This system was built to be a daily use system for my fiancé. What we were shooting for was a system that could do some mild photo editing, surf the web, work as a media server for our Samsung Smart TV, and do some basic 1080P gaming if she so desired.
All of the parts were chosen as "best bang for the buck" with a slight emphasis on performance. The system also had to have the ability to be upgraded to suit her changing needs. We wanted something that fit her personality so we chose a pretty unconventional color theme. There are very few pink cases on the market and we got lucky to sang up what I feel is one of the absolute best pink cases ever made, the NZXT Pink Phantom. The case has long been discontinued and when I purchased it second hand for $200 it was pretty beat up. The right side panel was all scratched up and the front bezel was completely cracked in half on the bottom left side. These cases are so hard to get ahold of though, I had to take a chance. The $200 I paid was a far cry from the $500-$,1500 I have seen these cases sell for due to their limited production. under a worst case scenario, my original plan was to color match the paint on the side panel and to fix the cracked bezel by using fiberglass. A quick message to NZXT though and we were able to get all the damaged parts replaced with new "old stock" parts....this included a new front bezel, the right side panel, and a complete screw and bracket kit FOR FREE...I didn't even have to pay shipping...that's how well they treat their customers over at NZXT!!!
The completed build runs all 4 cores with a mild overclock of 4.55GHZ @ 31C or 87F under normal desktop apps due to the Respire T40 and the Prolimatech PK-2 and that is in a room with an regular ambient temp of 23C or 74F. This makes for rock solid operation with only normal maintenance being required.
The system works amazing for a media server as it runs Samsung Link (a free software download from Samsung for their devices) to stream videos to our TV and Smartphone flawlessly. Games Like Dota2 run @ 1080p with all details maxed at well over 100FPS and even games such as War Thunder never dip below 60FPS with most settings maxed out. This is more performance than she currently needs for gaming but it gives her some headroom for growth. For graphic work she uses Paint.net and Inkscape (free downloads which are clones of Photoshop and Corel Draw). Both work great under normal operation however in Inkscape, after applying multiple filters to a drawing you can see the system start to slow. I do plan on adding an additional 8GB of ram to the system to help combat this.
We also just ordered a OCZ Vector 180 120GB SSD (which has been added to the parts list on 7/20/2015) to increase system performance. I chose this drive for 3 reasons. I am very curious to see if the new controller tech that OCZ is using in the vector series is as good as they claim. Reliability has been an issue for OCZ in the past but this new partnership with Toshiba seems promising and I just want to see it first hand. On paper the drive appears to match up with most other top tier drives out there so I want to see how close their data is to real world performance. Lastly the drive compliments our color scheme perfectly, and that is a plus.
All in all the system does exactly what we set out for it to do and she has been very happy with her computer. It stays running for days and sometimes weeks at a time before reboots (usually due to an update) and it has done this for well over a year with no problems.
Added 3 new pictures on 7/11/15 as I got bored and decided to do a basic mod to the video card. I removed and painted the shroud of the EVGA 750Ti to match the color scheme, then put everything back together. This small mod has made such a difference in how the system looks.
7/27/2015 The OCZ Vector 180 has been installed and is up and running great. I get a Crystal Disk Mark read of 539 and a write of 444 off of this 120GB SSD. The Clone software that comes with the drive makes moving your O/S as easy as can be. The entire upgrade process from start to finish including all cloning and cleanup of old files from the mechanical HDD took about an hour and a half. I also took this opportunity to revamp the cable management a little and added some photos to reflect the changes. The next upgrade on the list is doubling the ram to 16GB while the pricing is so good.