This is my first 'big' budget build. I only say 'big' because it's not really THAT high end (Z77 Mainstream chipset afterall) but it's my first expensive gaming PC build. It has been through many iterations and upgrades and some of the pictures display lots of different parts throughout the build. Overall this has been about a year in the making and I will perhaps upload some higher quality pictures when I'm finally happy with it 100%. I still would like to upgrade the graphics card (or two) and sleeve the power supply cables.
The Phantom 820 has become one of my favorite cases. Previously I had a Coolermaster HAF 912, which was good for a first PC case but it was nothing like putting a build in the 820. The 820 is so massive. Sometimes I wish I would have gone with a smaller case, and perhaps I will at some point. But I bought the 820 because of it's size and feature set. Eventually it will get a build worthy of it's size with a real cooling loop in it. It will be able to hold at least two if not three huge radiators inside it and not have any fitment issues.
The Switch 810 window panel (now called the Phantom 820 window panel and costs $10 more) fits perfect and really perfects the 820's side. The original panel is awful (in my opinion) so I immediately ordered a replacement panel. The built in NZXT Hue is amazing as well allowing me to change the color of the LEDs to whatever suits my mood. Although I wish it had the full capability of the separate Hue, I can live with not having to use a string of LEDs and sticky tape to light up the case.
The one thing I wish the 820 had (that NZXT included with the Phantom 830) is the SSD mounts on the rear motherboard panel. It's not a huge deal as velcro works just as well, but I would have loved to bolt in the SSD permanently. The other thing I wish NZXT would work on is the 3.5 hard drive mounts. They're pretty bad. But they do the job so it's not that big a deal and eventually this will only have SSDs installed in it with the watercooling loop as all my important data will be stored in my media server (which I'm building right now so stay tuned for details of that as well).
Let's see, the rest of the parts... H100 works as it should. Have four Corsair SP120 High Performance fans mounted on it. They're okay. They are loud when you really crank them up though. I might replace them with something quieter. Haven't decided yet. It will have to be when I get around to messing with overclocking the 3770k for me to decide that. Speaking of, I got a GREAT deal on the 3770K last winter due to the Intel Retail Edge program. I am not a part of it but I have a friend who works at Microcenter and he hooked me up with one for $120 after shipping. I could not pass that up. So, always try to make friends at your local retailers around this time and see if they will hook you up! Best Buy I believe has access to IRE as well.
I debated going with the ASRock Extreme6 vs. the MSI MPower Big Bang. I liked the looks of the MPower better (no ugly brown PCB) but the Extreme6 had two more SATA III ports in it. Now that I look back on it I probably should have gone with the MPower as having four SATA III ports isn't all that necessary. Oh well, no regrets. I have not had one single issue out of the Extreme6. I know sometimes ASRock gets a bad knock due to some of their cheaper motherboards, but this one is one I would definitely recommend (even though 1155 has met it's end!)
As for the memory, the best looking memory in the industry today belongs to Corsair, hands down. I love the Dominator Platinum, but the Vengeance Pro series are pretty good looking as well. I jumped at the chance to buy this kit from a friend of mine who decided not to upgrade his current right and instead used the money to follow other hobbies. So I jumped at the opportunity to purchase the memory kit from him for less than half of what he paid for it.
I went with a sound card and the ATH-AD700s because I've heard this combination was one of the best combinations for FPS soundwhoring available. I have been highly highly impressed with both of them. The sound card has been flawless (no driver issues or anything like that) and the headphones are the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn. You can wear them for hours upon hours on end and not feel them on your head at all. They are open ear headphones so you can hear things around you easier. In my experience though, these aren't the best choice for LAN events as it tends to get pretty loud.
I have been less than impressed with the Logitech G700s. No issues with it being wireless or anything like that, but it does have an annoying double click issue where the left and right mouse button impede each other when pressed at the same time. Really annoying when trying to pre-fire around a corner in BF3/4 or CoD as you won't be able to aim down sight. I am looking to replace this with something else. The grip and the shape as well as the number of buttons are perfect, however.
The Ducky keyboard is perfect. I missed having a full size keyboard (recently just upgraded from a CM Storm Quickfire Rapid) and the LEDs are super bright. Blue switches are my favorite, even if they are a bit loud. I will try a Cherry Red switch with my next mechanical keyboard though. If you haven't tried a mechanical keyboard, do it. They are so worth it.
Not really much else to say. Comment or message me if you have any questions about any of the parts I used.