The Uprightman, hello & to the Linux section of BC Forums!
RAM..........16GB DDR Corsair Vengeance.
I believe that you meant 'DDR3', when I first seen 'DDR', I was thinking wow have never seen that much of that type of RAM in a computer, though servers likely has that much & more.
Your CPU is a step up from my main one, mine doesn't have the 'K' beside the 4770.
I've been running Linux Mint MATE for years & just getting a bit of the taste of Cinnamon. Whether I stick with it won't be determined until Mint 18 is released. KDE just wasn't my cup of tea, we all have our preferences. Though with your hardware, you can run most any Linux OS on the planet, even a home office/small business server type of Linux OS. I know that Ubuntu has one of these, there's likely others.
My suggestion, is if you have a spare drive, detach your main one & install another & try that way, that gives you the full speed of your computer to play with. Be sure to do the same when trying another OS. One of the negatives about many of the 'K' series is that there's no native support for virtual machines, if that was an option, it's what I'd suggest. Weird, one pays more and gets a little more, yet has to give up a feature to get the OC ability. The i7-4790K, which is on my wish list & hopefully my next major hardware upgrade, kept the VM option in the chip. At 4.0Ghz, with 4.4GHz Turbo, I don't need to OC!
Anyway, I know you're going to find lots of ways to have fun on your hardware, we're here when you are. Always feel free to ask questions, no matter how large or small. The only 'dumb' question is the one not asked when in need, we have all types of experience levels on board here. While I'm not an expert, have ran Linux mostly problem free for over 6 years, so must be doing something right. On the other hand, for the most part, stay with safe tweaks, add no more software than I use, and the first software removed is always Transmission.