* Mail-In Rebates:
I've been using a pre-built system for roughly two years now, with the i5 from this build, a Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB and the two blue 4GB Kingston RAMs. With some of the new games that came out this year, mainly The Witcher 3, I needed a new video card with more power, especially since I'll also be using this machine for working with large Photoshop files and some 3D renderings.
Case: I know I'll be doing more upgrading eventually, so I chose the 780T from Corsair for it's large size, great modularity and premium build quality. I unpacked it and fell in love instantly. As a designer myself, it's shape and color, high modularity and easy-to-use HDD and SSD racks, optical drive bays and cable management system, I was highly impressed. Additionally, the window panel on the side allows me to see the interior of my rig while it's running. Aside from the slightly red light from the R9 390x, I tried to keep to white colors and blue accents.
RAM: Fairly simple upgrade, going from 8GB to 16GB total, allows for more programs to run simultaneously and renderings to finish quickly.
SSD: I had the 120GB one in my previous build, the 840 EVO was recently on sale so I bought that as fast as I could. My OS is still on the 120GB, I'll be using the 500GB one for things like Photoshop and CS:GO to start and load quicker. Love the 780T's SSD racks on the outer side of the backplate, super easy to install.
PSU: Went with the 750W variant to make sure I'll have enough power for later upgrades. The full modularity allows me to use only the cables I actually require, thus keeping my case tidy and my air flow maximized.
Monitor: I've been eyeing some 144Hz monitors for a while now, and I recently came across a very convincing review for the VG248QE. It's an incredible upgrade over the 21'' LG monitor I was using before, the colors are super crisp and the high rate is great especially for fast paced games like CS:GO, one of my main uses when gaming currently.
Video card: Last but definitely not least, the big one, the beast... At about 450€ the R9 390x was quite the purchase, but so far it's been absolutely worth it. The Witcher 3 runs at a stable 60fps while completely maxed out, making for a gorgeous gaming experience, especially paired with the new ASUS monitor. CS:GO is now running at about 250-300fps!
I've yet to try any overclocking with this build, I think I'll wait until after I've installed some additional case fans (currently only using the three 140mm fans that came installed in the case). I wasn't able to identify the CPU cooler installed, that's why it's not listed.
Shoutout to the PCMR community, without which I could not have built this thing, it's great to have such an awesome place to share and discuss ideas and get quick and friendly help.
I've been using this processor for a good two years now and I'm using the exact same one in this build again. It's speed has never let me down, and I have yet to use it's overclocking capabilities.
Not much to say about it, haven't had any issues, assembly is easy, built with good materials and enough space to connect everything I need without hassle.
Do exactly what I want them to do for their price, look great paired with the white case.
Great space/price ratio, incredibly fast and well built. No complaints.
Good for long time storage, not that great for running programs off it or moving files frequently. 5400RPM is a bit slow. Probably should've went with a Caviar Blu 7200RPM.
Very expensive but incredible performance, so far it's run every game on maxed out settings at 60+ fps. It can get fairly loud at times, but the included desktop app makes it fairly easy to regulate fan speed.
6.5/5, it's probably my favorite part of the entire build. Super sleek design, incredible space, premium materials, great modularity, easy to handle even for beginners. The fan speed control button featured in the case interface is a great little feature. I don't think I'll ever be using cases not built by Corsair from now on.
Does exactly what it's supposed to, and quietly so. Great quality, easy to build in. Great packaging too.
Such an upgrade when compared to what I was using before. The contrast and saturation is intense, makes my games look incredible. 144Hz is amazing for fast-paced shooters especially.