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Mad Cow's Build a Killer Gaming Rig on a Budget Thread

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Skylake was officially released today, but you cannot find it in stock. Next week is likely. I am running an ancient i5-3570, 16 GB RAM and GTX 670 here at my office, so it is time for an upgrade. :nerd::bag:

I will post details here as I order. Looking like ASRock has several great mobo offerings. Will probably stick with the i5-6600 for the office, and go for the i7 for home. :yes:

Yup, I'm going to get a 6700K and ASRock ITX board for the NCASE M1 V4 which just arrived in the mail (sure is pretty). It's going to be my new home server (which will also do H.264/5 encoding duties, thus the need for the beefy CPU).

Edited by Zasada

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Not a gaming machine, but thought I could get some build help here sooner than in the HTPC thread.

</snip>

Anyone have suggestions/recommendations on the OS or the build? Is it worth the extra cost for hot-swappable drives (Silverstone case)?

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to build here? A pure NAS? Or a box that can act as both a server and an HTPC?

If the former, you can bury it somewhere else in the house and not care about fan noise. And then just build streaming boxes elsewhere in the house.

If the latter, I would consider just installing Windows since you seem wed to WMC. Not a bad thing since you have a cablecard tuner. Not many options for that unless you go with a HDHR and network your tuner (which is what I do). Kodi is a pretty cool program but isn't great on the TV side so WMC is probably better there. Plus if you go with a windows-based server, you can use it as a full-fledged PC if necessary and you get more compatibility with ripping software like AnyDVD and encoding software like Handbrake. If you can clarify what it is that you're building (sorry I'm confused) I might be able to provide more tips.

Cases are a very personal thing. If you're willing to consider ITX, this case is very nice (no optical bay though, might be a big deal) with a HDD backplate for easy hard drive installation. Another case option is this one (which I have) and is very sharp. And comes with an optical bay.

If you're tired of fan noise and want to go ultra-quiet, you might want to consider a fanless PSU. The HTPC I have in my living room has no moving parts and uses this fanless PSU (which is very well-rated).

I don't consider hot-swap capability for HDDs in a media server a big deal. I change HDDs once every couple of years, tops. Only when one gets close to full. I would spend the $ on a quieter PSU or a better CPU for faster transcoding.

I'm in the middle of a server rebuild (post here) so you might find some ideas there. Again, depending on what your goal is. Fan noise in my server isn't as big of a deal since it is in my office and not in a room with a TV. But I'm still no fan so the PSU I have in my new build doesn't spin up the fan at idle.

Note that as MC posted, Skylake is out which is the first CPU to come with meaningful H.265 hardware decoding/encoding. H.265 feels like the future of media compression (same quality as H.264 at lower bitrates) so it might be worth getting a Skylake CPU if that is important to you.

Edited by Zasada

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Not a gaming machine, but thought I could get some build help here sooner than in the HTPC thread.

</snip>

Anyone have suggestions/recommendations on the OS or the build? Is it worth the extra cost for hot-swappable drives (Silverstone case)?

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to build here? A pure NAS? Or a box that can act as both a server and an HTPC?

If the former, you can bury it somewhere else in the house and not care about fan noise. And then just build streaming boxes elsewhere in the house.

If the latter, I would consider just installing Windows since you seem wed to WMC. Not a bad thing since you have a cablecard tuner. Not many options for that unless you go with a HDHR and network your tuner (which is what I do). Kodi is a pretty cool program but isn't great on the TV side so WMC is probably better there. Plus if you go with a windows-based server, you can use it as a full-fledged PC if necessary and you get more compatibility with ripping software like AnyDVD and encoding software like Handbrake. If you can clarify what it is that you're building (sorry I'm confused) I might be able to provide more tips.

Cases are a very personal thing. If you're willing to consider ITX, this case is very nice (no optical bay though, might be a big deal) with a HDD backplate for easy hard drive installation. Another case option is this one (which I have) and is very sharp. And comes with an optical bay.

If you're tired of fan noise and want to go ultra-quiet, you might want to consider a fanless PSU. The HTPC I have in my living room has no moving parts and uses this fanless PSU (which is very well-rated).

I don't consider hot-swap capability for HDDs in a media server a big deal. I change HDDs once every couple of years, tops. Only when one gets close to full. I would spend the $ on a quieter PSU or a better CPU for faster transcoding.

I'm in the middle of a server rebuild (post here) so you might find some ideas there. Again, depending on what your goal is. Fan noise in my server isn't as big of a deal since it is in my office and not in a room with a TV. But I'm still no fan so the PSU I have in my new build doesn't spin up the fan at idle.

Note that as MC posted, Skylake is out which is the first CPU to come with meaningful H.265 hardware decoding/encoding. H.265 feels like the future of media compression (same quality as H.264 at lower bitrates) so it might be worth getting a Skylake CPU if that is important to you.

Thanks, I'll read up on the other thread. It looks like I should have posted this there initially, but I didn't have a :blackdot: to find it!

I plan to keep my HTPC running WMC for the foreseeable future, but primarily want to move my storage drive(s) off and away from the HTPC. I also want to add RAID 5 and started thinking about the other things a dedicated NAS server could do (Plex Server). Eventually, I'd like to get off the all but dead WMC, but I'm not able to pull in OTA channels, so I'm waiting until something is available to satisfy the Live TV urge.

I use my main PC to rip movies and I think I'd rather have a more powerful CPU on this machine than a NAS/Server, so maybe I upgrade here and transfer the i5 to the NAS. The only problem is I didn't built this machine to have lots of SATA ports, so I have to double check to see if it would require a new MB.

I looked at the Lian Li you posted and really like the form factor. With a low heat CPU and fanless PSU, it could easily continue to sit in my living room. But, then I started thinking that I could put this anywhere that's networkable, so why pay extra for silent when I can instead add power to do more things. I could put this box in my basement and not care (it was $100 a couple days ago, I should have pulled the trigger): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129100&cm_re=twelve_hundred-_-11-129-100-_-Product

So I'm all over the place with what I want. Trying to learn enough about NAS/Server options to future proof myself for awhile.

I think I want a case with 6+ 3.5" HD bays, plus some 2.5" for a boot drive/cache drive. A m'board that has SATA ports to work with the case and I'm leaning toward a higher power CPU that can do other things. I don't intend to rip on it, so don't need a DVD/Blu-Ray, just would like to protect what I have from a drive failure (RAID 5), allow for future expansion without replacing the storage I have (I'd like to add a 6 TB drive, not replace a 2 TB drive with a 6 TB), and be ready to do other cool things that are now available to me.

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<snip>But, then I started thinking that I could put this anywhere that's networkable, so why pay extra for silent when I can instead add power to do more things. I could put this box in my basement and not care (it was $100 a couple days ago, I should have pulled the trigger): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129100&cm_re=twelve_hundred-_-11-129-100-_-Product

So I'm all over the place with what I want. Trying to learn enough about NAS/Server options to future proof myself for awhile.

I think I want a case with 6+ 3.5" HD bays, plus some 2.5" for a boot drive/cache drive. A m'board that has SATA ports to work with the case and I'm leaning toward a higher power CPU that can do other things. I don't intend to rip on it, so don't need a DVD/Blu-Ray, just would like to protect what I have from a drive failure (RAID 5), allow for future expansion without replacing the storage I have (I'd like to add a 6 TB drive, not replace a 2 TB drive with a 6 TB), and be ready to do other cool things that are now available to me.

I honestly think this is the best approach, and where I'm ending-up after many years. My server used to be (and is currently, until I finish my upgrade) a low-power rig. I would do encoding on my gaming PC which has a much better CPU. But now I want my home server to do that, thus the upgrade. Also reducing the form-factor because it will take a bit less space on my desk in the office and also just because it's new and cool (honestly much of the time this is the reason I upgrade, struggling to find practical reasons otherwise).

Rather than set up a dedicated NAS, I would go with a windows box. It can do largely the same things as the NAS, plus so much more.

Having the server in a central location and having it be the high-powered PC capable of all duties (transcoding, Plex streaming, FTP, junk-drawer PC, etc) allows you to use lower-power HTPCs throughout the house that simply stream from said server. Heck, you could even use Chromecasts to stream from Plex if you like. You'll take a quality hit versus a higher-power-but-still-low-power-option like the HP Stream Mini, but both options can work. The latter will keep your server from having to transcode, and can handle high-bitrate BD rips alongside DTS/Dolby bitstreaming (if you have a home theatre receiver).

The highest power Skylake option, the i7 6700K, uses only 4W at idle. With an efficient PSU and mobo, I imagine your total server will only consume 30W or less at idle. Sure, power use will go up when you're encoding or transcoding but that will be less-frequent. My server is on 24/7 and uses 32W at idle. Hoping to shave a few watts off that with the upgrade as Skylake and DDR4 consume less power than my current Sandy Bridge & DDR3 setup.

Edited by Zasada

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I am curious what all of you do with your home servers. I have never had one and am left wondering what I am missing. My wife tends to really dislike it when I introduce new tech to the home, so I will generally just keep our main stuff state of the art and freely explore the tech aspects at my office.

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I am curious what all of you do with your home servers. I have never had one and am left wondering what I am missing. My wife tends to really dislike it when I introduce new tech to the home, so I will generally just keep our main stuff state of the art and freely explore the tech aspects at my office.

I've never had a server but really want one for a central backup and storage location for media. My wife and i both have phones, cameras, laptops and desktops. We have a ridiculous stockpile of pictures of kids, music, videos, files, etc. that we both want to be able to access from any device. We also have two kids that will have their own data needs in a few years. The truth is I feel we are too far gone to set up a central bank for all of this but that is my goal for 2016 (no way I'll get it all done this year!). I want to build the box this year, and start trying to cobble together the software solutions and data filing systems next year.

**ETA i will likely want a cloud backup as well, but not as the primary storage place.

Edited by Nick Vermeil

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I am curious what all of you do with your home servers. I have never had one and am left wondering what I am missing. My wife tends to really dislike it when I introduce new tech to the home, so I will generally just keep our main stuff state of the art and freely explore the tech aspects at my office.

  • Store all of my media (ripped all my DVDs/BDs, MP3s, etc)
  • Stream said media in my home network with Kodi or around the world with Plex (my in-laws and Mom love streaming from my server)
  • My always-on Torrent box
  • Act as my FTP server for accessing files when on the road (store various Windows ISOs, and other large files that might not be easy to find on the internet)
  • Records/stores videos from my home cameras (when they're active)
  • Functions as my "junk drawer" PC -- install all the software that I don't want cluttering my gaming rig (Garmin, Logitech Harmony, etc) or laptop
  • Personal cloud -- it's great to have receipts and document scans stored on it for retrieval when I'm on the road, there have been many times when I needed a scan of my passport and having it handy via my home server was great
  • TeamViewer to remote into it and all my PCs (family too -- so easy to do tech support), often I set up downloads at home remotely using TeamViewer to have things ready for me when I get home
  • Random things -- it's nice to be able to log-in remotely and print a coupon/receipt/directions at home for my wife if she needs something
Edited by Zasada

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I am curious what all of you do with your home servers. I have never had one and am left wondering what I am missing. My wife tends to really dislike it when I introduce new tech to the home, so I will generally just keep our main stuff state of the art and freely explore the tech aspects at my office.

  • Store all of my media (ripped all my DVDs/BDs, MP3s, etc)
  • Stream said media in my home network with Kodi or around the world with Plex (my in-laws and Mom love streaming from my server)
  • My always-on Torrent box
  • Act as my FTP server for accessing files when on the road (store various Windows ISOs, and other large files that might not be easy to find on the internet)
  • Records/stores videos from my home cameras (when they're active)
  • Functions as my "junk drawer" PC -- install all the software that I don't want cluttering my gaming rig (Garmin, Logitech Harmony, etc) or laptop
  • Personal cloud -- it's great to have receipts and document scans stored on it for retrieval when I'm on the road, there have been many times when I needed a scan of my passport and having it handy via my home server was great
  • TeamViewer to remote into it and all my PCs (family too -- so easy to do tech support), often I set up downloads at home remotely using TeamViewer to have things ready for me when I get home
  • Random things -- it's nice to be able to log-in and print a coupon/receipt/directions from home for my wife if she needs something

:thumbup: Exactly what I want to do. I should just hire you to populate the thing after I build it!

Team Viewer is new to me. Is that like LogMeIn? I let my account lapse when they started charging but just repurchased so I could help desk my dad's fantasy football access.

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Team Viewer is new to me. Is that like LogMeIn? I let my account lapse when they started charging but just repurchased so I could help desk my dad's fantasy football access.

Yeah, TeamViewer is basically the same, but free for non-commercial use. It is really awesome and has taken supporting my in-laws' PCs from a nightmare to simple. I just tell them to turn on their PC and walk away. I do the rest from there.

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FWIW I am digging a new Samsung Pro 512GB SSD. I used their cloning app and it worked perfectly. SSDs are so cheap these days. Highly recommend.

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I'm no gamer and if you read the chromebook thread you nerds would be amazed to find I've got by for a couple years with just those. No mac or windows in the house. Being 100% cloud based has few drawbacks for me. I'm into simplicity. But every couple weeks something comes up that makes me think if I had a pc this would be much easier. :angry:

So I subscribed to Frys emailer and yesterday armed with a promo code walked out with 16gb (2 sticks) ddr3 and an i3 4170 for a total of $150. Slickdeals posted a MSI 750ti for 80 bucks this morning and I ordered it. An open box Asus h97 itx was found at Amazon for $60 with full warranty and everything but the i/o shield. Little worried aobut that choice, but wth. So I feel like I'm killing this for the money sub $300 with storage, power, OS, card reader, optical and fans to go. Pfft, should have bought a Dell refurb. I'm building my own case and plan on assembling this test bench style just for grins. I also have this random idea of building it into the wall (drywall) in my bedroom. Caseless! Imagine sticking an sd card into the wall by your desk. Hey it could become a thing. :lol:

The OS price is making me think a refurb was smarter. But like some of you, I'm doing this for fun as much as anything. No more Linux for me. This project is mostly about being able to run Photoshop and Lightroom and maybe some sim gaming. Any tricks to getting windows cheap? Do I need an optical drive? This board has a pci powered m.2 slot on the back. I think I want to use it as my only HD but booting to m.2 sounds like a mess right now. I just love how compact this can be and they can more than double typical ssd speeds when working though. They are the future so I've read. Very limited and somewhat expensive products available for bootable drives. Chromebooks have spoiled me for speed.

Return everything and start fresh with the new 1151 socket? I could do that. :excited:

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So doing some reading it appears if I purchase windows 7 professional brand new, I will get a free upgrade to windows 10 professional. I can do that for $60. Yes?

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So doing some reading it appears if I purchase windows 7 professional brand new, I will get a free upgrade to windows 10 professional. I can do that for $60. Yes?

Yes

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How much would it cost me to build a PC that will play that War Thunder game?

That game looks AMAZING.

ETA - http://warthunder.com/cs/game/requirements

Not much. Those specs are LOW. BTW I believe that game is also on consoles, no?

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Anyone experienced with m.2 hard drives?

No experience but considering getting one. NVMe drives are just hitting the market and are quite measurably superior to the SATA drives that are very common. I think I'm going to use my existing SSD for now and then go NVMe m.2 when the drives get to be common and prices come down.

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I know nothing about mobo's and chipsets

How about something like this?

i5 quad core 3.0 minumum w/ Corsair Liquid cooling

8 GB DDR3

1TB SSD

800W PSU

ATI R7 or R9 Video Card.

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

The new 6700k is a very nice value for what you get.

I like to use new boards when they come out since it gives you a better chance to upgrade the CPU down the road.

Edited by cstu

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Guys I need help.

I want a desktop for my home office. No idea what I'm doing.

What I'm looking for:

Fast

A lot of storage, I want to store all my movies and porn on there

I don't play computer games but it would be nice to have the capability.

My office shares the same wall with my home entertainment wall so I'll be pulling hdmi through to have the ability to hook up my pc to my TV.

I don't have a particular budget in mind but I need a monitor and speakers as well.

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

Yeah 1151/Skylake is a good plan. But no need to splurge on the i7 if all you're doing is gaming. The i5 will cover that fine and you can put the $100 savings into a better video card.

I know you wanted R7 or R9, but I would recommend looking at the GTX 970. Uses less power, runs cooler, and (subjectively) the drivers are better. Take what you save on the beefier PSU/fans and put it in your pocket or get a bigger/faster SSD.

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

Yeah 1151/Skylake is a good plan. But no need to splurge on the i7 if all you're doing is gaming. The i5 will cover that fine and you can put the $100 savings into a better video card.

I know you wanted R7 or R9, but I would recommend looking at the GTX 970. Uses less power, runs cooler, and (subjectively) the drivers are better. Take what you save on the beefier PSU/fans and put it in your pocket or get a bigger/faster SSD.

How easy is it to set up the GX 970 to run triple monitors. The only reason I wanted to stick with the ATI because I'm familiar with their Eyefinity set up.

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

Yeah 1151/Skylake is a good plan. But no need to splurge on the i7 if all you're doing is gaming. The i5 will cover that fine and you can put the $100 savings into a better video card.

I know you wanted R7 or R9, but I would recommend looking at the GTX 970. Uses less power, runs cooler, and (subjectively) the drivers are better. Take what you save on the beefier PSU/fans and put it in your pocket or get a bigger/faster SSD.

How easy is it to set up the GX 970 to run triple monitors. The only reason I wanted to stick with the ATI because I'm familiar with their Eyefinity set up.

Sorry, I have no experience with multi-monitor setups so I can't speak to this. I lean toward single, large monitors instead of multiple panels.

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

Yeah 1151/Skylake is a good plan. But no need to splurge on the i7 if all you're doing is gaming. The i5 will cover that fine and you can put the $100 savings into a better video card.

I know you wanted R7 or R9, but I would recommend looking at the GTX 970. Uses less power, runs cooler, and (subjectively) the drivers are better. Take what you save on the beefier PSU/fans and put it in your pocket or get a bigger/faster SSD.

How easy is it to set up the GX 970 to run triple monitors. The only reason I wanted to stick with the ATI because I'm familiar with their Eyefinity set up.

Sorry, I have no experience with multi-monitor setups so I can't speak to this. I lean toward single, large monitors instead of multiple panels.

Me too. I do have multiple monitors but only use one for gaming. The multiple monitors are good for work and development, though.

What's do you other guys see as the benefit of having multiple monitors for gaming?

Edited by MaxThreshold

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I honestly think this is the best approach, and where I'm ending-up after many years. My server used to be (and is currently, until I finish my upgrade) a low-power rig. I would do encoding on my gaming PC which has a much better CPU. But now I want my home server to do that, thus the upgrade. Also reducing the form-factor because it will take a bit less space on my desk in the office and also just because it's new and cool (honestly much of the time this is the reason I upgrade, struggling to find practical reasons otherwise).

Rather than set up a dedicated NAS, I would go with a windows box. It can do largely the same things as the NAS, plus so much more.

Having the server in a central location and having it be the high-powered PC capable of all duties (transcoding, Plex streaming, FTP, junk-drawer PC, etc) allows you to use lower-power HTPCs throughout the house that simply stream from said server. Heck, you could even use Chromecasts to stream from Plex if you like. You'll take a quality hit versus a higher-power-but-still-low-power-option like the HP Stream Mini, but both options can work. The latter will keep your server from having to transcode, and can handle high-bitrate BD rips alongside DTS/Dolby bitstreaming (if you have a home theatre receiver).

The highest power Skylake option, the i7 6700K, uses only 4W at idle. With an efficient PSU and mobo, I imagine your total server will only consume 30W or less at idle. Sure, power use will go up when you're encoding or transcoding but that will be less-frequent. My server is on 24/7 and uses 32W at idle. Hoping to shave a few watts off that with the upgrade as Skylake and DDR4 consume less power than my current Sandy Bridge & DDR3 setup.

Thanks a ton for your input. Based on the low power consumption of Skylake, my new plan is to upgrade my main PC (to Skylake i5 or i7) to act as my daily PC / Server. It's always on anyway, so I can remote in to check email and other stuff, so getting a case that can house additional hard drives and upgrading to a high powered, energy efficient CPU/m'board would be the best of all worlds. Maybe I pull the RAID/Storage setup off the system later.

I'm already using my main PC to rip dvds/blu-rays and run the Plex server, so it's not much of a stretch to give it more capabilities with more power.

What am I expecting with setting up Raid 5 in Win10? A quick google search gave me Win 8.1 results.

Edited by Dragons

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

Yeah 1151/Skylake is a good plan. But no need to splurge on the i7 if all you're doing is gaming. The i5 will cover that fine and you can put the $100 savings into a better video card.

I know you wanted R7 or R9, but I would recommend looking at the GTX 970. Uses less power, runs cooler, and (subjectively) the drivers are better. Take what you save on the beefier PSU/fans and put it in your pocket or get a bigger/faster SSD.

How easy is it to set up the GX 970 to run triple monitors. The only reason I wanted to stick with the ATI because I'm familiar with their Eyefinity set up.
Sorry, I have no experience with multi-monitor setups so I can't speak to this. I lean toward single, large monitors instead of multiple panels.

Me too. I do have multiple monitors but only use one for gaming. The multiple monitors are good for work and development, though.

What's do you other guys see as the benefit of having multiple monitors for gaming?

I'm mostly into racing games and simulations. Having three monitors to see out the side windows of the cars is damn near a must.

I actually run a fourth monitor off of the onboard video. I use it to monitor Racing telemetry

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What am I expecting with setting up Raid 5 in Win10? A quick google search gave me Win 8.1 results.

I don't have much experience with Raid, but since Win10's kernel is essentially the same as Win7/8.1, I imagine the setup would be very similar.

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Guys I need help.

I want a desktop for my home office. No idea what I'm doing.

What I'm looking for:

Fast

A lot of storage, I want to store all my movies and porn on there

I don't play computer games but it would be nice to have the capability.

My office shares the same wall with my home entertainment wall so I'll be pulling hdmi through to have the ability to hook up my pc to my TV.

I don't have a particular budget in mind but I need a monitor and speakers as well.

Give it a week or two and Skylake should be fully in the retail channels.

What size monitor do you want? Are you picky about pixel density?

Re speakers: Do you want simple stereo speakers, stereo + sub (2.1), or surround (5.1)?

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Guys I need help.

I want a desktop for my home office. No idea what I'm doing.

What I'm looking for:

Fast

A lot of storage, I want to store all my movies and porn on there

I don't play computer games but it would be nice to have the capability.

My office shares the same wall with my home entertainment wall so I'll be pulling hdmi through to have the ability to hook up my pc to my TV.

I don't have a particular budget in mind but I need a monitor and speakers as well.

Give it a week or two and Skylake should be fully in the retail channels.

What size monitor do you want? Are you picky about pixel density?

Re speakers: Do you want simple stereo speakers, stereo + sub (2.1), or surround (5.1)?

I have surround sound 5.1 set up through my TV so that's going to work for when I want to watch my movies.

I think just a simple set of speakers so I can hear the reluctance in the women will do for my speakers in my office.

I want as big as I can get withint $200 but pixels aren't too important. I'm not watching TV or sports.

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Guys I need help.

I want a desktop for my home office. No idea what I'm doing.

What I'm looking for:

Fast

A lot of storage, I want to store all my movies and porn on there

I don't play computer games but it would be nice to have the capability.

My office shares the same wall with my home entertainment wall so I'll be pulling hdmi through to have the ability to hook up my pc to my TV.

I don't have a particular budget in mind but I need a monitor and speakers as well.

Give it a week or two and Skylake should be fully in the retail channels.

What size monitor do you want? Are you picky about pixel density?

Re speakers: Do you want simple stereo speakers, stereo + sub (2.1), or surround (5.1)?

I have surround sound 5.1 set up through my TV so that's going to work for when I want to watch my movies.

I think just a simple set of speakers so I can hear the reluctance in the women will do for my speakers in my office.

I want as big as I can get withint $200 but pixels aren't too important. I'm not watching TV or sports.

:lol:

You're probably a better candidate for a powerful enough refurb than I am and I probably should have picked one up. You'll save a few hundred dollars and probably a bunch of headaches with the preassembled, fully tested, branded machine. Those savings can go to a large monitor, better speakers, a large external hard drive, and a fast ssd. I think that would cover everything you want depending on how important gaming capability is to you, and it can be set up in a couple hours cheaper than building on the new chipset or the old one. :2cents:

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

The new 6700k is a very nice value for what you get.

I like to use new boards when they come out since it gives you a better chance to upgrade the CPU down the road.

My needs are simple so I took advantage of some pricing on the older stuff knowing Sky Lake was about to be released, but my board arrived yesterday and it isn't the ITX as described at Amazon. It's mATX, which is probably fine and I got a great price, but it feels like a perfect excuse to reboot this project on the new gear. The GPU I ordered will be fine for me. The ddr3 will work, but I should probably return it for ddr4. I got a screaming deal on the processor and haven't seen socket 1151 i3s yet, so... limbo for a few days while make a decision.

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Guys I need help.

I want a desktop for my home office. No idea what I'm doing.

What I'm looking for:

Fast

A lot of storage, I want to store all my movies and porn on there

I don't play computer games but it would be nice to have the capability.

My office shares the same wall with my home entertainment wall so I'll be pulling hdmi through to have the ability to hook up my pc to my TV.

I don't have a particular budget in mind but I need a monitor and speakers as well.

Give it a week or two and Skylake should be fully in the retail channels.

What size monitor do you want? Are you picky about pixel density?

Re speakers: Do you want simple stereo speakers, stereo + sub (2.1), or surround (5.1)?

I have surround sound 5.1 set up through my TV so that's going to work for when I want to watch my movies.

I think just a simple set of speakers so I can hear the reluctance in the women will do for my speakers in my office.

I want as big as I can get withint $200 but pixels aren't too important. I'm not watching TV or sports.

:lol:

You're probably a better candidate for a powerful enough refurb than I am and I probably should have picked one up. You'll save a few hundred dollars and probably a bunch of headaches with the preassembled, fully tested, branded machine. Those savings can go to a large monitor, better speakers, a large external hard drive, and a fast ssd. I think that would cover everything you want depending on how important gaming capability is to you, and it can be set up in a couple hours cheaper than building on the new chipset or the old one. :2cents:

Where should I look for a refurb?

Kind of a scary word for a computer no?

Any recommendations?

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Guys I need help.

I want a desktop for my home office. No idea what I'm doing.

What I'm looking for:

Fast

A lot of storage, I want to store all my movies and porn on there

I don't play computer games but it would be nice to have the capability.

My office shares the same wall with my home entertainment wall so I'll be pulling hdmi through to have the ability to hook up my pc to my TV.

I don't have a particular budget in mind but I need a monitor and speakers as well.

Give it a week or two and Skylake should be fully in the retail channels.

What size monitor do you want? Are you picky about pixel density?

Re speakers: Do you want simple stereo speakers, stereo + sub (2.1), or surround (5.1)?

I have surround sound 5.1 set up through my TV so that's going to work for when I want to watch my movies.

I think just a simple set of speakers so I can hear the reluctance in the women will do for my speakers in my office.

I want as big as I can get withint $200 but pixels aren't too important. I'm not watching TV or sports.

:lol:

You're probably a better candidate for a powerful enough refurb than I am and I probably should have picked one up. You'll save a few hundred dollars and probably a bunch of headaches with the preassembled, fully tested, branded machine. Those savings can go to a large monitor, better speakers, a large external hard drive, and a fast ssd. I think that would cover everything you want depending on how important gaming capability is to you, and it can be set up in a couple hours cheaper than building on the new chipset or the old one. :2cents:

Where should I look for a refurb?

Kind of a scary word for a computer no?

Any recommendations?

I feel a little guilty this being "build a killer gaming rig", but Ebay and Amazon have great sources for factory certified refurbs. I've bought a few over the years and never had a problem. Tiger Direct and Newegg are also good sources. Sometimes Best Buy and Frys blow them out. There's a 3ghz core two duo socket lga 775 at Frys right now for $130. That's dated and cheap, but adding some memory, a decent GPU and SSD will probably get you pretty close to what you described originally... and note I'm a little out of my league in a gaming build thread, so defer to MC and Zasada if they disagree. Step the refurb price up to about $300 and core i3 4160s on lga 1150 boards can be found needing the same additions but certainly meeting your needs. They'll come with a terabyte of storage for that collection of yours.

eta: if you have windows 7 or greater licensed and can move it to a new unit it makes building more palatable. If you don't these refurbs come with the OS (and free upgrade to Windows 10) and it's like a $130 discount on the project. When you're trying to keep this under 6-700 like me, that's significant. If you're building a beast like I expect from MC soon, it's nothing.

Edited by Chaos Commish

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

Yeah 1151/Skylake is a good plan. But no need to splurge on the i7 if all you're doing is gaming. The i5 will cover that fine and you can put the $100 savings into a better video card.

I know you wanted R7 or R9, but I would recommend looking at the GTX 970. Uses less power, runs cooler, and (subjectively) the drivers are better. Take what you save on the beefier PSU/fans and put it in your pocket or get a bigger/faster SSD.

After checking out some reviews of 6600k vs. 6700k it looks like it isn't worth $100 more for the 6700k since the gaming numbers are virtually identical.

6600k + GTX 980 > 6700k + GTX 970

But frankly, for most people the 6600k/970 combo (~$550) will be plenty.

Edited by cstu

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Current Aristocratic Gaming Rig (not strictly on a budget)


Processor: AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz 8 core

Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240m Liquid Cooler

MoBo: ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB DDR3 2133

Video Card: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB DDR5

Monitor: ASUS VW266H 25.5"

Case: Cooler Master Haf X

Power Supply: CORSAIR RM Series RM850 850W (Full Modular)

Some DVD R/W, doesn't matter

C Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD

OS: Windows 7 64 bit

Game (and other stuff) Drive - Non-Steam: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD

Steam Drive: SAMSUNG 840 EVO 500GB SSD


Keyboard: Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Brown Switches

Mouse: Corsair Vengeance M95 USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse - Black

Headset: Corsair Gaming H1500 Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset

Speakers: Logitech Z623 200 W 2.1 Speaker System


Using 3DMark's Fire Strike 1.1 on the highest settings, it scored a 9086. And it runs pretty much silent. :nerd:


Any of you nerds want to fight? :boxing:

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C Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Game (and other stuff) Drive - Non-Steam: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD
Steam Drive: SAMSUNG 840 EVO 500GB SSD
Any of you nerds want to fight? :boxing:

Meh, AMD. :P

Seriously, on the drives. Why use the EVO for Steam? Just curious.

I have a compulsion to game a little. I think I'm bored and need a job, but whatever. The board I just got has an m.2 slot I will populate with the m.2 256gb Evo, if I keep it. But m.2 drives perform no better than Sata drives in this slot (6 gb/s). So loving these little drives I also think I want a Samsung ahci sm951 (the 128gb) in my 16x pci-e slot as a boot drive. It reads over 3xs faster than your 840 Pros. The coming nvme will only be imperceptibly faster, so I've read.

Samsung ahci sm951 (the 128gb) - $160 w/pci lane adapter.

840 Pro reads at 550, these are reading 1500 - 1700 regularly on a pci lane and no cable, too slick, imo.

Samsung m.2 Evo (256gb)- $99

Will perform very close to your 840 pros in the m.2 slot, but much smaller, a little cheaper, and no cable... all cool by me.

Yup, just talked myself into it. Keeping the board and i3 4170, buying both of these and moving on. I'm in this $500 and need a PSU, OS, card reader, fans, and still trying to avoid an optical drive.

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C Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Game (and other stuff) Drive - Non-Steam: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD
Steam Drive: SAMSUNG 840 EVO 500GB SSD
Any of you nerds want to fight? :boxing:

Seriously, on the drives. Why use the EVO for Steam? Just curious.

I have a lot of games and wanted to install more. Needed at least 300GB and found that drive. Probably should have done a bit more research but I'm still happy with it.

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C Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Game (and other stuff) Drive - Non-Steam: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD
Steam Drive: SAMSUNG 840 EVO 500GB SSD
Any of you nerds want to fight? :boxing:

Seriously, on the drives. Why use the EVO for Steam? Just curious.

I have a lot of games and wanted to install more. Needed at least 300GB and found that drive. Probably should have done a bit more research but I'm still happy with it.

Okay, so the lesser EVO for Steam was just a timing size thing, not a preference for having the other stuff on the Pro, is that right? I'm clueless about gaming but I think Steam is in my future. And I think the EVOs are great bang for buck, the Pros are just as good as it gets for sata ssds.

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Current Aristocratic Gaming Rig (not strictly on a budget)

Processor: AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz 8 core

Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240m Liquid Cooler

MoBo: ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB DDR3 2133

Video Card: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB DDR5

Monitor: ASUS VW266H 25.5"

Case: Cooler Master Haf X

Power Supply: CORSAIR RM Series RM850 850W (Full Modular)

Some DVD R/W, doesn't matter

C Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD

OS: Windows 7 64 bit

Game (and other stuff) Drive - Non-Steam: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD

Steam Drive: SAMSUNG 840 EVO 500GB SSD

Keyboard: Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Brown Switches

Mouse: Corsair Vengeance M95 USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse - Black

Headset: Corsair Gaming H1500 Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset

Speakers: Logitech Z623 200 W 2.1 Speaker System

Using 3DMark's Fire Strike 1.1 on the highest settings, it scored a 9086. And it runs pretty much silent. :nerd:

Any of you nerds want to fight? :boxing:

Are you in the steam group?

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Frys weekly email code gets me Window 10 for $85, frustrating because it's free for most, but that's the best price I've seen. So they ship DVDs and I don't want a DVD drive. No cables allowed. Now I bet you nerds know how to download the OS from Microsoft without having an OS, right. Do it from the bios with an internet connection? Doable. I'm in over my head here. Can I copy my dvd to a thumb drive on someone else's computer? I guess I can buy a dvd player, install the os and return it, but that's bad form.

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Current Aristocratic Gaming Rig (not strictly on a budget)

Processor: AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz 8 core

Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240m Liquid Cooler

MoBo: ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB DDR3 2133

Video Card: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB DDR5

Monitor: ASUS VW266H 25.5"

Case: Cooler Master Haf X

Power Supply: CORSAIR RM Series RM850 850W (Full Modular)

Some DVD R/W, doesn't matter

C Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD

OS: Windows 7 64 bit

Game (and other stuff) Drive - Non-Steam: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD

Steam Drive: SAMSUNG 840 EVO 500GB SSD

Keyboard: Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Brown Switches

Mouse: Corsair Vengeance M95 USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse - Black

Headset: Corsair Gaming H1500 Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset

Speakers: Logitech Z623 200 W 2.1 Speaker System

Using 3DMark's Fire Strike 1.1 on the highest settings, it scored a 9086. And it runs pretty much silent. :nerd:

Any of you nerds want to fight? :boxing:

Are you in the steam group?

I am not. I'd join.

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C Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Game (and other stuff) Drive - Non-Steam: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD
Steam Drive: SAMSUNG 840 EVO 500GB SSD
Any of you nerds want to fight? :boxing:

Seriously, on the drives. Why use the EVO for Steam? Just curious.

I have a lot of games and wanted to install more. Needed at least 300GB and found that drive. Probably should have done a bit more research but I'm still happy with it.

Okay, so the lesser EVO for Steam was just a timing size thing, not a preference for having the other stuff on the Pro, is that right? I'm clueless about gaming but I think Steam is in my future. And I think the EVOs are great bang for buck, the Pros are just as good as it gets for sata ssds.

That's absolutely correct.

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Frys weekly email code gets me Window 10 for $85, frustrating because it's free for most, but that's the best price I've seen. So they ship DVDs and I don't want a DVD drive. No cables allowed. Now I bet you nerds know how to download the OS from Microsoft without having an OS, right. Do it from the bios with an internet connection? Doable. I'm in over my head here. Can I copy my dvd to a thumb drive on someone else's computer? I guess I can buy a dvd player, install the os and return it, but that's bad form.

I know how to install a pirated version of Win 7, apply a patch to activate it, and then download Win 10.

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You can get much better advice than mine but i5 tb ssd etc, I think I'd go with the new 1151 board. The prices are in line surprisingly. Mad Cow got the new i7 and can walk you through it. On my phone or I'd post more.

Yeah 1151/Skylake is a good plan. But no need to splurge on the i7 if all you're doing is gaming. The i5 will cover that fine and you can put the $100 savings into a better video card.

I know you wanted R7 or R9, but I would recommend looking at the GTX 970. Uses less power, runs cooler, and (subjectively) the drivers are better. Take what you save on the beefier PSU/fans and put it in your pocket or get a bigger/faster SSD.

How easy is it to set up the GX 970 to run triple monitors. The only reason I wanted to stick with the ATI because I'm familiar with their Eyefinity set up.

Sorry, I have no experience with multi-monitor setups so I can't speak to this. I lean toward single, large monitors instead of multiple panels.

Me too. I do have multiple monitors but only use one for gaming. The multiple monitors are good for work and development, though.

What's do you other guys see as the benefit of having multiple monitors for gaming?

I have been gone camping a few days.

As for multiple monitors and gaming, here are my thoughts:

I just feel like NVidia cards are so much easier to run and less buggy in general, especially in their multiple monitor setups (I run 3 28" on my home system).

THAT SAID. . .

AMD's multiple monitor software and features are just so much better. Makes you want to :wall:

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Frys weekly email code gets me Window 10 for $85, frustrating because it's free for most, but that's the best price I've seen. So they ship DVDs and I don't want a DVD drive. No cables allowed. Now I bet you nerds know how to download the OS from Microsoft without having an OS, right. Do it from the bios with an internet connection? Doable. I'm in over my head here. Can I copy my dvd to a thumb drive on someone else's computer? I guess I can buy a dvd player, install the os and return it, but that's bad form.

I know how to install a pirated version of Win 7, apply a patch to activate it, and then download Win 10.

On a virgin build with no OS? Iso download so no optical drive needed1!?

:ph34r:

eta the questions are out of curiosity. I don't pirate and $85 is fair enough.

eta2 turns out Windows 10 will be available on thumb drives in a month.

Edited by Chaos Commish

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Current Aristocratic Gaming Rig (not strictly on a budget)
Processor: AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz 8 core
Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240m Liquid Cooler
MoBo: ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB DDR3 2133
Video Card: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB DDR5
Monitor: ASUS VW266H 25.5"
Case: Cooler Master Haf X
Power Supply: CORSAIR RM Series RM850 850W (Full Modular)
Some DVD R/W, doesn't matter
C Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Game (and other stuff) Drive - Non-Steam: SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD
Steam Drive: SAMSUNG 840 EVO 500GB SSD
Keyboard: Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Brown Switches
Mouse: Corsair Vengeance M95 USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse - Black
Headset: Corsair Gaming H1500 Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset
Speakers: Logitech Z623 200 W 2.1 Speaker System
Using 3DMark's Fire Strike 1.1 on the highest settings, it scored a 9086. And it runs pretty much silent. :nerd:
Any of you nerds want to fight? :boxing:

Oh I will happily post my soon to be specs for just my office rig. I would hate to make you feel bad by showing you my current home rig which will also be upgraded. 2 GTX 970's in SLi are the backbone though. :yes:

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Frys weekly email code gets me Window 10 for $85, frustrating because it's free for most, but that's the best price I've seen. So they ship DVDs and I don't want a DVD drive. No cables allowed. Now I bet you nerds know how to download the OS from Microsoft without having an OS, right. Do it from the bios with an internet connection? Doable. I'm in over my head here. Can I copy my dvd to a thumb drive on someone else's computer? I guess I can buy a dvd player, install the os and return it, but that's bad form.

I know how to install a pirated version of Win 7, apply a patch to activate it, and then download Win 10.

On a virgin build with no OS? Iso download so no optical drive needed1!?

:ph34r:

eta the questions are out of curiosity. I don't pirate and $85 is fair enough.

eta2 turns out Windows 10 will be available on thumb drives in a month.

Correct and yes.

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Frys weekly email code gets me Window 10 for $85, frustrating because it's free for most, but that's the best price I've seen. So they ship DVDs and I don't want a DVD drive. No cables allowed. Now I bet you nerds know how to download the OS from Microsoft without having an OS, right. Do it from the bios with an internet connection? Doable. I'm in over my head here. Can I copy my dvd to a thumb drive on someone else's computer? I guess I can buy a dvd player, install the os and return it, but that's bad form.

I know how to install a pirated version of Win 7, apply a patch to activate it, and then download Win 10.

On a virgin build with no OS? Iso download so no optical drive needed1!?

:ph34r:

eta the questions are out of curiosity. I don't pirate and $85 is fair enough.

eta2 turns out Windows 10 will be available on thumb drives in a month.

Correct and yes.

:pirate:

Two Enermex 80mm fans, Sabrent 3.5" multicard reader and usb, thermal grease. $14. I like Frys. Power supply, operating system, done. I'm looking at $650 for the build. Not bad considering industry fastest ssd, 16gb 1833 memory. GPU and CPU a little underpowered for gaming, but probably more than enough for me. I sure can't find anything branded like it, and I've wanted to do my own case for awhile.

eta I guess I need a power button, or not, could just flip the psu on and off...

Edited by Chaos Commish

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