CPU, Motherboard And Cooler
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K
The Devil's Canyon-based Core i5-4690K replaced the Core i5-4670K as the top-of-the-line multiplier-unlocked Core i5. It's not a colossal upgrade compared to its predecessor, offering a mere 100 MHz clock rate jump and better thermal interface material under the heat spreader.
We've had good luck overclocking it in our last system builder marathon, though, and with near-identical $240 pricing there's not any reason to choose the 4670K anymore.
Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i5-4690K (opens in new tab)
Most of the Core i5-4670K's we've tested top out in the 4.3 GHz range, but in our last build we were able to get the Core i5-4690K up to a stable 4.6 GHz overclock. Hopefully we'll be able to meet that clock rate this time around, too.
Motherboard: ASUS Z87-A
Read Customer Reviews of ASUS Z87-A (opens in new tab)
To be honest, our first budget-frinely choice for this build was Biostar's Hi-Fi Z87-X, but it was out of stock at the last minute. This forced us to quickly switch to another option, and the cheapest we could find at the was Asus' Z87-A, a board with a decent reputation that is on sale for $105 at the time of writing.
CPU Cooler: ID Cooling SE-213
Read Customer Reviews of ID Cooling's SE-213 (opens in new tab)
With the goal of saving money, we looked for a budget CPU cooler with decent potential. ID Cooling's SE-213 has three heatpipes and comes with a 120mm cooling fan, so we thought this would be a good opportunity to give this product a chance. It will be an uphill battle for this low-cost part to go head-to-head with Noctua's NH-D14 monster from our last build, but keep in mind that it was a much more expensive option.