I started getting the upgrade itch last summer, so I've done some upgrades to the rig in my original completed build (http://pcpartpicker.com/b/yBt6Mp). The main upgrades have been case, GPU, PSU, and SSD. These were mostly bought on targets of opportunity, the exception being the SSD which was a holiday gift.
Prices reflect what I paid at the time. The CPU, cooler, mobo, RAM, HDD, OS were purchased in 2013. Items marked as free were gifts.
I had my eye on the Define R4 for a while, and I found a lightly used one on craigslist. It's a nice upgrade from my HAF 912 in both aesthetics and performance. Shout out to Fractal Design customer service, they shipped me a replacement accessory kit for free even though I wasn't the original owner of the case.
I also bought a few new games, so I grabbed a GTX 960 open box at microcenter last summer. Much quieter than the 7770 I replaced. The 960 has been great so far in the games I play. The market has changed a little since I got the card, but I still think it was a good buy at $140.
The fan in my VP-450 had started getting noisy, so I began casually looking for a replacement. I didn't have any other issues with the VP-450, so I can only assume fan lifespan is the main reason for the 2 year warranty. I was able to step up to a Seasonic G unit, the Fractal Design Edison M 450, for only a few dollars more than I paid for the VP-450. This unit has more amps on the 12V rail, semi-modularity, better efficiency, and less noise.
Getting an SSD was on my mind from day one. The computer does boot faster, but I think the best part of it for me is the quiet. Not having to hear Windows 8 run my HDD at 100% for maintenance every time I step away from my computer has changed my life.
Overall very pleased with my upgrades. Next thing will probably be going Intel, but I think I can hold out a little longer.
To address the elephant in the pictures- I bought the red SATA cable because it was cheaper, and my previous PSU didn't have all black cables. I will probably replace it at some point, but for now, enjoy the splash of color.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you found it helpful in some way.
In terms of price-to-performance, the MX200 loses out to the BX100 and the Samsung 850. However, the MX200 has better components than the less expensive models. If endurance is important to you, the MX200 is something to consider. If raw performance and value is more important, I would consider other options, especially the two mentioned here.
Excellent case with a lot of nice features. One nitpick I have about the R4 is the front fan grille and dust filter. They are both subject to vibration due to the plastic housing that isn't that well secured.
The Edison M series is a Seasonic rebrand, so it's probably the best line of PSUs Fractal has. Hard to recommend at retail price given the competition (especially EVGA), but this particular unit is a little bit unique since most good quality lineups start at 500W+.
Quiet fan that doesn't push a whole lot of air. Still keeps the temps in my Define R4 reasonable. If you would be running this at higher RPMs, you're better off with a higher performance model. If you're using the fan controller @ 5V or using the motherboard control in "Quiet" mode, this will get the job done.