This is an update of my original post. Since then I have swapped out a few parts and added some more storage.
I mainly use this for gaming and software development, although gaming was obviously the inspiration for the majority of the parts I chose.
I haven't built my own system since 4 PC's ago (about 13 years). A lot has changed since then. The research was a bit of an undertaking and I had to learn a few hard lessons by way of ordering incompatible components (mostly due to the carbide air 240), but a few returns and build guides later and I have a decent gaming machine that I built all on my own-some.
Parts that were Updated
1. Cpu Cooler I originally had a Corsair H80i gt AIO but I've since replaced it with an H100i v2 and I am happy with the decision. Not only do I get slightly better temps (especially when max load) but the H80i was very thick and was blocking a few of the wire grommets in my case making for sloppy wire management.
2. Video Card(s) I originally had 2 Zotac GTX 970's in SLI. I decided to replace them with a single EVGA GTX 980ti FTW. The benefits so far have been:
Cooler temps inside the case.
A cleaner case because less wires and more space.
Reduced stuttering in games and higher minimum FPS rates.
Slightly better performance in most games (with a few exceptions).
Overall this card is fantastic and I am getting a solid 60 FPS in every game I'm currently playing (Witcher 3, Tomb Raider, The Division). The Division is the only game I have to slightly tweak some settings to stay at a constant 60 fps.
The only downside to the EVGA FTW is the overclocking capability, or shall I say lack of. I have only been able to get a stable +60 core and +250 memory. Regardless, still a great a card.
I did want to make a quick comment regarding 970 SLI vs. single 980 ti as this seems to be a frequent topic of debate. Although I just listed all of the benefits of switching to a single 980 ti, overall there's not THAT MUCH difference between the both when playing recent AAA games. I was still getting a solid 60 FPS the majority of the time with the 970's. So if you're debating whether or not to buy that extra 970 for an sli setup or sell it and get a 980 ti, my opinion is: it doesn't make a difference really. Do what's easier/best for you.
Parts that were Added
1. Samsung 950 PRO 512 GB M.2 SSD The 850 EVO was the only storage I had purchased in the beginning. After installing windows 10 and a few games with some music and movie downloads I quickly realized 500GB wasn't going to cut it. I had been eyeing the 950 PRO for a while now and convinced myself my checking account didn't need that $320 bucks.
Now here's where the honesty comes in. When I installed the 950 PRO and cloned my existing drive to it and set it as boot, I thought I was going to see super omg holy cr@#$@!!! fast fast fast uber uber speeds yo. Instead I feel like everything loads and boots the same as the 850 EVO. Meaning I couldn't tell a perceptible difference in every day tasks/usage.
Having said that however, when copying files/unzipping/installing programs you do notice a difference.
Thank you for viewing my post. I welcome all comments, positive and negative.