I told myself that I would build a gaming/productivity machine as a reward for finishing grad school. So, after many years of patiently waiting, here it is.
Dark Horse. Silent and deadly.
Rationale for the parts I chose...
CPU: I wanted something that can handle AAA games. While there are plenty that can do this (for much less), I wanted to get full 40 PCI lanes for future expansion. The 5960x was far too expensive for me (not to mention the price/performance ratio doesn't justify the cost) but the 5930K is just right.
Motherboard: I fell in love with the R5E as soon as I laid my eyes on it. It had all the right features for me and the location of the fan headers were an added bonus. Since the motherboard is the heart of any system, I was willing to spend a bit more to get a top notch motherboard. I was not disappointed.
Memory: OK, so I bought the TridentZ only because of looks. I mean, just look at it! It's gorgeous.
Storage: Unlike most people, I wasn't concerned about adding gobs of storage space on my PC. I have a 12TB Drobo (NAS) where I store all my media, documents and backups and a gigabit wired network throughout my home. However, I wanted to get something that would be fast without occupying too much space. The Samsung is a thing of beauty and its performance is unparalleled (for now!).
Video Card: The 980Ti is the graphics card to beat for price/performance. For me, one of the biggest concerns was acoustics. So I wanted to get a hybrid that would help with the GPU boost and at the same time keep noise levels low. Overclocking is good but I wasn't willing to sacrifice noise for overclocking capability.
Case: The Corsair 750D (which I was considering at first) was perfect in terms of fitting in my den but I was always concerned about the lack of proper ventilation. When the 750D Airflow edition came out, there was no question, this was the one for me. It has plenty of room for future expansion and the side window panel was located perfectly for my setup.
Power Supply: EVGA power supplies (especially the P2) were very highly rated. Yes, 1000W is overkill for my current setup but I am planning to add a second graphics card in the future (if the wife allows!) so some future proofing is in play here.
Case Fans: As mentioned earlier, acoustics was a key build principle. When it comes to fan noise, nothing beats a Noctua (though the EK Vardars are equally good these days). And I wasn't disappointed. After tuning the fans through the Asus software and setting up the right profile, all three fans are deadly silent.
Monitor: Mother of gaming gods... this thing is a stunner! I overclocked it to 100Hz and the thing is buttery smooth in games and Windows. Games that support this resolution are absolutely gorgeous and immersive. The colors are bright and sharp. Windows runs natively at this resolution and the real estate on the screen is very much appreciated. Absolutely no regrets on this purchase.
CPU Cooler: I went with the EK Predator 240 AIO. What an amazing cooler! The fans are super quiet (comparable to the Noctua) and the cooler itself is solidly built. I was concerned about fitting it into the case but as it turns out, it fits perfectly.
I still have to clean up some of the cable management around my den but for now, I'm just admiring and enjoying the base system! Once the initial euphoria dies, I will look into overclocking this beast and pushing it to its limits!
Amazing! Overclockable to 100Hz. Supported natively in Windows 10. The color accuracy and sharpness is absolutely stunning.
Notes: Use a displayport cable to overclock and get the full benefits. OC is disabled when using HDMI and due to HDMI limitations, you will only get 50Hz maximum using HDMI
You can use a mini-displayport to displayport cable to connect your mac to this display. That's what I did and I am able to get native 3440x1440 resolution in Mac OSX (El Capitan). You are still limited to 60Hz because that's the max that Macbook Pro (retina) can output.
The on screen display on the monitor is total garbage! It WILL take you a while to get used to the menus. The good news is that once you set it, you can forget it so the OSD menus are not a deal breaker. One suggestion (strongly advised): increase the OSD timeout menu to something like 15 seconds so that you can fumble around for the right buttons.
No dead pixels or bleeding issues. There is IPS glow but that is expected and only viewable on dark backgrounds.