This was my second ever PC build, but it is the culmination of a concept I have had for quite some time. I became particularly inspired to make this happen when I first saw the Silverstone RVZ02 via CES 2015 coverage. Something about the slim vertical layout with chamber separation seemed really unique, and I wanted to see what I could build with it.
A Note on overclocking (or lack there of): You might notice that my i5-6600 is non-k, and the motherboard has the H170 chipset. In other words, this system is not capable of overclocking. This was a tough decision, but I decided that due to the lack of case fans which will limit airflow to motherboard VRMs, the limited capacity for aftermarket CPU coolers, and my desire for a low overall power draw (note the 450W PSU), overclocking just didn't make sense. However, I know that people have overclocked skylake chips successfully in this case - some even with a 6700k.
CASE: The RVZ02, as mentioned, was the inspiration behind the whole build and I am quite happy with the overall aesthetic and build experience. My previous system was much larger, but had a lot of wasted space; with the RVZ02, no space is wasted, and it feels a lot more tailored to my needs. The only complaints I have are pretty minor - the USB 3.0 front panel cable is quite long and difficult to work with, and the front slider/cover for the front I/O is very stiff and feels cheap.
PSU: The Corsair SF450 and SF600 are - based on reviews and my own personal experience - the best SFX power supplies on the market. Quality components, 80+ gold efficiency, 7 year warranty, great voltage regulation and ripple suppression...and the fan doesn't run unless the load exceeds ~100 W, kind of like the new ASUS STRIX GPU coolers. Long story short, it makes no noise during general use, and only kicks in during gaming loads, but even then remains very quiet.
CPU: The i5-6600 was chosen for simple reasons. I only really plan to game with this system, and it's my understanding that current gen games don't utilize hyperthreading, and thus i7 series processors are a bit overkill for most gamers. I also didn't plan to overclock, as previously discussed. With all that established, the i5-6600 was simply the best i5 available at the time.
CPU Cooler: There are a decent number of low-profile CPU coolers that will work with the RVZ02. The obvious choice is the Silverstone AR-06, with a height of 58mm - the max CPU clearance from the RVZ02 spec sheet. If you look at reviews and testing, however, the Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet offers much better performance than any other low-profile CPU cooler in the 65mm or less category. The problem is that it is technically 60mm, so officially it doesn't fit in the RVZ02 (as PCPartPicker's auto compatibility check will state). With the non-window version of the case, however, it does fit - albeit with only a few milometers to spare. The other issue is that Zalman insists that the cooler be installed with the heat pipes running horizontally with used in tower cases with vertically mounted motherboards. On my m-itx motherboard (and from the looks of reviews - this is fairly common), with the heat pipes running horizontally the cooler interferes with my RAM dimms. I therefore had to install it vertically anyways, but my temps are pretty fantastic: idle ~24 deg C, with a max temp of 47 deg C during 3D Mark Firestrike (20 deg C ambient).
MB: For my needs, the H170 chipset does everything and doesn't cost as much as Z170 boards. The Gibabyte GA-H170N-Wifi is a great m-itx board, with onboard wifi, bluetooth, m.2 NVME comparability, USB 3-type C, etc. The only problem with it is that the USB-3.0 internal header is located sort of in the middle of the board, and so with my large CPU cooler I need a flexible extension in order to complete the installation.
RAM: I was looking for 16GB of low-profile RAM at a good price from a reputable brand, and this kit of Corsair LPX DDR4 fit the bill. Note that with the H170 chipset (or at least with this MB), the max RAM speed is 2133 MHz, so there's no real reason to get higher speed RAM. In my case, it happened to be cheaper at the time.
GPU: I picked up this R9 380 about 4 months before any of the other components on a boxing day sale. At the time, I didn't want to spend the extra $100-200 CAD for a R9 390 or a GTX 970, and I couldn't get my hands on a R9 290. I am not unhappy with the choice - for 1080p, 60 FPS gaming, the 380 has plenty of power. I opted for the 4GB variant of the card for a bit of future proofing; at present, 1080p doesn't really require more than a 2GB frame buffer, but that could change over the next few years.
Storage: I originally planned for a single 500GB 850 Evo, but I ended up buying a 120GB to allow completion of the build while I waited for the 500GB which ended up being on backorder. The 850 Evo itself is a very fast drive (at least for me - coming from HDDs), and I am quite happy with it. Should be reliable too, but time will tell.
Overall I am very happy with the end result!
Benchmarks: 3DMark Firestrike v1.1: 7274 3DMark Skydiver v1.0: 18,622