So... I got fed up of buying PC's every couple of years to cope with the rapid evolution of games development software (I'm a Games Design Lecturer for the OU) and decided it was about time I figured out what all this Hardware malarkey was about by building my first PC that was a little more future proof then 2 years.
And so began the arduous journey of learning more about hardware and its compatibility and then taking the plunge to buy parts and the build begun. However, working in the design industry meant that of course, the system had to look good as well as perform, and to be honest I probably put the aesthetics first. After deciding that I wanted to avoid that god awful typical gamer PC look with a black case and Red/Blue lights blanketing the system I decided on focusing around a White/Black build. Finally choosing the H440 case from NZXT, this set the precedent for the theme, I was going for a build that was as clean as I could get it (with my limited knowledge and skill), The MOBO (Gigabyte's GA-990FXA-UD3 ATX AM3+) was chosen for its all solid Japanese Capacitors, Black PCB look and for safety (being a first build) the 3X electric discharge protection. This then set the standard for the RAM, of course it had to be black and for a long time I was considering the Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB DDR-3 but after seeing the Avexir Core series 16GB DDR-3 with it's LED top I felt this would help accent the boards white type graphics. When it came to the GPU I had a hard time finding a white card that would have the power requirements I needed to run and test game builds, eventually settling on the Sapphire Radeon R9 290 4GB Vapor-X as I felt this matched the blue dyed tips of the Capacitors on the MOBO. The only down side to this from my perspective is the tacky looking illuminated blue SAPPHIRE logo on the edge of the card (real shame this this is not a changeable LED through software.) In an attempt to pull the eye away from this Flaw in the GPU I decided to also add the all in one water cooler from NZXT, the NZXT Kraken X61 106.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler, not only is this a great cooling system, it also comes with the ability to specify the colour of the logo light (through software), (although these colours are a little washed out in comparison to what you would expect to see).
All of the above essentially made the interior of the system look quite dark (exclueding the lighting of course) so I decided on the Corsair Air Series AF140/AF120 fans with the White rings and a set of Bitfenix White alchemy cables to break up the darkened look. However, the cables I was not overly happy with, not the cables per say but how they sat in the case, so I decided on threading them to make them neat and tidy. Overall I am very pleased with how this system looks and performs and am looking forward to going through this process again (hopefully not for a few years yet, if the build lasts like I wanted it to). I will potentially add more RAM and a second GPU if it is needed in the near future.
A year on and this system is still going strong with no sign of collapsing under the heavy requirements of running heavy processes simultaneously (3ds Max, UE4, Photoshop, Z-Brush, Substance and Toolbag to name a few).