This is my first personal build. I can finally step away from console gaming, which I've been wanting to do for quite some time, but just didn't want to spend the money. Over the span of about 3 months, I was able to watch for deals to grab everything here for just over $1000. Ebay was my friend here, as it seems they'll do 15-20% off anything (usually up to $100 off) every couple months or so. My original budget was $800 but some of the deals that came along, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to build myself something I would truly be happy with and would last me a while before needing to upgrade. The only upgrade I foresee in the near future is more RAM. 8GB will get me by for a little while, but I was hoping prices would go back down by the end of the year so I could make it 16GB. Also, I may look into some cable mods at some point to get a little "pop" as everything is mostly black or grayish-silver right now and it kind of blends together. As for why I didn't go with an 8700K and faster RAM; the deals to keep price as low as possible simply weren't available at the time, and the performance boost (in my opinion) would not have been worth it.
As of right now, I haven't overclocked anything and I don't really plan to until I see a need. I'm using this PC solely for gaming and browsing. The only games I have at the moment are PUBG and Overwatch because FPS games are something I've always loved playing with friends. with the i7-8700 and GTX 1070ti, I'm able to run both of these games well over 100 FPS at ultra settings. I do turn some settings down just because they aren't necessary and to keep temps as low as possible without affecting how the game looks. So now, I'll share a little about the performance specs:
CPU: With IC Diamond between my CPU and the fan, it stays nice and cool. Could it better with an AIO? Sure, but I like the longevity of plain old fan coolers, plus the Cryorig H7 is super quiet for it's price. I may consider delidding in the future when the warranty period is over on my CPU.
GPU: I chose the Founders Edition 1070ti mainly because I like the looks of it and because I like the idea of a blower style keeping the GPU heat out of the case. I will admit, I was a little worried about noise levels, but honestly, it's not bad at all. I sleep with a floor fan on at night and I think the floor fan is louder than the GPU fan. I'm sure if I were to stress test it, the noise would be irritating, but I'm perfectly content with the normal gaming noise level. Plus, I always have a headset on, so I don't hear anything anyway. Regarding the temperature, before adjusted fan curves, it was was running pretty hot (high 70's, hit 80C once). Using MSI Afterburner, I made the fans ramp up sooner and they never have to go beyond 65% speed while gaming.
Motherboard: The motherboard is fantastic. Plenty of USB 3 connections, plus a USB-C, are available. The RGB on it was a plus and looks great without being overbearing. It did come with an SLI bridge because, well, it's called SLI Plus for a reason. However, I didn't intend to ever run SLI. The BIOS is great and is fairly simple. I haven't flashed it to the latest version yet, but that will also be very easy.
Case Fans: The Enermax TB RGB case fans do exactly what they should and they are quiet, plus I absolutely love how they look. I bought the pack of 6 and I'm only using 5 currently (3 intake, 2 exhaust). They do come with a remote and infrared sensor. You also have to use their included control box as the connections are all proprietary. My biggest gripe with them is the fan speed control. It has to be done via the remote, but I set it for medium speed because it keeps enough air moving and is still quiet. The RGB led's don't have the widest spectrum of colors, but there are plenty. Yellow, however, does look a little greenish and the white is a very light blue. The remote has a button you have to press if you want to control the lights using your motherboard RGB headers and software. If you're looking for a budget RGB fans that are quiet and look great, I would highly recommend these as a pack of 6 (including the remote and control box) normally runs around $90.
Case: The case is awesome. For $30 after a discount and rebate, I really can't say anything bad about it. It was very easy for me to work in and cable management wasn't half bad either (I'm no pro at cable management). The case does come with magnetic dust filters, however, I removed mine upon recommendations I found online. People did complain that the dust filters restrict too much air flow and I could see that being possible. Another complaint online reviewers had was the right side glass. It's a very dark tint and they think it shouldn't bee see through at all. I personally like it. I was able to keep the cables neat enough on the back that if you happen to be close enough, the cables wouldn't be atrocious. I figure most people would put the PC close to a wall anyway, which would cover up that side. Highly recommend this case. You may be able to tell in one of the pictures that I haven't removed the protective film from the tempered glass yet. This is because I don't have my gaming room ready yet and I didn't want smudges all over it before I'm done remodeling that room (which is in the basement, where it'll be nice and cool).
RGB Software: For anyone interested, I'll take about the RGB software a little. MSI's Mystic Light is an alright program. It is easy to use and you can save several profiles. I was a little disappointed, though, it as it seems to not be fully functional for me with changing light speed and it's buggy with the T-Force RAM (I think this is actually stated on T-Force's website). So, I have to use the Blitz software from T-Force to control my RAM lighting, which is no big deal. Blitz is still in it's beta stage I believe, but it works well except that I usually have to change the RAM light back every time I boot up the PC if I have some off the wall color settings. There are 5 LEDs in each stick and they can be changed independently (the sticks are forced to mirror each other if you do this). I expect both of these will get better over time, but for now, they get the job done and once you set the lighting, you don't mess with it much anyway.
In case you're wonder, the SSD and HDD were parts I just had laying around, and I got the Windows key free, all because of my job. I'm an IT Specialist, so I have some connections :). The monitor has been my console gaming monitor since 2012 or 2013. I picked it back then because it had the lowest input lag I could get my hands on at the time. It's a solid monitor. Doesn't have the greatest color, but response times and input lag are almost super low and it was cheap back then (~$120). I would like to upgrade to a G-Sync monitor eventually, but no need for now.
**UPDATE: Upon several recommendations, I have moved my GPU up to the top PCIE slot. I'm keeping the older photos, but will also add some new ones. Sorry for the awful quality. I will try upload better ones later when I have sufficient natural light.