As the title says, this is my first build. I wanted a machine that not only runs fast and looks good, but is also easy to upgrade in the future.
I'll be using the PC for gaming, college work and YouTube. It's a lot bigger than my last build (As you can see by one of the images, it is approximately 3x4 bananas), so putting it by my desk is going to be a pain.
I was going to go with an i7 4790k and 16GB memory originally, however I decided to save myself some money in the long run as I'm going to be upgrading to DDR4 when it comes down in price sometime next year, so spending the extra £200 on the memory and i7 just didn't seem worth it.
The build took around 2 hours to assemble with an extra hour or so trying to ram the cables away where they won't be seen. Putting the side panel on after cable management took around 15 minutes purely because of the amount of foam used. This was not an issue, as it does a damn good job of dampening noise.
CPU: This CPU has good benchmarks and will serve me well in gaming as well as video editing, albeit not as well as the i7. I haven't had a chance to run the machine outside the BIOS as of yet, and even then it needs an update so I'll need to wait until I've installed Windows before I can give you guys some benchmarking results and temps.
GPU: I purchased this card as an OEM unit last April for just £210, which was a great price at the time. It was the best card I could afford for my budget. In order to maximize the amount of money I can put into other components I have decided to re-use the 290x as it still performs very well. I painted the logo and red accents along the top of the card. I was going to paint them all over but I figured you only ever see the top, so there's not really any point. The white really helps it to blend in well with the rest of the build. (Sorry, forgot to add to partslist)
PSU: I purchased this alongside the 290x. I couldn't afford a fully modular power supply, so the extra cables really restricted airflow in my older case, however they shouldn't be a problem in the H440.
Memory: This memory was cheap, had good speeds and latency and fit the colour scheme. As far as I'm concerned memory is memory, and there's really no point in spending another £60 for some flashy LEDs on something like the Corsair Dominator Platinum modules.
Storage (Primary): I wanted an SSD with enough room for my OS and a few programs such as Photoshop and Sony Vegas. The 840 was relatively cheap for it's speeds and size. I would've gone with the 850 evo/pro however I couldn't find any extra cash from my budget.
Storage (Secondary): I wanted some reliable storage for things like movies (Totally legal, of course...), games, programs and any other junk that gets built up on my PC. The Seagate Barracuda offered this at a very reasonable price. Unfortunatley the drive was DOA so I had to RMA it, hence the 3/5 rating.
Storage (tertiary): This is some old 2.5" laptop drive I found in a drawer. It still works fine, and it's fairly quick. I'll be using this drive as a target location for FRAPS and DXTory.
Storage (temporary): I'm temporarily using a 150GB laptop drive to store games, images, video etc. until I get my Seagate back from AriaPC. It does the job, however it is a tiny bit too noisy.
Motherboard: This motherboard had everything I needed, including a great white/black colour scheme for a good price. It's Z97, so has all the bells and whistles which should last me a good while even if I decide not to upgrade to a DDR4 ready system. One thing I'd like to say is that you don't really get much in the box considering I paid just under £100 for it. It seems as though MSI thought this board will only be purchased by modders, and it seems like they designed it around being left in a showroom in a build that's never used. The lack of included cables and extras like an SLI bridge makes it a 4/5.
Case: I chose this case mainly on aesthetics and silence. Although some say the fans run very loud when using the included 10-port fan connector, I can always solve this issue in the future by buying an external fan controller, or find a way to ghetto mount a 3.5" controller on an internal bay. The case looks outstanding, and with a few coats of white gloss paint over the blue bezels it should match the colour scheme perfectly. The case is very nice to work with and offered a hell of a lot of options for routing cables and tidying everything up. You can barely see some of the black cables in this case, and it really helps to improve the modern stealthy look of the build. One thing I'd like to say is that the paint chips very easily. There's scratches all over the inside of the case, especially on the back of the motherboard tray, from where cables have scraped against the metal and completely ripped the paint away. I know it's very difficult to prevent this, but due to how easy it is to get marks and scratches on the case it's a 4/5 for me.
CPU Cooler: I wanted a CPU cooler that is future proof and can be used with a G10 if I ever decide to get a custom loop for my CPU, while still achieving very low temperatures. This AIO has great benchmarks, and should provide more than enough cooling capabilities to help me push the i5 to its limits. Again, much like the motherboard, the packaging felt very flimsy and the included extras were very slim. For a £110 cooler I'd expect more than an eggbox to hold the radiator and some cheap plastic bag covering the waterblock, but I guess for that price you're paying for the object not the bells and whistles. Still a little annoying and makes it a 4/5.