For the past 5 years I have played on my i7 2600 machine which was actually a good investment in 2012, as it has lasted me til now. Only changes I made was upgrading the Radeon 6850HD that it came with to a GTX 780 Windforce and switching out the unbranded timebomb of a psu for a Thermaltake Smart 650w. It served me well (and hopefully it will serve someone else well when I sell it) but I wanted more.
For this build I was focused on picking parts that were quality yet somewhat accommodating to my relatively lower budget of around $1700 AUD. I looked long and hard to find all the parts at good prices and I think I did a good job of finding them. (Prices in Parts List are not what I actually paid for them)
Introducing this new PC:
First of all the i7 7700k is such a beast cpu. With hyperthreading and with my compatible mobo I can push 5 GHz if I so want to. Was originally going to go with the 6700k but I saw that it was priced exactly the same as the Kaby Lake processor so it was a no brainer to pick up the latest one.
Picked up a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO cpu cooler after reading about its popularity and its value for money. Not gonna say anything that hasn't already been said about it. Great cooler.
I always thought motherboards were just there to plug your parts into and then forget about. I was wrong of course but I still don't see the need in spending huge dollars for one. I first looked at getting a B350 from any company, but realised I needed a Z270 mobo to take advantage of the new architecture for whatever reason. Being safer than sorry (and getting a kickass mobo out of it) I decided on the ASRock Z270 Extreme4. Has everything you need, RGB lighting if you're into that, SLI option and an easy to navigate GUI bios. Can't complain.
I think I'm a bit of an idiot for buying a new gpu now with the crazy inflation of prices but oh well. I got an MSI Armor GTX 1070 which I'd say is one of the best cards for the money and in general a beast card. Runs everything I've thrown at it above 60 fps on Ultra, with most games going into triple digit frames on Ultra. Will likely SLI in the future when prices drop.
For RAM I was looking for some G.Skill Ripjaws and found a good deal on Ebay for $185 with free shipping. 2666mhz is more than enough speed and it's good to have it for any rendering and editing I may choose to do.
The case was the most trouble for me. I wanted a good looking case with good airflow, cable management at a low price. I found the Corsair 270R and was leaning towards it but was put off because it didn't have a window. I then realised there is a windowed variant and immediately jumped on that and bought it.
I was looking into getting an EVGA Supernova G2 but I couldn't find one at a suitable price. I ended up going with the Corsair CXM 650W grey label psu after reading the improvements over the green label CX psu. It would have been a higher tier PSU if not for the sleeve bearing fan, as explained here. I was just wrapped to get a good power supply after riding the bullet with my older Thermaltake one.
I kept my old hard disks and bought 4 additional LED fans from Centrecom for $10 each. They were plugged straight into the psu with voltage reduction cables to minimise sound made.
Overall I'm loving this new PC and with my eventual SLI upgrade, this thing will definitely last another 5 years of solid performance.
The flagship Intel CPU of the 7th generation. No bottlenecking now compared to before.
Popular for a good reason. High RPM and looks good.
Has everything you need and more. Great value.
Lifetime warranty, speedy performance. Nothing more to say.
Picked one up for around $650 AUD. Absolute beast of a card.
Joy to build in. Good air flow, lots of cable management options and hidden HDD/SSD drive mounts.
Good psu for the money. Plenty of power and reliable.