This is my first build that I have done, and I am overall happy with its performance and aesthetics.
Color Scheme: I went for a black and white build to take advantage of the RGB lighting that was put in, not to mention that white always looks clean in a build.
CPU: As of right now, the i5-4690k is the only CPU that gives solid gaming performance at a fair price compared to i7's and x99. Decided to go Intel over AMD due to the faster cores that gaming wants, and the FX 6100 I was using previously couldnt handle newer titles such as Witcher 3.
CPU Cooler: It would be a lie that I went for the Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BK for its outstanding acoustic and cooling performance for the price, because I actually chose this cooler its black and white aesthetics.
Motherboard: Currently the only black and white Z97 motherboard. This one supports SLI and Crossfire, a maximum of 32GB of RAM over 4 dimms, and has 4 6GB/s SATA ports and one SATA Express port. Would have been nice to get this on sale for under $100, but it is still a fantastic board. (Once again chosen for aesthetics)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury 2 x 4 GB of DDR3 RAM clocked at 1866 MHz. Kingston is a reliable brand in memory and it comes in many colors, such as white....
SSD: Went for the Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB for its outstanding performance at under $100. There are cheaper 250GB SSD's, but this is one of the best in this capacity range.
HDD: My 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda 3TB came redistributed in a Western Digital box oddly enough. Had some trouble when installing my OS because the drive wasn't clean, but it works just fine now. got it for under $80, so beats a 1 or 2 TB solution in cost. Dont know what I'm going to need that much storage for though.
GPU: The Asus GeForce GTX 970 4 (3.5) GB STRIX was my favorite amongst all the other 970's because... well it was all black. 980 Ti announced just after ordering this card, so I wasn't happy about that. This card has shown great performance so far, and I'm very pleased with it.
Case: Ah, this one was the hardest decision of the whole build. My NZXT S340 decision came from two things: A need for underglow, and a small price. I had looked at the Razer H440 and thought of how sick it would be to get a nice underglow effect. The S340 has tall case feet, making lighting on the bottom a possible solution. I ordered it straight from NZXT, and it took a week to get to my house, when all my other parts arrived in just a few days. It's relatively easy to work in, but I'd recommend being very careful around the top of the case as it scratches easily, and leave the plastic coating on the side panel until you are done to prevent scratches on that acrylic too. Surprisingly when I went to install the lights, there was a convenient cutout at the bottom of the case, making wiring a strip of lights easy. For under $70 this is such a solid case, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, whether on a budget or not.
Power Supply: EVGA G2 750W 80+ Gold Fully-Modular was a solid choice for when I prepare for SLI later, and was in the top tiers of PSU's so it seemed like a no-brainer. Again, i payed $25 more than I needed to due to it being out of stock at SuperBiiz., would have liked to get this under $100.
WNA: My Intel 7260HMWDTX1 Wi-Fi Adapter was bought for a different build that didn't have support for the card.... so I threw it in here because I already had it.
The Silverstone extension cables are of great quality and really make the build seem more clean, and also made a mess of my cable management
My Deepcool lights are great, 16 color options, brightness settings, and fade into Red, Green, and Blue or Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, Pink, and White. My only complaint is that the controller is not correctly labeled.
Taxes and Shipping:
BioShock Infinite – Max Settings
Grand Theft Auto V – Very High, 2x MSAA
Metro Last Light Redux – Very High, SSAA OFF
Tomb Raider 2013 – Ultra Settings, SSAA X2
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt – Ultra Settings, Hairworks OFF Min: 25