It has been quite some time since i've built a new system (i7-920 was just out), so hopefully I can get some feedback as i'm planning things out (some of these are not fixed, but just where I have been leaning):CPU:
Still in limbo (Hawell Refresh Pending), most likely i7 "K" series (because you never know when you might regret a locked processor
Noctua NH-U12SThermal Compound:
Either Noctua or IC Diamond (have a few spare tubes lying around)Memory:
Muskin 16GB DDR3L-1600Motherboard:
ASUS Z97 GryphonGraphics:
Gigabyte 750TI (already own this, transplanting from another machine)Storage:
Samsung 840 256GB x 2Power Supply:
Corsair 350D (was given this)Case Fan(s):
Noctua 140mm(s) + 120mm(s)
The case isn't generally what I would use, but one should not argue with free, so at this point it is just determining how to make the best of it (once I get the basics nailed down, I can worry about how to further improve it). I'm also aware the power supply is overkill, but out of the options of what is on the market, the case design, and likelyhood of moving to a larger video card in the future, this is what I landed on.
What is not clear to me is how to best deal with purely air cooling in this case (it seems quite popular for water cooling). The front HDD bracket/SSD cage look like they need to get tossed, as they seem to significantly block the airflow from the front intake fans (which are already significantly blocked on the intake side by the front cover). SSD's will then be transplanted into the lower 5.25 bay in a mobile rack to make room for this adjustment.
That leaves dealing with exhuast. The PSU seems pretty much self-contained (intake from underneath, exhaust out back)... but not sure what to do with rear/top. If there was a radiator in the top, it seems like swapping the rear exhaust to an intake and making the entire top an exhaust would make the most sense. However, since this will be only air the CPU cooler is already pushing towards the rear exhaust (I suppose you could rotate the cooler 90 degrees, but then you'd be feeding it heat from the video card)
There are many options, but I am not sure which is going to be more efficient? Block off the rear and make the entire top an exhaust? Block off the top, and exhaust everything out the rear? I've even pondered possibly blocking off the rear-half of the top, and running an intake on the front half (to blow directly into the CPU cooler) and then exahust everything out the rear. I suppose I could buy enough fans to test every configuration, but that seems like quite a waste.
Any comments/suggestions would be much appreciated,