My dream gaming rig has come true! This is my first custom build from the ground up. Everything went together pretty smoothly, and the thing is beautiful :) My wife and I built at the same time, so some of the pictures are of both of our new builds. I have the finished pictures first, then some of the step-by-step pictures after.
It's obviously a bad time to build a new PC because of the video card prices, but I was able to find the exact card I wanted in a bundle on Newegg. It's the Aorus 1080Ti Xtreme edition, which matches the Aorus Gaming 7 motherboard I got, and it has the most RGB of any video card that I saw. When the bundle came up on Newegg, I snagged it right away. It was $985 bundled with a motherboard that I'm not going to use, but it's relatively cheap compared to the $1500-1600 that we're seeing still. I know it's still over normal retail price, but I wasn't going to wait until they drop again.
The case I got is the Corsair Crystal 570X, which has 4 sides with tempered glass. I saw this case on display with a full custom build at PAX last year in Seattle. I instantly fell in love and needed to build a similar PC with all the lights. One of the biggest complaints people had online is the case doesn't come with a cover for the PSU shroud. Most people have a hole right in front of the shroud that shows all of the cables plugging into the PSU. What most people don't know is that Corsair actually sells the front shroud cover online for like $4. I ordered that right away when I found out, and it looks perfect with the cover on. Kind of silly that it's not included with the case, but glad I got it regardless.
I replaced the Corsair SP120 fans that come with the case because I wanted as much RGB as possible, and I got all Corsair LL series fans. I used three of the LL 120s on the front for the AIO cooling instead of the fans that came with the AIO. I don't feel the need for push/pull, and I didn't want that much space taking up the front of the case.
When building the PC, I put the fans in first. I learned that putting the rear fan in right away was a mistake when I put the motherboard in. The rear exhaust fan gets in the way of the motherboard back panel, so I had to remove it temporarily.
The AIO tubes are at the top of the case, and go downward toward the CPU. I have two of the LL 140 fans at the top, and the one near the radiator actually is pressing on the hoses slightly. There's just not enough room for the AIO hoses to clear the fan frame. Because of this, I didn't put the AIO sleeve end caps on at that end because it would have added more pressure between the fan and the hoses. This is the first time I've used AIO, and I can easily say I'll never go back to conventional cooling. The AIO is extremely easy to install. Mounting on the CPU is exactly the same as any other cooler. You just have the additional task of mounting the radiator and the fans, and a couple extra wires, which is super easy.
One thing I knew I would have to spend time on with this case is cable management. You can see in some of the pictures that with all of the fans, AIO, and RGB, there was a huge mess of wires in the back. The cable channel in the case was sufficient to hide most of the wires nicely. I had to route the 24 pin cable halfway through the channel and then exit to the side in order to reach the PSU. If I tried hiding the whole thing and make it come out the bottom, it wouldn't have reached the PSU. This isn't bad, since they're nice looking Cable Mod cables, so I figure adding more blue cables to the backside adds to the overall look. You can check that out in the pictures also.
RGB lighting was extremely fun to put together in this case. Using the Corsair Commander Pro and one RGB hub, I was able to plug all 6 fans, the PSU, the AIO, and the four RGB strips in for fan speed and RGB control. This was the only thing I've never done in a computer before. Adding fans, light strips and playing with RGB was a huge learning experience. I watched tons of videos to see how people connected to the Commander Pro and did cable management. I honestly had fun sitting there figuring this all out and cleaning up the cables.
I absolutely love the Logitech blue color, so I went all out with the cables and lights to match that color. I even picked up the Corsair MM800 Polaris Cloth mouse pad to add more RGB lighting. You can see the junky old rubber mouse pad I replaced in one of the pictures.
The only old equipment I'm still using is my keyboard, mouse, headset, speakers and monitors. The monitors are nothing special and the mouse is a nice Logitech G302 Daedalus RGB mouse which works perfectly. My headset is a Plantronics RIG that I won at PAX Prime a few years back. The speakers are Boston Acoustic, which came with the last PC I bought in 2002 which was a Gateway. They're pretty nice speakers and subwoofer, so I stick with them. The cherry on top is my keyboard. It's the Logitech G910 Orion Spark. This is the best keyboard known to man! It's all RGB with lots of effects, individual key coloring, zones, profiles that change the colors based on what game you're playing, and it's silent mechanical. The keys are shaped so that they feel like little pillows for your finger tips. The material actually feels soft to the touch. It's the best keyboard my fingers have ever felt. They usually have the latest model of this keyboard on display at Best Buy if you want to test it out. I highly recommend it.