EDIT 10/28/14: I WILL FIX CABLE MANAGEMENT! I just need some more free time, as currently I am very busy!
To start off, I have quite a lot to talk about, and if you don't want to read, I get it, but one thing everyone should know it that this build could not have been possible without the help of my friend Nick P, who helped me get through the whole process so I wouldn't screw up :)
If you are still interested, read on!
Ever since last Christmas, I have been fascinated by building my own computer. Before this, I had an old Alienware laptop that used to do everything for me. However, it wasn’t really cutting it. So I began researching parts, watching countless hours of build guides, checking out all the forums for what to get, and what to stay away from. This was my dream build, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to tackle it until this summer, when Nick (aforementioned above), build his own computer this summer. This finally gave me the bump to get everything ready, and I was going to buy last gen parts until I heard all the rumors about the new parts being released soon. So, I decided to wait until now, and it was probably a good thing, since all the new parts came out, and I was able to get all of the brand new enthusiast grade parts. When all of the parts came, I was so excited. I got everything from either Amazon or Newegg, since I have heard, and can vouch for, are probably the best retailers to buy from. Amazon is of course the reigning king, with super-fast delivery on prime, and outstanding return policy (thankfully I didn’t have to return anything), but Newegg is getting there, and they are both eggcelent (pun intended). I wanted to theme this build, so I gave it a Yin and Yang/black and white themed build, and I think it looks stunning. If you are browsing the pictures, please note that the pictures may make some of the LEDs look blue, but in reality they are all white! It looks great during the day, but the white LEDs really make it shine at night!
CPU: I knew from the start I wanted to do an X99 build, and this CPU seemed to be the perfect fit. It's not to expensive, it handles non-gaming tasks incredibly well with its 6 coresy (yes, you can gasp, I don't just do gaming!), and it handles gaming great as well. For those who will start whining about the PCIe lanes since this particular chip only has 28, I would like to direct you to this video. It works fine for my needs, and I think it was a good choice.
CPU Cooler: Great cooler for the money, and works extremely well at cooling my CPU. Was a breeze to install, and I knew that I had to get an intense cooler to cool this beast of a CPU.
Thermal Compound: Cheap, highly recommended, worked smoothly.
Motherboard: There are a few reasons I got this motherboard. It is a very highly rated X99 motherboard, it fit well with my black and white theme, and it was one of the cheapest I could find. It has more than enough expansion room for anything I do in the future! It has great build quality, and the BIOS is simple and easy to use. I definitely love how it looks as well!
Memory: The Crucial Ballistix Sport are definitely a step up from the base Crucial ram, and are pretty solid. I got them because they were the only DDR4 memory that could match my color scheme, and that came in 2x8 16GB configuration. I know I only have 16GB, but I am planning on adding another more in the very near future.
Storage: The Samsung Evo 840 is probably one of the best SSDs that you can buy right now. Highest rated on Amazon, blazing fast speeds, secure data storage, what’s not to love?
Video Card: The EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Superclocked has blazingly fast speeds, and the next gen architecture makes it perfect for the monitor I’m running (more on that below). Since I was on the bleeding edge of chipsets, I thought that bleeding edge of graphics cards would go well with this build. Needless to say it runs everything I can throw at it with ease, and the new ACX 2.0 cooling really does its job. I highly recommend this card or the 970 to anyone interested, because it is definitely worth every penny.
Case: The Corsair 780T is one of the most beautiful cases I have ever seen, and not to mention the giant cavern inside made cable management a breeze! I know that my cable management doesn’t compare to some of the beautiful builds on this site, but I think for a first time build it is pretty good. I got it in white, and it came with white LED fans already, but I swapped them out for some higher performance ones. There is so much customizability in the case with moving things everywhere, and I would definitely recommend this case. The side window is amazing, and is extremely big to let you see all of the glory inside your case. It makes the interior shine at night with all the LEDS! Did I mention it is beautiful?
Power Supply: Yes, I understand it is extremely overkill, and I am also aware that all the new products I have bought actually use less power than their predecessors, but it was on sale for the same price as a 800 watt Power Supply, and it means no matter what I upgrade, this thing can handle it, so I bought it.
Optical Drive: “People still use these?” you may ask. The answer is yes. For tasks besides gaming, it is pretty useful, and not to mention that you can get a Blu-Ray Writer for only $50 these days is pretty sweet. I didn’t think twice about getting it.
OS: Windows 8, not Windows 7. Yes, I know, but it’s the future, and someday we will all have to switch over, so why not start now? It takes some getting used to, especially if you don’t have a touchscreen and have to use the mouse for all the commands, but I’ll leave the OS wars to you guys.
Monitor: Ahhh, and so it begins. When I first laid eyes on it, I shed a tear of joy. It is absolutely spectacular. The color reproduction is astonishing, the response time is surprisingly fast for this type of monitor (only 5ms!), and the curved 34” Ultrawide screen is incredibly immersive. Unlike curved TV’s where you sit so far back it doesn’t matter, having a curve when you sit so close to the monitor actually does make a difference. It really helps you get inside of whatever you are doing.The aspect ratio is fantastic for non-gaming purposed. You can have four full-sized word documents open side by side on this screen! And for gaming, it simply puts you into the game. The full immersion is insane. I can’t give it justice with this description. I know some games don’t support this screen, but you can still run full 1440p gaming with black bars on the side if you need to. I know some will talk about how it’s not worth it since it is only 60Hz refresh rate, and not 144Hz like some other 1440p monitors (e.g. ROG Swift), but honestly, it’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make. The next thing to talk about is obviously 4K, and why I think this is better. 4K does look incredible, but there isn’t anything in this Ultrawide aspect ratio. Also, and probably the biggest reason why I didn’t go with 4K was games simply run faster on this monitor. Even though this monitor is QHD, and has a giant screen size, it is actually only 25% bigger than a normal 1440p monitor. This means that using a single graphics card, like I have now, it can still run games at high setting with very good frame rates (60+). If I had a 4K monitor, even my brand new GTX 980, which is optimized for 4K, would have trouble putting out more than 20 FPS on high settings. So, a graphics card optimized for 4K gaming combined with a screen only 25% bigger than a 1440p monitor give you an amazing balance between performance and beauty. If you can afford to buy it, I would say go for it! For more information, Linus Tech Tips actually does have two great videos on this. One is on the non-curved model of my screen and the other is on curved model.
Peripherals: For the keyboard, I just got a Corsair K95 with Cherry MX Red switches. I didn’t go for the RGB version because I thought it would clash with the black and white theme I was going for. This model came with white LEDs, so it was a no brainer for me. For the mouse, I got picked up the Razer Deathadder Chroma. The only reason I got the Chroma is so I can change the color on the mouse to a static white to match the build, since the other mice on the market don’t have a static white color, only other colors. For headphones, I got the Steelseries Siberia Elites for the comfort, the 7.1 surround sound on the computer with the included sound card, the retractable mic so I don’t look like a fool when I use them to walk around, and the compatibility with phones and tablets so they can be my daily driver headset/headphones. I also picked up the NZXT White Case LEDs, and for their cheap price and easy installation, I definitely recommend them. They come in different colors to match your build, and they make your case look AWESOME!
Some final notes is that I am planning on purchasing more memory in the near future, but for now 16GB is fine. As for the graphics card, I will most likely be getting a second card to SLI in the future to get even more performance on this great monitor. Maybe around the holidays or for my birthday, but it will happen, I just don’t know when yet.
Once more, a shout-out to Nick for helping me with all of this, and I hope you guys enjoy my build!
PLEASE NOTE: In these pictures I have a crappy keyboard that is probably over 10 years old. This is because the order on my Corsair K95 Keyboard was delayed, and this was the only thing I could find to setup the computer!