Note: Those messy cables were fixed a couple of hours after I finished my build. The after photo is above as well.
2nd Note: I accidentally said I bought a 1TB hard drive for $65. I actually bought this 2TB drive for $99.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148834
This is my second build and my first time using Intel.
!!Sorry for the bold below I don't know how to undo it!!
The purpose of this computer is mainly for work (web design, photo editing, and video rendering) but it also doubles up as a gaming PC. Since I lost interest in gaming over the past year, as well as having bought and sold a PS4 because I wasn't impressed by it, I decided to try and get excited about gaming again with this build. So far I think it has done its job :) But its main purpose was for work and its really succeeded at that. The i7-4770k does wonders for everything I do. I think Intel is much more stable than AMD. So far I haven't had any crashes and nothing lags when I set some processes to high priority.
I built this computer last Thursday (March 27th, 2014), and used it for three or four days until I decided to send back my original card (Zotac GeForce GTX 760 4GB Video Card). The fan on it had an odd hum that I didn't like and I figured I might as well deal with it then and there. I sent it back to Newegg and got it replaced with a 760 2GB from EVGA after finding out that EVGA is not only superior, but that 2GB RAM performs as well as 4GB on the 760. --
As a note for anyone buying a 3GB or 4GB card, always look up benchmarks comparing those higher RAM card performances to the 1GB or 2GB counterparts. As somewhat of a n00b, I didn't bother to research that the 4GB RAM on most cards is just a gimmick. Finding this out beforehand can save you $50-70 and still get you the same exact performance as the higher RAM cards.
--As of today (April 4th, 2014) I'm awaiting the arrival of my new card. From what I gather, my 650W power source should be able to handle two cards If it doesn't handle two cards at peak performance than I'm in for some more downtime while I update the power source... Didn't really plan things out properly on my end, but I never expected to get an extra card for this build let alone replace the first card I got. --
Both EVGA cards are installed now
In the photos above you can see the inside of the computer before and after I did some cable management. I really like the design of the motherboard and water cooler. Everything runs quietly and without problems (or has been for the first days I used it. Doubt anything will come up though. Everything is well ventilated and cool.)
Putting everything together took longer than I expected because the motherboard needed a lot of force to line up with the motherboard screw holes (thanks to the Asus Q-shield http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/articles/2008/10/24023148724l.jpg ). Not to mention that the case's back CPU opening covered two fan screw holes (so I had to take the motherboard off and install the CPU cooler bracket on first). Another issue I encountered when putting this build together was with the liquid cooling installation. There was almost no room to screw the fans in on top of the radiator (or to get the fan's cables in). Kind of surprised that this case felt so small. Maybe next time I should go with a full tower ;)
**Also when the computer is on its side the water cooler makes a horrendous racket. I'm not too worried about getting the cooler replaced or even looking into this because I will never run the computer on its side. Maybe the pump wasn't built to be run on its side? At any rate I would expect some warning or note letting me know. I only had the computer on its side during test runs, so I don't expect to do that ever again.
As for my monitor choice: I used to have two Viewsonic 27" monitors but they were so big that I decided to sell them a couple of months after buying them for less than half the price I paid. 27" just seems like a waste of space to me now. The resolution is upscaled and you lose clarity (even compared to a cheaper 22" monitor) and the 27" monitors are so big that you have to move your head to focus on the corners.
After building my new computer I considered getting new 22" monitors, but then decided not to because of the 16:9 aspect ratio. With my web design I would rather use a 1600 x 1200 monitor than a 1920 x 1080 one. More vertical space is a big plus for me. And even though a lot of FPS games benefit from the wider screens (and thus larger FOV), I think that the 4:3 aspect ratio is best for me. And that's why I'm using a 2007fp Dell monitor. In the future I may get two more of these monitors, or I may get one widescreen monitor and continue using my current 2007fp along it for web design.
I'm using a Dell widescreen E2213H along the current 2007fp one as it is, so I doubt I'm going to update my monitors anytime soon. Thinking back to the 27" monitors http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824116582 I don't see anything worth getting huge monitors again. Just not worth the wasted space or the terrible aspect ratio for web design.