This is my first build, and replacing a laptop which has a graphics card that sounds like a jet engine taking off at times. Since it is in an office at home that I share with my wife, one of the most important requirements was that it was quiet.
I do some gaming and wanted to make sure I could be happy with it for quite a while, but I wasn't really into overclocking everything. I work in software, so wanted the possibility of running a virtual machine on it if necessary. I am in Ireland, prices are in Euro. I found the experience like learning several languages at the same time, and the temptation to get something slightly better for each component was great, but I think I found a good balance.
Core I7-4790 Processor I wanted the i7-4790, and would have gone for the 4790K, but it was €45 more and I couldn't justify it.
NZXT Kraken X41 Cooler I think I was just taken with the idea of liquid cooling as a concept. I originally wanted to have the radiator at the front, and retain the bottom drive bays, hence the X41 instead of the Corsair Hi00i or similar, and the Kraken tubes are 400mm long, which is more than the Corsair ones. When I put in in place though, the tubes were pushing a bit on the Graphics card, so I switched it to exhaust through the back. Took me ages to figure out which way the fan blows, as it doesn't say anywhere (it blows towards the logo side). I switched the second Fractal Design fan to the front as well.
Fractal Design Define R5 This seemed to be the best of the quality quiet cases. I liked the features of the cases, and wanted to make sure I didn't need to open the Moduvents at the top, as that would increase the noise. Lots of cable management possibilities. I had to put the SSD in the drive bay rather than at the back where it is supposed to go, because the SATA cable connections were at right angles and wouldn't fit .
Storage I wanted to ensure that I had enough space on the SSD to have the OS and room to spare. Very happy with bootup times.
Noise The DVD drive is very noisy when it runs, but I won't use it much. Overall the ambient level in the room is about 40Db, and with the computer on it is about 42Db.
Issues* I had two issues with the build (three is you count the time taken to figure out the NZXT fan direction). I plugged it all in using an old VGA monitor I had, and nothing appeared on the screen. EEEK! Until I figured I had to plug the monitor into the Graphics card instead of the motherboard; then straight into the BIOS. The second issue was a rattle that appeared to come from the radiator, which would have been a disaster. The cooler is plugged into the CPU_FAN header, and in the BIOS is set to run at a low RPM until it gets hot; but it is also controlled by the NZXT CAM software, which runs it at 25% until it gets hot. The combination of the two meant it wasn't getting enough voltage, hence the rattle. Setting it to 100% in the BIOS, and then controlling it all from the CAM software eliminated the rattle.
I managed to get the GPU temperature up to 65 degrees on the Valley benchmark, but not higher than that, so very happy. Idle CPU temperature is about 21 degrees, with idel GPU about 31 degrees.