In September I set out to replace my aging Asus pre-built system from 2010. I was in the process of finishing college at that time in my life, and needed a computer and sadly I didn't have time to build one when the HP laptop running Windows Vista I was using for school died. It was an Asus CM5571 Desktop, originally with a Pentium E5400, 6gb of DDR3 Ram, and a 1TB hard drive. Decent for then, completely obsolete by today's standards. I upgraded that computer with a Corsair TX750w Power Supply, an extra 2gb's of memory, and at the time a BFG Tech GTX 275, which was my first tried and true high end graphics card. Fast forward a little while later and I would eventually be finishing out my time with that system with an upgraded Core 2 Quad Q8400 Intel CPU, and an MSi GTX 960. It was a decent performer, but it was definitely showing its age.
This Computer was the first PC I've built since 2006, so needless to say I had a lot of research to do. I know I wanted to stay on the Intel Platform, and I knew that I wanted another higher end graphics card, and at least 16 gigs of ram. This was what I ended up building and I couldn't be happier with it. If you look there is a Blue, White, and Black theme that is going on with this build.
CPU: The Intel Core i7 8700k. It was originally going to be the Kaby Lake i7, but once I heard that Coffee Lake was being released I decided to wait and I am glad that I did. I've managed to get a stable overclock to 4.8ghz at 1.3 volts. I don't need anymore than that, my temps and voltage are too unstable at 5.0ghz for daily use without delidding, and I honestly I cant tell a difference in .2ghz performance wise. I wanted the extra computational power because this system will be used for the occasional photo editing.
Motherboard: Asus Z370-A, there's not really a lot for me to say about it. It's a great motherboard with a plethora of features, and great looks. I love the BIOS on this board its so easy to navigate, and there's literally endless configurations you can achieve.
CPU Cooler: Deepcool Captain 240EX White: A budget AIO liquid cooler, but in all honestly its a solid performing cooler and I'm happy with the temps I am getting. I did however remove the stock thermal paste, and replaced it with Gelid Solutions thermal compound.
Memory: I managed to get this at a decent deal on Newegg from their Black Friday sale. I knew I wanted Corsair memory, since that's what I had in the last one I built.
Storage: I went with a 128 gig ssd as a boot drive, a 240 gig program and game drive, and a 2tb mass storage set up for other games and photo storage. I scored the VX500 on clearance on Frys.com, and picked up the 2tb HDD and the 240gb SSD used on Ebay from reputable Vendors.
Graphics card: The fun part. I honestly thought that I would end up keeping my GTX 960 until Nvidia did something new with GPU's. I wish I wouldn't have waited until after the new year to pull the trigger on the graphics card thanks to the spike in demand from miners. I did get lucky however, I was on a waiting list from EVGA, and I caught an email notification literally at just the right time. After I was done checking out, the card was already sold out again. I knew I wanted a 1080, and I knew I wanted the FTW edition in particular. This is a beast of a card out of the box, overclocking it doesn't really get much more, its pretty much as high as it will go out of the box. It's pretty much overkill at 1080p for now, but I was hoping to future proof myself for a while.
Case: This was honestly the hardest part for me. Ive been staring at a black box since 2010, and I knew I was tired of that. White cases are popular, but my first 3 PC's were white. I found the Fractal Design Focus G case in Petrol Blue, and absolutely love it. The color reminds me of the Grabber Blue that comes on the Ford Mustang. My only complaint is that I wish the side panel was tempered glass. as the plastic scratches super easily.
Power supply: You'll most likely see 2 PSU's pictured here. I realized at the last minute that I needed a beefier Power supply once I pulled the trigger on the GTX 1080 in combination with the i7. It worked well with the TX550 until the RM750x came in. I was more or less just worried about cranking the voltage on the card, and the reliability of the Power Supply. But really I just wanted an excuse to buy a white PSU with individually sleeved cables. I went with the TX550m originally because I thought I was going to end up building an i5 8600k with a 1060 6GB and figured that was all I needed. Plans changed back to what I actually dreamed of building.
Case fans, and accessories: I chose the Thermaltake RIING 120 fans, because they look extremely clean, and they give a nice accent to the case, and don't drown everything out in blue light like the old Antec fans I used back in 2006. This case itself is lit by Phanteks RGB strips that are not in the parts list simply because I forgot to add them. If anyone cares they were $15 on Amazon. Also I added a USB 3.0 PCI express card from Rosewill, I recommend it. It was well priced and you really cannot have enough usb connectivity these days.
Edited 4/14/18 to include gaming benchmarks. All are Ultra settings at 1080p with a 75hz refresh rates.
Age of Empires Definitive Edition 167 fps, at what I believe is a frame rate cap.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands: 82 avg fps
Far Cry 5: 113 avg fps
Far Cry 3: an older title, but still one of my favorites, runs an average of 160 fps.
Doom 2016 in the Vulkan API: Game stays tapped out at its 200fps framerate cap. Which is insane considering I was only averaging 40fps with my old system.
Battlefield 1: 150 avg fps.
Battlefield 4: 200fps frame rate cap.
Bioshock Infinite: 247 avg fps. In game I've seen spikes over 400 fps.
F1 2015: 195 avg fps.
Crysis 3: 120 avg fps.
Mass Effect Andromeda 140 avg fps.
Titanfall 2: 144 avg fps.
Star Wars Battlefront: 170 avg fps.
H171: 150 avg fps.
Essentially this setup will handle anything you throw at it at either 1080p or 1440p, I'm sure it will do fine at 4k resolutions, but some games would see a significant drop in frame rates. Ghost Recon Wildlands is an anomaly, in that its the only game I've tested that doesn't run at over 100 fps. To me I feel like this is an optimization for PC issue, more than a lack of hardware power, as in my opinion the graphics are not particularity stunning to me.