Still waiting for the consumer Oculus Rift, but I was excited to build the PC for it for the games I already have, and for learning Unity so that I can try working on some of my own projects. I based my build mostly on this guy’s recommendations, with some small changes.
I went with the Antec Nine Hundred. It’s got plenty of fans for great cooling, nice blue LED lights, plenty of room for expansions (at least the sort I imagine I might make), and a window with which to peer into the PC’s guts. (Plus I got a great deal on it.) The USB 3.0 ports on the front are also a plus, as the Oculus Rift will require them.
I went with the recommended MSI ATX LGA 1150 PC Mate Z97. I had no experience buying a motherboard before, but this seemed to have all the essentials. It’s got a nice fancy BIOS too.
I went ahead and spent a bit more and got the Intel i7 4790K processor. Maybe diminishing returns compared with the i5, but I figure it may help with any future video and music editing. I’m just using the fan that came with it, so I’m probably not going to try overclocking it. Anyway, it seems fast enough as it is.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 970 Super Clocked ACX 2.0 4GB GDDR5 Graphics Card. As of this post, it’s pretty much the latest second-tier GPU out there. I haven’t tested a lot of the modern games with it yet, but there are plenty of YouTube videos showing off what it can do. It’s pretty nice. Plus it came with Batman: Arkham Knight.
Kingston HyperX FURY 16GB Kit (2x8GB) 1866MHz DDR3, works for me.
I went with a Crucial MX200 250GB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive. I wanted a solid state drive’s faster loading times for the OS and the programs I use the most. But I’ve already used up half the drive with just the OS, Unity 5, and a few games. I’ll definitely get a higher capacity traditional hard drive as soon as I can. My music composing will definitely eat up some space, though it’ll probably be a while before I try migrating my sample libraries to this computer.
The Rosewill 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Power Supply supplies the PC with more than enough power. (I certainly don’t plan on having multiple GPUs anytime soon.)
I got a Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive for cheap.
Staying away from the annoying ugly-looking Windows 8. I went with Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit.
The motherboard didn’t come with WiFi, but fortunately I had an unused Panda Ultra Wireless N USB Adapter (150Mbps). It’s small, cheap, and seems to work fine for my purposes. I just had to download the latest drivers from their site to get Steam to work with it. (Which I reckon is the sort of thing you should do anyway with all your hardware when building a new PC.)
Building the PC
I had never built a PC before, but they design these components so morons can figure out how to put them together. OK, maybe not complete morons, but it’s pretty obvious where and how things fit together, and the manuals are always there with pretty pictures, and everything’s somewhere on the Internet. It’s easier than building furniture from IKEA. I guess you just have to hope you don’t have any defective parts.
WARNING: Do not stick a 9 volt battery to random metallic parts for fun. It’s unethical.
First, take the motherboard:
Carefully put the CPU in the CPU cage thingy and give it a fan base:
Introduce the motherboard to its glorious new home, “just in case” haha:
Find a place for your hard drive. In my “case”, it happily hides near the bottom, where I don’t have to put it in any holders or anything:
The DVD drive slips in the top front slot:
Add our massive GPU to the appropriate PCI-E 3.0 slot:
And, finally, add our power unit to distribute power everywhere, and make sure everything that needs to be hooked to the motherboard is properly hooked to the motherboard:
You could probably do some wire wrangling to make them nice and neat and out of the way, or not. Just as long as they aren’t in anything’s way, like the CPU fan or something, obviously.
Power it up, check out the BIOS, install the OS, drivers, and OS updates, test everything, and we’re done!
Like I said, I still need to buy another hard drive, and I may also buy a VGA switcher and a USB switcher so that I can hook my mouse, keyboard, and monitor to both computers and switch between them with ease.