12/10/15 UPDATE: I've now replaced the 980 with 2 Gigabyte Gaming 980ti's in SLI. I've added the Acer Predator 1440p 144hz monitor w/ Gsync to match this upgrade. I've also added in a 1TB SSD with a 5TB WD Black HDD on the way. I've replaced the Hyper 212 EVO with a Corsair H105 to support the new CPU overclock of 4.4ghz.
Overall everything is working great. I've upgraded to Windows 10 and games are running pretty smooth. Adding the 2nd card for SLI has definitely increased temps and made the fans blow louder than I'm used to, but after replacing all case fans with some Corsair SP and AF silent fans, its not the worst thing in the world.
This was my first custom-built PC I've ever done. I wanted something primarily (90% of its use) for gaming. Please note that some of the prices aren't necessarily 100% accurate. My parents bought my GTX 980 for my birthday and Christmas present for example (1 day apart), so I don't actually know how much it cost but I do know they were on sale the week they got it.
I had originally started out with a SeaGate 4TB Hybrid Drive but it was DOA. In a pinch I grabbed the WD Caviar Blue from Best Buy which explains the high price, and I ordered a SSD to pair with it.
After a few weeks of messing around with this rig, I've become very happy with the performance. With 5 case fans, 2 mobo fans, 2 gpu fans and the cpu cooler, this thing stays nice and cool. CPU temps are around 24c while browsing internet or Steam and only go up to 40-50c while gaming. GPU temp also idles at 24c and will stay around 51-54c under Far Cry 4's ultra settings load while I'm running the fans on it.
I've overclocked the CPU to 4.0Ghz and will probably jump to 4.4Ghz since its performed well in all stability tests. My one complaint is that the built-in fan controller on the case disappointed. The front fans stay controlled, but the other 2 fans that were hooked to the controller stopped working one day. I tested all the connections and it turns out 2 of the wires from the fan controller were fried. The fans are now plugged into the mobo which isn't that big of a deal, just disappointing.
Great bang for your buck if you want to do PC gaming. Seems to handle everything thrown in its way, although I haven't attempted a lot of demanding programs at the same time yet.
The stock fans are a little loud for my liking but the cooler definitely does its job. Build quality feels very nice and installation was simple. Replacing the fans was also very easy.
Worked as intended, no issues, went on my processor perfectly.
Can't speak for other brands of RAM but it seems to do its job just fine. Its got a sturdy outer casing that feels very premium.
Very fast indeed. Just re-installed my OS and a few games onto this baby and it beats any HDD by a long shot. Easy to install and offers plenty of storage for my OS and a few demanding games.
Its definitely not the top performing SSD, but its a hell of a lot faster than a regular 7200 RPM HDD. Solid performance and the Black Friday price was unbeatable at $200.
I grabbed this in a pinch after my 4TB SeaGate Hybrid drive was DOA. Surprisingly fast considering its just an HDD. Looks to be a good pairing with my SSD.
I received this HDD as a birthday present. 5 TB of storage, what more could you want? Hard drive seems to have that excellent performance that WD is known for and with the Black series there is a 5 year warranty so I feel very great about adding it to my rig.
Absolutely stellar version of a stellar card. Temperatures with the single card were phenomenal for air blowing (never even went into the 60's) and even the bottom card stays as cool in SLI. GPU has a 3 fan cooler so the noise level can rise when the fans are really working, especially with 2 of them. Overclock is very stable and the card looks great with the multiple color LED Windforce logo and the backplate.
I was leaning towards this or HAF-X and man am I glad I chose the Stryker. The quality of the case is worth 5 stars alone. The handle up top was very useful while building and there's a nice protrusion on the backside to help with cable management. It came with 4 fans already installed, I added a 5th on bottom and use the built-in fan controller for all but the back fan. There was plenty of room to move around inside even while all the parts were installed, and the 3 dust trays are a nice feature!
Having never built a PC before, I only heard about how much of a pain non-full modular PSUs can be. The PSU was again very well built and aesthetically pleasing. I really liked the color scheme even if it doesn't match my case. Snapping cables in was a breeze and it seems to run very cool.
It may not be a 5-star drive with all the bells and whistles, but its a simple, inexpensive drive that does its job. Seems to run fast and was simple to install.
7 is a good OS, but let's be honest. New copies of 7 are only being used to upgrade to Windows 10 later this year. It might explain why its still so expensive, I only managed to get it for this price because I only bought the key and used a friend's disc to install.
I'm completely blown away by this monitor. The sharpness, color and intensity are ridiculous. Pulling it out of the box, I could tell the build quality was really solid. The jump to 144hz was insane, definitely wasn't expecting an experience like this. Definitely will pick up a second one to go with it.
There's a reason this monitor is winding up on everyone's Best Gaming Monitor list. 144hz, 1440p, IPS, 4 ms response time, and GSYNC. Gsync is incredible and SLI 980ti is perfect for the 1440p 144hz configuration. I went from a 1ms response time to this 4ms and I haven't noticed the difference. Quality of the IPS panel is amazing but it is also my first IPS that I've owned.
For a good year or 2 this keyboard used to show up on Gizmodo's User Poll for Best Mechanical Keyboard in the top spots. After newer models of other brands came out it sits at the honorable mention slots for most sites, but it is still a 5-star keyboard. The red backlight is phenomenal, especially with the options to only light up select gaming keys (WASD, 1-4). The volume wheel is really nice as well, and the option to lock the Windows key has saved me numerous times already. Its super easy to clean like most mechanical keyboards and has a USB slot built in for easy headset or controller attachment.
This was the mouse of my dreams. It feels like its made out of freakin' kevlar. I honestly don't mess around with the DPI controls too much but I could see its usefulness for sniper-heavy games. Maybe when I get the new Battlefield I can test her out. I won't go on too much since a gaming mouse is a really subjective thing, everybody has their favorites and don't want to try much else typically. But if you're thinking about it, get your hands on one to see if you like the weight and then go for it.