I was looking to build something that could handle anything I throw at it while being fairly future proof and overclockable, should I choose to tweak it down the line. Another goal was to have it as quiet as possible. I do some light gaming and plan on getting into some photo/video editing in the near future and this setup should be able to handle it with ease.
I went with a micro-ATX form factor, since it allowed me to get the full sized graphics card I wanted without having to build a massive tower. It was definitely a little tighter than I was used to, having only built full sized ATX towers in the past. However, even with my pretty large hands assembly was pretty manageable.
I'll give a little rundown of my parts for this build and the thinking behind each choice. I went with the Corsair Obsidian 350D based on its relatively compact size, solid cable management and USB 3.0 ports & audio out on the front. I had initially planned on using the Thermaltake Core v21, but it's lack of cable management and extensive use of mesh, possibly leading to a louder unit, turned me off
The ASUS STRIX 270G was probably a little overkill, but it does have all the benefits of the new Z270 chipset that I wanted including USB 3.1, M.2 PCIe slots, etc. Honestly, the built in Wi-Fi lured me in, when I otherwise could've got away with spending $50-100 less on another Z270 board. I will be using a LAN connection in a few months when I get my office wired for ethernet, but will be using WiFi until then. this board saves me from buying an add-on adapter that will just clutter the build. I'm very happy with it.
Initially I had thought about going with an i5, but with the i7 7700K going on sale for $305 I decided to snag it. If I do choose to overclock it I'm the future, I should be able to squeeze a little more performance out of it.
The Cryorig H7 was billed as quiet and small enough for MOST mATX builds and it worked out fine, with enough clearance for the GPU and DIMMs. If and when I do decide to overclock the CPU, the H7 might need to be swapped out for a better cooler from what I've read. But at stock speeds it's more than adequate, and whisper quiet. If I every upgrade here, I'll probably just go with a liquid cooler.
I went with the EVGA 1080 FTW Hybrid for performance and low noise. I was originally looking into a GTX 1070, but with the current crypto mining craze, the 1080 has not yet had its price inflated due to crazy demand. I refused to pay $100 over msrp for a 1070, and the 1080 offered more future proofing anyway.
I had to do a bit of research on all the new SSD form factors. I had swapped out my laptop's 2.5" HDD for an SSD two years ago and installed a 2.5" SSD in my Ethereum mining rig, but otherwise had no experience with the new M.2 drives. As the current prices for the 1TB PCIe drives are way too high, I felt the 500GB 960 EVO for $234 was the best bang for the buck NVMe SSD right now. I may swap out the 1TB HDD for an SSD down the line when prices drop.
For the PSU, I wanted something efficient (80+ Gold or better), 500-650W, and quiet. The Seasonic G Series is semi-modular and got great reviews. The 650W was on sale for the same price as the 550W the day I pulled the trigger so I went with it. The fixed cables were all used on this unit, and I used one more to power the SATA HDD and Blu-ray drive.
I wanted to get a monitor for under $300 and was going back and forth between 1080p 144hz and 1440p. In the end, I figured 1440p would suit my needs better and I found the Acer 272HUL IPS screen in 1440p on sale for $249. So far it looks amazing. I may try to overclock it to 75hz which I've seen people have had success with online.
The actual assembly was pretty straight forward with no major hiccups. I did remove and reinstall the cpu cooler because I wasn't happy with how un-smoothly I put in on the first time and was worried I didn't give the paste a chance to spread out evenly. So I cleaned off the paste and reinstalled. Otherwise, I'm very happy with the system. The cabling isn't perfect, but it's neater than most of my previous builds from what I remember. I'll upload some better photos in the future.