I built this PC mainly as a compact gaming machine that would be easy to take to LAN parties and other people's houses. I think I succeeded with this build, with a few minor caveats.
Overall, it was a difficult endeavor fitting everything in the case. As is typical with small builds like this. The case I chose, a Silverstone Sugo SG08, was chosen for it's sleek, minimalist design and also for its small form-factor. I had originally planned to use a Fractal Design Node 304, but I had scrapped that idea because of a lack of an optical drive bay and I preferred the aesthetic of the SG08.
Taking apart the SG08 wasn't hard, but it was more time consuming than I would have preferred. The first and most obvious step was removing the panel that wrapped around the top and sides. This wasn't unlike taking apart an old beige case from 1999. On the inside, Silverstone layered everything in order to fit everything inside of the case. The first thing I had to remove was the large, 180mm Air Penetrator fan that came included in the case. Next up was the optical drive mounting bracket, and then the hard drive mounting bracket. After all was removed, I was able to seat the motherboard.
The motherboard I chose was an ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard. I chose this motherboard because when I purchased the parts, ASUS had not released a mini ITX motherboard, and this one seemed like the best choice. Another reason why I chose this board was because of the unique mSATA port mounted on the bottom, which I inserted a Plextor M5M 128GB SSD into before mounting. And mounting the motherboard was surprisingly easy, considering the size of the chassis. To try to route the cables a bit, I did hide the two 12v rails under the board.
Next came the CPU and the CPU cooler. I chose a Core i7-4770k for the CPU, mainly for the raw power of the chip and also because I can overclock it. For the cooler, I chose a Silverstone NT06-PRO. It was mainly chosen because of how Silverstone designed the case in regards to thermos (the case is divided into chambers, basically) and because of the clearance of the case. Inserting the CPU was jarring, as is all Intel LGA CPUs, but wasn't hard. However, mounting the CPU cooler was a bit of a pain. To mount the NT06-PRO, you have to rest the CPU cooler on the CPU while you try to mount it with an unattached mounting bracket. Because of this, I would accidentally move the cooler as I tried to mount it, smearing the thermal compound everywhere. It took a few tries to get it mounted, and caused a great deal of irritation.
After this, I mounted the RAM. I had some unbranded DDR3 1333MHz lying around, so to save some cash that could be used elsewhere, I just used that. The ASRock has some nifty RAM sockets that have the lock clip only on one side, with a "slot" for the other, allowing for "easy" upgrades if you have a cramped case and/or a low-hanging CPU cooler.
The next step was probably the worst for me, though, and that was installing the ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC. To start off, I purchased this card because of the fantastic cooling system. The card does stay nice, cool, and quiet, even in the most intense of games. But when I tried inserting the huge card, it wouldn't fit in. After closer investigation, the lip on the inside of the mounting rail prevented the card from going in to the socket correctly (it otherwise would have fit). So to accommodate for this, I had to use a pair of metal shears to cut it out. The result is not very pretty or elegant, but because you cannot see it unless the case is open, it's not very noticeable.
Next came the hard drive installation, which was painless (at least in comparison to the last step). I chose a 2.5" Hitachi Travelstar 1TB. I chose this one mainly for its RPM and cache size, given the physical dimensions of the hard drive.
Next, was mounting the optical drive mount. Well, that didn't happen. The power leads from the video card face up instead of coming out of the back, which prevented me from installing that. As such, I had to return the Silverstone slot-loading blu-ray burner I had picked as the optical drive. In addition, because of the size of the card, I also had to order a new, smaller fan. I chose a Noctua NF-P14, because of its airflow and because it's a 140mm fan with 120mm mounts (as the SG08 only has mounts for 120mm fans).
Cable management is basically non-existent in this build, and that's mainly because there is no room in the case for it. Silverstone, unfortunately, made many of the cables too long, and the power supply that came with the case was non-modular. So I, unfortunately, had to route them as well as I could as I went along.
In addition, I recently came across a free 8GB set of Crucial Ballistix Sport Ultra Low Profile at 1600MHz, so I upgraded it to that. I was hesitant at first, since this RAM is notorious for compatibility issues, but I tried it out and it works great.
On the whole, the build was very time-consuming. There are some things that I wish would have gone better during the build. But I'm quite happy with it. Every game I've thrown at it has run at 60 frames per second at 1080p and ultra settings, so there's that. The one thing I do regret is that most of these parts were purchased when they launched, so I ended up paying more for the build than I should have.