My current PC is finally finished! After not one but THREE returns on busted parts from scumbag sellers (well one of them was amazon :P ) and a couple weeks of waiting it's up and running again.
This build started off as an "upgrade" of my old ghetto gaming PC that really was a new computer while reusing all the parts marked as $0.00 on the list there. Although I originally had my old CX600 delivering power to the build, I grew unhappy with all the green in a red and black themed build.. And it was not super quiet as the rest of the build is. It was a budget PSU that did its job so I had no complaints other than nitpicky ones. A friend of mine bought my old computer to ascend to the master race without the busted GPU that's in RMA right now and the CX600 had a new home.
So, I tried picking up an AX760 used online. Normally used PSUs are ultra sketchy but the AX series ones are rock solid so I figured even if the guy ran it hard for 3 years it would be totally OK. Turns out the scumbag sent me a PSU with no modular cables even though he pictured them and said everything was included. He told me to just ask Corsair for some new ones, but Corsair's warranty policy wouldn't allow that as only the original owner can request RMA from what they told me. Why sell a PSU with a 7 year warranty if it's not transferrable? And why request proof of purchase if the unit hasn't even been on the market for the duration of the warranty? (/rant) I tried picking up some cables on Amazon, but Amazon forgot the 24 pin cable I ordered, so I had to return that and open a case with the guy selling the AX760. I included some pics with the AX760 installed to give you an idea of what I was shooting for. Yes, it would have been ultra-overkill, but since it was priced at $60 I figured it was worth taking a chance on such a high end unit.
I ended up deciding to purchase a Seasonic M12ii 520W modular power supply since Seasonic is equally legendary. The all black cables and sleek design helped me decide too!
Total budget was about $700 and the returns and whatnot sent me over. I'm very happy with this build as my previous ones don't have a history of being very color coordinated. I'm actually proud of how this one looks!!
(Not in the parts list are 2 Logisys Sunlight Sticks I found in my basement. Probably bought them for a previous build somewhere along the line and forgot them...? Only logisys part I'd ever stick in my PC, to be honest, and they are bright but not overpowering at all as the photos might suggest)
This thing does everything I need. It absolutely kills GTA V at near max and Kerbal Space Program (KSP likes intel CPUs more because single threaded performance is everything in this game) and everything else better than my old AMD build. Understandable given that it's 2 years newer and $100 more than that build while reusing some non-key parts but I'm much happier now that I didn't have to skimp on the budget.
My feedback on the parts:
CPU: Solid and does what it should but it's a bit of an overclocking dud. 4.5Ghz is all I can get without sending temps and voltages way up. I guess Haswell @4.4 is really fast regardless.
H100i: It takes a lot to keep haswell cool even though it doesn't really heat up the coolant much. I know what I'm doing as far as thermal compound goes and I've re-applied several times. Removal of the water block suggests good thermal goop spread so I guess my chip may have heat transfer issues.
Motherboard: Obvious choice given the price I found on Amazon. Probably not good for super crazy overclocking but a Z97 board for $60 is awesome. BIOS is usable so that's all I need!
RAM: Re-used and rock solid. Ugly green but I covered that up with some $10 heat spreaders from newegg. Looks good now!
HDD: It's a hard drive :/
GPU: Very fast and quite cool! It's a great overclocker as well. I have it at 1500Mhz max boost or so which kills everything at 1080p. Scored a 2725 on extreme HD 8xAA in Unigine Valley for what that's worth I beleive. Wanna say it was up there with OC'd 780's and stock 780 Tis? Backplate looks awesome too along with the rest of the card since it's all metal. Would recommend, as long as a scumbag seller doesn't send you a broken one as mine did the first time around.
Case: I wanted to make this PC smaller than the beast that was the last one of mine. I wanted a mATX case and since I'm a bit of a Corsair fanboy I figured I couldn't go wrong here. It's surprisingly easy to make things neat in this little case. It's not very small for mATX but it doesn't look stupid on my desk like the 550D does/did. Good airflow and plenty of room for cable management too. I think the pics prove this, as I spent a lot of time making this build look clean. Not as much as I expected to, though, as I had an easy time routing everything.
PSU: It does what it's supposed to from one of the best brands out there. Full modular, all black cables, what more can be said?
Fans: Accidentally bought the non-PWM ones but I just leave 'em at 750 RPM through Corsair link and they do awesome. All 5 are hooked up to the H100i block (2 on a splitter) even though the cables up there are surprisingly clean. Thank you twist-ties!
Cable extensions: Look at the pics! They look sharp!
Just a sidenote, since I have the white fan rings and the cables are all black without the extensions, I have the capability to turn this PC into a black and white themed build that's pretty near a "blackout" design. If I get around to doing that I'll post pics. What more can you ask for with a PC that can change color schemes without buying new parts?
Again, I'm really happy with this build and it was worth the troubles. Any questions on parts or if you want more pics than I'll be uploading here I can do my best. Might take a minute or two before I get all the pics cropped and uploaded. Pictures containing the CX600 or AX760 are, again, just to show you what it looked like at first and then what I wanted it to look like. The M12ii 520 is of course the final choice.
EDIT: Pictures turned out about 50% more like they were taken with a potato hooked up to a toaster than expected. My droid turbo isn't perfect I guess :(
TL;DR: There's a reason that i5 + GTX 970 is so popular. Very happy with performance and thermals and aesthetics.