This rig is mainly going to be used for gaming, photo/video editing, and some streaming.
Building my own PC hadn't really even crossed my mind as I haven't had a desktop since the 90's. In the beginning of the year I wanted an Ultrabook that could do some gaming, everyone kept talking about how integrated graphics were making major leaps. It wasn't until I did research that I realized that the leaps just weren't big enough. So I moved on to gaming Laptops. I saw that I could get a pretty good level of gaming for the same price as Ultrabook, I'd just lose out on the portability side. Then my brother-in law pointed out that if I was going to lose portability I may as well go for a desktop PC. I'd get more power for a lot less and since I was willing to spend $3000 on a laptop I could build a pretty sick desktop.
The build went better than expected. That hardest part was cable management, which I kind of just gave up on. Not planning on a color scheme was kind of a rookie move. Luckily the RAM & case fan LED's I ordered just happened to be blue. I went back and looked at Blue/black MoBo's and think that the Hero was worth it, even if it didn't match.
The case is my favorite part. It's pretty damn sexy. The only draw back with it is that the side panels are a bit too dark. I originally ordered an NZXT Phantom but for some reason Amazon couldn't get me one for 3 weeks, so I returned it and stumbled on this one. Overall I'm glad I didn't go with the phantom.
The Sapphire Vapor-X's are pretty amazing. I heard that the 290's run really hot so I wanted the one that was essentially the coolest. I had it narrowed down to the Gigabyte Windforce, Sapphire Tri-X and the Vapor-X. The Gigabyte was $60 cheaper but it had horrible reviews and I didn't like the Yellow on the Tri-X's. Overall I'm glad I went with the Vapor-Xs they're incredibly well made and are pretty damn quiet...when Idling. I also got 6 free digital games through steam with the cards which is a major plus.
There are 2 issues I was hoping someone could help out with.
1) The spacing between the 2 GPU's is about an Inch and I don't know if that is normal? So far they've been running pretty cool but the top one heats up pretty damn fast.
I have another PCI express slot that is lower, but its a PCIEx4 rather than the PCIEx8 that the 2nd card is already in. Does the speed of the PCIE slot make a difference with crossfire?
2) Something happened to my 1 TB HDD. It was recognized when I initially installed windows but as soon as the install finished it wasn't being recognized by windows or my Bios. I checked the Power cable and it works fine. I have my CPU pump and the Case LEDs plugged in the same cable and they work fine.
Did the HDD just fail or did I overlook some setting?
Lastly I know people are going to criticize my single 1080p monitor and going with an i7. I'm waiting on a 1440p monitor. 4K was just way more than I wanted to spend on a screen. I just got married and my wallet took a huge hit, only reason I built this is because of got permission from my wife :(. As for the i7, I had a $100 Amazon gift card, so it cost as much as an i5.
Oh and could someone recommend some decent speakers?