All these parts were purchased on Black Friday, and the build actually cost $1300
Disclaimer: Don't ever use a VGA cable. Ever. I almost sent my GPU back because the VGA cable ****** with my system.
This build was a lot of fun. There were a few places that it went a bit shaky, but for the most part, this build went smoothly. I spent months researching for the best part choices, and I hope you enjoy the build.
CPU: This i5 is known to be one of the best gaming chips on the market, next to the i7. I chose against the i7 though, I find it has more editing, and barely more gaming benefits over the i5. It just didn't seem worth the extra $100. Runs excellently, seems to hold the 3.8 clock stable, we'll see how it goes.
Motherboard: I was a bit spotty on MSI boards, there are a lot of mixed reviews about their reliability (especially with the Killer Networking), but this board it amazing. Plenty of upgrade room (x2 SLI and x3 Crossfire). I was confused about there being no POST beep, but turns out it posted fine. The BIOS is beautifully laid out and it made overclocking a breeze (changing one value). The sound the board made when I socketed the CPU still haunts me today..
Memory: Fast as lightning, since the motherboard could take up to 3000, I decided to get some 2133. It didn't really need to be that fast, but it was on a huge sale, and it matched the board colors, as well as the X series to be known for reliability.
Storage: The SSD is currently used for all the drivers, OS, and system files. Boots up like a breeze, getting me to the desktop 10 seconds after I turn her on. The HDD houses all the games, and other non-essential files. Runs like a champ as well, and is silent, only heard when I start the computer up.
Video Card: I have always been drawn to NVidia over AMD, and this card seemed like the right choice. Runs everything at max without breaking a sweat, and maxes out Unigine Valley at 90fps (1920x1080p). The 4gb model was the equal price to the 2gb model, so why not? Future proofing right? I love Gigabyte as a company, and the 3 fan design is a quiet, sexy workhorse for all my games.
Case & Fans: Love the case, it is huge (I mean big as hell) and it is amazing for cable management. The fan controller works with all the fans, however not with all the LED's on them :( Will fix that later. The fans are silent, I have to put my ear up to them to even hear them running full blast. The airflow in my system is incredible, when I go to liquid cooling I'll put the final 200mm that the 212 EVO blocked.
Power supply: Corsair is a great PSU brand, and I wanted a high wattage for all my fans and a likely SLI in the future. The modulation was beautiful, and made cable management a breeze. The legacy cables were a pain though, dunno why they still exist.. Seriously though, get modular or semi-modular, it makes your life easier.
Optical Drive: I find these cheap and useless, other than to boot the OS and main drivers. Currently I have it unplugged, and intend to keep it so. It was a great optical drive while I used it though.
CPU Cooler: Amazing, but a little hard to install the back plate. The heat-sink is massive, and the fan is big and quiet. Keeps the CPU cool, and still runs quiet at max load. IF you don't get liquid, this is the cooler to get. Price, cooling, it has it all.
Sorry for the sub-standard picture quality, but unfortunately my camera can't match the benchmark of the rig.
To do list:
Re-route the CPU power cable. (done)
Manage the cables in the back of the case.
Go to liquid cooling, and overclock further.
Go to multiple or 1440p monitor(s).
Get the last 200mm fan in.