College Refund Well Spent!
I have no access to spell check right now so be gentle grammar nazis!
More pictures will be uploaded when I have the time to do so (I have finals coming up so no promises).
Half of this build was purchased back in Q1 2014 so that is why some of the part choices may seem a bit odd. Built on: 01/30/2014 Updated with the 970s and 1000w PSU: 10/27/2014 Also, howdy from LinusTechTips!
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770k. I went with this CPU back in Q1 2014 since it was the best i7 I could get at the time for the Z87 motherboards.
Pros: It's a quad-core with hyperthreading and it's CPU clock out of the box is 3.5 GHz.
Cons: Gets hotter than the surface of the sun with even slight overclocking/overvolting. The farthest I could get was 4.2 GHz and even then it was pushing 80c in some applications under load (which I wasn't comfortable with). I set it back to it's default clock after I got a BSOD over and over again :(
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14. This cooler was the best air cooler I could get back in January so I picked it up. I don't trust water coolers ever since a friend of mine had his h100i leak all over his Sabertooth and 780.
Pros: It's a great cooler considering that it's air and not water, it keeps my CPU under 70c while under load and is much more queit than all the other fans in my system.
Cons: It's big and makes changing the ram a lot more difficult.
Motherboard: MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming. This mobo is amazing with its oc genie feature and go-to BIOS buttons. I couldn't say much about all of the other features since I wouldn't know what half of them are or what they do.
Pros: It costs a lot less than ASUS ROG mobos and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference either way.
Cons: I haven't found any after 1 year of use.
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600. This is WAY more memory than I will ever need for gaming, but I bought it just to be the guy that says "I've got 16 gigs in my system."
Pros: I haven't oced it yet, but I'm sure that it does well.
Cons: It's hard to install with the giant air cooler in my way.
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO (120GB) and Seagate Barracuda (1TB). Went with an SSD/HDD combo since it's what everyone's doing for gaming builds nowadays.
Pros: My PC boots up incredibly fast and I have enough storage (for now) to store all of my games and save files without worrying.
Cons: The Barracuda drive makes this really annoying chirping sound and I had to install a software called CrystalDiskInfo in order to force the drive to stop the noise (it was the APM thing that the drive has).
Video Card(s): 2 x Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming. This is where my college refund went.
Pros: I can run all games at 1080p Ultra without worrying about temps going through the roof. They are relatively quiet at 100% load even with six extra fans running at full speed. The backplate is awesome and they come with cherry picked chips that perform very well at stock speeds. Haven't bothered overclocking them yet since I'm sure the temps would go crazy.
Cons: One of the cards has coil whine that's audible only if you put your ear right next to the card while it's under load.
EDIT: Just overclocked both to 1430MHz and they are running just fine :)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window. The best case for my needs.
Pros: It has a window and it has a fan controller that I currently have set to 12v for the best cooling with my 970s. It is also silent.
Cons: Uhm...the front dust filter is a bit hard to get to?
PSU: EVGA 1000W. Just got and installed this about a month back and its been working great so far.
Pros: Fully-modular and 80+ Gold rated (as long as its 80+ whatever it doesn't really matter).
Cons: ...its a power supply...I can't really complain unless it explodes.
Optical Drive: ASUS thing. It's a disk drive.
Cons: It's a disk drive.
OS: Windows 7 64-bit. I HATE Windows 8.
Pros: It's not Windows 8.
Cons: It costs $100 and support for it will end soon :(
Monitor: Acer H236HL. A great monitor that I got from Newegg and I plan on getting another 2 for NV-Surround in the near future.
Pros: IPS and it doesn't cost that much.
Cons: It's not a 4k monitor.
Keyboard and Mouse: Corsair K70 and Logitech G500. The keyboard is amazing and I love Cherry MX Browns for typing and gaming. The mouse is at my home back in Shawano so I'm using a Logitech M100 right now in its place.
Pros: Mechanical and it has Blue LEDs to match the Windforce logos on my 970s. As for the mouse it is great for gaming. The keyboard also has a volume wheel that I use constantly now.
Cons: Non so far.
And that is where my college refund went and I can say that I am very pleased with the performance of this machine. I used to have a 780 in it but then I heard that Nvidia's new Maxwell cards had arrived and I said "Sign me up!" A future upgrade could be either an AIO water cooler or a custom loop so that changing out the ram isn't such an arduous process. I don't have access to spell check right now so please excuse any spelling errors that I have made in this description :)