This PC is for a/v production (mostly "a", some "v") and gaming. I'll also be using it for teaching music, one on one lessons using Skype, Hangouts, etc. It's currently on a KVM switch with my old PC (2.4GHz P4) which still runs great for most of my general purpose computing needs. Over time, this new PC will take over all of those general tasks from the old machine. At which point, I'll build another new machine to take over the a/v production and find a fun way to repurpose the old P4. Then this will just be my primary, general purpose PC.
CPU: Intel Core i7-4820K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor
I love this thing. It just keeps lookin' at me like, "Is that all you need me to do? You sure you don't need me to, like, solve the mysteries of the universe or something?" Video encoding runs that took several days on my old PC take 40 minutes. It's a pretty big leap forward from a single vcore 2.4GHz and I am loving it.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Originally, I went with the Hyper D92, but it would not fit. The CPU socket is a little low on the board, giving me less clearance to the top of the video card. Also, the alternating aluminum/copper on the D92 makes for a very uneven contact surface, requiring a lot of non-conductive thermal goo. So I went with, what appears to be, the default standard in air coolers. It fits, temps are good, and cool down is pretty quick.
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste
It'd been a while since I'd looked into this, so I did a little bit of catch up reading and there are better performing, electrically non-conductive materials out there. However, they need to be reapplied more often. I'm too lazy for that and this stuff has always worked well for me, and it still does.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard
I spent a lot of time browsing motherboards and finally settled on this one, and then…it went out of stock. Thankfully, it wasn't long before they restocked it and I may have avoided a problem by getting the next revision and latest UEFI. I like the UEFI, very powerful, but slow to load. Boot time is not a critical factor for me, but be advised, it's like 15 to 20 seconds before it starts to load the OS. Overall, I like it; lots of options for expanding and overclocking in the future.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
I saw lots of data suggesting that performance increase levels off above 1600MHz. I know this will change with time, but for now 1866MHz seems comfortably above that line. 1866MHz is achieved with XMP, the SPD clock of this memory is 1333MHz. I've been running it at 1866MHz. So far, so good on stability.
Storage: Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Not the fastest SSD available, but estimated lifespan is on par with HDDs and it's fast enough to have that nice snappy SSD feel.
Storage: Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
These are great drives.
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 290 4GB Vapor-X Video Card
Pure awesome. To be honest, I really haven't done enough gaming with it yet to test it's limits, but this is clearly a great card.
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case
Very nice case. It's solid, roomy, and sharp looking. The built in cable management and the box of accessories are great. The two fans it comes with are OK, but really should be replaced. I replaced them with seven, that's right, seven case fans. One of them is connected to the motherboard; six are connected to the PWM board that comes with this case. The idea is that this little board interprets a PWM signal and supplies the correct voltage to the fans to achieve the desired result. I've seen mixed reports of its effectiveness. It's crucial to be sure it's connected to a true PWM header which can be tricky to determine. In my case, or rather, on my motherboard it's the SYS_FAN2 header. It all seems to be working as designed, but I haven't really played with the slope yet. The cover for the power supply is nice, but it would have messed up my airflow so I left it out. For a build with a more sensible number of fans, it would be a plus. The HDD cages also presented an airflow problem (don't they always). There are two cages, each capable of holding three drives. If you go with only one cage, you're expected to use the bottom one, which would be the most obstructive to airflow. I went with only installing the top cage, but had to secure it with zip ties and an inappropriate screw to make it solid and stable enough to feel good about it. The mesh filters are nice, but are mesh filters. I attached a layer of black pantyhose to each of them.
Power Supply: Cooler Master VSM 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
It has plenty enough power and good efficiency. The modular cabling is nice.
Optical Drive: LG WH16NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer
It reads and writes all formats, no complaints.
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM 64-bit
It's Windows 7.
Even with all these fans, it still runs pretty quietly. My old PC and my air filtration unit, both in the same room as the new PC, are each louder.
Case Fan: SilenX IXP-76-18 90.0 CFM 120mm Fan
This fan sits on the bottom, midway back and is an intake. It's connected to a 3 pin header on the motherboard.
Case Fan: Xigmatek CFS-OXGKS-WU2 53.3 CFM 120mm Fan
These two fans are on the top and are exhaust. They are plugged into the PWM board.
Case Fan: Noctua NF-P14s redux-1200 64.9 CFM 140mm Fan Case Fan: Noctua NF-P14s redux-1200 64.9 CFM 140mm Fan
These two fans are on the front and are intake. They are plugged into the PWM board.
Case Fan: Noctua NF-P14s redux-900 49.3 CFM 140mm Fan
This fan is on the rear and is an exhaust. It is plugged into the PWM board.
Case Fan: Noctua NF-S12B redux-1200 59.1 CFM 120mm Fan
This fan sits on the bottom, front and is an intake. It is plugged into the PWM board.
Lighting: LOGISYS Computer MDLED1GN GREEN LAZER LED Light
I attached this little guy to the side of the case, just under the HDD cage. It's pointed up at a ~45 degree angle and adds a little extra light to the bottom, front corner.
Lighting: LOGISYS Computer ML12GN LED Super Bright Sunlight Stick Lighting: LOGISYS Computer ML12GN LED Super Bright Sunlight Stick
I attached these along the back and top and I think they look great. As all the reviews say, the adhesive on the Velcro tabs is terrible. A little dab of Gorilla Glue solved that problem.