+ Total (United States):
My most recent build before this was in early 2012 with the (in)famous 2600k. That system held up incredibly well and still runs everything except for modern games. Wanted to build a rig to give PC gaming a solid attempt. Plus... you know... it's fun to pick out parts :-)
RGB was just a fun addition. Wasn't especially geared toward it, but then found good deals on some RGB components. Stuff like the Phanteks fan lights followed and now I can do everything from subtle and pretty to unicorn vomit. It's all in good fun.
Photos show most of what was done.
What is there to say about the 8700k that hasn't already been said? Got a great price at MicroCenter and it's running exactly like it should. Haven't tried an OC on it yet, but I expect it'll run at 4.5 and above without a problem.
The fan is ugly, yes, but this CPU cooler does the job and I literally have to look at the fan to see if it's running (it's that quiet!). I swapped the fan out for a black replacement (see below for that review), and buried the brown fan in the basement where the colors didn't matter. Apparently Noctua has released more black fans with the CPU coolers this year, but not in time for this build.
Solid board and a good choice overall The status codes were interesting to me during build and initial setup, then glaring after, disturbing the look of the interior of the case. I dealt with that by 3D printing a cover for the LED code spot on the board. Wish I could cover the power and HDD/SSD lights on the board, but haven't figured that out yet. Appearance gripes aside, this MB has done all I've asked of it so far, and was easy to build on. Feels solid (it should, at this price!) and works well.
I'd say that RAM is RAM is RAM, and that's largely true. But there are better and worse experiences during builds/upgrades. This pair of sticks installed and have performed as they should. Had a bit of trouble getting the LEDs to sync with the Aura software, but solved that with a Google search or two. No complaints.
I haven't bought a new SSD in ages, and certainly not any M.2. Wow, this is FAST. Installed directly on the motherboard with such ease that I thought I must have missed a step or two. Not sure my computer could access data any faster.
Knocked a star for Samsung's terrible customer service after the sale. Bought the SSD on promo and still haven't received the promo item nearly 2 months later. Multiple customer service calls have not helped.
Bottom line- the drive is great; Samsung customer service, not so much.
I've been a fan of the WD Blacks (I still want to call them Caviar Blacks...) for years. Fingers crossed that the 6TB version is as reliable as the other WD Blacks I've used. They're big, they're quick (for what they are; not fair to compare them to SSD), and they're currently getting the job done.
Excellent, well-built card at a price that has been talked to death at this point. Cooling is well-designed, and no complaints about FPS in anything I've run so far.
Of all of the parts on this build list, I probably took the longest agonizing over which case I'd use. The Fractal Design R6TG was an excellent choice. Far and away the most versatile case I've ever encountered, and with a clean attractive look to boot. There are similar cases on the market, but this one was perfect for my needs.
Edit: forgot to mention that I love the adaptability of the case, the easy cable management, and the flexibility in cooling options.
Could have gone with a slightly smaller PSU, but this one was on sale when I was ready to build. Interior fan is quiet but effective, and modular cables are decent. Wish they were a bit more flexible, but that's really my only complaint. In combination with the Fractal Design case, it was no problem to run wires where they needed to go.
Old drive that I'm transferring at some point to the new build. Prefer an interior optical drive to using an external for my purposes. Nothing much to say other than that. I don't expect many people to be in the market for optical drives in 2018.
Quiet, easy to work with, efficient cooling. Plus has light gray fan blades that reflect the Phanteks fan LEDS very well. Glad I spent the extra $ on these case fans.
Because the site isn't letting me review the Phanteks Halos Lux on the item itself: these are great and easy to work with. Lighting is subtle and clear. They sync up nicely with the Aura software, and I'm glad that I chose the model with metal casing, as it feels solid and comes with the adapters I needed. 10/10 would buy again.
Quiet, efficient, screams quality (but quietly, lol!). Added this to my CPU cooler strictly for aesthetics (moved the brown fan that came with the cooler out of sight). Excellent purchase.