This is my first build since 2006. The old computer has an ATHLON 64 X2 4400 with an 8600GT that still works pretty well but cannot handle the new games at all (You can see it hiding in the background of the first pic). Time for something that will last a few more years. Basic computer use will be mostly gaming, office like stuff, and some mild graphic editing. I realize that most new games don't utilize the full capabilities of the CPU & GPU I have chosen, but I hope that the little extra now will last me longer before I need to upgrade again. Some will comment on budget, but there really was none. I purchased what I wanted.
CPU: Right now I will likely never use the capability of the chip but wanted to say I owned an i7. Hopefully I got a decent one and may get some overclocking out of it.
CPU Cooler/Fans: No plan for extreme overclocking and I wanted the system to be relatively quiet. Went with quiet fans all around to minimize noise and I installed some vibration damping on the inside of the case as well. I will have to work with the inlet/outlet configuration, but looking to create a negative vacuum in the case to promote sucking in of cool air through the open screens. I also liked the various color choices of the fan shrouds. So far it does not disappoint, this thing is so quiet I cannot even hear it while running.
Motherboard: I love the look of this board. Have always had good luck with ASUS and the Hero has a lot of good features and reviews, not to mention the ROG features. Should provide a solid platform to work with and reasonably easy to overclock. Although I am not planning for SLI, the capability is there for the future when I need to upgrade.
Memory: Don't need 16GB, but what the heck. Could have gone with slightly faster RAM as well, but does not seem to provide a drastic increase in overall performance.
Storage: To speed up the boot process, purchased the SSD for the OS and major programs. Plan to put all the games on the HD. Love the SSD, should have bought a bigger one.
GPU: Went with the OC Geforce 770 for single card performance. Not as pricey as the 780 and good reviews. Spent the extra for the 4GB to allow for future growth even though it will not be utilized for a while. I went with Gigabyte primarily for the large heatsink and fans. Those three fans keep everything nice and cool.
Case: Subtle and wide open interior. Should provide good airflow to move out the hot air. I like the all black case and interior. The lack of grommets for the wiring is probably my only complaint.
PSU: I wanted the best I could get for this build as far as voltage stability and efficiency. This one is pricey for a 550W but fits the bill. For a single GPU system, should provide years of performance. Will have to upgrade if I ever move to SLI.
OS: I think Microsoft sucks, end of story. I wanted to build a Linux only system but most games only perform with Windows. Will most likely go with a dual boot system and switch as necessary. Maybe I should try out the new Steam OS?