After thinking that a full ATX system is the only way to get everything I want from a PC, and then proceeding to use non of the expansion slots except for the GPU, I decided SFF are much more appealing, easier to move around as I move too. So the Huge Z5plus had to go,a kid friend was more than happy with the price and the performance.
I knew I wanted ITX - as small as possible and as quiet as the size would allow. After a lot our research that got me looking at Phenom, Jonsbo U2, T60SFX, Ncase M1, DANCases A4, Lian Li and more. At one point I was so set on IDCoolings T60SFX that I made a model of it in Sketchup so i can size it up for a lot of modding, but ended up being way to much work for my limited time and skills. My budget was not unlimited if it were I would have bought a Ncase order a window mod and a 980 TI and more SSDs and sponsor a video from LTT so Linus can build it and heck water cool it while they're at it.... also I don't particularity like slim cases, Node 202, they're not for me.
CPU: Wanted to go for a non K version, i5 6500 or the like, because I don't plan on OC (more than just toying with it), but I got the Z170 MB and my friend got the CPU, RAM and HDD with 20% off for me, so 6600K it was.
GPU: This one was simple, GTX 970 was the most powerful and efficient (cool running) card I could afford. (Also this one I'm sure I'll upgrade in the next 18 months, at 1440 p it can struggle with high settings, hoping for something cooler and more powerful with HBM)
MB: This was another painstaking difficult choice, I wanted ITX, I wanted good wifi, wanted a lot of USB, wanted good sound, good control over fans, the M.2 connector with support for 2280 type SSDs, USB type C, nice aesthetic and clean layout. A lot of them didn't have 2280, enough USB or, fan connectors, or were too expensive or in case of the Gigabyte Gaming 5 had the USB 3.0 header in the middle of the board...wtf? So I said good bye to USB Type C and stuck with the rest of my demands.
RAM: Was planning on going with 16 GB as cost effective as I could, low profile was important, so thinking of 2133 or 2400 CL 14, but my friend got the 3000 MHz at that 20% off so went for those (red heat spreaders).
PSU: The SFX-L was one of the first things when I decided SFF and quiet, was afraid of 92 mm fans. Also full modular sounded good, then started thinking custom cables... (ended up going half way unfortunately)
Case: In the end I settled for the Raijintek, though I'm not completely happy with it (it tried to kill me twice now... some edge around the outside is really sharp, don't know which one yet) but I said I'm not going to spend a ton of money on another case which would also need some modding, I'm planning on replacing the plexiglas with glass at some point. Very annoying thing about the case... that CPU cutout is good for nothing, you can't reach the bottom screws so changing the CPU cooler will be fun...
Storage: One of the parts I spent a chunk of the budget, big one at that, the idea was this - as fast as possible for OS and apps, SSD with Steam and other games, that will come with me until it gets to small, not to soon I hope... (already 40% full) and HDD for the boring stuff, movies, video, music, photos, possibly going to turn it in an SSD also as soon as it makes sense cost/GB.
COOLER: Looking back not the smartest choice. Wanted parallel with MB to show off the Enermax Vegas, and as big as possible because I thought CPU heat will be an issue (coming from an AMD FX6300 that would shut down in Borderlands 2 whenever I forgot the case fans on silent, still don't know what exactly that was all about) so I went overboard with the C1, it looks very cool and everything about it is nice, well packaged and solid, but it didn't fit as I wanted, couldn't go over the RAM because it was touching the PSU (without the 140 mm fan) so I went the only other option towards backpanel... so no more 120 mm on the back, my only planned active intake... So the plan, now, is to get something smaller as CPU stressed goes to 62 C (while pushing only the CPU), which is nothing compared with the starved of air GPU. Thinking about Phanteks PH-TC12LS, just a few degrades hotter than the C1, but with the ability of adding the much needed intake with a dust filter hopefully.
I also got some cable extensions, as you can see in the photos, they're from Silverstone, they also have their PP06 - individually sleeved - which replace the stock cables and you can make a better job of tiding up, but the only choice was black and I really like the red. I may try to mod the extensions to make them modular cables, but it is a bit scary, to be honest. If you know a better way to do it, I need 24 pin and the 8 pin ATX, SATA and PCI-E can stay as they are, i'll have enough room for them.
The Corsair AF120 White (wanted white light on those red cables) is MIA at the moment.
For the rest, the peripherals I have them for over a year now, love them, not much to say.
I await constructive criticism... Have a good one!
PS I would preffer not cutting into the case, especially up top.