This build is replacing an upgraded, but still under-powered, Dell Vostro tasked with pushing video to multiple monitors and processing live video switching using ProPresenter 5. The goal was a decent processor, SSD-based for quick file access and snappy boots and a case layout that would provide better cooling than the stock Vostro. Built on a budget as well as reusing parts.
CPU (i5-4590): I thought about similarly-priced AMD processors, but I just haven't been super impressed by them in the past, so I stuck with the trusty i5 at a decent stock clock. At $177 it's hard to beat. (TigerDirect)
CPU Cooler (Hyper 212 EVO): Nothing new here, just keeping things cool. Really thought about water-cooling just because the room this is used in is blazing hot 80% of the time, but I don't want any hassle with a dusty radiator and potential pump failure, etc. The EVO just works. Silently. (Newegg)
Motherboard (Gigabyte GA-H81M-DS2V): I like Gigabyte and this was a very reasonably priced, plain-Jane microATX board. Overall I really like the layout of this board and the 'performance' BIOS is really nice. (Amazon)
Memory (Crucial Ballistix Sport): Already on hand, excellent stuff. Don't need more and less won't do.
Storage (Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD): In terms of fast, reliable, SSD storage, Samsung is the best. This is a critical machine, so I didn't want to risk a lesser SSD even at the expense of saving some money. This thing is FAST. It's only a theory, but I'm hoping that having ProPresenter and it's files run on SSD will only help keep file access snappy. There's a re-purposed HDD for extra storage. (Amazon)
Case (CM 200N): I wanted a smallish footprint, and good cooling since the room this machine lives in is really hot most of the time, with lots of equipment constantly running. Overall, I like the case. There's a little bit of cable management behind the motherboard tray, but not enough for all the cables on a non-modular unit like the CX430. I hate to bundle cables, but didn't have much of an option. No 8-pin CPU cutout was a bummer, so I just tucked the 8-pin under the CPU cutout and cheated it. I like the vertical mounting options for storage and the overall aesthetic is really nice. (TigerDirect)
PSU (Corsair CX430): Pulled from the old machine, not much to say, it's a good power supply.
Graphics Card (Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti): Pulled from old machine, 2GB vram is just enough for this kind of work.
OS (Win 7 Pro):...because Windows 8. (DiscountMountain)
Extra: Picked up this Sunix USB PCIe Host Controller, because unfortunately this motherboard doesn't provide lots of USB hubs on the rear I/O, which is greatly needed in this case; just under-site on my part. (Newegg)
Other thoughts: I really wanted this build to turn out a little cleaner, but the lack of space behind the motherboard tray really kept me from making it super tidy. Overall, I'm pleased and it's a little work horse, which is exactly what is needed.