First let me start with saying that I built this computer using mostly new parts but also used a few components that I had from a previous HTPC build (like the S series i7). I wanted a powerful gaming/vide rendering pc that did not totally break the bank. I am OCD when it comes to color scheme, cable management, and CPU temps so everything had to fit my black/blue color scheme. This will be primarily used for running handbrake as some moderate 1080p gaming. I initially went with an air cooling setup but opted for a closed loop cooler because it looks better and does not cover up any of my memory slots. I had a 212 Evo in a push/pull but it just slightly covered one of the memory slots and came just a little too close to my GPU.
CPU – i7-4790S- I went with the i7-4790S because it was a hold-over from a previous micro atx home theatre build that I had done. It is still a very powerful cpu, just a little slower than the 4790 or 4790K but it is more energy efficient and runs cooler so I am very happy with it. If I was building from scratch I would have gone with the 4790K.
CPU Cooler – Corsair H100i- Originally I was running with a Cooler Master 212 EVO and it performed very well (always does) but it covered one of my RAM slots making it hard for future upgrades. It also came a little too close to my GPU. I decided to go with the H100i because I have had very positive experiences with it in previous builds and Corsair has an outstanding warranty. You can get one for under $100. I was tempted to go with a Kraken X61 but I could not stomach the $139.99 price tag especially when I am not going to be overclocking.
Motherboard – AsRock H97M Pro4- Another hold over from a previous build but it was not worth it to me to upgrade to an ATX board. This is a great budget friendly board, I got if for under $60, and I have not had any issues with it. I did not see any reason to go with a Z97 board because I am not overclocking. It does everything I need it to.
GPU – Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Gaming- What can I say… this thing is a beast. It is the fastest 970 out there right now and it matches my color scheme. I would recommend the MSI card for anyone looking to go with a black/red build because I have had one of those also and it was a great card.
Case – NZXT S340 (Color Edition)- This case is easily one of the best cases available in its price range (got it for $69.99). The build quality is great and the cable management is outstanding. I am a big fan or Corsair cases but when it comes to the more budget friendly lines this case wins hands down. It’s very solid and the simple yet bold design is awesome. Plus, who uses optical drives anymore anyways? I added 2 black/blue fans and it looks great.
SSD – OCZ ARC 100- I have always been a big fan of the Samsung 840 Evo and Crucial MX100 drives and just recently tried the new OCZ ARC 100. I have to say that I was quite impressed at the speed and quality as well as the lower price. I will probably be adding a 1TB (or larger) drive but for now this will do. I usually only concentrate on one game at a time so I am good to go. This SSD also matches my color scheme (was not planned that way but worked out great).
Power Supply – Rosewill Photon 650 Fully Modular- I originally was going to use a Corsair CX600M but decided on the Rosewill because I was able to get it for $69.99 with an additional rebate. I have used the Photon series a few times before and they are very solid; no complaints at all especially for $69.99. It’s unfortunate that some of the cable ends are red but what can you do. Once you go fully modular you don’t go back.
UPDATE: added screenshot showing temps under load. I am very impressed with how cool this thing stays while running handbrake. I had it running for 15 minutes and it never cracked 39 degrees