It took a LONG time to get the funds for this rig, my first build, but I have to say it was totally worth it. I mainly use this for high setting gaming and video editing, and the simpler mundane tasks like web browsing and email, but eventually I might use this build for some content creation. I built this with the help of two friends, and yet it took 6 hours of putting in the hardware, mainly because 1 hour was wasted as we put the IO shield in wrong (first build, bear with me), and I spent another hour sitting there doing cable management while my friends waited. Admittedly, even for all that time the cable management is still not that good lol.
As for the parts breakdown, it goes like this:
-The 4770k is wonderful. For only $20 more than the 3770k, it's great for intensive programs. Yes, yes, I've heard it's not that big a jump from the 3rd gen as Intel would like people to think, but if you're going to build a new high end rig, I'd suggest just going for a 4th gen over the third, mainly for the power saving features of Haswell, and also because it will take even longer for it to become outdated.
-The CPU fan is a great buy, and I got it on sale for the same price as the plain Hyper 212, and I have to say, the cooling is great, but do note that if you have a motherboard with high heatsink, you can't put it in a vertical position, or at least it's so with the Asus Maximus VI Hero, and I assume the rest of the Maximus series. Other than that, it's great, especially as how it comes with extra brackets to mount a second fan. Again, be wary of space. Oh, one annoying thing though is that Cooler Master, in their infinite wisdom, decided to put little rubber stickers over the screw holding the fan in place, making it really annoying to remove the fan, which I had to do as the way it came it would conflict with my RAM or blow in the wrong direction.
-The Hero is a great motherboard, though I don't like the retail price of $270, which was the highest I saw it at. I luckily it got on the 4th of July with a processor bundle savings, which saved me $80! The board does have some great features, but mostly just fancy bells and whistles that don't matter too much. The really functional feature of the board is that it has buttons on it for power, reset, and BIOS, so people who want to do test boots outside the case (like me) will find it very helpful. Then again, turning on a motherboard can also be accomplished with a screwdriver. :P
-As for the RAM, in my opinion, Corsair is the only way to go, unless you really need to save money. The Vengeance series is awesome, though the high heatsinks WILL interfere with your cooler, unless you have an ungodly small cooler and/or large motherboard. As for why 32gb? I need as much RAM as I can get for video editing with After Effects, as the RAM preview makes it SO much easier to edit. I also plan to do a RAMDisk in the future.
-As for storage, the SSD is for Windows and main programs, and I prefer to only get Sandisk and Samsung, as I trust them the most. But SSD is a fairly new technology so I guess it's all on preference. And I got the Barracuda's over the WDs because I like Seagate more, and they were on sale. :)
-The XFX 7950, well, it's a 7950 so it can handle a wide range of games on high/ultra settings, but be wary. Unless you're watercooling or getting an aftermarket VGA cooler, don't get this, as the one fan is the equivalent of reference card cooling. I only got it because of the price. $260 for a 7950? Hell yeah! But it does get up to around 65 C under full load, so be careful. Should it die of heat, I will probably collect on the warranty and use another $60 or so to get a Gigabyte card.
-THE CASE IS AWESOME! It's a beautiful, well built case with thumb screw for everything! The only thing I didn't like about this case was that it was very hard to mount the bottom fan (I didn't get the screws all the way in, I left them as is and used the dust filter to hold it up), and that the auto-locking 5.25 in bays won't work unless it's a full length item. IE it has to be as long as a disc drive. I'll explain in the part that this pertains to with a *.
-Bitfenix. Nuff said. Also they were $15, which was nice. Note that the parts list says they're blue, but I got the red ones, sadly PCPartPicker doesn't differentiate. :(
-The power supply was also another great save. I believe it's normally around $240, have to check, but I got it on sale for $180, and also it's Haswell ready. It was a lifesaver as I got it before Haswell was released, and I was freaking out on what I would have to do if it wasn't Haswell ready as I was over the 30-day return limit. Luckily all Corsair HX series are Haswell ready. Also, it's semi-modular, (I thought it was fully modular, and this bummed me out as I sleeved two PCI-E cables before I noticed this...) but it is set up with the 24 pin, CPU, and 2 PCI-E cables setup, so if you have a higher end graphics card that needs two 6 pins, you wont have any unused cables lying around.
-The disc drive is standard fare, only noteworthy thing its that it was Blu-Ray for $70.
-The Win 7 pro is only $50 because my friend had a spare lying around that I got off him. Don't worry, no illicit black market deals going on here.
-The mouse, mouse pad and keyboard I got because I really like Razer, and it would give a sense of uniformity. I love how the Anansi can change colors, and it has 12 macros, which is nice. Sadly the Death Adder doesn't change colors, but it's still a great mouse. And the Vespula I got because it has two sides, the control, which I use more often, and the speed, which I have to get used to. Also it has a wrist rest, and the rest coupled with a large mouse like the Deathadder equals extra comfy.
-*Here's the part that pertains to the 5.25 in bay issue. The Bitfenix Recon is a fan controller, a good one at that, sadly it's very, very short, so it didn't push down the pin to move the lever locking system into place. One side has a locking system, the other side of the case has holes for screw. I got around this by taping down the lever with duct tape, and putting in the screws on the other side. I'm just hoping that the tape doesn't fall off. But the fan controller is great, as it comes with 5 thermal probes, each linked to a respective fan. IE probe 1 linked to fan 1. It works by you setting a warning temp for the probe, and when it hits that temp, it beeps, and ramps up the fan. It's really good, so long as you get the probe in a good spot for an accurate reading.
-Finally, the sound card. For some odd reason, PCPartPicker has the Soundblaster Z and the ZXR, but not the ZX, which is why I have it as a custom part. The ZX is really just the same card as the Z, but with a module for plugging in headphones and mics and it has a built in mic, so I got the ZX instead.
All in all, it was a very fun experience for building a computer for the first time, and this new rig is leagues ahead of my old HP laptop, allowing me to play all those steam games on higher settings finally. Thanks for reading, and post any suggestions!
Also, sorry for the poor quality of the pics with the PC on, as I noticed the graphics card power wasn't plugged in I wasn't sure if I messed up anything so I rushed.
EDIT: Now overclocked to 4.2, same voltage at 1.2, but the stress tests are getting some crazy heat. OCCT got it 85 C in 5 mins, and literally the second IBT turned on my temps on HWMonitor rocketed from 32 C to 95+ C. But since none of my games get it nowhere near that I'll leave it 4.2. If it ever crashes I can always go back down, I hope.