Named this build after the very nice tax return I got, lucky me I guess? After years of research, (I've wanted to build a desktop for the last 2-3 years) I finally grew some balls, and forked out the cash to get probably the best desktop I'll ever own.
Unfortunately I was so excited to upload any pre-packaged pictures with all the boxes. I was too excited to start my build!! The build overall wasn't too bad, I'll go through the build process than go through what I think of each part I got.
Reasons I got this machine: I'm a Mechanical Engineer (specfically in Biomechanics), and I have to run a lot of software that my Masters program desktop they've given just cannot handle (32 bit and only 4 gigs of ram... talk about lag...), I like to play games on occasion, but when I play them I want them to play well! I figured I had the extra cash for the 780 so I said why not! As well using this for typical web browsing, coding, and word processing.
The build took me over two days unfortunately, I started Tuesday Night and Finished Wednesday Afternoon. I think by the time Tuesday late night hit I was being unproductive anyways but I eventually got it done! It was a very exciting process and it was worth every penny I spent. This PC is a beast, I can't believe it took my so long to think if I really needed a desktop. I really did need a desktop.
Part by Part:
CPU - Amazing, just incredible. Easily overclocked it to 4.4Ghz, I used the Suite Utility that comes with the motherboard. I stressed tested it on prime95 for around 15 minutes, no problems occured. Hit highest temps of 75-78 but was usually low 70's when I was looking at it. During games (I've only really tried Bioshock Infinite) I was getting a pretty easy 120-180 FPS! CPU temps never really went above 50 during any real load so far, so I'm very happy with it.
CPU Cooler - God, this was a pain... Maybe it was just me because it does do its job properly dissipating heat pretty easily. Installing this @$%( was well... horrible. Took me around 2 hours, things just wouldn't stick. Fans I tried to attach to it (the Noctuas) just did not want to stay on. I fortunately had some high temperature tape (graded to 350 degrees), it's not pretty but it keeps it up for now. All I have to say is that the way those fans attach is a pain and they could easily improve upon it. It cools well once installed, but be prepared for things to not work out how you want it too.
Themal Compound - EXCELLENT! Easy to apply, cools that CPU right down. Worth every penny.
Motherboard - Very good motherboard, comes with excellent instructions. Easy to install into the case, has very clear places to install into my Fractal case. BIOS is excellent on this board, ASUS really made it easy for me to understand what I'm doing! Considering the last time I built a computer I was 10 years old with my father, I was surprised how diferent the BIOS looks nowadays!
Memory - No problems so far, decided to go with a low form factor, as well as something cheaper. Heard ADATA was a good enough company and haven't heard of any problems with ADATA sticks. SO far so good! The Memory I listed isn't the same as the one I bought, they didnt' have it hear, its a 2x8GB DDR3-1600 by CAS Latency of 9 not 11 as listed.
Storage - EVO is very fast! Have a lot of the programs I use daily on it, and haven't had any trouble with it. It so far has great read/write speeds from what I can tell. The 2 TB drive I've had no problems with so far. My only regret so far is going with a 120GB drive, I kind of wish I went with a 240, more room for the future. Could always buy myself another drive if needed!
Video Card - WOW this Graphics Card is BLAZING FAST. It also looks amazing in the case. I was kind of surprised about how BIG it was. Cabling this thing was a little tough, but once I got it in there it wasn't a problem. This thing runs everything lightning fast. My only regret is not going with an ACX although I'm not blowing the hot air into the case which is good the graphics card does run a little hot on games (haven't seen it go over 80). I don't think it's a problem, but I just don't want this thing to break in a year.
Case - Great case, my only problem with it is that not all the hard drive cases can't be taken out. As well the back side room isn't so large for the amount of cables I had, which is more my fault than the company s. It's a great looking case, and I don't regret buying it.
Power Supply - Great power supply for the price, Semi Modular was necessary (although I wish I went fully the CPU and mother board pins are kind of big). I don't have any major complaints here.
Optical Drive - It did its job, now it'll go back into retirement.
Operating System - I personally like Windows 8, fast boot up, runs everything smootly. Some things take getting used to but so far I can see a bunch of improvement in the right direction for Microsoft. The METRO UI is okay, I wish it worked a little more in tandem with the actual desktop but maybe with time it will.
Monitor - LOVE this monitor. GREAT colours, fantastic display, 27 inch monitors are amazing. Might seem huge to some people but I love it. My only regret is I can't fit another one in my room... yet...
Fans - the Cougar Vortex ones I listed aren't the same I got. I got them from NCIX on a huge sale. Bought 5 of them, only using 4. One is a backup (like a spare tire). They do there job but they have a little slow RPM only seem to max out at 1000 RPM. They are EXTREMELY quiet on IDLE. Those NOCTUA's are also very quite and I have them running at full speed whenever I'm using my CPU for now.
Mouse and Keyboard - Mouse is actually great, different than any mouse of used but it's fantastic! My Custom WASD Keyboard is still on its way but I'll update with pictures when it arrives!!
Water Cooling - I might wait a year for this one but I'm hoping to do it. It seems like fun, I want to keep temps low and I think the noise will be even lower.
Monitor - I'm hoping to upgrade to 1440p sometime in a year or two. I might end up just getting a second 1080p monitor before hand and see how that goes!
Fixing Cable Management - I don't like how my cables are right now, but for this minute they will have to do..
Hope you enjoyed my build!