I'm a video game music creator and general music producer (and IT professional), and this is my first full personal build in nearly 5 years. I've been building for over 10 years, and have of course built numerous machines for friends and family over that span, but for the last five years I've been making do with an old AMD Phenom II-based machine. I added a couple SSDs to it last year, but it was really starting to wheeze and I was having a hard time getting work done, so I got paid up front by a job and managed to build a really good machine that should serve me very well for the next few years.
Price notes: Motherboard, PSU, video card, and SSD were all lower than listed in this parts list as of the day of posting, thanks to some sales and rebates.
I enjoy gaming, but I don't do much of it, so my main priority with the GeForce 750Ti was low power consumption, low price, and adequate gaming performance at 1080p for when I occasionally play Borderlands TPS or StarCraft II.
Parts not listed here are a 500 GB Samsung 840 SSD that I'm using for my boot drive, a 3 TB Buffalo backup drive, and a legitimate copy of Windows that I got through one of my IT contracting contacts. My keyboard is a Corsair Vengeance K90 that I've had for a while, and my mouse is an ergonomic model from Anker. I also have this hooked up to a pair of 24" LG monitors, and of course the rest of my studio equipment.
Build was painless, and this Fractal Define R4 is probably my favorite case I've ever built in. Very good fit and finish, super handsome--and practically silent, once turned on. I ran into some issues when installing Windows, as I started on Windows 8 (the license my friend was able to spare), and ran the upgrades all the way up through Windows 10. Ended up having to do a completely clean install of Windows 10 after this (lifting the CD key with Magic Jelly Bean), since the Intel X99 USB drivers weren't showing up in Device Manager even after running all driver installers from MSI's website as well as its LiveUpdate tool. MSI tech support was flummoxed, so they said to reinstall, and that ended up solving the issue. All my other software and hardware seems to have installed correctly and is working just fine.
The real test, of course, was to open up a project file that used to bring my old PC to its knees with coughing and wheezing, and see how this machine fared. The verdict is in, and this thing runs a project at 50% CPU utilization that the old machine used to be at about ~130% on. I'd say that's a roaring success!
You can find my music on Soundcloud if you're curious as to what I do, and for my fellow musicians, here's the rest of my gear list currently attached to this PC:
HARDWARE - Akai MPK49 - Novation LaunchPad Mini - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro headphones - Neumann KH120 monitors on Isoacoustics stands - KRK Rokit 10s subwoofer - Yamaha MG102c mixer (studio I/O) - Alesis MultiMix8 mixer (streaming I/O) - PreSonus TubePre - Shure SM7B - MXL 990
SOFTWARE - FL Studio 12 Signature Edition - Melodyne 2 - Waves Gold, Kramer Tapes/Tubes/Transistors, R-Bass & OneKnob Pumper - EastWest Quantum Leap Composer Cloud & Symphonic Orchestra Platinum+ - Steven Slate Production Bundle - Image-Line Harmor, Harmless, Toxic Biohazard, etc. - Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 (upgraded from 1) - Xfer Records Serum - Cakewalk z3ta+ & z3ta+ 2 - Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 - Native Instruments Komplete 8 - etc....
Fastest CPU I've ever owned by a mile.
The classic. Nothing wrong with this guy, you can always swap the fan out if you want, and does a great job of cooling.
No problems at all during the build, except for the issues that ended up being Microsoft's fault. Support was responsive and easy to work with when I called them. Board is laid out in a manner that didn't conflict with the build. 10 USB ports on back, support for the full 4 (2x2.0, 2x3.0) ports on the front of my case. No complaints.
Not fancy but functional--what more do you need for a non-OC'd build?
It's stupid fast, it's big, and I got it for under $300 counting tax. I love it.
Fastest 7200 RPM drive on the market and plenty of storage. Runs a little warm, but the warranty says 5 years so I'm not worried at all.
Quite possibly my favorite case I've ever built in, and I've built many computers. Fit and finish is fantastic, everything lined up great, plenty of included screws and such.
Platinum-certified power by SeaSonic, just with a new face on it. Fantastic price, plenty of juice, I'm happy!