After several years of using nothing but an old Dell Latitude running Fedora I decided I needed something a little more capable. The main focus here is gaming, but I'll also use this for listening to music, watching movies/TV shows, and light image editing (nothing professional), with my laptop still hanging around for web browsing, typing up documents and school work (I'll be finishing my junior year of college soon).
I spent a few months coming up with this build. I had already decided on Seasonic for the power supply and an AMD GPU, as I'd always heard great things about Seasonic and I knew from my experiences with both AMD and Nvidia that AMD was the way to go. I plan to do some more overclocking with it soon (which is why I bought the cooler and motherboard I did), but currently the CPU is at 4.2 GHz and the GPU is still at factory settings.
Putting it together was easy enough, even managing the cables since this case is great for cable management. I had to figure out what connectors I needed for the modular PSU before I installed it because of the arrangement of the PSU shroud, and the SATA power connector on the SSD is kinda bent because there isn't a straight SATA power connector provided with the PSU or a cutout directly below the SATA connectors on the SSD. Other than that though, everything went as expected and the only other major hassle was installing the CPU cooler (which, by the way, is absolutely MASSIVE. Did not expect it to be quite that big, but it gets the job done and then some).
The performance of this build is everything I could have asked for. On a single 1080p 60Hz monitor it's nearly always outpacing the refresh rate of the monitor, even with the GPU at factory clocks, and I plan to get a 4k monitor and a second 290 in the future. There's no lag, no stutter, no artifacting or weird colors, everything looks great.
Now, on to the peripherals.
The mouse was recommended to me by a friend, and after using his I agreed. Easily the most solid mouse I've ever used, and I like a heavy mouse so the weight system is great. DPI switch is useful since I like a higher DPI for games like CS:GO and a lower DPI for games like Borderlands 2. The net jacketed cable is more flexible than the usual thick rubber cables, which causes it to catch less on the desk and other things. Honestly, this is the first time I've ever used a mouse and it felt completely natural, the mouse just gets out of the way and lets you play. The only caveat is the thumb button. It should have been placed either directly above or directly below the thumb rest, so that it's still easily accessible for people that use it, but not directly under your thumb all the time. I had to disable it because I kept accidentally hitting it.
The keyboard was another recommendation, this time from a different friend. He didn't actually own it, but he did own a mechanical keyboard and his MX Red switches felt much better than the rubber domes in my laptop or, god forbid, the rubber domes in most commercial desktop keyboards. However, the switches felt too light for me and I wanted to be able to tell when the key press registered, so he pointed me to MX Brown switches, and I wanted something that looked clean without LED lighting or a bunch of plastic everywhere. I spent some time looking and eventually found the Das Keyboard 4, and I'm glad I did. The aluminum body feels very solid and the keys feel solid, and the mechanical switches, as expected, feel much better than a rubber dome keyboard.
The monitor ticked all the boxes on my check list, 1080p, 5ms response time, IPS, decent manufacturer, no speakers (too many audio output devices might confuse Windows, I've seen it happen), less than 24", matte coating. The image is better than I expected, and I haven't noticed any dead pixels or the IPS glow that IPS users sometimes report.
I chose the Audioengine A2+ because I needed something capable of decent volume and bass extension but I didn't want it to take up the whole desk. Compared to an old (but still good) pair of full-size bookshelf speakers and and amplifier of comparable power (Lepai TA-2020) they sound better and extend nearly as well into the lower frequency ranges as speakers with 5.25" drivers, and the volume is more than enough for what I'm doing with them. They're not cheap, but they're worth it to me.
I've wanted the amp/DAC and a pair of Beyerdynamics for a long time now. I've always heard good things about the DT 880's, but I needed something closed and according to several people I talked to the 770's sound nearly the same. I'll say I'm definitely happy with them, they sound very clear, they aren't lacking in bass as some people claim, and I haven't noticed any particularly harsh treble. Also, the soundstage (I hate using that term) is very wide, making noise source placement very easy. They're very comfortable, although the ear cups are rather large, but I can wear them for hours at a time without any discomfort. They also feel very solid. I would never intentionally drop them, but I'd bet that even if I did I wouldn't have to worry about them breaking unless I dropped them off a rooftop or something of the sort.
The Objective2 is somewhat of a legend, made to cut through some of the snake oil in high end audio. I've not had a lot of experience with high end audio equipment, but this amp paired with the ODAC and DT 770's certainly makes for the best sound I've ever heard through headphones.
Overall, I'm very happy with everything I bought. I'm glad I spent as much time as I did researching parts and peripherals, because there isn't anything here that I'd change (at least, not without spending a lot more).