Complete Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/hgGppb
Full resolution images: http://imgur.com/a/8Lw0o
I've been a console gamer for a little over two decades. I would play PC games on old computers every once in awhile. A few years back I moved over to laptop gaming, but it was hugely lacking. I started tirelessly researching everything I could about all things PC. After going through many variations I finally decided on the build you see here.
Putting "The Chaos Engine" together has been an awesome and very educational experience for me. The only problem I ran into was that my PC wasn't properly shutting down or restarting at first. I found out that I had to turn off fast boot in the bios to fix this issue.
I've been mainly using this for 3440x1440 @60FPS gaming. I just started dabbling in DSR to see how much further I can push this rig. I also do some light video recording & editing. I haven't tested all of my games, but I haven't found a game yet that I cannot run with max settings @60FPS.
-Custom Part Reviews-
Blue Yeti Blackout Edition Microphone - Great clarity. This can easily pick up my voice from several feet away without competing with the 15 fans in my case or clicks from the mechanical keyboard. The multi-pattern options are great. Plug & play!
Custom Cablemod Extensions - I used the Cablemod Configurator for these. Out of everything in my build, these were the most disappointing. The GPU connections did not match up with my cards. Instead of giving in to better judgement and returning them, I "fixed" this problem with an Exacto knife.
AudioEngine S8 Power Amp - Very powerful. Works flawlessly in tandem with my A2+ speakers. I have to keep this on a low setting to avoid disturbing my neighbors.
Xbox 360 Wireless Red Chrome Controller - Works just like any other controller out there. Remember to get a wireless receiver if you plan on using this on your PC (or one specified for computers).
Mayflower Objective2 + ODAC RevB - Excellent headphone preamp and DAC. If you're in the market for an amp to pair with high impedance headphones, get this. You won't be disappointed. So powerful that the gain only gets turned up 1/4.
MSI 2-WAY SLI bridge - It matches my GPUS, works, and looks nice. Only downside is that you cannot change the LED colors.
Cablemod LED strips - These are bright and they stick firmly, no complaints.
A couple of things I would do differently... Don't buy parts until I have my entire budget saved. I started purchasing parts before the X99 platform was released. I'm sure I'm not missing out performance-wise, but I wish I started there because now a CPU upgrade will also mean a new motherboard and RAM.
A more neutral colored motherboard would've been a better choice so I could change my color theme easily. I'm not knocking red & black. It's been done a lot these past few years, and it still looks excellent.
There a few parts I got for free from a co-worker since he just recently upgraded and knew I was closing in on finishing my build. He got me started early and I took it from there. A big thank you to Eric! You're awesome dude. The free parts I swapped out will be going into my wife's build which I hope to start planning soon.
A great CPU. Overclocked nicely under my CLC. Handles video editing and gaming with ease.
Keeps my 4790k cool, stays quiet, and the link software works nicely in the background.
You can definitely hear the pump whirring when the CPU is @ 100%, but since that doesn't happen unless something is going wrong in software, it shouldn't be considered a practical or real world issue.
Used the classic pea method for application. CPU is staying cool. No complaints.
A great motherboard. Its comes with more bells and whistles than I ever anticipate to use. The bios is easy to navigate and change.
It cannot use my NVME M.2 SSD to it's full potential and disables the X1 PCIE lanes when an M.2 is in use, but that was expected and doesn't deserve to lose a star over that.
It's fast, looks nice, and runs at 2400mhz by enabling the XMP profile in the bios.
Fast and reliable, works great for my high priority programs.
Fast speeds and reliable brand. Used for games. HUGE difference in load times.
EDIT: After a couple months of use this drive was no longer being read. Samsung replaced it with a refurbished unit in the same week I sent it out. So far the refurbished drive is running good.
Note I did not have to pay for return shipping.
Amazingly fast. Boots in 6 seconds. Using for OS and various programs.
Fast, reliable, quiet, and lots of room for all of my miscellaneous programs and files.
An insanely powerful GPU. Coming from a low powered laptop and console to SLI 1070s was a religious experience. Simply amazing.
The red LED setting in the MSI gaming app looks pinkish instead of a true red.
Several months down the road now and running this in 2-way SLI is still surprising me. I'm playing all games at the highest settings at 3440x1440 60 FPS without even a hiccup.
Download the MSI LED third party tool and you can utilize the full color spectrum you expect when paying for a $400-$500 GPU.
BIG & HEAVY! This case is expensive, but is drowning in quality. Cable management was a breeze. Even with the crazy amount of fans I have (15). Phanteks has a lifelong customer.
Overkill for my needs. Fully modular. Can handle any normal builds without issue. EVGA support is 2nd to none.
At fault of my own, I would've been severely lacking in cables if I hadn't previously purchased an EVGA 750w PSU before this one.
Rarely used, but still comes in handy for some old games and programs I have floating around.
Very responsive OS. I haven't had any issues yet, but I'm unnerved by the amount of tracking that comes with this.
Pushes lots of air quietly and looks really nice. Quality and aesthetics in a fan!
Great performance without looking like a turd.
Quiet with interchangeable rings that can be easily painted to match your build.
Quiet AF, that's what the AF stands for right?
Quiet, pushes lots of air, and the LEDs aren't overpowering.
Simple, works great with plenty of cable length. RGB options are a nice plus.
3440x1440, IPS, 60HZ, NOT curved, and a good price. This has the same guts as the far more expensive LG versions. The bezel AOC uses is so small I forget it's even there.
-Doesn't support HDMI 2.0. -Sometimes the refresh rate gets out of sync between the left and right side. It's not often and is easily remedied by powering it off/on.
Once you go ultra wide, you'll never go back to standard widescreen. It's super immersive in both gaming & movies. The added real estate makes multi-tasking vastly easier.
High quality mechanical keyboard. The feedback (both feeling & sound) is very pleasing. I'll never go back to soft/domed keyboards.
The simple LED options are nice. The media buttons, audio scroll wheel, and locking options make this a top tier board.
Replaced my 2013 Razer DeathAdder. This is far superior with accuracy, grip material, on the fly DPI adjustments, optional weights, and it's driverless!
EDIT: This mouse has built-in acceleration and since it doesn't work with the CUE software there is no way to disable it. It's too much of an issue to keep using. I'm switching to the M65 Pro RGB FPS mouse.
Everything I wanted with the Raptor M45 without built in acceleration. Great grip, good adjustable weights, accurate sensor, form fitting for right-handed people, and the RGB effects along with the sniper button are nice touches. DPI switching on the fly is a nice advantage when switching between multiple games.
The CUE software is inclusive, doesn't feel bloaty, intrusive, or resource hungry. 5 stars.
If you're into music, you owe it to yourself to get these. Open-backed headphones are great when paired with a quality preamp. The default ear cups were too hot for me so I swapped them out with some red leather ones.
EDIT: The left channel started producing static constantly. Sent in for warranty repair and Beyerdynamic replaced the whole left side. Now it works flawlessly.
Note I did have to pay for shipping to send it in. It took roughly 10-12 days to get it back.
QUALITY to price is off the charts. I would've easily paid double for these. They're super comfortable and have surprisingly good clarity. The 7.1ch drivers are exceptionally pleasant in stealth games. Headset mics are terrible and should never be used, but this one could hold me over if my Yeti ever bites the dust.
EDIT: The USB portion of the cable stopped working properly. Kingston sent me a new one free of charge within 2 days and I returned the old one with a provided label.
You get what you pay for. These are no exception. The clarity of sound you get from these will blow you away. If you want bass, these aren't the speakers for you. Get the additional separate amp and you'll never need another sound system. My volume currently stays around 2-8 because they can get extremely loud.