This is an upgrade of my previous build "The Dark Knight." The Dark Knight was build in Feb. 2008 with an Intel Core2Quad Q6600 processor, an EVGA nForce 780i motherboard, an EVGA 8800 GTS 512 graphics card, and 4 GB ram. Originally, the boot drive was a 150 GB Raptor X with a 500 Gb storage drive. In the years since, I have added a few hard drives, 4 extra gigs of ram, and upgraded to a Radeon 5850 graphics card.
The Dark Knight Rises includes an upgrade to a Core-i5 4570s processor, ASRock H87 micro ATX motherboard, 16 GB DDR3 ram, and a Corsair H60 water cooling loop. These parts as well as some new case fans came out right at $500, which is pretty nice for upgrading most of the major components of the computer.
Thoughts so far:
i5-4570s - This processor is plenty fast, definitely noticeable over the Q6600. It also runs nice and cool. With the H60 it idles around 28C and has yet to go over 33C. I will be updating my thoughts once I've been able to do some more intensive tasks like video encoding and gaming.
ASRock H87M Pro4 - This motherboard is packed with features for such a low cost midrange board. It has most of the features of the higher end Z motherboards at a fraction of the cost. It recognized my ram timings and everything right off the bat, and the UEFI bios is easy to work with. The only thing I don't like is the right angle sata ports that end up under the graphics card. I understand this is probably the only place they could go, but it's not very easy to work with.
Cougar Tubrine fans - These things may not be quite as quiet as the 17db rating they are given, but they are still super quiet and move a ton of air. Definitely a nice upgrade over the Antec fans that came stock in the 900.