orange Thermaltake ring fans, and the Corsair Lighting Node and wanted to continue to build on that. First thing was the cables, so many post with beautifully wrapped cables I just needed them. So after I replaced my PSU Burnt Orange Cables from CableMod, the White AIO sleeving kit, and 4 sata cables purchased on amazon from Amazon from a vendor called Darkside, 2 Gray, 1 Black, 1 White. I also purchased and ICY DOCK Dual 2.5 SSD 1 x 3.5 HDD Device Bay to 5.25 Drive Bay Converter which I had used in the past so I could remove the hard drive cages and move tmy drives to were they wouldn't be such an eye sore. I had also decided i wanted to repast my 290s with thermal grizzly, and while i was taking them apart I would paint the yellow portions of the cards matte black to better fit the theme. Which after some video tutorials was really easy to do and neat to see the naked dies for the first time. It also helped my temps slightly, under the FireStrike stress test it runs 8 degrees cooler at it's peak, so that's a small but significant improvement plus the cards looked great in all black. Purchased an Acrylic back plate with the AMD logo, which when arrived looked great but i realized there wasn't enough clearance between the heat sink from the Network adapter and the GPU to install the plate. So I measured the heat sink and took a handsaw to the backplate. After cutting and sanding i was able to install the back plate perfectly but the AMD logo is not as obvious as I would have liked. Either way I think it looks much sharper, and I kind of wish I had bought two now. The AIO sleeve I purchased was not designed with the Enermax AIO in mind either, however after some trimming and elbow grease I have it one there nicely. You would have to really stick your head up in the case to see anything out of place so Im happy. I was considering repainting the heat sinks on my RAM as well but they match the the Heat sink on Network adapter and i didn't really want to take that apart either so I left them as they are. Honestly i really like the orange and green with the spots of random color, I feel like it all works pretty well together. Getting the SATA cables to look neat was a challenge though, having them come out the top grommet as the mother board 24pin cable looked messy and there wasn't to many options, so I wrapped them neatly together with velcro ties and had them come in from the right as pictured. Best thing so far though was after i updated Corsairs CUE software I realized I could control the lighting node from CUE as well so now my lighting is in sync together over all my Corsair products. Lastly was the replacement window from MNPC Tech which came with a small crack which i was unable to return however the window is far superior to the one the C70 comes with. Which has all these vents for more fans that obscure your view into the case. In my opinion the small crack kind of looks like it belongs there. So overall very pleased with the updates, and changes, will be happily waiting on that GPU upgrade over the next couple years.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading, any comments, questions and suggestions are welcomed. Prices were difficult to pull up as i bought some of these parts years ago, but I feel like this is a pretty accurate description of what I've put into this PC over the years. I apologize for any grammatical or format errors this is my first post and i did my best, thank you again for reading.
This community and site have greatly contributed to my journey into pc building and i would just like to say thank you.
May your frame rates be high, and temperatures low
Great processor, absolutely no complaints. Still one of the best consumer processors out there today, and thanks to Intel's new 1151 socket, I don't think i'll upgrade anytime soon. As much as i'd like to tryout some of the features on these new mother boards, it isn't worth upgrading RAM, CPU, and mother board for small increases in performance.
One of the first things I decided to upgrade from the Maximum PC build was the cooler. They had originally suggested a air cooler, which I'm sure was a great cooler. However being the noob that i was wanted water cooling simply because it was cool and from what I read better for the most part. This was also around the time AIOs were getting popular and the ease in which it was to install and price vs custom loops was very appealing. As for performance this cooler is great, with the 240mm radiator, during stress testing it barely gets over 50 F staying in the 40s most of the time.
Great mother board, the BIOS menu is super easy to navigate, as a first time builder I was able to find all the settings, setup the boot order and get windows installed with very little instruction or difficulty. Plenty of modern day features, however only supports DDR3 and lacks in the aesthetic area. Doesn't have RGB features and control, or look as nice as all the new boards. But ultimately i can live without DDR4 for now, everything else is just luxuries.
Good Ram, pretty fast at the time
My original boot drive, this was something i added to the build template i was following. I had read about solid state drives and wanted to try one out. Having never used a custom desktop and coming from old HDDs. I was incredibly impressed with it's boot speed. It felt awesome to hit the power button and less than a second later your login screen comes up. Ultimately though I needed more space hence the HDD
Another SSD I picked up on sale, I wanted to be able to run more of my games off of an SSD so I went with this option. One day I would like to add an M2 SSD but for now this is plenty of fast storage.
When these were released I was quite intrigued by them, they had a small SSD along with the 2tb HDD that work together to give you increased read and write speeds than a traditional HHD. Supposedly up to 5x as fast as a traditional HDD. Load times on Skyrim decreased significantly and I had seen some Amazon reviewers post 200+ mb/s read speeds. So I was happy to pay $90 for 2TB.
My original storage drive, eventually I had to start putting games on here and was not happy with load times so I looked into the firecuda. It does it's job though, and plenty of space for ordinary files.
This card just so happened to be the card used in the build I was following for the most part, honestly had no idea I was joining Team Red at the time or that there was even a rivalry going on between Nvidea and AMD. I just knew this card was reasonably priced and had good reviews plus it looked cool. Either way I've been incredibly happy with the purchase, the card is a beast and probably the best AIB R9 290 in my opinion. Temperatures are good considering, usually sits around 70-74 F when gaming. Down the road I added a second I bought used off Ebay and since then when crossfire is supported and working they run anything on Ultra 1080p 60+ fps. However the recent purchase of my 1440p monitor has them starting to show their age. As now I have to fiddle and lower setting for newer games to run well. Definitely feel an upgrade coming along in the next couple years when the time is right.
Great looking case, lots of space, and plenty of options. My only complaint is that it doesn't have all the nice features that a lot of the modern cases have that make them look clean and minimal. No PSU shroud, or out of site hard drive mounts. But with some customization I think I have it looking pretty good now, added some lights, led ring fans, replaced the window with a much nicer one, and removed all the old school hard drive cages for a cleaner look and better air flow using these awesome adapters from ICY Dock which takes two SSDs and a HDD and lets you put them up in the 5.25 Bays. Still very happy with purchase, it has a very unique look, and being in the Air Force as an AMMO troop my first thought was that it looked like the ammo cans 20mm rounds come in and at one point i even had and explosive sticker from work on it. Has really stood up to all the moving too, South Dakota, Korea, Germany, now Texas, and it still looks great with little to no wear.
Originally had a non modular 850 watt bronze power supply. Rookie mistake going cheap on the power supply I know lol. The cables looked like crap and all the extras made cable management a pain. So recently I really wanted to get custom cables but that required a new power supply so I went with this one. The smaller foot print allowed me to fit another 140 mm fan at the bottom of my case and with two R9 290s everything helps. It's also much easier to manage all the cables and with the Orange PSU cables from CableMod everything is looking much better and more organized. Someone will probably mention that 750 watts is cutting it close for 2 x 290 but after lots of research and some youtube videos i'm not worried. I haven't had any issues and I plan on upgrading to a single card in the near future. Corssfire was fun and a great experience but I'm ready to leave it behind, don't see a lot of support for it these days anyway.
Wireless Network Adapter
Originally had a 20 dollar TP Link adapter that worked well for the first few years, I would usually have a direct connection anyway. However when I moved to Germany a physical connection was not possible. The modem was in my basement so I ended up mounting my router in my living room with a discrete line to the modem downstairs. This was as close as I could get to my pc as I could but it was still not an ideal situation. I had a 200 mb/s connection but was only getting 90-120 via the TP link. So I gave the Asus a try despite the price, let me just say, money well spent. With the Asus adapter I was now getting 190 + speeds, and boy do I miss those days as I currently live in an area where I can only get 5 mb/s now lol.
Really liked the look of the display on this controller, I felt it would look good with the build and it would be cool to know the temps of different areas of you pc case. I have only the intake and outtake fans manually controlled, as i would prefer to let the mother board determine the speed of the important stuff. Currently have the thermometer probes set so that i know the temps of the air coming into the front of the case, the bottom of the case, between the GPUs and the air leaving the back exhaust. Not that it's the most accurate way to track your component temps but cool gee wiz knowledge to have. A bit tricky to install as it involves all these small cables and maybe some reorganization but overall I think it looks dope and functions well.
I had about $470 worth of Amazon points saved up from the past several years and after using one of these bad boys at GamesCon in Cologne I immediately felt such a huge difference. I had heard people talk about 144hrz monitors and i always figured i didn't need it. I had come from console gaming after all so i had no idea what it was like to play something at 140 fps with freesync. But just a few minutes on this thing I was convinced and thoroughly impressed. So I pulled the trigger on one when they released in September and ended up only paying 100 something out of my pocket for it in combination with my points. Let me tell you going from 1080p 60 hrz 4ms response time, to 1440p Quantum dot 144hrz Freesync 2 1ms response time with HDR is an awesome feeling. It took some getting used to even, for awhile Overwatch felt strange, like it was too smooth lol. But I couldn't be happier, this display is gorgeous, the curvature and size just pull you right in and immerse you in whatever game your playing. Witcher 3, God of War, Mass Effect, or any HDR content all look amazing on this monitor.
I love my Corsair K95, i definitely see why people love mechanical keyboards and the cherry browns are perfect in my opinion, not to clicky or noisy
The Logitech G903 is awesome, originally i had a G700 which was nice, but after a few years and getting into competitive shooters I wanted something nicer. Still wanted to stay wireless and the review on the G900 were all very good so I went with this and I've loved it so far, and i really only have to charge the mouse every 5 days or so.
The Corsair Void, it's a great headset and coming from a stereo headset to hearing things behind and all around you really helps immerse you in the game. For 100 bucks it's a pretty good deal too when you look at some of the pricier options.