After graduating and finding a project to further my research aswell as earning a PhD in the process, I decided to treat myself to this here computer of mine. As you can see in the title, I'm technically a first time builder with my old rigs being mostly hand-me-downs from family. They did the job, but were highly utilitarian in nature. Parts were chosen on the bang-for-buck premise, rather than being performance oriented. The results were functional, if somewhat ugly. This time around, I could finally splurge a little and pretty it up a notch. I ran my old PC for two years with an open side panel because the case was close to falling apart...
Building the PC happened in three steps: First, I bought some of the peripherals and the case, transferring my old hardware into the 570X. Secondly, I replaced the innards with the new stuff except for the GPU. Lastly, I replaced the old 970 with a 1080. Can't say I encountered any issues along the way outside of the 570X being plain not good for cable management. I do like the end result a lot, though, and I believe I did a reasonable job with cable management. Interestingly enough, with the replacement cables for the PSU being individually sleeved, there was no way for me to fit both the 24-pin and two PCIe 8-pins in the cable management bar. The original ones could do that, albeit barely.
Performance so far has been a mixed bag, mainly because I didn't need the upgrade outside of the new GPU to begin with. The largest benefits I've seen so far stem from having an excessive amount of pretty fast RAM over my old 8 GB of DDR3, aswell as finally arriving in the age of modern PC building by using an SSD.
I think that about covers it. Building was amazingly fun, aswell as nerve-wrecking when I first breadboarded my motherboard/CPU/RAM on my desk for testing purposes. Seeing everything be recognized without any issues or DOAs made me a happy camper.
Here's a FireStrike comparison of my old and my new build (GPU at stock frequency): http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/12248845/fs/11717264#
Edit: 7700K is running at 4.8 GHz/1.25 V, I'll leave the GPU be until I manage to snag a better monitor.