SOMEBODY ONCE TOLD ME...
Basically bringing myself into more modern hardware for future upgrades. My 3570k and DDR3 RAM, lack of M.2 support wasn't going to get me much further. Thanks to the start of a great deal on a top-notch motherboard, I was able to start moving some hardware into a new build, while also beginning to get great stuff for the future.
I decided on an i3 for one simple reason: I want to wait to see what the new CPUs coming out this year have to offer. If they're truly a step up over the 8700k, I'll invest in the newest chipset. Otherwise I can get an 8700k for cheaper, later. But because I got this board off of Craigslist, and wasn't updated to the latest BIOS, I needed a CPU to do that... so here we are.
Honestly, even though I went from a 4-core 4-thread to another 4-core 4-thread cpu, I'm getting MUCH better minimum frame rates in games (though no improvement on max FPS). Minimum fps is going from 28 fps in Rise of the Tomb Raider to 45, which makes stuttering much less frequent.
I was also able to overclock this chip to 5Ghz at 1.300v. I haven't pushed it further, but from what I can see, everything is stable, and even without delidding, it's been running pretty cool. Haven't stressed it to the max yet though.
The 980Ti is a great card, and will probably keep me happy for a while. I'm telling myself to wait for the next "Ti" card (or if AMD has a better card, I'll go with that) sometime next year.
Card runs a bit toasty, and it can't be overclocked too heavily... But for a reference card, I'm still pretty pleased! Though I can't say I'm overly happy with the little LED on the card. That alone determined that this build would be green. I'm more of a violet/magenta guy, but hey, how many people have the official Shrek soundtrack in their rig?
Added a M.2 SSD for my boot drive. I'm really digging the speed! Everything else was taken from my previous rig.
This guy was a bit overpriced, but after experiencing a standing desk at work, I knew I needed one. I didn't know how... compact it would be until I put everything together. A bit sad that have a case with a glass panel that's stuck facing away from me. But it's the only place I can put it! Regardless, it does what I need it to do-- it holds my stuff!
This Cooler Master case has been quite nice. I love the modular design! But I have to say, if anyone else plans on getting this case, be careful with 280mm radiators. Placing one on top like I did was a real hassle. It's possible, but a pain.
To Conclude... Gotta say thanks to this website for inspiring me to build something that doesn't just work, but looks cool as well. Before seeing the stuff on this website, I only cared about my PC turning on and playing games. Now I care a bit more about design, theme, airflow, etc. I still have a lot more to learn, especially with cable management... but I'm grateful I get to learn from the masters.
...brb, someone's in my swamp.
This i3 is as powerful as older i5s! It overclocks great, too. Was able to bump this to 5.0Ghz with no issues.
Provides great cooling to CPUs. I attached some Noctua's on this to get higher fan RPMs while still being quiet. The RGB customization is also a plus.
Large and in charge! This certainly lives up to its price-tag. It's got just about all the features one can want in a motherboard. Plenty of fan & pump headers, good heat spreaders for an M.2 drive, an optional Wi-Fi adapter, and more back io than most know what to do with! And to top it all off, there's a tiny OLED screen in the center of the motherboard which can be configured to the user's liking. By default, mine is showing CPU temperatures.
It's RAM. With RGB. And it's fast as heck. What's not to love?
Using as a boot drive. This thing is incredibly fast! Though for those on a budget, I would suggest going for the EVO.
Beautiful, quiet fans. My ownly gripe is the 4-pin "extension" cable that comes with the fan. It easily disconnects from the fan, and is too short for just about anything. For the price I paid, seeing something like that was very disappointing. I had a knock off a star for those lousy cables!