More photos are coming!
Well, after about 5 years of drinking the apple kool-aid, I've finally kicked the habit. My goal here was to build a computer that I could game on as well as handle my CAD work in Inventor, Photoshop, and 3d Studio Max. I've built a number of computers in the past for myself and for friends/family, but this is the first time I'm fortunate enough to be in a position to put a nice machine together for myself and really think out the function/asthetics/etc.
My last build was a microatx, and I missed the fun of building a tower machine, and tweaking all of the aesthetics so I know I wanted to go mid or full ATX. I decided to stick with a MID ATX form factor since that allowed for SOME expansion down the line. So what did I pick, and why?
CPU (Intel i7-4770k) - I was originally eyeballing the i5-4670k, due to the pricepoint, even though I knew that its big brother would be better suited to what I was building the machine for, gaming & CAD/Photoshop/Animation work. I've always used Intel chips, and have always been happy so I stick with it. Stumbled across the i7-4770k at microcenter for $250, and that settled that. I'll keep AMD contained within my Xbox.
GPU (EVGA ref Nvidia Geforce GTX 770) - Main basis for this choice was picking a card that was at a sweet spot in it's price/life. I was willing to pay a little more to get a card that had the headroom to provide me a couple extra years of solid performance, and it seemed the 770 was a clear cut winner. My first build years ago was a Radeon 9600XT, but since then I've been an Nvidia guy. CAD packages seem to prefer nvidia chipsets so that's where I've been hanging out. Also, decided I wanted the Titan cooler on the card so i went with the EVGA ref. I'm pleased with the way the system came out, though I am waiting on my braided cable extensions and LED kit for the finishing touch, at which point I'll be posting a number of clean photos.
Storage - This is my first system with an SSD. Went with a Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD, and WOOOOW is all I can say. I have been missing out. I turned it on and picked up my phone... my computer was waiting for me after a few short seconds. I also picked up a WD Blue 1 TB drive for the data storage, and have not yet determined what I'll do for back up, though I do want to create an image of the SSD once things are configured properly.
Cooling (NZXT Kraken X60) - I knew ordering this that it likely wasn't going to fit the case without some encouragement- and I was right. Had to place the radiator on top, with the fans pushing through, and make a few cuts with the dremel to accomodate the tubes and allow space to pass the waterblock through. Once I got it up and running, the dashboard is pretty slick, and I like the LED controller.
Memory (Kingston HyperX Genesis DDR3-1600) - As with Nvidia and intel, I've gravitated to kingston over the last couple of builds, and stayed the course here. went with 2x8GB, CAS9, 1.5v to keep the CPU happy, and intend to add another 16GB down the line. The blue color didn't really go with the scheme, but the variety keeps it interesting to look at too.
Case (Thermaltake Urban T31) - I picked this case for its form factor and asthetics - and to be honest, it's a bit smaller than I would have liked compared to other mid atx cases, and it's a bit flimsy. That being said, I still do like the way it looks. Don't know that I would recommend it unless you're drawn in by the aesthetics like I was. In order to get the kraken X60 to fit, the rear exhaust fan was removed, and relocated to the front for additional intake to make room for the tubes. A few cuts to the top frame were necessary to get the kracken into place. Not a terrible case, but not great either.
Windows 8.... so angry..... I purchased a digital download via MSFT when it first released and couldn't find the confirmation email. After 2 hours on the phone, they were "unable to find record of my purchase" leaving me no choice but to repurchase windows despite holding authentic installation discs in my hand. That made the blood boil a bit.
Waiting on some BitFenix cable extensions to come in - green for the GPU, red for the MOBO as well as an RGB led setup to accent the case. I'll be posting pictures soon!
Thanks for reading!