I've been looking forward to posting my build here ever since I started planning out my build. I took a lot of inspiration from many of your builds and it really helped me to form my own. Anyways, here it is!
I graduated colllege recently and got a new job offer that was going to pay well so I decided to build my own gaming rig as a graduation gift to myself. This build started off as a modest $1300 i5-4690k and GTX 970 build using air cooling. However, as I started to do more and more research (putting off studying for finals many times) I learned more and more about the best parts and I started to add to my build, and substitute parts in until I had this thing. I "fell down the rabbit hole" when it came to computer build knowledge (thus naming the build Alice) and I didn't stop until I had the most powerful build I felt I could afford. The Nuclear Reactor is what my dad calls it. I built it in my parents basement while I was waiting to start my new job and he thought it was funny and clever.
It eventually came down to deciding between a second 980 for that SLI power or creating a whole custom watercooling loop. I decided it would be easier to implement a second card in later than changing the cooling of the system to liquid so I decided to build the loop with the rest of the systemI knew the difficulty that would come from watercooling but I welcomed the challenge and did my research so i made sure I wouldn't destroy my parts and waste all of that money. Honestly I probably won't ever truly use all of the power this rig has but it was so much fun to plan and build that I'm okay with that. I'm enjoying the raw speed and power it has and that's all that matters to me.
After seeing many builds on this site and reddit that were based around either red or blue I decided to try a different scheme. I decided to go with a purple and yellow color scheme to commemorate my fraternity that I was a part of during my time at college. This affected some of my part choices which I'll explain below.
CPU: Intel i7-4790k
Originally I had an i5-4690k in here as my CPU and it stayed there even in later stages of planning. I changed to the i7 when Microcenter had it on sale for $50 less and i convinced myself that maybe someday games would utilize the extra threads in each core. So far it has held up amazingly and it overclocked like a dream. The watercooling keeps the idle temps at a pleasant 34C and ramps up to mid 60's when clocked at 4.9 GHZ & 1.27V. Beautiful.
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z97 Mark1
This was a part that I wanted to fit into the color scheme. I looked at many of the boards that had yellow parts already built into them but through my research many people highly recommended Asus motherboards. Thus I found the SABERTOOTH which has the thermal armor which I planned on painting to add to my color scheme. Unfortunately I screwed up the first paint job (which I'm glad was just Plasti-Dip so it was removable for the most part) and was too afraid to try again so I just left it alone in the final build. It doesn't detract from aesthetic whatsoever IMO and it's a great board all around.
Storage: 2x Samsung 850 EVO
This is probably a screw up on my part due to a lack of experience. I was going to use a standard boot SSD-storage HDD set-up but with the watercooling loop and two radiators there wasn't enough space in my case (which is already massive) for the HDD cages. I decided togo with a similar set up but I substituted the HDD... with another SSD. I probably should've just gone with a single 1TB SSD and put everything on it but I'm okay with how it turned out. Games load instantly and I'll just have to manage my space intelligently. It'll also allow me to eventually upgrade the storage SSD for a bigger one once they drop in price a little down the line without having to transfer the OS files.
Video Card: EVGA GTX 980
I went with this cuz it's a beast but it's not nearly as expensive as the Titan X which came out right around when I first started planning the build. I can eventually add a second of these or if they release the 980 TI within the next month and a half I can use the step-up program to upgrade if i so please and eat the cost of the waterblock. Either way I know I'll have plenty of graphic power to play most games in the next few years at max.
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe
This thing is big and beautiful. It was another big part of fitting the color scheme due to it's built in LED system. It was also a big influence on me choosing to watercool since all of the review videos on youtube talked about its amazing capacity to hold a custom loop. I somehow ran out of room to set everything up exactly how I wanted it, but in the end I'm still really happy with this case and can't recommend it enough for it's looks alone let alone its size and functionality.
Monitor: Acer XB270HU
I only recently got this but holy crap is it beautiful. It's a lot bigger than my old monitor and much clearer. I love this thing and I know it'll be a reliable monitor for the foreseeable future.
PSU: EVGA 1000W
This PSU had excellent reviews online from multiple reputable sources along with customer reviews and it had plenty of capacity for future SLI, overclocking, and the added strain of the liquid cooling components. It's worked amazingly so far.
Radiator Fans: Noctua NF-P12-1300
The reputation Noctua has is what sold me on using these. They are incredibly silent and they've kept this ******* nice and cool. They are pretty well hidden in the case too so the beautiful brown can't be seen that well though =(. I originally had some purple LED Corsair fans which I planned on putting in the front but my radiator didn't fit on the bottom since the PSU was too big so I had to scrap the purple fans.
So I honestly pulled pretty much all of my water cooling components from the Linustechtips "Water Cooled Overkill" build guide video. They have turned out well but after learning a bit more and seeing EKWB components in other builds I would probably go with them if I were to build it again.
Radiators: Alphacool Radiator
These radiators have been excellent so far. They were nice and clean out of the box and the fins are very robust. I have the 360mm set in a pull configuration in the top of the case and the 240mm pulling in the front of the case. Like I said, I planned on having the 240mm radiator in the bottom of the case but it didn't fit once the cables came into place so it ended up in the front. My CPU and GPU haven't melted yet so they're doing they're job so far.
Water Blocks: Koolance
These blocks have been excellent but they're not as good looking aesthetically as EKWB. The GPU blocks are pretty minimalistic but they work so no real performance complaints here. Just wish they looked sexier =(.
Pump: Swiftech MCP655
Reviews really commended this pump as the best so I figured why settle for less. It's almost too quiet even at near max power. My only real issue is it's size because it was a big reason why I had to remove all of the HDD cages and opt for a second SSD. Otherwise it's the ****.
Reservoir: LF Reaction 250mm
Ohhhh man this thing is sexy as hell. I love the look and the UV light in the middle is great when I don't wan't the full LED of the Luxe going. It took a long time for the guy to make and send to me but that's because he custom makes them. Definitely order one early if you plan on getting one which I recommend. I only wish I would've gotten some UV reactive liquid since it only would've added to it's looks.
Tubing: Primoflex Yellow Tubing
Big part of the color scheme. It looks good and permors amazingly. No concern about it kinking at all.
Extras and Peripherals:
The custom sleeved cables were neccessary in my eyes since the PSU came with a red GPU cable that stuck out horribly. The headphones i just wanted a wireless headset and I love this thing so far. I've owned a Razer Blackwidow keyboard and Taipan mouse for awhile but I might change those soon.
I'm proud of my build and it's a massive step up from my pre-made Dell XPS I bought before college. My only problem now is that I have the itch to make more computers :(.
Thanks for your attention and have an excellent day! Firestrike Score