Thursday, 11 August 2016

My First PC Build

This is the first gaming and work PC I've built.

I haven't really built a PC other than in 2002 when I bought a pre assembled motherboard, CPU (I think it was an Athlon XP 1.2GHz) and fan and then went and installed the other parts like a case and hard drive.

The full list parts I used to build this PC is available on PCPartPicker but here is what I went for:

Type Item
CPU Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i v2 70.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
Motherboard Asus MAXIMUS VIII HERO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 Memory
Storage Sandisk Ultra II 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage Sandisk Ultra II 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
Storage Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
Storage Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
Storage Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card
Case Fractal Design Define R5 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply EVGA 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit
Case Fan Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC-2000 PWM 107.4 CFM 140mm Fan
Case Fan Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC-2000 PWM 107.4 CFM 140mm Fan
Case Fan Fractal Design GP14-WT 68.4 CFM 140mm Fan
Monitor Apple LED Cinema 27.0" Monitor
Keyboard Ducky ONE Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse Zowie FK1 Wired Optical Mouse
Headphones Sennheiser HD 202 II Headphones
Other Asus Thunderbolt 2 Ports PCI Card for Z87/Z97 Deluxe

I've always wanted a gaming PC but never had one. Until recently I've played most of my games on consoles but after hearing about Microsoft's Play Anywhere initiative, having already bought loads of games through services like Humble Bundle (I'd buy them planning on getting a PC someday) and wanting to play more games at 60 frames per second I decided to just go for it and build a PC.

Since 2006 I've been mostly a Mac user and I already had a 27" Apple Thunderbolt display so I wanted to keep using that but as the display is Thunderbolt only I had to get a PCIe card that would take a DisplayPort input from a graphics card and send it out via Thunderbolt 2. So I picked up the Asus Thunderbolt 2 Ports PCI Card and selected a matching ASUS motherboard with a Thunderbolt header on it (this didn't work at first and I had to plug my PC into my TV via HDMI and change some BIOS setting to allow Thunderbolt to be on when the PC starts). The Apple display has built in speakers which are OK but I thought I would just use my everyday Sennheiser HD 202 II headphones when gaming.

I also had several old Western Digital Green hard drives that were used inside a Drobo before they were replaced (with larger Western Digital Red hard drives) so I wanted to reuse them for mass local media storage.

The last thing I had laying around was a 480GB SSD I used to use as an external drive for the Xbox One. I'd hardly used the SSD but ended up replacing it with a 960GB SSD so it was just sitting in cupboard.

Once I got all the parts putting it together was pretty easy, everything pretty much snapped into place.

My Windows install is on the Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD and the M.2 slot is set to PCIe mode so it's really fast! Booting up takes a few seconds (after all the P.O.S.T stuff). The two Sandisk Ultra II SSDs are in RAID 0 (giving me one 960GB drive in Windows) and hold all my games. The two Western Digital Green 3TB hard drives are in RAID 1 (giving me one 3TB drive in Windows) and is used for local media and document storage. The spare 1.5TB Western Digital Green drive is plugged in to the slower SATA 2 drive and is currently used to hold back ups.

I'm really happy with going for a GTX 1070 as I can play pretty much all my games at 60 frames per second at 1440p on medium to high settings.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

I Suck at Titanfall

I've been playing the Titanfall beta on the Xbox One and I really like the fast paced movement and who doesn't love giant robots. Too bad I'm not too great at the game.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Red Bull Racing Celebration Day

After another great year in Formula 1 for Red Bull, the team decided to put on a show in Milton Keynes (where the team is based).

A large stretch of road going from Milton Keynes shopping centre down to Milton Keynes Central Railway station was sectioned off for the event. After finding out about the event I decided to pop along.

It was pretty cold but there was a pretty good turn out. Both Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and current champion Sebastian Vettel showed up and did a quick lap in their F1 cars. There was also a motorcycle display which included a backflip off a moving bike and former F1 and Red Bull driver David Coulthard driving a Nascar style stock car.

The event was great and I don't think I'll be able to get that close to a moving F1 car ever again.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Probably the best streak I'm ever going to have in MW3

Around this time of year a loads of big budget video games are released and I tend to go into a strange hibernation and spend a lot of time playing them. One of the games I've played lately is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

I don't play a lot of multiplayer but I thought I'd give the online modes in MW3 a go and I spent most of my time running into walls and ending up on the losing side, but I did manage to get a little streak going at one point that I thought I would share a video clip of it (and it was a good way for me to test out some of MW3's video editing and sharing features).

By most Call of Duty player's standards it's a very poor streak but for me it's the best I have done (so far).

Monday, 1 November 2010

New Blog Look

I haven't looked at Blogger's templates in a long time so I was a little shocked to see that they had improved a lot and there are some really cool looking designs, so I thought a new look was in order. After spending all of 30 seconds and doing zero customisation I have changed my blog from the old green Blogger template I used to a newer layout by clicking on a few buttons.

Blogging platforms have progressed a lot over the last few years and it's great when you can just click a button and change everything in an instant. I also like the fact that if I wanted to I could customise the look and feel too.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Here comes a new challenger.........

After wanting to write a review about the Hori EX2 Fighting Stick for the 360 I started a post and never finished it.

Anyway after waiting for months and just randomly checking out on I saw a Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick by Mad Catz as being in stock, so I placed an order and it arrived so I thought now might be a good time to redo my previous blog post and compare the two sticks from the point of view of a terrible beat'em up player (if you actually want some good reviews of the sticks I would suggest visiting for a review of the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick, for a review of the Hori EX2 or The "Break It Down" Blog for a comparison).

When I first tried comparing them I noticed the weight difference to be massively different, the Hori EX2 Fighting Stick is extremely light when compared to the hefty weight of the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick. Neither are too heavy or too light but Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick feels a lot more substantial when on a table or in your lap.

When I looked at the joysticks side by side the obvious difference was the placement of the buttons (other than the difference in size). Most fighting games I've played only require 6 buttons and use additional buttons as extra mappable button combinations (i.e. pressing RB is a combination of 3 other buttons). The Hori stick only has 6 main face buttons and has the LB and RB buttons at the top which doesn't make them too easy to use when playing a game which the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick has 8 face buttons for easy access.

Apparently the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick uses Sanwa parts and not being a fighting game aficionado I had to do a little googling and found out that Sanwa is manufacturer of arcade parts in Japan. From my point of view (the know nothing point of view) the buttons and the actual joystick are slightly more responsive on the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick and make a slightly more satisfying click to the Hori's clack noise.

Design wise the two joysticks are very different, with the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick have some nice Street Fighter 4 artwork on the top and the Hori X2 Fighting Stick sporting a more simple and plan look. The Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick also has a turbo function, a nice cable hideaway and the start and back buttons are moved off the top of the controller to help stop people accidentally clicking it, which I am told is an automatic disqualification on the tournament scene.

Price wise the two sticks are far apart and I guess both are very good for their price ranges and it comparing them isn't really fair. Hopefully I can get my uncultured beat'em hand on the Hori Tekken 6 fighting stick there maybe a better comparison with the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick or get hold of a Mad Catz Arcade Fight Stick and compare that with the Hori EX2.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

My Poor English

I just read over one of my posts on this blog and noticed that my spelling and grammar is worse than a 10 year-old.

I've just gone over a few posts and fixed some spelling mistakes (those that I could spot) but the grammar and text is still basically the same, I'm surprised people managed to read what I wrote.

Anyway thanks for trying to read my posts and I'll try to read over what I write in the future and do a spell check before posting