These "how to" articles are awesome and I usually always make my own builds. But my AMD Phenom II X4 945e @ 3000 MHz w/4Gb DDR2 RAM and mechanical hard drive is now 6 years long in the tooth and I just do not have the time to research what is new and what is good for me. So the Crysis on a budget sounded ideal and I literally used your article for a shopping list and build spec. I did differ by adding 16Gb RAM, used a 4TB Seagate storage drive, and doubling the SSD with a Samsung 520Mb SSD. Talk about budget, your machine would have cost $1,600 and mine ended up costing me $1,900! Maybe $1,500-2,000 is a budget PC to you guys, but for me, that is a BIG purchase and something I only get to do every so many years. Not really a complaint, but a reality check for most folks.
My one bitch is that since I trusted you with everything, I had the rig build, up, running, and was chomping at the bit until I realized that the rig did not contain a DVD drive! Huh? No optical drive? How are we supposed to install the OS, let alone the game itself? Since parts like this I must order online (Newegg had ALL the parts.), I now find myself no way to install software. I did try to install Windows 7 Ultimate via USB jump drive, using Microsoft's tool for this, but the install kept asking me for additional drivers. I thought maybe the Gibabyte motherboard or the Samsung SSD required drivers. I could not find any and finally gave up, bought a DVD dual layer drive at the local store, and installed Windows 7 with the DVD. Smooth as silk, no drivers needed.
Maybe this is petty, maybe it is a "given", but why did you leave the optical drive of the parts list? For sure we need one, and to install the required software does require it, and for someone like me who is so busy that I cannot afford the time to research my own parts, this was a snag and a setback. If you guys are going to post a DYI rig build article, how about completing the parts list?
Now the good part. OMG this rig is AWESOME! My old AMD took almost ten full minutes to reboot and this thing is up, running, and ready as she will ever be in less than 30 seconds! WOW! I did play Crysis 3 on my AMD rig and what a difference with this one. NO stuttering between chapters and the yellow smoke was so clear at the CELL drop where you follow Psycho down the elevator that I thought it would come out of the screen, man! Clearly, this is the best build I have ever made and I followed your article pretty much to the letter, even using the Corsair Vengeance C70. I *love* this case except that my leg sometimes hits the protruding power button, this shuts Windows right down, even when I spent almost an hour on a prolonged email, only to watch it disappear because of a leg slip mishap and there was nothing I could do about it. Oh, I also added my WinTV HVR-1600 and a US Robotics PCIe modem since this will be my main PC and I would not even consider this to be a budget build, this is a keeper. This is really a cool rig and should last me a long, long time. Thanks for the excellent article, Tom McNamara!
Paul J Baio