Meet Overkill Bill, it took me 7 years to get off my *** and build another PC so here it is. Two main purposes of this build were to 1) Future proof and 2) Dust proof. Future proofing because as you can see I do not do new builds too often, my 2k8 PC has had 1 CPU upgrade and probably 3 video card upgrades in the past 7 years. Dust proof because I work from home and have abnormally dry skin so I'm here all the time clogging up my PC. The PC serves as all purpose between work, gaming, and streaming to my TV. I think it could be considered quite overkill at present time for single monitor 1080p gaming. My work doesn't entail much more than web browsing/ SSH sessions...however the virtual server software we run is quite demanding so it will give me some benefit there.
Parts list prices are not entirely accurate but close enough. The total actual price paid is $2,647 assuming I mail out the $60 in rebates. Not bad for a $2500 budget I might say.
Why I chose these parts and some insight on them:
CPU & Motherboard: The choice to go 2011 was again for future proofing. Sure I may have gotten better clockspeed going with a 4790K and 1150, but this motherboard is in it for the longhaul DDR4 and all. The plan is to upgrade to a Broadwell Cpu in a year or two. I've currently OC'd the 5820k to 4.5Ghz, and I think there's plenty room for more only seeing an average of high temp of 61C stress testing. It will however get quite hot in my new place during the summer so I don't think I want to push it any farther. Also originally overclocking, I mistakenly changed the Cpu cache voltage to 1.3v instead of the Cpu voltage and it seemed to run without a hiccup, albeit only 15 minutes of stress testing, @4ghz and stock voltage. Not sure what's going on there, but it makes me want to push it a lot farther!
Cooler: The H100i in my intro to water cooling. Was just so very glad to not have to deal with a bulky *** oldschool heatsink, which have always been the bane of my existence in previous builds. H100i was pretty easy to install, and I've also added some dust filters on top of the case above the radiator to get the full benefit of the cooler by using fans as intake and hopefully avoid getting the radiator jammed full of dust. Seems to be doing well for now with CPU @ 1.3v, I can't say I've seen temps much over 36C playing games...granted it's very cold here in the Steel City and I have my thermostat set to 63F. Edit: Just received my Demciflex filter for added dust protection on the H100i, pic added. CPU temp increased by about 1-2 degrees as the intake air flow is a little more restricted, but it's well worth it for added dust protection plus I can just pull it right off to clean being magnetic and all.
Memory: The Ripjaws are just totally badass looking, wish they could somehow stick out more. I did want to go with 2666Mhz however they only had 2400 in black, we all know I'm not going to see any real world difference with +266Mhz memory speed. I don't know if I'll bother trying to OC the memory, seems more trouble than it's worth. The Asus EZ XMP was so nice, memory ran at optimal speed first boot.
Storage: My first SSD ever, I gotta say the difference is quite phenomenal as expected. Get the Windows startup sound before the display even comes up. I was originally going to go with the 840 until someone pointed out the 850 is the same price, thanks to them. The benchmarks are also much better than the 840. Don't really have anything to say about the WD black drive, it just kinda sits there waiting to be filled up with downloads.
GPU: The Evga 980 SC is very nice. It handles everything I can throw at it, so far I've thrown FC4 and the new Dragon Age with the highest settings, no framerate issues at all. 3Dmark Fire Strike Benchmark. I've never spent more than $250 on a video card, and I gotta say this was well worth it. Also, if there's some freakin way I could change the branding LED color to green that would match my color scheme nice, but I doubt this can be done without pulling the card apart. Kind of a shame you can't change the LED color with software.
Case & PSU: The Fractal R4 is a great case. Moved the exhaust fan up front and removed the undeeded drive cage for better airflow. Hoping the dust filter on the front does it's job, we will soon see. A filter on the top would have been nice too but hopefully I've solved that problem. Really the only complaint I have about the case is slight bowing at the top where I installed the radiator, but this really didn't present any problem. I read a lot about the H100i being a tight fit in this case, honestly it wasn't bad at all, just need to make sure you plug in and route the proper cables before installing...specifically 8 pin CPU power cable and the cables running from the H100i Cpu block. Now the one issue I did run into was cable space in the back. 'Get a modular PSU' they said, 'you'll only need to use the cables you need' they said! Turned out I had to use all cables but 1 SATA. I can't really blame the Case or the PSU for the wire space problem. I just had to go for the colored extensions, and I do have 3 SATA devices. When I finally thought I was done adding cables, I forgot I had to add one more to power the fan controller for the front and that really did me in. I had to more or less shove the case up against a wall and push the rear panel in to mash down all the cables, there's nothing else that could be done. It works and it's not visible so I don't care one bit, but I bet I will when I have to pull it back open for some upgrades and whatnot. I could probably make it less of a mess in there by getting a hold of some shorter cables, but don't know if I'll ever bother. I didn't even know what cable management was when I built my last PC, so another goal with this PC was to tidy the cables as much as possible, at least where they are visible :)
Monitor: I've heard rave reviews about the VG248QE, I couldn't wait to be done away with being locked to 60hz refresh rate. I gotta say I'm loving it, but the one thing I'm not loving is trying to get this monitor calibrated correctly. I've gone thru the popular reddit thread and the settings, tried other various settings but I just can't get it to look good in both games and web browsing at the same time. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all for it. Otherwise the monitor is spectacular, especially the stand and swivel.
In closing: It was nearly 7 years since I put my last PC together, so I was kind of reluctant to spend all this money on new parts being out of the loop so long. However I decided to dive in, spent a good 5 hours putting it together and she fired up on the first go so I still got it! Only forgot to plug in the two front intake fans, and of course the only real issue I ran into was with Windows being stupid upon installation. Now begins the long, arduous process of getting 7 years with of software installed and configured on it. Afterwords I'll eventually decommission my dust monkey wire gutpile, which has surprisingly served me well over the past 7 years despite 1 hard drive crash. It's pretty hilarious how my old PC measures up to Overkill Bill Vol. 1. Thanks for reading!
Purchase/ Shipping Experiences if anybody cares: Newegg: Wins hands down, I just wish I could have bought it all here as I did my last build. $1300 worth of parts, only $7 shipping and here in 4 days...even found a promo for $10 off one of the parts. Amazon: it's Amazon, what can I say. Free shipping and all got here on time, even Fedex which amazed me. OutletPC: first experience ordering here, very good...fast shipping. Only complaint is they split the one order with UPS and Fedex, only provided the Fedex tracking number. Was kinda freaked when just the CPU showed up with no Case but they were a great help when I called. Ncixus: PCpartpicker said free shipping, websites said free shipping, selected product and went to checkout only to be charged for shipping. Didn't want to bother, skipped them and ordered elsewhere. Superbizz: Got an e-mail days later after my order saying that they needed to split my order because some of it was in another warehouse. Told them I needed the order in 5 days or to cancel the order. They canceled the order and didn't even confirm it was canceled. Will not order from again.