Pictures are potato quality. I apologize for nothing. Also, I just realized I don't have any photos of the completed build. I may have to remedy that some day.
After years of consuming tech, whether on the old TechTV, various magazines, websites, and YouTube, we really get desensitized to what is actually a bad-*** computer. This build is what I would consider the higher end of "midrange," especially at the time it was built, and it can chew through anything I throw at it. Sure, I'm not running at 4K 60FPS or anything, but this is mine and I loves it.
Being that this is a Team Red build, it doubles as a furnace! Amazing in the Wisconsin winters, but my nerd cave sometimes gets over 90 degrees F in the summer if I don't have the AC on.
I made good use of gift cards, gifts, and my rebate cards to get good deals on a few of these components. I advise you do the same. Seriously.
Soundtrack for the build: "Heart Beats Pacific," "Resignation Day," and "Collapser" by Banner Pilot; "Leavetaking" and "Delusions" by Elway; "Storm" by Sam Russo. I dunno, some people care about this stuff. I know I do.
So this was the first PC I had built after a near ten year absence from the world of PC building. This creature came to life in mid-October of 2013. Of course, it's not finished yet. It'll never be finished.
It chokes on Fire Strike out of the box, but a mild overclock unlocks the monster caged within.
Pretty high-end air cooler. Keeps my CPU cool. Pretty cool.
Weak 4+1 power phase holds back overclocking potential, but has Crossfire capability, so there's that. It looks cool, too - dark PCB and heatsinks. UEFI BIOS leaves a bit to be desired compared to higher-end boards, but it's actually not bad. At least it's UEFI.
I mean, it's RAM. No complaints. Picked up a second stick on the cheap in February 2016. I figured, eh, why not.
Added in February 2016. Finally decided to enter the world of SSDs. I love it. I don't know how I ever lived without an SSD.
It works, I guess. 1TB fills up pretty fast, though.
It's hot, and it's hot. I keep the fan manually set to 80% just about all the time, but it can handle just about everything I throw at it. I don't find the fan terribly loud, but I have headphones on most of the time and have quite a bit of ambient sound in the apartment.
It's sexy and it holds my computer safely off the floor.
Works well. Only complaint is non-modular.
Nice white LEDs and they keep the case cool.
Came with the case. Nice looks and they keep everything cool.
The stand that comes with the monitor sucks, seriously. Get a cheap mount so you can raise it to a level that allows you to see the screen without hunching over. Viewing angles are moderately decent, but anyone who has an IPS probably wouldn't like it. It works for what I need it for and how I use it.
Super comfortable and works very well. Adjustable DPI settings and RGB LEDs are nice. Certain LED colors look terrible (purple sucks, white is okay, etc), but most are vibrant.
The BestBuy salesman tried to sell me the extra GeekSquad warranty because the "flimsy wire pieces tend to break," but after about a year and a half of use, they have yet to show any sign of weakness. Glad I didn't fork over for that, then. Sound is pretty damn good for the price point. Microphone is surprisingly decent, too.