being an art and design professional, I was primarily taught on Apple products. I had a 2008 MacBook Pro prior to this. MacBooks are fine for what they do but I have other interests, like gaming. So I knew I would be making the switch when the time came to get a new machine. I also want to be able to upgrade components. Since it's my primary workstation for freelance I also wanted a machine that was silent and looked professional.
The idea was to take a budget around $2,000 and build a solid, single-gpu configuration with room to upgrade.
CPU: the core i7 series has hyper-threading which is great for when I have multiple Adobe programs open. The 4790K can also be over-clocked so it's great for gaming.
Motherboard: MSI-Z97 Gaming 5. - honestly it was tough to choose a motherboard. There are a lot of quality options. I thought this was the best value since I wasn't planning on going with two gpu's. Plenty of usb 3.0 ports as well as some decent on board audio.
Cooler: the H100i was highly recommended. There are some installations pains with this cooler, the case and the MoBo. More on that later.
Graphics Card: EVGA SSC + ATX 2.0 - I know the 970 series gets flack for not being a full 4 GB of memory, but it's still the best value. This particular graphics card was made to be cooler and more silent which has synergy with the case. It's also good for over-clocking your system.
Memory: 16 Gigs of memory is perfect right now. I'm not doing any crazy rendering, but I still have enough to multitask efficiently. Corsair is a trusted brand.
Storage: for the operating system, Adobe Creative Cloud, and steam + my favorite games, the Samsung 850 Pro is my main drive. For all other storage, such as project files, and, media the WD black drive is perfect.
Monitor: Here is so,etching to consider if you plan on doing any graphics work but you also like to game. Do you sacrifice color for refresh rate? Right now having the most accurate colors is most important to me. The PA248Q is a perfectly capable gaming monitor though. ASUS does a great job making monitors for a variety of people.
Case: Fractal Design R4. This is a popular case, but it's main draw is silence. my optical drive is the loudest component when in use. Other thant that the case is quiet and stays cool even when over-clocking
PSU: I might have went a little,overboard on the PSU but I read not to,skimp on this. And I eventually want a more powerful GPU so this leaves room for that.
This is a pretty straight forward build. Some things to consider when building: - don't go for a MoBo Any bigger than the dimensions of the MSI-Gaming 5 if you plan on using the grommets to route the cables. - when mounting the H100i on the top of the case, make sure you connect certain cables such as the 8pin ATX cable, first. Or at the very least get cable in position behind the board, as once the cooler is installed, it beco,Ed a pain to reach certain areas. Especially if good cable management is desired. -I haven't done this yet but I recommend getting two more fans. One 140mm fan do their are two intakes ar the front of the case, and another intake for the bottom. With the top drive cage removed this makes airflow amazing, and doesn't sacrifice the quiet nature of the case.