I was itching to build a system for a while in high school, so I decided to save up enough money for a build that would last me through college.
For the cooler mod I basically took the fan off the Wraith Spire cooler and used automotive double sided tape to attach a Noctua NF-A9x14 case fan. The mounting holes on the fan and the mounting holes on the heatsink don't match up, so if you are planning to do this mod, you will need to use the tape. This fits into the Node 202 nicely with a couple mm of clearance to spare.
I don't know about how the temperatures compare to one of noctua's lower clearance offerings, but it did save me about 20 dollars. Hoosier Hardware's video said that he could run at 50c at max load with a similar mod with the fan taken off the Cryorig C7, and for that fan you can drill mounting holes into the plastic shroud. With my similar mod, I did not manage to replicate those results. He was also running a Ryzen 5 1600, so this probably decreased his temperatures by a fair bit. The cooler temps also may be due to the space that the double-sided tape adds between the fan and the heatsink, but I cannot know that for certain.
In 2015, 8 cores and 16 threads cost $1,059. In 2016, 8 cores and 16 threads cost $999.99. In 2017, 8 cores and 16 threads can be had for just under 270 dollars. I saw this come out and knew it would be the best option for this build. Also, even though the 1700x is only a bit more expensive, it doesn't come with a stock cooler, which is something I needed to pull this off. Before I overclocked it it ran at about 40c idle, and after I adjusted the voltages it came down to about 35c for some reason. However, the weirder thing is that despite the idle temperatures being lower, the CPU can no longer complete over 5 minutes of prime95. When playing CS:GO it tops out at about 65c, so with those temperatures I am satisfied. I set the voltage to 1.21875 in BIOS but in practice it fluctuates from 1.2v to 1.25v.
For several months after Ryzen, you didn't have very many options for a mini ITX motherboard. Biostar's motherboard does not come with wifi, and so I thought that I would have to buy some garbage wifi adapter to get this to work at all. Finally, this board came out in July, and I trusted ASRock more than Gigabyte so I bought this motherboard. Personally, I have never been bottlenecked by the wifi being slower than the x370 version. Motherboard VRM temperatures show up at about 115c, but they go down as the rest of the system heats up, so I think that's just a bug. Also, the first one I had bricked when I set the CPU voltage too low.
It took a while to find a good deal on ram given the recent price gouging, and so when I did find this I jumped on it immediately. Runs at 2800mhz. 32GB because I want to reuse it in my next build.
1 TB of NVMe storage at its all time lowest price before august 2017. Runs at 3.2 GB per second. Need I say more?
This was a last minute decision. Having already spent over 1200 dollars and having no money left in my reserves to buy a new graphics card, and given that I wasn't upgrading the monitor just yet, I cannibalized this from my old computer. Still works fine but that 2GB of vram is beginning to show its age. I'll probably upgrade to volta whenever that comes out.
At first I planned to design my own mini ITX case, but that didn't really work out. This case fits coolers up to 56mm with the included dust filter and fits nicely on my desk, so it worked out nicely.
I missed the first few deals on this. Bought it at full price near the end of my build. Haven't noticed any noise so far.
Very nice fan. Comes with a lot of fittings and accessories. It's barely audible at 50% load and buzzes quietly at 100%. Ugly as hell, but I don't see it much so I can't complain.