I've been needing a new home / gaming computer for about a year and I waited until the Z87 motherboards and haswell CPU were out then pulled the trigger. It has been about 8 years since I build a PC. Here's my thinking behind this build.
Case: My pervious PC was a slowing dying shuttle form factor. I liked the form factor initially but my ability to upgrade it and replace the noisy power supply was very limited so I decided I wanted an ATX form factor this time. I loved the Fractal Design R4 case for is clean lines, quietness and cable management so everything was build around that.
CPU: I've never overclocked before but I wanted to try it out. The PC is mostly for software development when I bring my work home and FPS gaming. The Intel i5 4670K seemed the most appropriate for those scenarios. I think the i7 would have been wasted money.
Motherboard: I spent a lot of time researching motherboards because I was way behind the times with the current technology. I debated getting a high end ASUS like a sabertooth or a ROG but I don't they offered much more than mainstream motherboards apart from bling. I initially settled on the ASUS Z87 Pro but finally decided on the Gigabyte Z87 UD3H which was better value and I didn't need the extra features the ASUS Pro had such as a wireless network adapter.
CPU Cooler: I wasn't sure if I wanted an AIO water cooler or a air cooler like the Noctua D14. When I started researching my build I had no intention of worrying about color schemes or aesthetics. However, but after seeing so many good looking builds on this site I started to care more how my build looked. I liked the clean look of water cooling but I was worried about pump noise on most AIO units. I liked the Swifttek H220 but it was taken off the market in the US. In the end I couldn't decide so I went with a relatively low cost interim solution that looked good (Phanteks TC12DX). With this cooler I can overclock to 4 Ghz. That suits me fine until I work out what the long term solution is. Maybe I'll decide I don't need to overclock beyond 4 Ghz.
Memory: By this time I had settled on a black and white color scheme for the build. I'll admit my choice of RAM was almost completely driven by aesthetics. The corsair low profile is the only ram with white heatsinks.
Power supply: I wanted headroom to run 2 graphics cards. Some sites/forums said 850W was enough some said it was borderline. I went with 1050W just to be sure. I may have spent more than I needed to for the power supply.
Graphics Card: The money I saved buy not getting a high end motherboard I put into the graphics card. Based on Tom's Hardware best graphics cards it was a choice between the Radeon 7970 and the GTX 770. I key scenario I wanted to enable was AMD Eyefinity or Nvidia surround on 3 1920 * 12000 monitors. My research indicated the amount of GPU ram was important in this scenario. Therefore, I went with the GTX 770 because it comes in a 4GB version despite the 7970 being better value for money. I also read the NVidia surround drivers were less problematic than AMD eyefinity.
Storage: The SSD was reused from and old PC. I mounted it to the back of the motherboard. I have a few 1 TB HDD's lying around that I'll add to the build if I need them but at the moment I have both drive cages removed for maximum ventilation.
PSU Cables: I purchased the individually sleeved white PSU cables from Corsair. Despite my initial desire not to spent money on bling couldn't resist these for $70.
Monitors: The monitors in the pictures are 3 old monitors I had on hand. They are all different brands and I cant seem to get the color temperatures looking anything close to similar but they do the job for the moment. I would love to replace them with 3 * 24" dell ultrasharp. I have Dell Ultrasharp at work and I love it.
Conclusions. Overall I'm very happy with the build. I didn't have to spent that much more or make any major performance compromises (apart from the CPU cooler) to make it look good.
I would love to get some feedback on this build.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core||$230.00|
|CPU Cooler||Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BK 68.5 CFM||$50.00|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150||$160.00|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600||$80.00|
|Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600||$80.00|
|Storage||Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" SSD||$0.00||(Purchased)|
|Video Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 770 4GB Dual Superclocked ACX||$450.00|
|Case||Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower||$110.00|
|Power Supply||Corsair 1050W ATX12V / EPS12V||$199.00|
|Optical Drive||Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer||$0.00|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit)||$0.00|
|Custom||Corsair individually sleeved modular power cables||$70.00||(Purchased)|
|Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor|
|CPU Clock Rate||3.4GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||-|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||-|