UPDATE1 : See GPU
UPDATE2 : Added a 140mm Noctua fan in the bottom of the desk cabinet for intake. Also replaced stock feet with 2 inch riser feet, for better intake from the bottom facing graphics card fans.
Now that I have a few years of system building under my belt, I decided to build my own daily driver. My original personal build (The-Apparition) was a great build, but a bit unpractical for my daily needs. I wanted something more compact, but also powerful enough to run any game with no problems. Here I will go down the list of my parts to explain my rationale for each.
Name - This build was under the original code name of "Project Osmium". I chose this name because Osmium is the densest element known to man. It was fitting, since my goal was to pack as much as possible into a small form factor. After some thermal testing, I joked that the system was going "super critical". I decided to just go with the thermonuclear theme overall.
CPU - I went with a 7700 instead of a 7700k. The reason for this was thermals. The limited TDP of the non-unlocked version appealed to me more, due to the fact that there would be minimal cooling options. No headroom for overclocking anyway, so no loss here.
Motherboard - I wanted the cream of the crop for Z270 ITX boards. Great on-board options.
RAM - Switched to the RGB Trident RAM after noticing how visible it was from the filter cutout in the case.
Storage - Wanted NVME speeds for my programs. Added 4TB SSHD for my files, via an external drive enclosure.
GPU - Had to downgrade to a Founder's Edition card, due to the insane heat that was being dumped into the case by the open air card. This blower style ensures all hot air is sent out the back and exhausted by my cabinet fans. Currently Overclocked with +150 clock / +400 memory.
Case - Fractal makes such beautiful and sophisticated cases. This case looks great in my desk cabinet. Love the filtering.
PSU - 600W is enough for this build. Modular cables are a huge help too, based on the limited space.
Fans - I went Noctua all the way in the case. Superior quality and silence all around. The questionable brown coloring doesn't matter in a closed case like this. The 2 Corsair fans were vital for exhaust. I wanted them to be detachable through USB, so I found a great little up-converter on Amazon by a brand named KUNCAN. This has a switch on it with the options for 9V or 12V, which allows me to retain some control over the fan speed. I also attached some of Noctua's silent adapters, to further reduce noise. Dropped my temps by 10C.
Monitor - Before you light up my comment section with complaints about a Freesync monitor on a Nvidia GPU, understand that I never dip below my frame rate. With the 1080 Ti, I am able to maintain 75hz or higher. This renders any "sync" technology useless to me. Butter smooth, all day. I love this monitor.
Lighting - Since my system will be in a glass cabinet, I decided to spruce up the cabinet instead. Didn't want the motherboard's RGB capability to go to waste. I think the lighting accent looks amazing behind the sliding glass door. Looks like something really special to guests who turn it on.
Everything else is pretty self explanatory. I am in love with my build. This is the first time I have really felt that my system "fits in" with its surroundings. I can now take a break from building systems and just sit back and appreciate my work for once. Hopefully this inspires ideas for someone else in the PCMR looking to move to an HTPC build. Long live Critical-Mass!