One of the most surprising questions that I’m often asked is: “What PC am I running right now?” so I figured I’d do a semi-regular update on exactly what crazy components are running in my state-of-the-art PC. Keep in mind, maintaining a “state-of-the-art” PC is in the eye of the beholder.
That being said, I have assembled the entire list of what I’m currently running including links to Amazon just in case you’re crazy enough to buy what Irky does…
Irk’s Current PC:
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (OEM) System Builder DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging)
What can I say? Windows 7 is a brilliant operating system and Windows 8 (even though I own a copy and I’ve tried it several times) makes me want to blow my head off. I still recommend you buy Windows 7 until we find out whether Microsoft fixed all the broken bits and pieces when Windows 10 comes out (yes, 8 was so bad that they’re just skipping right over 9). Current price on Amazon: $89.24
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Desktop Processor (3.5 GHz, 8 MB Cache, Intel HD graphics, BX80646I74770K)K
Selected because the “K” means it can be overclocked. Current price on Amazon: $334.99
Processor Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)
Not only is this air-cooled (not water-cooled which is truly just a waste of time and money, in my opinion), but this CPU cooler is rated as one of the very best on the market by Maximum PC and it’s less than $30. You can’t beat it. It overclocks great and runs completely silently with the fan it comes with. Plus, if you don’t like the stock fan, you can swap out the fan it comes with for something quieter, plus you can install fans on both sides for pull-in, pull-out cooling action. At Amazon, the cooler is currently $29.99.
Memory: Two (2) sets of Crucial Ballistix Tactical BLT2KIT8G3D1608DT1TX0 16GB 240-Pin DIMM DDR3 1600, PC3 12800, Desktop Memory
Selected for a total of 32GB of RAM because that is the maximum memory my motherboard can support and I’m crazy. Current price on Amazon: $164.99 each (total of $329.98)
Boot Drive (SSD): Samsung 850 Pro 256GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE256BW)
Samsung is the only SSD brand I recommend – they are both reliable and superfast. In addition, the included software automatically optimizes your OS for speed, reliability, or space. Current price on Amazon: $149.99
Data Drive (HDD): Seagate Desktop 3 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 7200 RPM 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST3000DM001
The Seagate Barracuda is rated as one of the fastest standard HDD drives on the market by Maximum PC. Current price on Amazon: $101.47
Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc Black 2X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 24X CD-ROM SATA Internal 2X BD-ROM Model BR-5100S – OEM
Four years ago in December 2010, Newegg had a crazy sale and put a Sony Blu-Ray Reading, DVD-writing drive on sale for $29.99. I’ve never seen it that low since. In fact, the drive doesn’t appear to even exist anymore. At any rate, I snagged it up and that’s my optical drive. I’m sorry that I can’t give you guys a link to it (except this dead Newegg link where I bough it), but pretty much any optical drive will do in your system now. My price $29.99. Here’s a link to a Sony Optiarc DVD Writer that doesn’t read BluRay discs and it costs $32.28 so go figure.
Video Card: EVGA GTX980 Superclocked ACX 2.0 4GB GDDR5 256bit, DVI-I, DP x 3, HDMI, SLI Ready Graphics Card Graphics Cards 04G-P4-2983-KR
The 9-series is Nvidia’s newest video card series. Also, I’ve had bad luck with AMD so I don’t buy their stuff. EVGA is the most reliable manufacturer I’ve ever purchased from and they overclock their cards from the factory and still warranty them. Plus, the ACX cooler is super-quiet, a big feature of importance for me. Current price on Amazon: $569.95
Motherboard: Asus Z87-Deluxe DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard
With the new Z97 chipset out, my motherboard is slightly out-of-date. That being said, it is capable of SLI (running 2 video cards) plus it has two ethernet ports and built in a/b/g/n/ac wi-fi, an excellent sound card, and built-in video (which never gets used). It also has a special overclocking switch with three settings: stock, slightly-overclocked, and super-overclocked, and the motherboard will overclock itself! How badass is that?! We’ll use the price of the current Z97 model since it’s cheaper than what this goes for now: $274.99
Case: NZXT Technologies Computer Case, Matte Black CA-H630F-M1
Built to be quiet with good air-flow, I bought the case without realizing it’s the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. That being said, it’s incredibly easy to work on, allowing you to run the wires behind the motherboard and even access the backside of the motherboard while it’s mounted. I love the case, but I found the fans that came with it were too loud so I replaced them. I went with the black one so the current price on Amazon is: $153.45
Power Supply: Corsair RM Series 750 Watt ATX/EPS 80PLUS Gold-Certified Power Supply – CP-9020055-NA RM750
Fully modular, and I mean fully modular, you can unplug every single plug from this power supply meaning you only need to use the cables you actually need. Brilliant. Even better, if the power supply is using 40% or less of its rated power (750 watts in this case), the fan doesn’t turn on. Utter silence. I’m in bliss. It’s been amazing. Current price on Amazon: $119.11
Fans: Four (4) Nexus 140mm B/W Case Fans
If you knew me, you know that quiet is a key priority for me in building a computer, but airflow is also important. I filled my case with FOUR of these super-quiet, giant fans for excellent airflow and almost complete silence. Current price on Amazon is: $15.99 each ($63.96 total)
Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is truly the best keyboard on the market – for overall use. Sure, mechanical keyboards might be better for gaming, but for someone like me who writes for a living, having a keyboard that forces me to be in correct typing position with wrists raised saves me from the ultimate career death – carpal tunnel syndrome. Plus, these keyboards are outrageously affordable. Currently, Amazon has it for just $24.99.
Mouse: Anker® Gaming Mouse, 7 Programmable Buttons, up to 2000 DPI, 5 User Profiles (bound to specific games), Omron Micro Switches
I know what you’re thinking – he only uses a $20 mouse? Hey, it works. And it works really well. Why mess with success when you can get it for just $19.99 at Amazon right now, right?
Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 THX-Certified 5.1 Digital Surround Sound Speaker System
I bought this 5.1 surround system nearly a decade ago and it’s still running strong. And when I say “strong,” I mean, this thing could blow the windows off your house if you wanted to. It’s brilliant and it’s no longer for sale, however Logitech has a newer, slightly-weaker, but just-as-awesome model called the Z906 which is probably just as good (which I linked above). Currently, $249.99 at Amazon.
Gaming Headset: Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 with 7.1 Surround Sound
I bought this headset on a complete fluke – it’s price fluctuates from $69.99 to well over $100 and it’s currently $69.99. If you’ve ever considered having a wireless gaming headset for your PC or console, I can’t recommend a better one. I absolutely adore this headset, truly.
Monitors: One (1) HP ZR2740w 27″ LED LCD Monitor Ultra-HD (2560×1440) -and- Two (2) BenQ (1920×1080) GL Series GL2760H 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor
Okay, so I use three monitors. I started with two BenQ 1080p monitors which are fantastic monitors for the money – they have HDMI, DVI and D-Sub connectors and even have speakers so you can use them as full-on gaming console monitors (I actually have my Xbox One and PS4 connected to one of them using an awesome HDMI splitter). The model I use now is old so I’m linking the newer version, but the HP (HP, of all manufacturers, is my primary and freakin’ awesome monitor). Once you go multiple monitors, you’ll never go back – plus you’ll spend the fortune. I bought the HP refurbished for $265 off Woot.com, but I’ve linked the new one so you can get it. Currently, the HP is a whopping $391.12 at Amazon and you’ll be spending $249.99 (each) on the BenQs for a total of $891.10 on monitors.
Printer: Brother Printer BusinessSmart MFC-J4610DW Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax
Okay, I used to say never, ever buy an All-In-One printer that comes with a scanner, copier and fax. Those days are way behind me. This brother printer can print 11×17 (huge), can copy and fax, has built in wireless, and is ePrint compatible so you can print from your iPad or iPhone. All this, and the dang thing is under $150. How can you argue this as your daily user? Currently $146.99 at Amazon.
Total cost of my current state-of-the-art PC: $3,650.16
Yes. I’m crazy.
Do you have a different perspective?
I always like hearing other opinions. Feel free to leave your comments below. Remember, keep it clean and polite or your comment will never see the light of day. [insert maniacal “mwa-ha-ha” laughter here]
About Irk: Eric “Irk” Jacobson started using computers when he was 3 years old with an Apple IIe. He tries to be device-agnostic using all kinds of technology from all of the major players, and he loves/hates them equally in different ways. When he’s not working, he’s likely riding his motorcycle(s) or hanging out with his wonderful family.