This is an on going build. It was first built in 2013, updated in 2014, then finally a 3rd time throughout this year. I mainly use it for gaming and school work.
---For the total price i paid i know i could have gotten a better complete build, but please remember that this is an OLDER BUILD THAT I SLOWLY KEPT REPLACING PARTS ON., thanks _^ ---
<--Fun side note--> The lego superman moves ever so slightly from the wind created by the fans so it looks like he is levitating. I need to some how put a light on him so he is more noticeable.
CPU -Love this xeon. Before i bought it, i had the i3-3240 but found the xeon while browsing at Micro-Center and bought it on an impulse. Never had a problem with it, even with GTA V it doesn't break a sweat. I don't do many multi-tasking as in gaming/streaming/edidint or whatever it is people need +$300 Cpus for so this works perfectly for my needs. Maybe if my CPU dies in the future i'll consider "future proofing" with a high end i7/motherboard combo.
CPU Cooler - Bought it the same time as the xeon, even though the stock cooler would have worked fine, i wanted something cheap and not stock looking so the TX-3 works fine for that.
Motherboard - My previous Asrock z75-PRO3 started acting up. I would hit the power button to turn it on and it would turn on but never boot. The monitor wouldn't turn on and i could never get it into the bios. I would have to press the reset button a couple times before i got it to post.
Memory Initially started with 8GB and never had a problem. I then recently say a sale on pair of the same ram and i bit the bullet. While playing GTA V, ram usage will go up to 9-10GB while running. The new sticks have a black pcb and the old ones are green. I don't even notice it so nothing to complain about. The cooler barely fits between the ram slots though.
Storage -2x Samsung SSD. One is for my OS and the other i bought specifically for GTA V. Works just fine. When i installed Windows 10, i did notice something strange. Whenever i do the Magician benchmark, the speeds go up to 4300 reads and 3500 writes. (Yes i know it isn't real). It is funny to look at though. - Bought the Western Digital at the beginning of 2014 and never had a problem with it. I install most games on this and i have my documents/downloads on this drive. Frees up tons of space on the SSD. - The Toshiba drive is out my laptop. I replaced it with a 120gb SSD since i only use the laptop when i go to school (very rarely), i don't need storage space. The drive is pretty slow but i have old backups of games on it and some older files i store
Graphics Card -Upgraded from Crossfire HD 7870GHZ to One Zotac GTX 970 i bought from craigslist. I paid $240 in March 2015 i believe which was super cheap at the time. Worked perfectly on my Benq 1080p monitor until i updated. I hated hot hot this thing got. I couldn't get it to move from 78-80c. I opened it and reapplied Mx-2 but it didn't work. I redid it when i got the new GTX 970 and i also but the thermal pads that were on the vrams into individual pads per memory chip and reapplied thermal paste. That made a drastic change. Went from 78-80C down to 68-71C. Keep in mind i have a very aggressive fan curve for the zotac. At 70C, the fans run at about 80-86% so it does get quite loud. I do use headsets so i don't notice. -The new EVGA gtx 970 i got was recently on Black Friday. After i upgraded to 4k, a single 970 wasn't doing it. Jet.com had a crazy deal on a brand new 970 for $229 shipped!!!!. I initially planned on getting it and replacing the loud/hot Zotac, but seeing i had a SLI bridge laying around from when i got the new motherboard, i decided to try SLI. I put the EVGA as the main card and the Zotac as the bottom card and fired it up. The EVGA card maxes out at about 65C at about 50-55% fan speed and of course the Zotac remains in the low 70C. Only game i have had problems with is Crysis 3 which causes constant screen flickering, and no matter what i do, i can't fix it, the FPS are quite nice though
Case - Yes this case is extremly over used, but i really wanted something easy to use and that had fans directly infront of the GPU. I was really hoping that the case fans would dramatically decrease my GPU temps seeing i moved from a Cooler Master N400. Took a afternoon to slowly move everything over, and really enjoyed how easy it was. Had to install 1 extra motherboard riser but that was it. My fan hub doesn't work, i hooked up the fans i wasn't going to use on my front fan controller onto it but the fans get no power?. Sucks it came DOA but seeing i won't use it and you have to control the fan speeds via motherboard, i don't see myself using it even if it did work. I thought the case would be more green but i really like the actual color.
PSU - What can i say about this?. I bought it from a guy on Craigslist in 2014 when i bought my 2nd Used 7870 for $50 and it never gave me any problems. The PCI cables are a bit short for the Enthoo Pro to run them behind and bring them from a cutout, so i ended up using the front cutout on the PSU cover. I might get some braided extension cables but i'm not too use yet. I used an extra Phanteks Velcro tie to hold the cables together and i honestly don't mind the way they look.
Fans -initially when i installed these to push air onto the GPU's, they were REALLY loud when you turned the speed up. I removed them and put it on max speed while just holding it and realized the fans themselves were really quiet, i then slowing started putting it closer to the mounting points only to realize the noise that it was making was from the fans being directly behind the drive cage. I went to Ace Hardware and spent less than $4 for 8 inch 6-32 screws and some rubber grommet and some nylon spacers and modded it to push the fan a bit outward. After reinstalling, the fans are MUCH more quiet. Best $4 i spent on the PC! Then i used one of the extra fan brackets from the TX3 to mount one of them on the side of the GPU using zip ties. Again it didn't help with the temps of the Zotac card but the EVGA card does run about 1-2C cooler. I may remove it later but for now i will leave it and see how it does.
fan Controller -Got this one from Fry's a while back. The Usb ports are not tightly manufactured, the first time i plugged something into them, it push back into the housing. The actual fan controller works fine for me. I have read tons of bad reviews of it but i guess i got lucky?. Controls 6 fans on the fly so i can go from "gaming" to as quiet as i want. I have the front 200mm, 3x 120mm, and the rear 140mm fan hooked up to it.
Monitor - The monitor was bought as a refurb from Ebay Newegg. I really wanted 4k so this was the best deal i could find at the time. I ended up using 3440x1440 21:9 when i am gaming (today found out about 3780x1620 so i will be trying that out)and i don't notice any loss of quality in most games i've played. It isn't real wide screen because the montior is 16:9 but games do look nice and the FPS boost from moving from 4k is nice. I did have to increase font sizing to 125% because 100% is too small for me. but other than that i do like the screen.
Future plans? Only thing i would consider changing the Zotac 970 for another Evga or a Windforce model for better cooling OR instead swapping the SLI 970's for a GTX 980 ti or a new Pascal GPU if the hype is real. Then maybe a CPU water cooled loop? (just for the fun factor if i find one cheap enough)