Not sure where you're located, but if you've got a Micro Center near you, you can pick up the 9700K for $329 in store right now. They also offer some semi-decent CPU+mobo bundles that could save you a few extra $$.
It's reassuring to know I'm moving in the right direction, especially re: the CPU. It seems as if there's information aplenty about any/every unlocked CPU, but not so much for their locked counterparts...especially for gaming.
I agree with you that the Mugen 5 is probably overkill, but the plastic connectors on the Deepcool cooler make me a bit nervous. Can't argue with that price, though!
I like the motherboard you've selected.
To answer your question about memory, I opted for 2 SSD's for silence, speed, and...to not have all my eggs in one basket, I guess? I'll use the M.2 as my boot drive and for games I'm actively playing; the 2.5" drive will be storage for other games, pics, and documents.
I'd really like to do the faster RAM for better overall performance, though the thought of running into problems still makes me nervous. Nevertheless, utilization of faster memory is such a common thing I may as well give it a go. I'm not familiar with GeIL. I'll see what's on the qualified vendor list for the motherboard (perhaps the GeIL is?) and choose from there.
I genuinely appreciate your time and advice. Thank you!
Thanks for your input; it's genuinely appreciated.
Yeah, I noticed! :) Thanks for the update. I've very relieved and happy!
I don't mind the appearance change so much but...where did the reviews go? Previously, I could see written reviews. Now all that's available is the star rating, which provides significantly less information.