Ah, finally. I've been spending hours every day researching parts and scouring sales to try and get the best possible deals for this build. I haven't done an sort of building since I was about twelve or thirteen and things have really changed a lot in the world of pc parts in the twelve or thirteen years since then. Assembling was a nerve-wracking experience but she booted up perfectly first try and has been running like a dream for the several several days since.
My goal was to achieve the absolute optimal balance of performance and price without sacrificing on quality. Secondarily, I wanted to avoid mail in rebates as much as possible as I feel the entire concept is a bit of a scam. All parts purchased new other than the video card (GpuShack), and the power supply (b-stock from EVGA).
Haven't run any benchmarks yet, but so far I've been very pleased with the performance I've noticed. Most games are running 60-70fps on ultra settings, and I haven't seen it drop below 50fps at all yet.
A veritable beast for the price I got it for. No issues with performance in any way so far. I had originally planned on keeping it at an overclock of around 4.5, but since AMD's Turbo Boost automatically brings it up to around 4.2 when needed I'll just hold off until/if I actually feel it needs it.
The good 'ole Hyper 212. It does it's job wonderfully but the installation of this heat sink was by far the most frustrating part of the build. Maybe it wouldn't be such a nuisance for other people with more experience but I did struggle a bit. I'd like to upgrade to a liquid cooler some time in the future mainly just to reduce the profile of this giant inside my case but 82.9 CFM will be hard to beat at such a reasonable price.
As easy to install as any motherboard can be and without any issues so far. I had originally intended to go with an ASUS 990x motherboard but eventually just couldn't justify spending twice as much. This model had the highest average reviews and necessary features of all the similar boards offered by Gigabyte. I held out on buying this one for the longest while watching and waiting every day for a slightly better price but ended up settling for the $10 rebate.
Originally purchased to match the ASUS board I wanted. Running at 1600 right now as I haven't bothered to go into BIOS and adjust up to 1866. Good performance, good price, good buy.
Performs as admirably as you expect an HD should. I'll end up adding an SSD in the future, but for right now, while trying to keep costs down, this is more than satisfactory for my needs.
Oh man am I exceedingly pleased with this purchase. Picked up at GpuShack with a $30 discount, this card so far has been a dream. After logging around 250 hours of Skyrim and Fallout 3 on my cheap little laptop running 12-20fps experiencing this thing is surreal. Been running Shadow of Mordor on ultra settings and averaging 60-70fps. Skyrim with maxed out settings and around 30 mods including several HD texture packs performs equally well. Never seen this card drop below 50fps on anything I've thrown at it so far. Came with a DVI/VGA adapter, crossfire bridge, and 3 year warranty. GpuShack is awesome.
While a bit more than I had originally intended on spending for a case, I am exceedingly pleased with the product. After spending a stupid amount of time looking into windowed cases and LED fans I decided to forgo the pomp and flash and go with a classier and more refined vibe. Spacious, noise-dampening, ample options for cable management, front and underside air filters, removable HD cages, integrated three-way fan speed controller, front USB 3.0 headers, this thing is damn near perfect.
While choosing my parts I probably suffered the most over trying to decide on the power supply. Picked up this unit as a B-stock on EVGA's website and so far couldn't be more pleased. 750w is certainly way more than I need but it leaves headroom (plus the 650w and 750w were the same price, soo..). Fully modular, gold rated, wasn't sure about the silver handle on the back but after installing it in the case I actually rather like the aesthetic of it. My only con would be that almost all of the cables are black except for the PCI cables that i needed to use which were red. Really throws off my color scheme, but it's not a deal breaker and the cable did have a pretty nifty split which allows it to handle both 6 pin slots with the single cable rather than having to run two.
After some extensive research into fans I decided just to go with the stock fans that came with the Fractal R4. They perform well, they perform quietly, and they match the two that I already had. Purchased from a seller on ebay who I suppose is slightly more elitist when it comes to fans than I am and just removes them from any new Fractal cases he works with.