I am replacing my old 2009 Asus pre-built computer that is using the now obsolete lga 775 connector.
CPU: For the budget I had it was a no brainer. Excellent performance for it's price. Multitasking and gaming is not an issue for this CPU. I plan to OC this later on after stress testing all my parts. (NEW UPDATE) Swapped out my 6 core processor for a shiny new 8 core processor. Preforms much better in ARMA 3 and in other multi-core based programs.
CPU Cooler: Initially I was planning to install a H100i in this system but had ran into some drawbacks that I will address later with the case. In light of the problem I went ahead and bought a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, as I had heard positive reviews of its performance. With the stock cooler I had idle temps at 35-38C and 60-75C while on load. It dropped dramatically when I installed the Cooler Master. At idle it runs at a cool 25C while on load it barely touches 60C.
MOBO: The mobo is excellent and has a very sexy red and black PCB. Optimized for OC'ing both CPU and GPU it is also a painless interface that allows you to optimize your PC parts to your hearts content. Installation was a breeze but the back plate was my only issue. The manual that came with this board was also very helpful.
RAM: The memory is phenomenal and runs like a charm. No issues with it yet and i seems to streamline all my task seamlessly
Storage: I am using a 120gb Samsung Evo as my boot drive and a Seagate Nas HDD as my mass storage. Both work phenomenally and have very little issues handling multiple programs. The boot drive fit both my OS and about 20+ programs with 50 gb of space to spare. My HDD doesn't click or have any audible noise and runs very well. No signs of it slowing or being defective. I would recommend this setup of storage to anyone looking to have a gaming PC or a personal workstation.
Video Card: The Card runs great but if you plan to OC, buy the ASUS STRIX 970 or reference card. Despite its great specs on paper is that it is limited by software limitations imposed on by the card. Zotac flopped hard on this but nonetheless it runs great even at is factory overclock which is slightly higher than the reference card.
Case: The case was a pain in my *** at first. I should've gotten a Corsair Mid-Tower but decided this was the best route. I mean the case had already 5 pre-installed fans with expansion for 5 more. Asides from that, I was slightly pissed that full sized radiators aren't compatible with the case. Small radiators are but I wish this was more clear when I did research on the Rosewill Blackhawk mid-tower case. However I've switched to a complete aircool build and I am happy nonetheless. I am currently running 7 fans but need extra screws to fit two more on the chassis and one more on the heatsink to have it in push pull. The case looks sexy too. Almost forgot to mention that cable management can become a nightmare. I literally forced the cable down into place with the back panel. There is a slight but unoticeable bulge on the side of my case. A small gripe with the packaging not soo much the case. Very abysmal packaging. The case had a couple of scratches already out of the box.
PSU: The corsair RM550 does wonders for my build no complaints on it soo far. Very quiet and effcient. I will consider buying another modular Corsair PSU when I plan to SLI etc.
Monitor: The monitor is excellent. Although people are on board the 120hz to 144hz monitors I still believe 60hz is the way to go. Unless you plan to use 3d VFX programs like Nvidias 3d Vision Photoviewer it is not necessary. This screen has a very fast response time and has excellent features. (Default video settings makes screen look faded or foggy I recommend you edit of change presets.)
OS: Windows 8.1 has won me over. I don't think I can go back to windows 7.
Optical drive: It works but I'll rarely use it. Still, I'd like to have one around just in case I ever need to burn a cd/dvd or need to install via CD.
My thoughts: Great build but I don't plan to stick with this case on my next build which my be two/four years from now.