EDIT March 2015: New GPU's and SSD added; new pic up.
Unigine Valley Score: 4198, 100.3 FPS, Max settings [1900x1200 resolution] Unigine Heaven Score: 2484, 98.6 FPS, Max settings [1900x1200 resolution]
EDIT: New desk pictures added.
I have been waiting to build this computer for almost five years. I've been moving around a lot and finally am staying in one place for a little while so I decided it was time. Pretty huge jump from my old laptop.
This is my first build since I was in my teens. I need to clean up some cables and get some temp and benchmark numbers put in and will do so. I just finished the build last night and had work today, I'll try and get those up soon. EDIT: Temps and scores added.
I spent about a month researching parts and picking them up on good deals, I grabbed the Haswell from Micro Center the day it released and had to wait a week for the Maximus VI Hero, the day it arrived I began the build.
I saw someone do a parts breakdown and that really helped with some of my decisions so I will do the same:
The CPU: Love it, haven't stressed it too much just yet but am excited to see what it can do considering what I've been reading.
The Maximus VI Hero Motherboard: Also love it, the UEFI/BIOS is sleek and intuitive, the board components are high quality, and the code display on the top right that helps you identify problems is one of the coolest and smartest things I've heard of on a mobo. I love the SupremeFX sound just because I know that when I have driver problems with the Creative card [we all know they are coming] then I can plug into that. Sounds pretty good on my Sennheiser HD 380 Pros.
Corsair H100i: Keeps things nice and cool, I'm sure you all know more about it than I do, I know I can change the LED coloring and have, but the white on black contrast with the red LEDs in the case is nice, it's like highlighting the heart of the PC. NOTE: Setting this up in a Pull configuration [for easy cleaning] was the hardest part of this build. It is tough already to mount this in this case, but doing it in pull... well, here's what I did; I used scotch/cello-tape to hold the screws with the washers in place, then held both fans and slid them on after guiding the wires through the grommets, then somehow managed the get the radiator in place and turned a couple of screws until the whole thing held together. Good luck if that is in your plans.
Corsair Dominator Platinum: I'd be lying if I said I didn't buy them for their looks. Haven't OC'ed them yet but that's in the plans. Love the white LEDs.
SSD/HDD: Used Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide [ www.overclock.net/t/1156654/seans-windows-7-install-optimization-guide-for-ssds-hdds ] and they are great.
GeForce GTX 780 with ACS: Looks great, cools great, so far have thrown SC2 at it in Ultra and it runs smooth as silk.
Define R4: Awesome case, best one I've ever owned, easy to modify, great cable management, great size, love the look and the front USB and audio ports. Love that it holds 140mm fans. Highly recommend. Went for the white as a throwback to the first computers I had/built.
Corsair AX760i: This was one of the hardest components to choose. I spent days agonizing over this choice, which I did not expect to happen. I researched everything about the PSU's on the market based on my assumed power needs. I didn't want too much or too little, and the certification was important. I wanted to leave myself some room for expansion if I wanted to add another GPU as well, and wasn't sure what my OC needs might be. I eventually went off who makes the actual components for the AXi series [Flextronics] and off of several reviews. The color scheme matching my plans didn't hurt.
*I didn't mention this before but I really like the Corsair Link stuff, works every time for me, cool to have such control and connectivity. Also, you can hook the AX760i straight to the cooling block of the H100i without the USB dongle and they will both show up in CL. I run at just above 60% most of the time and the fan barely ever runs. Love Platinum plus.
Optical Drive: Does it's job. Easy install.
Windows 7: I've been on Vista forever it seems like and I always wanted a system with 7. Also, that's my favorite number.
HP ZR2440w: Possibly the best 24in that's had a long test period on the market. Great color, customization, good setup out of the box [with new driver install]. Highly recommend it. I plan to either get a second of the same or a high refresh rate monitor. I will see how my needs evolve over the coming months.
CM Storm Trigger: Man I've missed having a mechanical keyboard. Went with the cherry red MX switches because I think the sound of the Black or Blue would drive my girl crazy [we are currently sharing an office in our home]. Backlight and macros are great. Good looking board too.
Mionix NAOS 8200. This is possibly the best feeling mouse I've ever owned. It is precise and you can change the LED coloring to your desire but the ergonomic design is simply incredible. Extremely smooth on the Steelseries Qkc.
Sound Blaster Zx: Sounds great, love the Audio Control Module for my headphones so I don't have to constantly go behind the tower if I need to move them to a different device. Haven't used the mic yet.
Prolimatech Vortex Aluminum 140mm Case Fans with Red LEDs: These things are awesome. Not PWM but I'm not concerned about that. I have them on the 1200 RPM regulating cables that come with them [partly because they can draw over 12W and I don't want to risk hurting my mobo] and adjust via software, but I don't ever need to. They move a lot of air, look amazing and can probably take off your finger. I removed the grill guards that came with them to fit into a positive pressure 3 intake [bottom, two front] 1 exhaust [back] set up.
I think that about covers it. I picked up a Hyken model computer chair from Staples that is awesome and I strongly recommend if you don't want to drop 800$+ on a Herman Miller, the desk I'm working on is temporary and we will be picking up a nice L-shape soon, and I plan on grabbing some AudioEngine A5+'s once I'm able to hear them in person to confirm that purchase.
I will tweak some things and play around in the coming days and get some performance data for you all, again I haven't had a rig like this... ever really, but not even a desktop for 5+ years.
Oh, if you are working on your first build, the satisfaction of the first bootup, when all of the anxiety washes away and you see the BIOS for the first time... is incredible. This whole experience, from start to finish, has been amazingly fun, I'm so glad I decided to do this again.
Good luck and enjoy!
P.S. Thank you so much to the developers of this site. I truly appreciate what you've done here; I couldn't have done this without you.