ICS Computer Project


Making your own computer can be a tedious task, but it's one that comes with great reward. It gives you a chance to customize your PC to your own liking and needs, and the money saved on not buying the brand, and paying for labour, can go to use for adding extra parts to your PC. I am well aware that you would like to pursue the exciting carrier of becoming a professional gamer and I will help you as much as possible on that carrier path by building you the best PC possible.

Motherboard: Asus Z97 Sabertooth LGA 1150

I feel it's best to start off with the motherboard for one particular reason; it is the one component in your PC that brings all the others together. The Asus Z97 Sabretooth is an obvious consideration for any gamer with the budget. One of the main reasons why i went with the Asus Sabertooth was because of its superior quality over all other motherboards. The Z97 is built with military grade components offering reliability, and stability over long periods of time, outclassing many other high-end motherboards. The Sabertooth is also built with TUF armour, has a high-end cooling system, and also come with a 5 year warranty. However, quality isn't the only thing the Asus Z97 Sabertoth has to offer. Incorporating all the other elements of a high-end motherboard, the Sabertooth comes with multiple video card slots (SLI and CrossFireX), has 6 USB 3.0 slots, and a great designed BIOS to let you easily over clock, and tune your system. From the way I see it, being a professional gamer will require you to travel, and therefore a reliable, yet powerful motherboard is required. Therefore the Asus Z97 Sabertooth is a perfect balance between durability and reliability, but still offering a great performance when needed.

Cost: $280

CPU: Intel core i7 4790k quad-core

Intel is one of the world's largest manufacturers of chips, and therefore must be considered for anyone looking to make their own PC. After going through many different processors, i decided that the Intel core i7 4790k was the best. The processor offers a base clock rate of 4.0 GHz, and with turbo boost, you can ramp that up to 4.4GHz. It also carries with it MB of cache, more than Intel's i5 processors; however one thing that got me really excited was the Hyper-threading technology. This is partially what allows the jump from 4-4.4GHz. Intel's 4790k also benefited a great deal from their improved thermal interface material. The core i7 4790k processor is also able to hold up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM, and has a LGA 1150 socket. Another one of the biggest draw factors for me wasn't just the specs of the processor, but also the price. This is a great high-end processor; however the beauty of it is that it won't cost the world, giving you your monies worth.

Cost: $350

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GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 (x2) 4GB

Nvidia is one of the most well known GPU manufacturers around, and have contributed to the industry in many ways. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 is nothing short of some of Nvidia's best, and it was because of that, which will be supported by a multitude of other reasons, why I decided to choose the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970. It offers a base clock of 1050 MHz, but can be pushed to 1178 MHz. It also carries 4GB of 256-bit DDR5 memory, which can run at a speed of 7GB/s. However what made so many other GPUs obsolete to the GTX 970 was the fact that the GTX 970 was performing at the rate that of a high-end video card, but came at the price of mid-range one. It was this perfect correlation between price and performance that narrowed my view down to the GTX 970. In terms of CUDA cores, it has 1664. Although this may not seem like all that much when you compare it to last year's GTX 780ti; according to Nvidia the 900 series are 40% more efficient, which explains why the 970 can go toe-to-toe with 77ti. Now, there is a reason why I added two GPUs, and that reason is simple, to provide you with more processing power. There is a reason why my job is to build the best PC possible, and that is to equal out the playing field between you and your competition. Therefore by adding two GPUs the playing field will be more levelled for when you meet the occasional 2 or even more GPU competitor.

Cost (for both):$660

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RAM: Corsair vengeance 24GB (6x4GB) DDR3 RAM

RAM is part of your computer that holds volatile information while your computer is running, so computer won't have to go all the way back to hard drive to retrieve the information. In other words, it is a very important component in your computer, and being so important i made sure that i choose the best RAM possible. The Corsair vengeance comes from a reputable manufacturer, and has been a favourite amongst many PC gamers. The vengeance offers high efficiency with a low 1.5 voltage supply. The Corsair vengeance also comes with aluminum heat dispensers, which help in the dissipating of heat. Additionally the individual screened DRAM chips which are responsible for ample headroom, which in turn allows for great overclocking. Although you probably will be only using 16GB, I took the liberty of adding another 8GB just in case you would need to tap into it later. Additionally, the 24GB will allow for a better gaming experience when playing more advanced games for longer hours. The Corsair vengeance is also a hero when comes to value, giving a high-end experience that won't make you go broke.

Cost: $378

Power supply: Antec Platinum HCP-850W ATX12V

After gathering my most of my parts that take the most amount of power, I decided that it I had a general idea of how much power I will need. So, after pondering on how much voltage I will need i decided to get the 850W. Although even with SLI you will be using only 750W, I decided that it would be best to have a 100W gap between what you use, and what is available. This will allow for additional upgrades, without having to upgrade your power supply, and is also safer when gaming for long hours. The Antec platinum can operate from 0 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius, and has 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency. It can also deliver full performance at 45 degrees Celsius. The power supply also has excellent ripple suppression, tight voltage regulation, quit operation, and overall an excellent build quality.


SSD: Samsung 840 EVO series 500GB

Next, we have the solid state drive (SSD). I went with a SSD for obvious reasons; it is much faster than the traditional hard drive, and also has no moving parts, which allows for a greater longevity. Samsung has had a long history in the market of SSDs, and have created some of the best ones available, and the 840 EVO comes nothing short of what I'd expect from the manufacturer. Like many of the parts I've assembled, the Samsung 840 EVO has an unreal performance to price ratio. The 840 EVO has 512MB LPDDR2-1066 DRAM size, and also comes with a solid 540MB/s read speed, and a 520MB/s write speed. It also has a lifespan of 8 years of constant life endurance, at 50 GiB writes per day. Although this was tested with an 1129 p/e cycle, which half of what the practical cycle will be. Nonetheless, the 500GB 840 EVO puts up a great lifespan of about 4 years, and comes with a 3-year warranty. With a price of $270, the 840 EVO offers a killer performance, without killing your wallet.

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CPU Cooler: Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E Extreme

When it comes to cooling, many people begin to think that anything is ok. It is sometimes undermined in many PC builds, and when it is, it quickly turns into a disaster. That's why I went out of my way to make sure that the cooler I purchased was ready to be pushed to the max for when you will be gaming. When the SilverArrow SB-E came out in 2012 it was the world's leading CPU air cooler. Thermalright has now realised SilverArrow SB-E Extreme, which adds to its precursor. The fans heatsink is made out of 8 copper nickel plated heat pipes, all 6mm in diameter. These heat pipes lead to two identical heatsink arrays made out of aluminum. One of the reasons why I decided that the SilverArrow SB-E Extreme was a good choice was because of its efficiency. Because of its high-speed cooling fans the SilverArrow SB-E Extreme out performs many other high-end CPU coolers on the market in efficiency, such as the Phanteks PH-TC14P. The fan also performs beautifully when over clocking, and also has a sleek chrome appearance. Additionally, the cooler is great at decapitating heat, to the point where its performance begins to rival high-tier water cooling systems, and if that doesn't say a lot, I don't know what does.

Cost: $131

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Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX

Sound can become a pivotal role in gaming, especially at the professional level. The Asus Xonar Essence is a top of the line sound card, and is one of the best performers that I've come by. It has a great signal to noise ratio, and gets rid of all noise corruption. To put this into perception, every motherboard comes with a sound card with a signal to noise ratio of 88dB (decibels). A mid-range soundcard will allow a SNR (signal to noise ratio) of about 100dB. The Essence STX however has a SNR of 124dB, which means that almost all background noise is cancelled out. The Asus Xonar Essence STX will definitely be able to handle all your audio needs, to any extent.

Cost: $200

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Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS212

Optical drives are becoming quit a rarity now in days, with steam and torrent sites you can get games much faster and easier. However, you may never know when the need for an optical drive may arise, and therefore I decided that it was best to have one in there any way. The Lite-On IHBS12 is definitely a top notch optical drive when comes to the ever so hard task of balancing price with performance. The drive can write 22.5 GB worth of data in 12:04 (minutes and seconds), no bad considering a price tag of $160.

Cost: $160

Operating System: Windows 8.1 64 bit

Although there are a few operating systems to be chosen, I decided windows 8.1 64-bit would be the best choice. A 32-bit operating system won't be able to handle the RAM, and a window 7 is not outdated, but with the arrival of windows 10 upon us, it will become 2 generations old. Additionally, newer games may not be able to run on an older operating system such as windows 7, and Linux seems unconventional.

Cost: $105

Case: Enermax Ostrog GT ATX Mid tower Case plus 3 Sickle flow 120mm fans

Enermax was known as a builder of plain and simple cases that served the workstations and gamers alike. However, the Ostrong shakes that image up quite a bit. The Ostrong GT ATX Mid tower case is specifically for gaming, and has very aggressive look to it. It measures 485(D)x 244(W)x 495(H) (this all in mm). The Ostrong is a monster when it comes to cooling, supporting up to 7 12-140mm fans. It also comes with 3 fans; 2x14 cm LED fan, and one 12 cm fan in the rear. The case also comes with a glass panel, to view all the hard work your PC is putting in.

Cost: $75

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Monitor: Samsung S24D590PL

Samsung is a key player in almost every single market; from home appliances, to TVs, to phones, Samsung is always a consideration. This is no different from the world of computers as well. Samsung's S24D590PL is a dedicated gaming monitor, with a beautiful 24 inch screen, with a resolution of 1920x1080. Another big plus about Samsung's monitor is the fact that it has very low input lag. Additionally, the monitor comes with a game mode. What this does is that it enhances contrast and dark areas to give you a competitive edge, by making everything clearer. The Samsung S24D590PL also comes with an anti-glare finish, 2 HDMI ports, and a VGA port for older PCs, and an audio jack. Some specs include a contrast ratio of 1,227:1, an excellent 6559k white spot, and a max brightness of 260 nits. The monitor ultimately offers a riveting gaming experience, at a cost that is not too much.


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Keyboard: Razor Black Widow Expert

When it comes to a keyboard, you can't ever go wrong with Razor. The company is a legend in the keyboard and mouse department, and also realised their own gaming laptop earlier this year. The Razor Black Widow Expert is a high-end gaming keyboard, with full mechanical key, and has a 50g actuation force. It also has fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording. Aside from all that, one of the biggest features that caught my eye was the 10 key roll over in gaming mode. This allows for more precise controlling, and helps you bring destruction to your opponents.

Mouse: Logitech G502 Proteus core

For the mouse, I decided that the Logitech G502 Proteus core was the best way to go. The futuristic hand grenade looking mouse has earned praise from many reviewers and gamers alike. It offers "unprecedented levels of customization", and is wrapped around by a comfortable chassis. The mouse contains 11 buttons; however it's not as big as you'd think. The mouse's sensing capabilities are beyond anyone's needs currently, having CPI ranging from 200-1200. Also if you lift open the top panel, you'll find slots to add in extra weight, letting choose between a heavy or light mouse.


Headsets: Turtle Beach Ear Force X12

Turtle Beach is a very well known company in the headphones business, and so I decided that would be best to get a headset from them. The Ear Force X12 is a great performer for the money. It has great sound, a microphone that lets you hear yourself talk, and is very comfortable epically for long term use. This is an amazing offer when you factor in the cost.


Other Software: Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student

Although you may not be using this software, I decided to throw it in any way. You never know when you may need to make a presentation, type something on word, etc.


Norton 360

You will always need to protect you PC from virus' and malware attacks. Norton is one of the biggest security software developers, and Norton 360 will protect your PC in every single aspect, hence the term 360. I have it, and it works great.


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Total Cost...

Total cost plus HST: $3958.40

Well, I built you the best PC possible in the budget you gave me, so I hope you enjoy it, and good luck on your way to the big time.