(The images were uploaded at a very low resolution, look at the bottom of the description for links to the full-res versions)
Built throughout December of 2012, although overclock testing took a little longer. First build in a decade. Designed to replace my beyond-obsolete main desktop for gaming, emulation, video encoding, and really, just doing everything.
Never really intended to ad so many red lighting to it, but 90%the hardware I chose, even the soundcard, happened to glow red on it's own, so I figured I would go all the way, made sure the keyboard I chose was also red-backlit, and added a few extra red-lighted fans. I think I pulled off a somewhat industrial-furnace look rather well with all the black steel/plastic and glowing red parts. :)
Yes, quite excessive, but I was stuck with a Pentium-1 75MHZ system from 1995 until 2002, then with a Pentium 3 system from 2002 until nearly 2013.
While those systems were good at the time of purchase, they were never great, and even at the time I bought them there was software they just could not run, and games that quickly didn't even meet their minimum requirements just a few months after purchase.
The Pentium 3, it got to the point where I can't even access Youtube or Facebook on it anymore, too slow to run flash or all the scripts on Facebook.
I had enough, my next system was going to be top of the line (although, without going crazy and building some $5K+ system with thousand-dollar cards and Extreme Edition CPUs), and researched it since the days the Pentium 4 and Geforce FX were the latest hardware on the market, constantly updating my specs list. Sure, it would be fleeting as PC hardware gets outdated rather quickly, but I wanted to taste cutting edge just once after being stuck with such crappy systems for so long.
Finally had the time and money to pull the trigger a decade later, after most of the technology I wanted such as Blu-Ray burners, SDD drives being supported in RAID0 with TRIM, etc were finally available and affordable to the home user. I tried not to skimp on anything, the ram, the cpu, even the HDD access speeds and redundancy by going RAID0 SSD for the OS/App/Game drive. Admittedly, the 32GB of RAM is overkill, original plans were for 16GB, but the TMI used was very annoying to install and I did not want to have to re-do it when 16GB is eventually just too little, the cooler I used barely has 1mm of clearance over the ram sticks, so when the set I wanted was on sale for the 32GB version, I just jumped on that instead. Having filled up a lot of data rather quickly on external drives, I opted to go RAID5 just for the extra safety-net of redundancy (which of course, is no replacement for having backups) and as large as I could reasonably go at the time, the four 3TB drives configured for RAID5 give me 8.18TB of space after formatting them in NTFS. The SSD are at 476GB after formatting and being pre-overprovisioned from the factory.
So far, its serving me well for gaming, although I admit I am a little disappointed some games such as Arkham City can't hit 60FPS maxed out with VSync, but it eats most games for breakfast. Monitoring prices for my main card so if it ever hits $250 or less within a reasonable time frame I will replace the GTX 650 currently dedicated to PhysX and go SLI, that should help add more life to the system, the CPU right now should be enough to last far longer than the card will. Originally planned to have a capture card too, but there are no real free PCI-e slots left, the top-most slot usually bumps into the CPU cooler unless I can find an extremely short card. The design of the EVGA cards having the fan at the far-end of the card help immensely as any card with a fan in the middle would be blocked by the sound or raid cards directly below it.
First time overclocking, and even with the overclock of the CPU and GPU on air cooling so far the system has been fairly quiet even with the ridiculous amount of fans (1 PSU, 2 CPU, 1 for each GPU, and 6 in the case) but has been growing louder as of late, doesn't appear to be the case fans, going to have to inspect if its the GPU or CPU fans causing it. Was hoping to hit 4.5GHZ but voltages to keep it stable were starting to get too high, oh well, a 4.4ghz Ivy League i7 should keep me going for quite a while.