This is my first build since messing around with computers in the late 90's, early 00's.
I have been using my I7 2.0GHz with Nvidia 710m 2gb laptop for gaming over the past few years and thought it was time for a change.
Most parts were purchased from Mwave in Sydney after doing much price comparing. They're almost identical to PcCaseGear in price, without the added postage being a Sydney resident myself.
I was surprised how easy the build was, the only complicated part was doing cable management in such a small case, but it worked out alright in the end as there are a few channels to run cables and spaces to hide excess.
Case: I really wanted to go for something that could be easily transported around the house or to a casual lan, so I went for the Corsair 250D after much research. I like the design and the room for a full size gpu and aio liquid cooling. Cable management was made somewhat easier by using a fully modular psu, though wrangling a stiff 24pin cable in a small space is still a trick. Most of the cables were able to be partially hidden in the spare 3.5" drive bay, and are barely visible with the optical drive installed.
Cpu and ram: Bought as a combo from Mwave for the right price. Went for the i7 6700K for the overclocking potential and future proofing, and the ram was a no brainer with the 16gb DDR4 2400.
Motherboard: This took a little time to decide, and the Asus Z170i pro-gaming board won over Gigabyte and MSI due to features and cable accessibility relating to the 250D. The bios was easy to work with, though I don't seem to be able to get the xmp profile to stick with 2400Hz rather than the base 2133Hz. Any suggestions would be appreciated on this one. I can't stress enough how much this mobo helped with cable management, if you're like me and don't want a whole lot of cables running over your board (like the Gigabyte/Evga/MSI alternatives with Z170i) then go for this one. It fits well, the back plate is stylish, and you get hd audio/wifi/8 x usb ports inc 2 x usb3.1.
Cpu cooling: I was originally going to use the Corsair GTX 100i, but the hoses seem really stiff and hard to maneuver plus the rad/fan combo looked like it was pushing up against other peoples mobos. The Thermaltake water 3.0 Riing 240 has been a good choice so far with installation being super easy, the fans having 256 colours to choose from, and the rad/fan width sits a huge 1mm away from my motherboard. So far the cooler keeps the cpu around 23c idle (even with an ambient temp of 38c, thanks Australia!) and 56c under stress test load with the fans pulling in cool air through the rad. I do plan to overclock and given how hot it gets in summer here I'm happy with the purchase.
Power supply: It's Corsair, it's fully modular, and it's got enough juice for the system. Fits perfectly into the 250D with the intake fan sitting directly over the bottom fan filter.
Gpu: I was originally looking at the Gigabyte GTX 980 ti xtreme, but the Evga FTW edition won on price being $165 cheaper with almost identical specs. It chews through games that wouldn't even open on my laptop, thoroughly impressed with how it performs, will see how the temps go in the small case.
Optical Drive: Fits flush with the case, and blends nicely with the black colour scheme. Some may find the bezel for this drive doesn't go all the way into the 250D at first, you kind of have to shoe-horn the last bit in to lift the top piece of the case slightly.
Storage: The 500gb Evo series SSD seemed to be the best price for performance drive out there, and while the Z170i has an M.2 slot I didn't think it necessary at this stage to make use of it. The 2tb HDD additional is plenty for my needs as most of my "data" is on external drives. Currently using a program called Steam Mover to make switching my larger games back and forth between HDD and SSD easier, I would definitely recommend it.
Case fans: I upgraded the 140mm stock fan to a Noctua industrial 2000rpm, which sucks air with minimal noise like nobody's business. I found the 80mm x 15mm exhaust fans on ebay. All are 3 pin fans and they work great in dc mode on a curve. These are running off a Deepcool fan hub which is mounted in the rear right corner of the case. The air flow is great even with the front panel in place.
Peripherals: UPDATE I caved and bought an Acer Predator XB270HU 27" IPS G-Sync 1440p 144Hz monitor. It is truly amazing the difference between this one and my previous Samsung S24D300H 24.0" TN 1080p, like night and day. Pretty sure I hit the jackpot with this monitor as there were no dead pixels and no discernible light bleed/backlight glow, as many reviews I have read indicate that those two defects being fairly common. The keyboard and mouse seemed like a good fit and are very comfortable to use. After downloading the software for the keyboard and mouse I was able to match the lighting in both to the purple I have set the rad fans to.
Overall I'm really happy with how this has gone together, and if there is any advice you can offer I'd be more than happy to hear it, same with questions relating to the parts/build.
Photos aren't particularly good due to being taken with a phone camera.
That feeling you get when Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 immediately detect ultra settings is pretty sweet.
UPDATE: Well the motherboard died, and after two weeks of waiting the RMA came through and the board got repaired. I rebuilt the system and updated the parts list to include the cablemod cables which made management so much easier/neater and 80mm Nocuta Redux fans to replace the noisy cheap ones I previously had.
Update: In order to house the nearly 700gb of games in my steam and gog accounts I picked up a 1tb Samsung 850 evo ssd, leaves my boot ssd free to house other programs needed.