After slowly upgrading my current PC over the last few years, I decided just to start from scratch and build a whole new rig. I did tons of research online, watched every review on YouTube that I could find and scrounged for any data that I could find on every possible part I could think of.
Processor: The 4690k was just the right fit for my needs. Great for gaming and able to be overclocked fairly easily. It's running at a steady 3.9ghz right now and is staying quite cool. The 4790k was a little overkill for my needs and a I was able to spend the extra money elsewhere. I'll probably play with the overclocking a little more in the future.
CPU cooler: I knew I wanted to go with an AIO liquid cooler. I jumped around between a few and settled on the h110 from Corsair. Lots of reviews say the fans aren't great, so I swapped them out with Noctua pwm fans.
Motherboard: I love the look of MSI gear. The Z97 Gaming 5 has all the features that a gamer might need and some that they didn't know they did. The bios software is good looking and easy to use. It also allows you to overclock & control almost anything, even within the Windows environment.
RAM: Why 16gb you might ask? Motherboard can handle 32gb total and has 4 slots. If I get more sometime in the future, I can max it out with 2 more sticks & don't have to swap anything out to do it. They look & work great. Overclockable if I get the itch to do so.
Hard Drives: I already owned the Samsung SSD and Hitachi. SSD for boot drive, WD Blue for data, WD Black for games and Hitachi for downloads so they don't gum up the other drives.
Video Card: I wanted to stick with the MSI red and black dragon theme. Initially I was going to get a GTX 970, but I was talked into a GTX 980 by friends and my work supervisor who is a big time gamer as well. This thing is a BEAST and so far I have zero regrets of spending the extra money for a 980.
Case: I wanted a full size case that had some style. I probably changed my mind half a dozen times on which case to get. My first "gaming pc" had a NZXT case and it wasn't even close to as cool and functional as the Phantom 530. The style and accessories like the built in fan controller, hidden SSD mount, modular HD cages and rear I/O port lights made this "The One" for me.
PSU: EVGA makes good gear. I was initially going to get a Corsair PSU, but the price of the EVGA pulled me over. It has an ECO mode that makes the fan stay off until it hits temps greater than 45C... so like all the time. I just wish it had flat cables to make routing them a little easier. I also wanted one that had enough power to handle a second GTX 980 if I decided to get one in the future for SLI.
Optical Drive: Gives me the option of playing Blu-rays and loading music from CDs onto my computer. Probably won't use it for months at a time though.
OS: Had Windows 7 on the old PC. Windows 8 is ok so far, no complaints yet. Installed classic shell almost immediately. Will probably upgrade to Windows 10 after the kinks have been worked out in a few months after its release.
Fans: Noctua fans for the h110. I probably switched which fans I was going to use 10 times or more. I finally decided that the quality and accessories included with the Noctua ones outweighed the awful color scheme they use. Can't really see them anyway. The Kingwin fans only have one job, to keep the case in positive pressure because every intake is filtered. They're hooked into the fan controller along with the 200mm and 140mm fans that were included with the case. I did use one of the Kingwins on the fan mount on the HD cage to blow onto the GPU area. It's there, might as well use it. Even at full speed, ALL fans in the case are quieter than my last computer. At the lowest setting, my monitors are louder... which is still damn creepy to me.
Other : The NZXT Hue lighting system is easy to install, use and looks damn cool. Mouse & keyboard aren't the most expensive, but still good for gaming as well as normal use.
Final thoughts: Tax return season can be a very dangerous time for someone who wants to build a new computer. I was going to wait until the end of the week to start the build but as soon as the final part came in on a Monday, I couldn't wait. By Friday, the build was done and I was extremely happy when it turned on the first time I hit the power button.