This is my first build from a complete blank slate for ten years. Most of my current system is six years old ( I thought it was more like four but I checked, no wonder it feels slow).
I started with the processor, going for a Haswell i7 was the obvious choice. Even if Haswell is a mobile focussed design, they are still the fastest desktop chip. Going for a K series unlocked model also was a simple choice.
The biggest failure with my current system is noise, something I really wanted to address with the new build, lead lead me to looking at the all in one water cooling kits. Corsair Hydro H110 was what I went for in the end but I did look at the H100i. The H100i fits in many more cases than the H110 but produces more noise and has some extra (Corsair Link) which just seem like a waste to me.
Having such a big cooler limits your choice of case, plus I wanted a quiet noise damped one. I initially looked at the NZXT H630 but after reading and watching a few reviews, went for the Fractal Design Define XL R2. If I’d gone for a H100i, the Define R4 would have been a good option.
Moving onto the graphics card, looks like NVidia have a slight edge. I looked at the Titan but then the GTX 780 was released, unless you need double precision support or the extra RAM, there seems no reason to buy a Titan now. The stock Titan/780 cooler is low noise and I had discounted any overclocked 780 as being potentially noisy but the promise of titan level performance for only a few quid more than a stock 780 was too tempting.. After reading all the review turns out many of the overclocked versions are even lower noise. In the end I went for two Palit GeForce GTX 780 Super Jetstream‘s. they are big cards, two and half slots but quiet and with a good boost, another reason for going for such a large case.
I know motherboard audio is decent but I listen to music using my PC, so a separate sound card is something I normally add to a new system. I just went for a Xonar Essence STX, after looking at the Xonar Phoebus Solo but since I mostly use headphones and stereo speaker getting a 7.1 card seemed a waste.
Finding a motherboard was tricky, I needed two 16x slots for the GPUs and then still a clear x1 slot for the sound card. The Jetstream’s coolers ruled out many motherboards but in the end the Asus Maximus VI Hero looks like it should be able to mount the two GPUs and the sound card. I did end up getting an extra 140mm fan for the front of the case just to help pull more air over the GPUs.
For storage, since I have a nice HP Microserver (which a totally recommend as a home server) for bulk data, I only needed an SSD for the OS and applications. I did look at the new Samsung 840 Evo‘s but in the end went for the Samsung 840 Series Pro 512GB, as they have a proven track record for performance and more importantly reliability.
To power all this I selected a Seasonic X-1250. Fully modular of course, so I can keep the cables to a minimum. Rounding off the build with 32GB of Corsair Vengeance (4 x 8GB) DDR3 and a Pioneer Blu-Ray/DVD/CD burner.
1 x Intel Core i7 4770K
1 x Corsair H110 Hydro Series
2 x Palit GTX 780 Super JetStream
1 x Asus Xonar Essence STX
1 x Asus MAXIMUS VI HERO
4 x 8GB Corsair DDR3 Vengeance
1 x 512GB Samsung 840 Pro
1 x Pioneer BDR-208DBK
1 x Seasonic X-Series SS-1250XM
1 x Fractal Design Define XL R2
1 x Fractal Design Silent Series R2 140mm