After almost two months of planning, saving, and buying, culminating in four hours of building with an additional three hours of setup, I finally have my first custom PC. The parts were mostly selected with both gaming and grunt work in mind: GTX 1070 to run the games I play, six cores to process things like the programming I will do in the future. (Will be going back to college for Software Engineering.)
Some details of parts selection.
My original plan was to have a Core i7-7700, but the mobos I was choosing kept having their price lists disappear, probably because they were going out of stock everywhere. Changing to a different chipset meant a slight upgrade with the CPU as well, hence the i7-8700.
Similar to the CPU, this is not my original choice. Having been told that getting a mobo and GPU from the same manufacturer would have better results all around, I knew I wanted an MSI board. The issues kept showing up when my first and second preferred Z270 chipsets kept dropping off the price listings. I upgraded to a Z370 and bought it that week to make sure it also didn't disappear from the listings.
Since a quick boot time as well as reduced load times for certain apps (i.e. Chrome with all its extensions) is always a nice thing to have, NVMe M.2 was a no brainer. Since the SSD is mainly a boot drive, a huge capacity was not necessary. Yes, I know there are other options that are probably cheaper, but every source I read kept saying they were less reliable than the Samsung 970 EVO series. Bulk storage was lowered to balance it.
Performs better than I require. Haven't tried any sort of overclocking and don't really plan to. (Yes, it can be overclocked, but only to a set limit.) Haven't taken any thermal readings either because I know the Deepcool Captain 240 EX performs well enough to ensure low temps.
When used as a boot drive, there is really nothing that compares. Boot has been timed at under 20 seconds. Wonderful little device.
Very well built case. Has all the drive bays one could reasonably ask for. If you need anything more than this, you need to sort out your priorities. Plenty of space for all the components, fans, and cable management. That last point could probably have been done better on my end because I have a bulge on the top edge of the right side due to a fan hub. Overall great case. Power button is quite stiff and I was slightly disappointed by there not being an extra thumb screw.
Fantastic monitor. Other reviews complained about dead pixels and such, but also praised the way Samsung handles the situation. Very welcome upgrade from the single 32" 720p TV I was using until these arrived. Satisfied in every way.
Looks great, sounds great, assembles great, but doesn't fit so great. The ear cups are a little small for my ears and they squeeze my head a little more than I would like. Would definitely say these are for children and young teens with smaller heads than mine. After about 15 minutes, I have to readjust them to relieve some of the slight pains on my ear lobes. I simply switched back to my HyperX Cloud Stinger headset, orders of magnitude more comfortable for me.