January 1 2013: Its been 6 years since I built my last machine (Intel based). The old Mammoth faded with my home as a memory.
3 months of research and planning (Oct 2012 to Dec 2012) - and this week I complete the build. I am an ex-Dell employee and have an extensive experience on building PCs. The parts were picked purely analyzing my needs and no cost factor or fan-boy blindness is involved.
Usage: Multiple virtual machines for my hobby-app development (multiple platforms), FPS gaming, Video rendering, High-Res picture drawing and editing.
I am not sure if I can OC the build more. The CPU is at 4.7 ghz now against the default 4.0. The stock cpu cooler (cooler master make) from AMD serves it purpose and am sure that I wont need a better cooling setup. The case is massive enough to have the perfect airflow.
Game Test: MOH: Warfighter on ULTRA settings - pure cinematic experience with no issues and no complaints Noise level: As expected on high graphics usage the machine roars but not too high that I have to be annoyed about.
Photoshop RAW image rendering:Found no glitch when working on a 26 layer 2560x1400 hi-res image. I am yet to push a test with Adobe After Effects.
Final cost of all the parts listed here: $2856 CAD incl. tax - January-March 2013
Update: October 1 2013:
1: The machine is a bit loud when playing games and previewing renders in After Effects. Isolated the loud noise to be from all the fans. Normal usage: The HAF X case came with 4 mammoth fans. These fans are running in a very normal speed. The 2 fans on the secondary 7870 are turned off The CPU fan spins in normal speed. Intense usage: The case fans starts to spin on their highest speed. There is a little increase in the fan noise level. The CPU fan is still running in normal speed. The Sapphire 7870 OC edition secondary card fans kicks on and produce is very audible noise.
I am going to buy a fan speed control (touch screen) panel and will play around the fan speeds monitoring the temperature at the same time. Will keep this test updated. If all fails - I might have to consider a liquid cooling unit. My eyes are on the Corsair Hydro cooling series H50 for the CPU. And need to research on the video card fan speed.
2: Added a 22" Samsung LED TV as a secondary monitor. The 40 inch LED i use is perfect but too big for continuous reading.
3. The 2 TB Seagate internal drives are acting weird on continuous usage. The OS takes a few seconds to read the contents. De-fragmentation every month addresses this issue. This is happening only on one drive that I use often to temporarily store and move files.
4. Metro 2033 and Last Light are like made for this setup. They were butter smooth with 58 fps on 1080p.
Minor upgrades planned: A touch screen fan controller, Multiple memory card reader, Bluetooth USB Dongle