Well, less than a year after completing my last build and I'm back again.
Recently, I moved continents and so had to dissemble my PC to move it. I brought everything with me with the exception the case, which, as luck would have it, was banged up pretty bad in transit to the point of unusability.
Well, I took this as a great opportunity to do some upgrades as well, so I used some parts I already had, and added a new motherboard, case, CPU, and an SSD. And bam! I'm back in business. Note, I really didn't need to upgrade, per se, as the Dev3 was more than sufficient at everything I threw at it, including ultra gaming @1080p. But I could see that my GPU was definitely being held back, and I could be doing a lot better if I ditched the FX and added an SSD.
Justifications for the old parts can be found here, and below are the justification for the new parts.
CPU: I needed something that could run any game I threw at it at max/ultra settings without sweating, in addition to being able to edit and render HD videos quickly and efficiently. The obvious choice would be an i7, as it delivers better frames in most games than an i5 while also being hyperthreaded to power through multithreaded tasks with ease. However I didn't want to spend i7 money, as I've already invested a lot into this PC. Lo and behold: the Xeon E3 1231v3, delivering i7 performance at an i5 price. It's basically an i7 3770, so I hear, with no igpu and a lower clockspeed. However, the numbers I seeing in gaming benchmarks stomp over the i5-4460 and the i5-4690K at stock (with an OC'd 4690K taking the lead in some tests, which is expected). And in video rendering, this thing can't be touched. Overall, I'm insanely glad I upgraded. I'm going to start recommending the Xeon to more people, as it really is a dark horse CPU.
Mobo: I was looking at H97 motherboard exclusively, as ATX B85s were rare and lacking, while H81 didn't have the features I wanted (and Z97 would be a waste as the Xeon is locked). This one pretty much was highly rated and had everything I wanted. Pretty awesome BIOS as well. My only wish is that it traded one (or two, or three) of it's PCI-E x1 slots for another PCI-E x16, as I was hoping to mess around with a dedicated PhysX card.
SSD: This was actually a gift thanks to a RedditGifts Secret Santa. If I had to pick an SSD, I would have gone with the Crucial MX100, but this one has pretty decent reviews and I haven't had any problems with it.
As far as the difference an SSD has...it's literally indescribable. Combined with the ultra fast boot my mobo has, I can boot into my desktop in 7 seconds flat. It's incredible. Everything loads so much faster, and I find myself doing a lot more in the same amount of time because I'm not wasting time staring at a Photoshop or Sony Vegas spash screen. I don't regret not getting one initially (as it would have affected my GPU choice negatively) but I definitely can't live without one now.
And that's pretty much it. The Dev3.1 is everything the Dev3 was supposed to be, and now it can really accomplish it's goals of kicking *** in both gaming and video editing.
Powers through both gaming and video editing with absolutely breeze. i7 performance at an i5 price. Should be the de facto gaming CPU.
Awesome bios, looks pretty slick, and has everything you'd need in a mobo, minus dual PCI-E x16 slots.
I mean, it works and looks cool. That's all anyone can ask from a pair of RAM sticks.
Not the most spacious SSD, but more than worth the money.
The Unofficial Official HDD of PC Gaming.
Not the coolest, or the quietest, or the cheapest R9 290, but it does it's job and does it pretty well. Plus, mine was able to be unlocked to an R9 290X.
Maxes out every game I've thrown at it, so no complaints.
No speaker, but other than that it looks aggressive, has great cable management, and lots of fan mounts. A remarkable case from Corsair.
Strong 12V rail, lots of PCIE connectors, and Gold-rated 750w efficiency. An all-around amazing PSU.