Athena - The Greek Goddess of Inspiration and Strength
Up to this point, I have called my gaming PCs Dante. That was part of the old naming convention ("dead writers"). I was also beginning to feel it didn't fit once I upgraded my gaming PC to the X99 platform, and it became a professional video/photography editing PC as well. A well-rounded PC needs a well-rounded name.
The build also coincides with a change in naming convention. From now on (or until I change my mind again), all my computers and hi-tech devices will be named after goddesses and female mythological figures from the ancient Greek pantheon. In that pantheon there are few figures as appropriate as Athena, the goddess of wisdom, inspiration, courage, civilization, law and justice, mathematics, strength, war strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Sounds like a good fit for a gaming/workstation PC.
While many of the parts in this system are new, some are carried over from the previous build, Dante III. The CPU, power supply, and the Samsung 840 EVO SSD all come from the last build. The 2TB hard drives I've had lying around for some time now. The keyboard, mouse, monitor, headphones, and external drives are all the same, but everything else is new and detailed below.
CPU: I bought the Haswell-E 5820K about a year and a half prior to building this PC, and it was the brains of my last build as well (see link above). Broadwell-E does not offer substantive upgrades to performance for me, relative to the amount of money I'd have to spend on a new CPU, like the equivalent 6800K. However, upgrading to a 6800K or 6850K in the future is certainly an option. [OVERCLOCK TBD]
MOBO: I swapped an MSI X99S SLI Krait Edition for this Gigabyte X99-Ultra-Gaming board. I had a number of problems on the MSI board that I couldn't fix. None were system-breaking, but there were several, and it was kind of annoying. I was also not a fan of the UEFI interface. Given all the options available, I decided to go with this Gigabyte board, because it sits at exactly the same price point as the MSI board was when I bought it, so the performance and features should be roughly equivalent, but hopefully with a better UEFI interface and fewer small problems.
GPU: My last GPU was an EVGA GTX 970 Super Superclocked (yes, they really called it that), and I was very happy with its performance (despite the whole 3.5GB of VRAM thing). EVGA is quickly becoming one of my new favorite brands (clearly replacing MSI, who made the three graphics cards I owned before the 970), and since of the current crop of video cards I like EVGA's look best, I decided to go with them again. I stepped it up this time and got the FTW edition of the card.
MEMORY: G.Skill TridentZ, because it's well-reviewed and fits the aesthetic of the Gigabyte motherboard. I doubled my previous amount of RAM, bringing the total to a largely-unnecessary 32GB.
STORAGE: The system drive is a 240GB Kingston HyperX Predator NVMe M.2 SSD. I am replacing a superior (and more expensive) 256GB Samsung 950 Pro, because that drive failed on me. And honestly, I don't need the extra performance provided by the 950 Pro over the Predator. The reason I bought the 850 Pro was because, at the time, it was the only M.2 drive with a black PCB. A 512GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD will serve as my new scratch disk, replacing an 840 EVO (which will now become a new games drive, specifically for heavily-modded games, such as Skyrim and Cities: Skylines). I plan on adding a second 850 Pro and running them in RAID 0 for a super-fast 1TB scratch disk. And because I have a bunch of 2TB WD Black drives lying around, I decided to throw four of them in together in RAID 5 to give me a big 6TB mass storage pool.
CASE: My last two gaming PC builds were both in the Corsair Carbide 500R (in white/black). It's a great case, and there isn't any practical reason why I decided to get a new one. It's just that I've been building in the same case for at least seven years now, and I want a change. I decided to go with the Cooler Master (makers of the first case I ever bought) MasterCase Maker 5. It's specifically designed to be customizable, so I'm hoping that if I have to continue building in the same case for years to come I will at least have some freedom to change the case over time.
PSU: EVGA 750W 80+ Platinum, fully modular. Got it for the previous build to replace an aging Antec 850W PSU.
PERIPHERALS: The Corsair Vengeance K70 is my first mechanical keyboard, and I love it. The software for customizing the LEDs is a bit obtuse, but I can deal. The Mionix Naos 7000 is replacing a Razer DeathAdder, which I loved until it broke (every Razer product I ever buy finds this same fate). I like the wider body of the Naos, which allows me to rest my right ring finger on the mouse during gameplay. I'm no pro gamer, but the accuracy seems very good to me, and it's great for first-person shooters.
MONITOR: I actually received this Acer ultrawide panel as a gift (I know, I still can't believe it either), which is why I have a Freesync panel matched up with an Nvidia graphics card. My preference in GPUs is for Team Green, and I don't see myself switching anytime soon (especially since I use GeForce in-home streaming to my SHIELD console in the living room). But even though I can't take advantage of the variable refresh rate of the monitor, I'm still happy with it, as it's a major upgrade from the 24" 1080p Dell monitor I was using previously.
PHASE 2: This build is expensive, and I upgrade parts in waves. New mobo, RAM, GPU, SSDs, and case made this the single most expensive upgrade to my system yet. There's plenty more I want to do, but I need some time to recover. The next phase of the build will focus on aesthetics (but possibly also a couple of hardware upgrades). I want to swap the windowed side panel for the tempered glass panel Cooler Master offers, as well as do a full set of custom-sleeved cables (haven't decided if I'm going to go with CableMod or something like that or do it myself). And obviously a full water cooling loop is always something I'm thinking about.
Thanks for checking out my build! Please feel free to ask any questions or offer tips and ideas in the comments.