I just updated the pictures!
About the build: This was originally intended as a mid-range bang-for-the-buck gaming build, and first included a GTX 660, no SSD, no fan controller, and only the stock cooler. For reference, that was in early 2014. Aesthetics were a pretty big challenge from the start as I never picked any of my parts with color coordination in mind. After switching to the all-black 290X from SFX and installing the triton expandable AIO things started to look quite a bit better. Using a bit of blue tape and a cable extension to hide the hideous mustard cables from EVGA's power supply I was able to get this system looking like a proper piece of custom work.
As time passed I turned more towards 3D rendering and video editing, and while the quad-core i5 is perfectly fine for games it was starting to be a bit of a bottleneck. Rather than going with a new mobo and CPU, I instead got this beefy cooler and overclocked the chip as far as i could.
You'll also notice the PCPP list does not only include parts for the rig, but actually every single item my setup is composed of. This is for personal reference as much as it is to establish what type of hardware can be acquired for a $1700-2000 budget. I believe the PC alone comes out to around $989, which while still OK now was an absolutely amazing deal not so long ago.
Some of the issues I've had: Acoustics have been a problem from the start. Before I added a fan controller my motherboard would still blast the fans when set to the lowest possible speed. As a result, even when all my parts were near-silent the computer would still make a good bit of noise. Not like a jet engine, but an incessant woosh. Once I bought the 290x (which I am very happy with) I also upgraded my power supply and troubles started again. Not only was the 24 pin cable a disgusting mess of orange red and yellow (despite clearly being black on the site I bought it from) but that PSU is ridiculously loud. I don't have a dB meter available but that thing produces at least a constant 30 to 40 decibels. Even under load it is the loudest part in my system.
Overclocking the i5 was also a bit of a disappointment. I never approached unsafe temperatures, however even at high voltage the thing refuses to go above 4.4GHz. It is currently using 1.290v. The GPU was more of the same. I never expected huge margins but i could hardly squeeze an extra 80MHz out of it (with asic quality at 77%). While the chip couldn't take a major speed increase, I was able to decrease voltage by 6%. A modest drop, but enough to make a difference in fan speed under load.
Cable management is obviously a real struggle with the majority of ITX cases, and while the 250D is definitely roomy it includes no cable management AT ALL. There are some spots to tie things down at the bottom and front but it is impossible to route cables under the mobo or through the side if a radiator is installed, meaning all cables have to cross right over it. I was able to partially work around this by routing all cables except the 24pin through an empty HDD cage from the back to the front. The fact this power supply came with extra extra long cables did nothing to help, and the sleeved extension made things even worse. While the motherboard area is now very clean the case's basement is a real spaghettifest.
The radiator was too thick, requiring me to remove the bottom bracket and push it right up against the motherboard's side. The tubes were also far too long and kinked very easily. I drove to Microcenter to buy some tubes, and it turned out the triton does not use a common type. I bought the closest size they sold and worked with that. The tubes (from primochill) were very flexible and kept their shape even in tight bends, unfortunately they were also slightly too thick. I was able to tighten the fittings after an enormous amount of struggle, but got blisters on my fingertips and lost skin a few days later... I haven't had any sign of leakage ever since and the tubes do not appear to be slipping out of their fittings, so I would say it was still a success after all.
While I'm at it, here is a picture showing the evolution of my setup: http://imgur.com/od2vUTP