This is my first ever custom desktop build. It's been in the works for over a year. I bought all of the parts in July 2013 and assembled them as soon as I could. The first Asus Z87-Pro I received had defective USB ports, but Newegg handled the problem and sent me a replacement board. A few months later, in March 2014, I searched high and low for an NZXT G10 bracket to watercool my GPU, along with my CPU at the same time. Overall, I'm extremely happy with the way this build has come out.
CPU: It's an Intel Core i7 4770K. It can handle editing video, audio, and images very well. I've never had to wait to long for anything, with the exception of transcoding and converting video files.
CPU Cooler(s): The Corsair H105 ended up fitting in my case's offset 240mm mounting holes perfectly, and along with the Noctua fans, they both do a great job cooling my CPU. I couldn't have been happier with my choice. I feel like the Corsair H100i slaps too many features on a product that is designed to do only one thing. The Corsair H75 performs well, however the unit that I received does not light up as it appears to be defective. I was wrong, though, as when initially setting it up, I thought it was broken, but I needed to add another fan and tighten the NZXT Kraken G10 bracket on my GPU to get the cooling to perform better.
Motherboard: As I've stated above, the first board that I received was defective. At the time, it put a bad taste in my mouth having to wait for a replacement, but this motherboard has been a good performer for me and has not let me down.
Memory: This memory has not failed me so far, and seems to run pretty stable. I cannot overclock it any further. Sadly, this is where one of my nooby mistakes is showing. The CAS latency for this RAM is 11, which is pretty high. If I had to go back and change one thing, it would be this. I should have bought RAM that had a CAS latency of 9, but I can underclock this RAM to run at 1600 @ CAS 9 if I want.
Storage: The Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD has run smoothly for me since the first day I installed it. I've had zero issues, and I couldn't be happier about how fast my computer boots up. Everything is always snappy. As for my hard drive, this Seagate drive runs like any other hard drive would. My first hard drive was a WD Blue drive, but it ended up stalling and making a high-pitched whining noise under load, so I replaced it with a brand I trusted.
Video Card: At the time, this was the best card you could have bought on the market for under $1000, and boy, does it run well. I've played so many games with this thing over and over again and I'm constantly impressed with it's performance. I feel guilty for owning such a good card considering that the games I play on a day-to-day basis aren't that taxing on the GPU, so any Steam game recommendations are welcome.
Case: I love this case from top to bottom. I originally owned a Cooler Master HAF 932, and it had terrible airflow and aesthetics. My newer case, the Fractal Design Arc XL, can hold any piece of hardware I throw at it and then some, while delivering very nice drive bays (I seriously love these things too much) while also being covered in dust filters, something I can appreciate living in a 150 year old house.
Power Supply: The Corsair HX750 has delivered it's promise on powering my system, however I believe it gives out a coil whine under GPU load. I'm not sure if it's the GPU or if it's the power supply, but it barely happens and you have to be listening for it- kinda. The high wattage is because I thought I would do a dual-SLI in the future, but the NZXT G10 bracket prevents me from doing so without some clever thinking.
Optical Drive: I wouldn't keep one in my system but I constantly rip CDs for the older people I know so they can transition to the physical-media-less era.
Operating System: At the time, Windows 7 was the go-to because Windows 8 wasn't mature enough. I might think about switching to Windows 8 once they bring the Start Menu back in Windows 8.1 Update 1
Case Fans: The static-pressure optimized NF-F12s really help pull air through all the radiators and dust filters in my case, and my computer can run quite cool and quiet, but it's no where near silent. I run a fan in my room all the time, so it's no big deal for me. My case door seems to resonate when the fans are on, so I might need to find some foam to apply to the back corner so it stops making this ringing noise when the case door is screwed on very tight.
NZXT G10: Oh boy, this thing was difficult in every possible way. First, they were out of stock everywhere, so I had to purchase one overpriced from Ebay. (Trust me, I waited for regular retailers to have it in stock!) Then, when I retrieved it, one of the necessary screws that was in the packaging had no threads, so I had to contact NZXT support to get replacement screws. Over a month later, I finally got them. I'm not happy with the support, but the product is so amazing that I can't complain too much.