I use my computer a lot, for work (software development), gaming and music production. I wanted to build a high-end computer setup, as I’ve always lagged behind with upgrades before. So I gradually have been accumulating and swapping bits around to make the setup above.
Case – Fractal Design Define R5 Black ATX Midtower
I finally got rid of my Thermaltake Level 10 GT Full Tower case. It lasted about 4 years before the fan started making horrible grinding noises; the case had become slightly bent out of shape. It also didn’t help that someone that visited my house spilled a full cup of tea with sugar into the air intake. Thankfully all the components were fine, but I thought it was time for a new case without the tea stains.
I got the Fractal Design Define R5 Black ATX Midtower because I wanted a near silent running computer, and I quite liked the styling of the case. It hasn’t dissapointed and there are no more annoying buzzing fans. The only thing I would mention is that the case is heavy even when it’s empty, as there are soundproofing padding that weighs the case down.
Motherboard – MSI Intel Z270
Upgraded in August 2017 to replace my ageing 2012 motherboard. It has DDR4 RAM, will sit the i5-7600K and has 3 PCIE 3.0 slots, which will be used for my wifi card, graphics card and sound card. It also has the option of SLI. If I want to go down that route I could get another Nvidia GeForce 980 and SLI them.
CPU – Intel Core i5-7600K 3.8 GHz QuadCore 6 MB Cache CPU
Finally upgraded my CPU in August 2017 from an ageing i7-3770 to this processor. At the time I bought it, it was the best value vs performance ratio for a gaming processor, and would be more than enough to power the Oculus Rift and other VR headsets.
CPU Cooler – Noctua NH-U12S
I replaced my previous CPU cooler because it was a bit old, plus it was quite heavy and I was worried it was having an affect long-term on the motherboard mountings.
RAM – BLS2K8G4D32AESTK.000 Ballistix Sport AT 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 UDIMM
16GB of fast RAM for applications and gaming.
Optical Drive – Pioneer BDR-207DBK 12x Internal BD-RW Burner
I didn’t really need a Blu-Ray burner, but it’s useful for backups and I thought I could write some discs to be played in my PS3. It has a very fast read speed for reading Blu-Rays and burning DVDs. To be honest I could have gone for a Blu-ray reader and DVD writer combo and not really noticed the difference.
PSU – 850W EVGA Super NOVA G2 Platinum Modular
850W allows a lot of headroom for graphics cards’ power requirements, and extra components in the future. It is a good quality PSU and is fully modular which is a lot nicer to work with.
3x Hard Drives –
I now have 2 250GB SSDs, one for the OS and one for applications and games. I have a 3TB storage drive for backups and my music collection.
Monitor – BenQ EX3501R 35″ Ultra WQHD Curved Monitor
I previously had a 27″ Gsync TN monitor, but quickly realised I preferred more screen real estate, and didn’t like the colour reproduction/viewing angles of the TN. So I got this monitor. The ultra-wide aspect is really useful when you have lots of windows open on the desktop at once, as I tend to do when working. The curved screen is useful when watching films/videos, and the 100hz refresh is great when playing games, although I find myself having to turn down graphics options in modern games as the increased pixel width means my current graphics card cannot cope at max settings. However I’m glad I bought the 1440p instead of the 4K monitor otherwise there would have been very little chance of good performance on new games.
Graphics Card –ASUS ROG Strix GeForce STRIX-GTX1080-A8G Graphics Card (GAMING 8 GB GDDR5)
Nvidea 1080 graphics card which was a nice upgrade from my previous 970. Plays The Witcher 3 very well 🙂
VR Headset – Oculus Rift + Touch Controllers
This is a great addition to a gaming PC. I especially like the seated VR experiences such as Google Earth, but also games like Eleven Table Tennis VR.
Headphones – B&W PX Wireless Headphones
These are great headphones for general use. I use them paired with my Avantree aptX HD Long Range Bluetooth Transmitter to allow me to listen to music while I am on my main computer.
Soundcard – Asus ROG Xonar Phoebus Solo
Good 7.1 surround sound card, with headphone amplifier.
Headset – Logitech G633 Gaming Headset
Lots of people on reddit say that specialised gaming headsets are not worth it, you may as well get a proper pair of headphones and a good microphone. However, for me, this USB Logictech G633 was the only thing that I was able to use with voice chat that didn’t transfer electrical noise onto my voice calls. So it was well worth it.
Speakers – PreSonus Eris E5 Active Monitor Loudspeaker
I have a pair of these on my desk on Isoacoustics sound isolating speaker stands. They are great as they have good sound and a lot of configuration options so you can maximise their utility wherever you place them. I use them for music production as well as gaming/general listening.
Webcam – Logitech C920 HD Webcam
I use a webcam for Skype often, and I want to get more into recording for YouTube, so I bought a good quality HD webcam.
Keyboard – UK Topre Realforce 88U 45g Black on Beige Tenkeyless Keyboard
This is a great keyboard for typing and general purpose use – it’s good for gaming too. I much prefer the tenkeyless for general use.
Gaming Keypad – Razer Orbweaver Stealth
This is the ‘Stealth’ model with the Cherry MX Brown key switches. I was initially doubtful whether it was worth getting a gaming keypad, but so many people have recommended it, that I had to try it out. I actually have found it very useful, much more comfortable and accurate than using a normal keyboard for gaming. It also forces you to get into the habit of remapping keys for your own preference.
Mouse – Logitech 602
This is a basic but comfortable Logitech mouse. I changed from my previous expensive wireless Logitech mouse and my reaction times for games have gone up quite a bit! I attribute this to the amount of wireless spectrum contention in my house.
I use the Corsair Vengeance mouse matt, it is made of metal unlike my previous Razor Golliathus cloth one, which I didn’t like because the edge of the matt would get stuck in the mouse when you moved it too far.
Gamepad – Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
This is the Xbox One gamepad with some added features. You can customise the controls, swapping in and out parts such as the joysticks, for your optimal configuration. It is a pleasure to use, and the materials and build quality are all top of the range. Definitely the best gamepad I’ve used.