This may be a bit of a lengthy post, but... I FINALLY DID IT!
I'd like to start by saying that this is my first PC build, and I couldn't have done it without this amazing community; I have learned a great deal over the last ~6 months and I look forward to being able to share the knowledge I've gained with others here.
But back to the build... When I started planning this PC, I had a modest part list with a 4690k and a GTX 970 that totaled about 1100 dollars, and now here I am with this thing 6 months later. Beware of the logic "Well the 980 is only 200 more... And the 4790k isn't THAT MUCH more... And I may as well get an AIO while I'm at it." That logic clocked me in at about $2200 instead of $1100, I regret nothing.
Puff will be mainly used for gaming, but as you may be able to tell from the parts list there will also be some heavy photo editing and light video editing. I chose the 4790k and 32gb RAM for these purposes. Other than those two additions it's a pretty standard set-up that will do me well, and offer some great future compatibility.
Some FAQs I will get:
The H100i was chosen mainly for aesthetics over a bulky air cooler.
See description above for "Why so much RAM/4790k?"
"Disc drives are for peasants" ..... Yeah I agree, but why not?
And last but not least... Stuff I screwed the pooch on!
Should have bought one 2tb HDD for storage. Why I bought two WD Blue drives is beyond me. I'm at a loss.
Should have bought a single 500gb or 1tb SSD, and preferably a non-Samsung brand. But the information on the 840 EVO wasn't available when these were on sale before Christmas. So here I am with them.
Wish I would have waited for a 980TI... I'm Jelly. Even though I'm only gaming at 1080 and I don't need that power. The heart wants what it wants (GoT anyone?).
But all-in-all I am very pleased with this rig! Runs silent as can be, have a solid OC on the 4790k @ 4.7ghz 1.235 Vcore which idles at 30 degrees; Asus 980 STRIX is very quiet even under full load (while using auto fan curve), and overclocks VERY well, it's currently sitting stable @ 1475Mhz GPU & 7700Mhz memory with no power changes other than 110% power target.
Very speedy - Especially coming from a 2011 model Laptop... Overclocked to 4.7 Ghz @ 1.235 VCore, I could push that further but I'm no overclocking guru and getting this locked in was enough of a hassle for me.
Great Temps but the mounting seemed a little... Cheap? I can't speak to the quality of the pre-applied thermal paste as I removed it and added the arctic silver, but I can say that I am pleased with the Idle temps of ~30 and max load on prime95/AIDA64 was ~75.
Also can't get Corsair Link to work for ****.
It is thermal paste and it works.
Happy with this purchase, great buy at this price range. It has ample SATA connectors, great on-board audio, and a nice solid build quality. If I had to nit-pick I'd say that the placing of the fan headers is a little strange, and the BIOS GUI is only okay.
5 stars for now, seeing as it is RAM with a great aesthetic and seems to perform well. I haven't tried any XMP yet.
Known issues w/ older data, Samsung claims that their latest firmware and drive-magician have band-aid fixed this problem, but we'll see.
Good drive over-all. I'm only using it to store data really, and a few games that are lesser played. I do notice a bit of vibration when they are in use, but honestly that could be from the mounts they are sitting in.
Very impressed! A few hours of over-clocking yielded 1475 clock speed w/ 7700 memory speed, boosted ~10-15 FPS over stock clocks.
Temperatures are good on air in a well ventilated case. It runs silent w/ no fans most of the time and even at 74 degrees (the hottest it got during stress testing) the 60% on the fans was a very manageable noise level.
No card droop at all, nice aesthetic, running everything I've encountered so far @ 1080p 60+ FPS, many games even hitting 120+ FPS. The only qualm that I have is when playing some legacy games (Morrowind for example) where I push 250+ FPS in some areas, you start to notice coil whine. It's bearable for sure, and capping the FPS at 120 fixes this completely but when bench-marking in 3D-Mark Icestorm (I know that's not meant for desktop GPUs) and pushing 1000+ FPS the coil whine sounds like a jet engine.
So unless you plan on running games at 1000+ FPS silently, this is a perfect card.
Great case! Love the aesthetics, the double sided configuration gives you TONS of room for cables, and for someone like me that is terrible at cable management this is a must have.
The cube look isn't for everyone and it certainly takes up a substantial portion of my desk, but I really enjoy the full size window and great airflow that it brings.
My only complaint is that they cheeped out on a couple weird things for some reason. The SSD mounts are ****, don't get me wrong, they work, but only just. There is no vibration dampening on the HDD bays which is noticeable only sometimes and there is no vibration dampening on either of the 5.25 bays which makes reading media from a disc a very loud experience.
Over-all I would make the same choice again though. Love the case.
Solid construction quality, came in a very nice case w/ cover and AMPLE cables. I haven't gotten a chance to check it's total power draw and output. Very silent, has a good look, and can't complain about the pseudo sleeved cables that come with it.
A nice standard disc drive, no big pros and a few cons... I wish the whole thing were black but people in hell want ice-water, I don't like that there is no center piece to clip the disc on to since I have it sitting sideways, and at full speed it sounds like a jet engine but that may be due to the lack of dampening on my case.
Not a fan - I'll be honest that I need to get used to it before I can give a better review but it just seems clunky and poorly optimized for desktop use.
Wireless Network Adapter
Great adapter! I'm finally getting the speed I should be from my internet. Since swapping from my laptop to this, I've has lower ping, higher speeds, and no network hiccups so to speak. Installed like a breeze, just popped in the driver disc and I had wireless in 30 seconds.
These move a lot of air - and are very quiet while doing it. Wish they were PWM but oh well.
They're the best thing that aren't Noctuas!