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I'll start this off with a disclaimer, I suppose. I recognize that I am certainly not exempt from the helpful criticism present in the wonderful community of this site. However, I would like to say this: This build was in the configuration stage on this site for approximately 1 year before I finally purchased the parts. This is partially due to my simple lack of funds (as I'm 16 and don't have a source of genuine income), but primarily because I wanted it to be as perfectly color-coordinated as possible. Some may think that I could have gotten better performance for the price, but even tiny things like the heatsinks on the motherboard needed to be perfect for me to be happy. That's the quick explanation of why I decided to go AMD over Intel, as there were no greyscale motherboards available for Intel CPUs. While some may want to squeeze the most performance out of their budget, my goal for my personal system was for it to look as good as possible while also performing like a beast.
Anyway, on to the more fun stuff. I have built a number of systems for friends, but never really got the opportunity to do one for myself until now. I simply love the process of configuring good-looking computers and seeing how they look once they're finally done, and I just wanted to do one for myself so I could say "This is mine. There are many like it, but this one is mine." As you can probably tell, color coordination and performance were my two primary goals for this build. That should explain my choices for the CPU, CPU cooler, Motherboard, GPU, and Case (and maybe the SSD as well). Aside from a little bit of unseen blue on the sticker of the WD 1TB drive, everything in this build matches pretty much perfectly. I even went so far as to order a third Phanteks fan to replace the stock Fractal fan in the rear 140mm slot because the Fractal one looked out of place sitting behind the Phanteks cooler, as well as specifically purchasing a color-coordinated monitor and keyboard to match the system theme.
As for performance specs, I haven't noticed a single thing wrong with this thing. I haven't been able to formally benchmark it yet, but I assure you, the FX-8350 and GTX 770 HOF have absolutely no problem with any game I throw at them, even at the highest possible settings (granted, I have played only a few games, including Skyrim and Need For Speed, but think what you will). As for noise, the loudest thing in the whole build is the Phanteks PH-TC14PE, which has never gone above 630rpm, staying practically silent, and keeping the CPU wonderfully cool even under load.
Overall, I'm extremely happy with this build. Building computers is my passion, and I am simply ecstatic to call this beast my personal rig. I'm sure it will serve me well for years to come.
A WARNING TO FUTURE BUILDERS I just want to add at the end here a little note about the Phanteks PH-TC14PE. As it turns out, this CPU cooler is not compatible with my motherboard, the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3. Don't get me wrong, it works fine with socket AM3+, but it is simply incompatible with this specific board. Just a tip for any future builders who may be thinking of purchasing this combination :)
EDIT Just today (3/10/2014), I received a new cooler: the Noctua NH-D14! This thing is a beast! It's lighter, quieter, and cools better than the Phanteks (for me), and I love it. Just wanted to give some insight to people wondering "Why is there an NH-D14 on the parts list, and a PH-TC14PE in the build??"
|AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor|
|CPU Clock Rate||4.0GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||19.0° C|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||34.0° C|