Title: The title "Three Shades of Blue" was chosen because the case, the sleeved cables, and the motherboard and fans are all slightly different shades of blue. Also because I am bad at coming up with names.
Summary: First off I would like to say that this is my first build published on PCPartPicker. Also, I think this deserves an explanation: this build was completed on June 26th but I am posting it 5 months later. I would like to say that I was very busy with stuff, but ultimately, I was just really lazy. Well now that it is finally posted here, I would love to hear your feedback. The goal of this build was to make a powerful and beautiful machine that would last me quite some time with minimal upgrades. The machine is used primarily for gaming with light photo editing, 3-D modeling, and rendering. The color scheme is based around the black and blue H440, and the max budget was around $2500. Below I wrote a brief reason why I chose each component and a mini review.
CPU: I wanted an unlocked CPU for overclocking. I also wanted an i7 with hyper threading because I do some light photo editing, 3-D modeling, and rendering. I would have gone with the 4770K, but the 4790K happened to have just been released during the time of this build. Luckily, I have a Micro Center near me, so I was able to get the 4790K on a discount.
CPU Cooler: I had a H100i in my previous build, so I thought it would be a good idea to go for the newer H105. I have heard good things about it and I like the aesthetic color ring to match the color scheme of my build.
Motherboard: I wanted a new Z97 motherboard to go with the new 4790K. I originally bought the MSI Z97-G55 SLI, but once I compared it to the rest of the parts, it didn't match the color scheme very well. I returned it for the ASRock Z97 Extreme 6 instead, which matches the color scheme a lot better. I was able to get a discount on the motherboard because I purchased it with a CPU at Micro Center.
Memory: This memory is a bit overkill, but I couldn't help myself; I needed it. I knew I wanted 16GB of RAM to help with photo editing, 3-D modeling, and rendering. Also, I do some light game server hosting. Ultimately, the main reason I chose this RAM is because it looks so sexy.
Storage: I chose to get a 120GB SSD for the OS and core programs. The 250GB is used to store my games. The 1TB HDD is used to store my miscellaneous files. I knew I had to get two SSD's to fill up both mounts on the PSU shroud.
Video Card: Originally I was going to go with a 780, but during the time of this build the XFX R9 290X was on sale for about $50 less than the 780. I did some research comparing the two cards and ultimately came to the decision to get the 290X. I also just love the look of this card. It has a very modern and sleek design, and the LED XFX logo on the bottom side of the card just adds an extra effect.
Case: This case is the base of the build. This case is absolutely beautiful. Originally, I was going to use the Corsair 760T, but once the black and blue H440 released, I knew as soon as I saw it that I have to make a build for this case. However, this case is not without flaws. It gets fingerprints and scratches like crazy, and I found cable management in this case to be quite difficult. I will say though that this case's superior beauty overbears its flaws.
Power Supply: I wanted a high wattage PSU just in case I decided to get a second video card; however, five months later, I have yet to get a second video card, so in that respect it was kind of a waste. At least I can say that my PSU has an awesome name: "RM1000" Sounds like some kind of killer robot. Anyways, I think the PSU runs really hot. I contacted Corsair about it and there didn't seem to be any issues, so I just went with it. I haven't had any problems yet.
Operating System: I was able to get Windows 8.1 for free because I am a student. For those of you who are curious, I am studying electrical engineering. I am not a huge fan of Windows 8.1; I like Windows 7 a lot more, but I am making it work.
Monitor: I love this monitor. I wanted a 24" bezel free LED IPS monitor and this one fit the bill. Worth every penny. This monitor would be ideal for double or triple monitor setups.
Case Fans: I chose to go with the corsair fans to match my color scheme. I wanted two 120mm PWM fans to increase air flow through the radiator on the H105 and a 140mm for rear exhaust. I used to the stock fans for the front three intake fans. The 140mm fan is very loud. I am not sure if it is my fan specifically or if it common for this model.
Keyboard: I really like this keyboard. At first I was a bit hesitate because I was unsure if I would fully utilize the custom binding keys. After having this keyboard for a while, I am very happy with my decision.
Mouse: I absolutely love this mouse. If there is one thing about this build that I would say I am most satisfied with, it would be this mouse. I did not try out this mouse before buying it, but I did read some reviews and thought it would be a good buy. It was definitely worth it. I don't like mice with a lot of buttons on them, I also like mice with some weight to them. This mouse is perfect.
Headphones: These headphones were an impulse buy. I bought these headphones close to their initial release before there were a lot of reviews out there. I mainly chose to buy these because of their looks; the LED rings is just so sexy, and the overall look is very well designed. These headphones are very comfortable and I can no problem wear them for hours on end. For the first couple months I had these headphones they seemed to work perfectly. Then I started experiencing problems with SteelSeries Engine 3. For those of you who are not familiar with Engine 3, it is basically the software used to customize and control some of the features on this headset. Then I started experiencing problems with what I believe to be the sound card. These problems were short lived and appear to be fixed, but at the time they were annoying. I have also had a lot of issues with the mic. Other than that, the sound quality is fairly good.
Mouse Mat: I chose this mouse mat because I wanted one that would be long enough to rest my keyboard on. I have a desk that has a glass surface, so the large mouse mat would minimize scratches. I have had no problems with this mat; it is very well designed.
Light Bar Upgrade Kit: Probably not worth the money, but I couldn't pass it up for the looks. The kit is very easy to use and straight forward.
Sleeved Cables: BitFenix makes very high quality sleeved cables. I am very happy with them. I know I could have bought or sleeved my own light blue or aqua cables to match the rest of the build, but I am content with this darker blue.
LED Strips: These are some quality LED strips: very bright, well spaced, perfect length, and the adhesive works great. I have no complaints with these LED strips; BitFenix did an excellent job.
Problems: Cable management was very difficult in this case. I ended up just shoving most of the access cables underneath the hard drive tray. Shortly after completing this build I was getting BSODed a lot. This was before I overclocked, so I thought some of components were faulty. I eventually figured out that in the bios the RAM was set on a different setting than it should be, and that seemed to fix that problem.
Final Thoughts: Well if you made it this far, I thank you for taking the time to read all of my build description. I hope you enjoyed it. I will say that I am very happy the way this build turned out. I really enjoyed this project and I can't wait to do my next. I look forward to reading and replying to your comments.
Thank you for your time.