There are two main objectives with this build. First, albeit not an enthusiast gamer, I do frequently play Microsoft Flight Simulator X. The FSX is a CPU-intensive, old game, and so requires good single-thread performance. Second, since I want to build a computer that stays, longevity and reliability are of high priorities for the parts that go into this build.
CPU: The 4GHz i7-4790K is a no-brainer (I started this build before Skylake).
Motherboard: The ASUS TUF series was a perfect match for my longevity theme as it boasts high-durability with a generous five-year warranty.
Storage: I chose Samsung 850 Pro because it is the best SATA SSD out there and offers a whopping ten-year warranty.
Video Card: I chose NVIDIA GTX 970 because it has a competent and good-looking cooler, and because I trust the build quality and reliability of reference cards. It is fast enough for my purposes.
Case: I chose Corsair Vengeance C70 not only for its military theme that matches my durability theme, but also because of the handles. As a person who often moves his computers around, those handles certainly come in handy.
As the shopping continued, it soon became clear that Corsair will be another theme in this build.
Memory: I chose the Corsair Vengeance memory to match the case, since they are both colored "military green". I just had to. Who knew they turned out to be totally different shades of green :(
Cooling: I like to use the same provider for case, case fans and power supply, so they will all be Corsair. The front intake fans are very close to the hard drive cage so I used SP120 fans (as oppose to AF120) with green LEDs. The bottom intake is an AF140. The rear exhaust is an AF120. I used white frames on both AFs. The H100i GTX has stock fans on them as their grey color pairs surprisingly well with the grey armor on the Sabertooth. If I did the math right, the five-fan setup should result in a slight positive pressure, which helps keeping dust out.
PSU: The RM power supply is an unfortunate compromise. It is nevertheless a great unit, but an AXi would be able to take advantage of Corsair Link's monitoring and control capabilities. However, the position of the modular connectors on the AXi means that power cables would block the bottom fan, something I am not willing to give up.
FSX does not benefit from dedicated gaming mice or gaming keyboards. But for the sake of consistency, I got a trio of Corsair peripherals from a local Best Buy.
The highlight of this build, though, is that 21:9 monitor. Not because of its price tag (although it was indeed several months before I could make up my mind to spend $700+ on a monitor), but by how much it changes the FSX experience. Any game where field of view is important can benefit greatly from an ultrawide. I used to NVIDIA Surround three 22" Dells side-by-side, which worked and offered even wider view than a 21:9, but the experience was just not good enough. Surround often disables itself and I need to frequently re-enable it. The desktop looks weird. The behavior of simple commands like maximize an application window becomes unpredictable. With one single 21:9 monitor, all of those issues, and the annoying edges, are gone.
A 34" might be a little too large for typical desktop use, which is probably also why they are often curved. If I could choose again I will probably go with a 29", but that is just my personal use case. A 29" 21:9 has about the same height as a 23" 16:9, so it should be a very easy transition. Going from a 16:9 23" to a 34" 21:9, at the same viewing distance, sure takes a little bit of getting used to.
The Corsair Link RGB LED Lighting Kit is a cool accessory. There is only one issue, though. The included extension cables needs to be at least 6" longer for it to be useful, otherwise the location of LED strips and that of whatever you use to drive them (Corsair Commander Mini or Corsair Link Lighting Node) could be significantly limited.