First time build. I know just enough about tech to be dangerous, but can usually follow directions. I had recently replaced (or supplemented really) a HDD with a SSD in a W10 machine and was amazed at the difference. This made me to become both intrigued and more adventurous, so I next attempted (and succeeded) in replacing the HDD in my mid 2007 24" iMac. Wow, what a difference! Next was adding in a SSD to my mid 27" 2010 iMac. Meh. It sped things up of course, but no longer was it a surprise. Been there, done that. Started Jonesing for something more challenging/interesting.
So figured this would be an interesting little project. It was fun planning the build and making tradeoffs, waiting for deals, etc. Not a gamer or anything. In fact, not even a Windows user.
Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX Mini ITX Tower. I wanted something somewhat portable, and that would come within specs for carry on at most airlines. Decided early on to go with an ITX motherboard for no particular reason. Whittled it down and ultimately chose this one. I liked the ability to use a full size GPU, PSU etc., and being able access the back of the motherboard once built. It's a little big compared to "traditional" ITX cases I guess, but it was small enough for my purposes. Funny though, I just had a Raijintek Styx mATX delivered for a second project (argh - I'm out of control!), and it's a bit smaller than the EVOLV ITX. NB: This case has no place for a CD/DVD drive.
Corsair RMx 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX. Small case, so preferred modular. Wanted something quiet, and this has a silent mode. Good reviews. On sale, etc. (that price is after rebate - only part purchased with a rebate). I realize it's likely "overkill" for my build.
Asus B150I PRO GAMING/WIFI/AURA Mini ITX LGA1151. Had a couple requirements. One was an M.2 slot on back (easily accessible with the EVOLV), and that the M.2 slot support PCI-Express 3.0 x4. Also wanted pretty much everything built in (WiFi, decent audio, etc.). Went back and forth, but a few things made me go with this one: the LED lighting, the USB Type C port, and the third fan header (labeled as water pump). Chose a B150 chipset intentionally, knowing it doesn't support overclocking (of CPU or RAM, though I'm not positive this board won't overclock the RAM - I mean technically, the B150 chipset isn't supposed to support an M.2 slot with PCI-Express 3.0 x4, right?)
Intel Core i5-6600K (Skylake). I know the motherboard doesn't support overclocking, and I know I went with an unlocked chip. But for the price difference between this and the locked i5-6600, I'll take the few extra GHz (and the ability to overclock with the different board).
Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400. It was on sale. Board says it only supports speeds up to 2133, but really didn't pay "extra" for the 2400. Plus, something in either my BIOS or maybe one of the utilities I downloaded from ASUS or MSI or whatever seemed to indicate something about XMP and clocking at 2400. I don't really know, because I don't really know anything. :)
Corsair H100i v2 70.7 CFM Liquid. Thought it would look neat and provide good cooling for a small case. Happened to catch it when the price worked for me.
Plextor M8Pe 512GB M.2-2280 SSD. As soon as I stumbled on PCIe x4 I knew I would go with it. Was going to go with a small M.2 PCIe x4 because they're so pricey (maybe 128GB), and then add a regular 480GB or 512GB or whatever SSD for the majority of the storage. But once I found the Plextor at the right price, it would cost me less overall (though losing a little bit of capacity along the way). I ran the PassMark Performance Test on it after the build was done and it returned a score of 13562.5. Not sure what that means, but it sounds fast. :)
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Seahawk X. Wanted something quiet with good cooling. I liked not just the water cooling, but that the board blower fan vented out the back. Keep as much hot out of the case as possible. Also liked the challenge of fitting it in the case along with the H100i v2. I realize some will say the pascal chips don't run hot enough to warrant water cooling. They may be right. I don't care. :)
How does it run? I really can't say. It boots really fast of course (though I think I need to decrease the time it hangs at the BIOS screen or whatever), and it's particularly quiet with low temps when just "idling" around with ordinary use. How well it might perform and what the temps might be, etc., I have no idea. Heck, I don't even know how to change the boost on the graphics card.
Pictures. The first 5 are of the completed build as it stands now. The 6th picture is what it looked like before the GPU was installed. The 7th & 8th are how it looked when I installed the GPU cooler with the hoses towards the outside (they sat against the window when the left case side was on). The 9th & 10th are just side by sides between the Enthoo EVOLV ITX cases and the Raijintek Styk mATX case.