I was able to purchase two of my planned upgrades to older parts I had been using, so I am updating the photos with before and after pics where they make sense.
Case: I chose this case for its room to grow and nice amount of fan ports for liquid cooling setups. It's a nice monolith tower which will fit well when I can upgrade my video card and monitor to a 4k display.
Power Supply: I chose this power supply for the flat black cabling, higher efficiency level, and full modular abilities.
Next upgrades I will be making are to full liquid cooling setup, video card, and 4k display. For the latter two, I will be waiting for AMD's next graphics card line and the freesync 4k displays. I will likely pick up a DeepCool Captain 360 by then as well as a corsair link and LED light set.
I'll start out by saying I've been without a really strong pc for about 3 years or so due to taxes coming up way higher than I could have planned and having to sell my old pc. Since then I was using a triple core media center I had built with some parts moved over to this build. I primarily use my computer for multiple virtual machine's, video games, and video editing. Pardon the dust in the photos as I do live in NM and it's been windy as heck lately.
CPU: I chose this as I wasn't ready to delve into any higher wattages and needed to save some money for my other parts. It blows past most of the other cpus I have used over time, including the i5's we have at my job.
CPU Cooler: I considered going liquid cooling again, but I decided to save a bit of money and stick with air cooling this time. This cooler works wonderfully and fits well in my case. The fans can be slid up from the original positioning if you need room for your ram underneath( I did this for about an 1/8th inch gain in space.)
Motherboard: I really liked the feature set this motherboard included. I get the creative sound I was going to reuse a sound card for builtin to the motherboard, Killer networking to help with latency and cross network traffic, Great vrm for possible overclocking and current stability. Drivers were easy to install, motherboard has an awesome look to it as well.
Ram: I had reused 2 g.skill 4GB sticks from my media center build while waiting to purchase more ram which I am now using. The older ram ran well and I will be testing it side by side with my new ram and combined. My new ram is really smooth, it boosted my ssd speeds another 3.5% as well as a few other sections in the performance tests I ran. It also allows me to up the ram I was giving to my vm's for my classes and general tinkering.
Storage: I installed windows 8.1 on my ssd and optimized it with the included software to get read/writes over 2GB's per second. I have a few steam games installed directly there, and run the rest of my data off of the 2tb drive, even redirecting most of my user profile folders to the 2tb drive.
Video card: This is a leftover from my media center build. I purchased this around the time it came out to give my media center some gaming credentials. It's aged very well and can still handle every game I throw at it on max settings. I'm using it currently to drive three displays.
Case: I actually bought this case after an earlier gaming build I had used it for. I really enjoyed building in it, and when Newegg had it on sale again for cheap I picked it up and it sat in my garage. It made perfect sense to use it for another gaming build even though it will not work if I upgrade my video card to longer cards in the future.
Power Supply: This is from my older gaming machine. I had upgraded the power supply in that machine and had this leftover. It has a nice red finish on it, and although not modular, the cables feel nice and are easily tucked away into other sections of the computer. Also this power supply supports 60amps on the main 12v line for great stability.
Optical: I purchased this burner so I could start backing up my vm's and other data. I have been lazy and not put this to its intended use yet.
OS: Received through a class I was taking for college.
Monitor: I really like the IPS display on the Asus monitor. I highly recommend these displays. I have two dell 19inch monitors flanking it for vm's and monitoring software while gaming.
Keyboard: This keyboard is the first mechanical keyboard I have used since my old IBM days and feels like a dream to type on. I find myself getting faster at typing again which is really nice when I need to write reports at work or for school.
Mouse: I recently purchased the Mionix Naos 7000 after having my 6th logitech die for the same left click sensor issue. This one has a much higher sensor rating so I went with my gut and purchased it. It has been really nice to use and only took a little bit of getting used to after using laser mice since 2003.
Headphones: I highly recommend these. The music reproduction on classical music is wonderful. I can hear things I didn't hear in the songs before like wind being picked up on the mic during a violin concerto. They are comfortable for long term use and powered nicely from the motherboard's high end sound card.
Speakers: Not included in the list below is a 7.1 creative audio speaker set I purchased back in 2006. It's been a great set since then and still works well with games and for music.
I will update this when I have tested further with my ram.