I decided to build a new PC after I upgraded to a triple monitor setup. My old machine was running an i5-2500k and dual GTX 770s. It had enough power to play games at 5760x1080, but most games were definitely not at the highest settings. I'm debating on ditching the 3 monitor setup and getting a 4k monitor in the future too, so it'll be nice to be able to run that as well. I was getting tired of my black and red color scheme also, and wanted to build something in black and white.
On my previous build, I used a Corsair Obsidian 800D. This time around I went for something smaller. I was mulling over several different cases, but I was sold on the NZXT H440 as soon as I saw it. I'll admit that aesthetics played a big role in this build, and the hidden power supply, optical drive-less front, and overall design appealed to me. It's not just for looks though, and it's a great case to work in for the most part (cable management is a little tight). I did do a couple of modifications too. First, I mounted a push button switch to the top panel to control the LED strips I had mounted inside. Second, I cut out the metal between the top two cable management holes that run alongside the motherboard. My 24 pin connector didn't really line up with either hole, so I merged them into one. NZXT was cool enough to send me an entire grommet kit (free of charge too) so I could hack together one long grommet for the new hole.
As far as the LED strips go, I wanted to try something different than most people. I mounted 3 strips under the motherboard to give it an underglow effect. It sounds cool on paper, but didn't work out too well in practice. Once all the parts are installed, you can't really see the light coming through. I mounted an LED strip just in front of the side panel window too though, and it casts a decent amount of light into the case while remaining hidden from view. I also added bullet connectors to the switch wires so I'll be able to completely remove the top panel without having to cut anything. Overall I'm pleased with the way the LEDs turned out, even though the underglow effect is basically lost. The masking tape you see in the picture was temporary if you're wondering.
Component-wise, the 4790k was an easy choice. It gets good reviews and seems to have great performance for the price. For the CPU cooler I went with a Corsair H100i. I'll eventually overclock the i7, and this should be good at keeping the temps down. I picked up an MSI Z97s Krait Edition for the motherboard. It's not loaded with a ton of features like a more expensive board, but it's got the features I need and will actually use. I chose 16gb of Kingston HyperX Fury RAM in (you guessed it) white. I gave myself several options for storage. I'm reusing a 120gb Samsung 840 Evo for the OS, two 480gb Intel 530 series SSDs in RAID0 for the games I play the most, and 2 WD Black 1TB drives for general storage and games that I don't often play. The GPUs were another easy choice, with dual MSI GTX 980s. The only real downside to these cards is the cost, but they should handle anything thrown at them for the next several years. I replaced all the case fans with ones from Corsair.
Luckily it's not hard to find quality components in black and white, since that's the theme I'm going for. If the parts I got were any other color, I either painted them, or sleeved them. I ended up buying all the tools and equipment to sleeve my PSU cables myself. It would've been easier to just buy sleeved cables from Corsair, but now I have the tools and know how to do it again in the future. The GPUs were originally black and red, so I took apart the shroud as far as I could and painted the red parts white. Unfortunately, when the MSI logo lights up on the card, it casts a faint red hue from the original plastic color. It doesn't look as noticeable in person as it does in the pictures however. I had to paint the EVGA SLI bridge as well. The metal bits are held on with double sided adhesive, so I carefully pulled them off, removed the residue, and painted the metal white. I put tape that looks like carbon fiber over the EVGA logo to match everything else (that and an EVGA logo sandwiched between two MSI logos would look kinda funny IMO).
The build itself was pretty uneventful. The one thing that does stick out in my mind was getting the back panel on. The side panels have sound dampening material on them, and since it's already a slightly small case, getting the back panel on with all the wiring in was a challenge to say the least. I ended up ripping off most of the foam so I wouldn't crush anything. To be honest, my cable management in the back looks like a nightmare, but I was running out of room to put the wires. I'm sure with more careful cable routing it wouldn't be as much of a problem though.
Overall I'm very happy with how the build turned out. I got the look I was going for without having to make any compromises, and I have a system that should be good for the next several years. Or until I decide I need a new PC, whichever comes first. Criticism is welcome, constructive or otherwise. Once I get done overclocking the GPUs and CPU I'll update this post with temps and speeds. Lastly, I don't think I've typed anything this long since high school, so forgive me if it's all over the place and hard to read.
TL;DR I built a black and white computer. It's pretty fast. Lots of cables.