Updated 26 Feb 17 with pic to reflect tighter cable routing and heatsinks on the M.2 SSD
What - My often tinkered with gaming PC now no longer has any original component left from my first build in Dec 2013. I made the jump shortly after the launch of the PS4. Seeing all of the upcoming games were remaster's and realizing I could play them today and at way cheaper prices pushed me over. Researching sales, tightening cable management and monitoring overclocks have become a hobby as active as playing the games I got the PC for.
Who- All me while weighing the input from r/buildapc, r/cablemanagement and of course PCPartPicker.
When- My first build was 2.5 years ago. I've bought and sold a lot between now and then to end up where I think I'll settle long enough to justify another build post. Future upgrades won't be Intel release's their rumored 6 core Coffee Lake mainstream CPU and Nvidia's Volta GPU's with HBM memory.
Where- Canada! So please don't grief me about all of the sales you see in the States that would have made the price's sooo much cheaper. This was/is an evolving build so a far as costs go I buy little by little every couple of months so sticker shock doesn't take me out. I buy almost everything locally at my nearest Memory Express who will price match, only a few items were ordered online where they lacked availability, like the GPU for example, which is still a unicorn here in the north.
Why- I'll highlight some parts and explain why they were chosen.
6700k- A slight upgrade from my 4670k. Digital Foundries video on the 6700k's improvements to minimum frame rate played heavily on my decision as well as various benchmarks like at Gamer Nexus that showed hyper-threading was making a difference in games like Fallout 4. With Kaby Lake desktop CPU's rumored to be delayed into 2017 and no 6 core mainstream sku's until Coffee Lake at the earliest I figured now was as good a time as any to change up the platform from z97. I didn't opt for Broadwell or Haswell-E because I'm resigned to single GPU setup's now so no need for the extra pci lanes and instead I get the best single core IPC performance. I have it set to OC at 4.6GHz at an adaptive voltage, temps won't go past 50C in-game.
EVGA GTX 1080 FTW- Moved up from the 980 Ti. Another small upgrade that shouldn't be worth it to most. It's driving 1440p @ 165hz so I do get to see every new frame provided. It was another issue of timing, I feel I did pretty well with the previous GPU's sale, right before it's value fell off a cliff. I'm looking forward to getting a Vive over the holiday's so hopefully the 1080 can give it another boost worth my time & money. I also used to have a GTX 980 which went down as my favorite GPU, I really appreciated the power and temperature savings the G104 chips provide so the 1080 just felt like the GPU for me without compromise. The FTW OC locks in at 2050Hz after temps rise to about 65C where they sit pretty. RGB is pretty cool, I've got it in red for the pictures but it really doesn't come through as well in as in person, blue looks great too and I struggled between the two given it would better match my keyboard and mouse.
MSI M7 Gaming Motherboard- Got it at a fantastic deal which set me on the path to upgrading everything for the new platform. I'm well-versed in their bios and they have a RMA depot in Canada so I keep coming back to MSI for my mobo's. Matches the cables I already had and does a better job using my NVME SSD then the old Z97 board could (Uses all 4 pci lanes and doesn't take away sata ports).
Trident Z 3200MHz Ram- I prefer x4 stick kits just to fill out the slots on the board. I choose these over Corsair's Dominator offerings because they came in at nearly half the cost and had better timings at 16-16-16-36. They look phenomenal from the side view when I'm sat down.
G502 and G910 KB&M- I wanted a mouse with a tilt wheel that could click left and right for added key bindings. Works great with Chrome as I can flip between tabs. Got it before the Spectrum so I'm stuck with Blue, I got the keyboard a week later after I was so impressed with the mouse. They synergise well with Logitech's software and make a great combo.
Sound Blaster Z Soundcard- Got this along with the headphones, I saw a round up from PC Gamer that basically bashed most of the gaming headsets on the market, so I wanted to side step that and get the headphones I lusted after for years, the ATH-M50x's. I'm not much of an audiophile but I did want to give my new headphones something a bit better than on board sound and this card came with a small directional mic I was going to need. I later slapped on a backplate for aesthetics and it being red didn't hurt either.
400C Case- After I broke down my SLI build I wanted a tower smaller than my 750D, which just felt so large and empty. The 400C takes all of my components and fits them in snug without much real estate wasted. The giant window with the swinging door is awesome in practice, I open that thing up quite a bit to blow out any dust or plug in a cable to my cooler to change the color.
H100i CPU Liquid Cooler & Fans- This CPU cooler was one of the first upgrades I made to my original build. Always appreciated it's simple look and now finally get to put the RGB logo to use. I always preferred the 240mm radiator size because I could use Corsairs SF Quiet fans, they don't make SF140's so I never went up in size. I'm glad I didn't now because it fits perfectly in the push/pull config I have in this case with room for one more AF120 below it. Rounding out the rest I have an AF120 in the rear and could fit two of my AF140's in the top. It's nice and snug on the roof of the case, if I need to unplug the cpu power cable I have to take off the nearest top fan to access it's port.
That's it! Please ask if you had any questions on what I touched on or missed. Rag on me if it generates discussion or send me some validation, I appreciate it thanks!