This is my first real build. My last computer was a custom computer, but I gave a friend a budget with some guidelines and got a computer in return. After having to replace the hard drive, CPU cooler, and power supply in that rig, I decided that I would have my hands in all phases of my next computer. Building this computer was incredibly fun and it really went together very smoothly. All parts went together just as intended without a single major hiccup (really, trying to use the "tool-less" mounts for the Cougar fans was the most difficult part). Everything booted up perfectly on the first try without any blue screens. I mainly built this for gaming, but its purpose is really to crush anything I put in its path, and it does! My last computer was built about 5 years ago (it was still handling things fairly okay, but was definitely time for an upgrade), and I plan for this build to last for about that long if not longer. I am not a person who builds a new rig every year or every time a new major game comes out. I will briefly describe why I chose each part below:
CPU: To be honest, I never considered anything other than an i7 and overclocking was a given. I originally overclocked it to 4.6ghz, but backed it back down to 4.5ghz. It stays nice and cool idling at 19-20°C and the highest I have seen it at so far is around 40°C. Perhaps it does get into the 50's and 60's, but I haven't seen it yet.
CPU Cooler: I originally wanted a Phanteks 140mm cooler, but after reading some reviews about their weight I decided to go with the 120mm. Unfortunately, when I went to order the black and white 120mm, no one had them in stock. I did some quick research and found the NZXT Havik 140. Not only is it a great looking cooler, but it also had great reviews. Ordered it and have to say I am very satisfied.
Motherboard: To be honest, I was talked into this mobo by a friend. It really is a great mobo with excellent bios. Overclocking could not be made any easier. It set the color scheme for the build (blue, black and white) which I tried to stick with when purchasing other components. The sound card that is built into this mobo is fantastic.
RAM: I am a long time fan of Kingston, this was a given for me. I love the Kingston hyper X blu series. Great RAM, great price, matched my color scheme, easy decision.
Storage: Going SSD was an easy decision for me, as stated above, I am yet to be let down by Kingston. I originally had Kingston's 120g HyperX SSD picked out for the build, but Newegg threw the 240g V300 series on sale for only $30 more than the 120g HyperX. Twice the strorage? Yes please. It did sort of break my color scheme, but it can't be seen through the window of the case. My storage was either between WD Caviar Black, and a Seagate Barracuda. Barracuda was cheaper at the time.
Video Card: Uh oh, another brand loyal desicion...I love Asus products. I own many, and have yet to be let down. BUT, I honestly did do a ton of research for this piece and still came down with Asus. It is not only a great looking card, but performs better than it looks! Question 1: But it has red on it, I thought you wanted to accent in blue? True, but the red accents on the card are not visible when mounted. Question 2: Why 4gb? Don't you know that a 2gb card would have not only been cheaper but also provide plenty of power for any game at 1080p you could be playing? Yes, I am fully aware. The main reason I ended up with the 4gb version is very simple, at the time that I bought the card, it was only $25 more than the 2gb version. And, as it says above, I don't plan on building another rig for about 5 years and it keeps the option to SLI another card or 4k gaming in the future open. I am yet to overclock this card from lack of need to.
Case: My goodness, I am not sure why anyone would chose any case but this one (I say jokingly of course, everyone has their preferences). But seriously, I could not be happier with this case. I have a total of 10 fans running in this thing and it is as silent as it is beautiful. Stays cool, quiet, great looking, and excellent for cable management.
Case Fans: Mainly chose these for aesthetics to be honest. Reviews were good and they matched. Now that I own them I can say that they are excellent fans and I would highly recommend them to anyone.
Power Supply: I am convinced that Corsair make the best power supplies on the market (just my opinion of course). I really did not want to go below 750w (yes, I could have gotten away with less wattage, but I would always rather have too much then not enough in this department) and I wanted it to make my color scheme, thus the HX750 was perfect for the build.
Optical Drive: $16.99 and does what it is supposed to do. I have a LG blue-ray drive from my previous rig. If I ever need more, I will simply switch them out.
OS: I love windows 7, easy decision for me.
I used my existing peripherals: Asus 24" widescreen 1080p monitor, Logitec Z4 speakers, Logtiech G15 keyboard, Razr Naga gaming mouse, and Razr headset.
**I apologize for any typos that may exist here, I will correct them as I find them.