Built this to replace my i3 540 gaming rig from 2011. I do some digital art and mostly game on this machine this machine also functions as a media server for the house.
I finally decided I should upgrade to something that was all around powerful and set out to slowly start buying parts. I acquired the majority of the parts over a 12 week period. Average part cost over time was about $100 a week by the time I bought all the parts. $1200ish. I also sold my i3 540 machine for $400 to a friend, so I recouped 1/3rd of the cost for this build.
If you had questions::
Drive choices? I don't have my boot drive listed as I cannibalized it from my i3, so, I wouldn't have to do a fresh install of everything, as I had just recovered my entire system from scratch on the i3 machine. I'm using a Sata2 500gb Seagate Barracuda for boot drive until I replace it with a 250gb SSD. The WD Black was intended to be the boot drive but the WD I got was "dead on arrival" and had to be RMA'd. So, I stuck with the 500gb and while the WD was being RMA'd I saw the Barracuda 1TB on sale, so, I picked that up as a second storage drive. The WD Black finally returned, but, the thing wrecked havoc on my systems boot process. No idea what was wrong with it. But, I finally got it to work by booting off the 500gb and plugging the Sata cord into the WD while the system was running. Everything was fine after that, but I am not gonna use it as a boot drive. Using it as game and program storage.
Why Ivy? I held out on purchasing my mobo and processor until the last minute to see what people had to say about Haswell. The results weren't worth the money, so, I stuck with Ivybridge and got my Mobo and Processor on a good bundle deal.
Why RAM choice? RAM is 1600mhz because performance gain in games in negligible with higher clock speed RAM. 1600mhz was a good price range as well offered very good performance for non-game related tasks.
Why air? You can push i5-3570Ks to 4.5ghz with an aggressive on-air overclock. I'm sitting pretty at a modest 4.2ghz
Why HD7970? They were the best price to performance part at the time and also the first part I purchased as It would fit straight into my i3 machine until I got to buying more parts. Plus, I've always had AMD/ATI GPUs since the Radeon HD 4870.
Why no DVD drive? I don't use optical media very often and when I do need to burn or read a disc I have a USB DVD drive.
PSU choice? It was purchased as it was on sale. I wasn't bothered by non-modular PSUs as the case extra wires I simply tie-up and place flat on the base of the case so there is no interference with airflow.