I've built this machine out to this point gradually over time. Here's a brief chronology:
- 2012 - Bought the CPU, heatsink, mobo, Corsair RAM, case, and PSU. From previous build, brought over the 2x640GB drives for a Intel RAID 0 array, as well as a 1TB GB backup drive and a Radeon 5750.
- 2013 - Added the Samsung 840 500GB SSD in the spring for OS+games, and upgraded to the Radeon R9 270 in the fall, partly justified by Litecoin mining (eventually exchanged for 0.2 BTC). The 2x640GB array became a bulk storage array, with important things from the SSD and the RAID array being backed up to the 1TB drive. Also added the extra fans at this point, to cool the raging inferno that the graphics card was under mining load.
- 2014 - Added the Mushkin RAM, bringing total to 16GB
- 2015 - The old 1TB drive started dying with bad sectors and other problems, bought one of the WD Red 2TB drives to replace it. Was lucky to not lose any data.
- 2016 - Added the second WD Red 2TB. Went through a few storage configurations, settled for a Win7 software mirror of the 2x2TB drives, and a Win7 software stripe of the 2x640GB drives. The 2x640GB array is used for non-essential storage e.g. Google Drive/Dropbox folders, less frequently used game installs that I don't want to clutter the SSD with, other replaceable things since they are 8+ years old now. The 2x2TB mirror is the general vault as well as backup device for the SSD.
- 2017 - Storage Reorganization: using StableBit DrivePool, broke up the stripe and mirror Windows arrays and brought all 4 drives into a single pool with per-folder duplication for redundancy. Much greater flexibility, very happy with the result.
It's amazing how dated it looks by modern standards. In particular, PC cases have come a loooong way since 2012.
From here, I've been eyeing a complete new microATX gaming build with no spinning disks at all, and this machine will eventually end up as a NAS/server machine. Of course this difficult to justify since this machine is still a strong performer, especially now with the GTX 1070.