I originally built this rig to multibox 10 WoW accounts. I play on a 1.12 private server. This build was a complete overkill, but I won't have to upgrade it for some time. I get 60+ fps on all accounts at max settings. I haven't really tried any other games. I have installed a bunch (Skyrim, GTA IV, GTA San Andreas, Sim City 4) but haven't really played them. I have left the rig stock for now. I plan on overclocking the CPU and GPU at a later time. I am getting some slight video stutter. I'm not sure if it's a driver or setting issue. I know it's a new card and AMD drivers are terrible at first.
My budget was $1200-1500, and I went completely overboard. I was intending to use an older power supply, it had the wattage, but not enough outputs. I bought 2 additional Hard drives, and a second monitor. I also bought a more expensive "FX" motherboard so I can utilize 2x/16 PCI-E pipelines in crossfire if I ever decide to go that route. I also didn't expect to pay so much for a video card. But the new generation came out, so I got it. The parts list shows Gigabyte brand, but I got an MSI from amazon via tigerdirect. Same thing though, both have stock coolers.
Other thoughts: I didn't really need the wireless adapter as I used cat-5, but it keeps my options open in case I'm in a pinch.
Seasonic has been a great vendor. They shipped me some flat SATA connectors for free. They only give you 90 degree connectors with the PSU. If you install an SSD on the backside of this case, you must get a flat SATA power connector. I think I will buy some custom braided cables, because I don't like the way the 24 pin connector pulls on the motherboard connector. It's a pretty stiff cable. Same with the USB 3.0 cable that comes with the Fractal case.
The Fractal Case is terrific and highly recommended. Build quality is great, and it doesn't look like a spaceship. I wish it was slightly deeper on the backside for cable management, but I made it work. I did buy two additional fans for it. I bought a 140mm for the front, and another for the top exhaust. It has plenty of room for large video cards.
I got 2 SSDs, one for Windows and all the bloating that will build up, and one for games and other programs I want to load fast. I think SSDs are overrated personally. Yes, it loads faster, but it's not mindblowing as some have made it seem. If you are on a budget, I would just get a 7200RPM mechanical HD.
Arctic Silver has very specific instructions for thermal paste application. Use their instructions. http://www.arcticsilver.com/amd_application_method.html#
The motherboard doesn't recognize the 1866 RAM right away, you have to go into the BIOS and change a setting. This RAM is on the approved vendor list(AVL) for the motherboard. ASUS is constantly updating their AVL on their website. The BIOS settings are very customizable in the interface.
The CPU cooler took a little head scratching to setup correctly. The instructions are terrible, I ended up watching Youtube to figure it out. Also, I wish it came with an additional fan to setup a push/pull configuration.
I have a gripe about the keyboard. Maybe I'm used to my old one, but I keep accidentally hitting the capslock button with my left pinky. I am getting better at avoiding it, but it has been annoying thus far. It's also loud. It's not a true mechanical keyboard as I thought.
Prices reflect the base price that I paid at the time of purchase. They do not include any tax/shipping or rebates.