My apologies in advance, as I have long delayed this writing! I started purchasing pieces of this build in Jan. 2017, though it wasn't truly completed until July of that year. The main goal was the have a PC that would allow worry-free gaming for 5 years, hopefully more by conforming to new standards to maintain upgradability.
AMD Ryzen 7 1800x I chose AMD because the product is so much cheaper than an Intel CPU with comparable specs. I found a new chip on eBay selling for 30% below MSRP, so I jumped on the deal. Gaming will always be the primary use for this machine: the AM4 platform with high-frequency DDR4 and PCIe 3.0 support means I will ideally have this rig for a long time. I wanted something with the new 14nm architecture to capitalize on performance gains, and 8 cores to match the structure of consoles (which is arguably a huge factor in game development across all platforms). This CPU is currently running at 4.1GHz base without any changes to voltage, and can achieve 450 - 500 H/s when mining XMR.
Thermaltake Water 3.0 This is my first-ever attempt at liquid cooling, so I went with an all-in-one solution to keep things simple. At a 25C ambient temperature, my CPU never gets hotter than 65C under a full load - during normal use, it keeps temperatures down around 50C. I cannot attest to noise levels, as I endure loud ambient conditions daily, but the fans have rubberized feet to reduce vibrations and thus noisiness. This unit came with the necessary AM4 brackets, and I felt was overall very easy to install - much easier than the 212EVO or Hyper T4. Thermaltake’s Water 3.0 securely straddles the CPU with a 4-point restraint, which ensures a tight and even fitment on the AM4 socket.
My previous build had a Cooler Master 212, which was a really effective air unit, but I originally started this build with the Hyper T4 as it was cheaper at the time. The Cooler Master Hyper T4 was the worst purchase decision I made here: I discovered that the unit made a very loud rattle - probably due to the poor restraint across the CPU (which was simply a single 2-point strap that snapped into place).
Asus Prime X370-PRO I had an Asus motherboard before, and had no desire to even look at other brands. The price of these units is reasonable, and they make overclocking a breeze. Memory support wasn't great for the first year, but the latest BIOS update in March 2018 has allowed my RAM to boot at 2933 MHz.
Corsair Vengeance LPX This RAM was reasonably priced at just under $10USD/GB, and had minimal heat spreader to potentially interfere with the Hyper T4 that I initially chose. I selected the 3000 MHz / CAS 15 model for two reasons: 1) RAM with higher bandwidth typically had poor timings, 2) RAM with higher timings typically had poor bandwidth. Any models I found that were superior in both bandwidth and latency very expensive, meaning this was a nice middle-ground between price and performance.
I started with 2x8GB, which was honestly more than enough for my use, but found 2x8GB more even cheaper than the original units I purchased, during November / Black Friday sales.
Crucial MX300 M.2 SSD The 128GB Samsung 850EVO unit I bought in late 2011 (or 2012 - I can't quite recall) had permanent failure in January 2018: this was simply the cheapest $USD/GB SSD I could find to replace it. I aimed for the performance of an M.2, but realized too late that this SSD is only the M.2 form factor: it's speed is still limited to SATA 6GB/s. Despite this noobish oversight, the Crucial MX300 does not disappoint, as my OS boots in 7 seconds or less (even though I let all services run at startup and have set a 3 second BIOS delay).
Western Digital Caviar Blue HDD I purchased this drive along with the 850EVO mentioned above, solely to gain volume for extra games, etc. Given the size of my new MX300, this is now largely unused, but still a much-desired fail-safe.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Ti This was the most powerful single-card GPU on the market at build, certain Titan models notwithstanding. I was hesitant to pay $700 USD for this component alone, but then was pleasantly surprised to find a unit in-stock at a local Fry's store cheaper than anywhere else in the world. The recent memory shortage due to vast proliferation in everyday devices (light bulbs, cell phones, etc.), coupled with continued crypto-crazies, has driven up the price substantially - it turns out that my $700 was a wise investment, indeed! The GPU has three fans mounted over a large heat sink, which keeps the 11GB DDR5X running cool, even under load and w/ hot ambient conditions.
-When gaming, I play most titles with ~50 FPS in Ultra at 4K. Currently absorbed in The Witcher 3/PUBG. -When dual-mining ETH & PASC, the card achieves about 36MH/s & 565MH/s (respectively).
Corsair Crystal 570X I went with a mid-size case to ensure there would be room for my large GPU, and the windows on this one allow my to showcase these beautiful components. The build was made to be Black and White with LED accents: I purchased a 3-pack of the SP120 fans to accompany the three which came with the case, and all six can be used with a single controller for LED functions.
I chose this model for the open-air design, and stylish modern look - plus it was discounted on Prime Day! The tempered glass panels are a huge bonus, as the acrylic panel on my last build was scratched within a few weeks. The storage bays are tucked neatly behind the motherboard: there is no 5.25” bay, but I plan to buy an external optical drive if/when I ever need one again. This computer is kept on the carpet, and I have 3 cats, yet the included dust filters keep out 99% of the hair and dirt - I've only dusted once since build date.
EVGA SuperNOVA 750W 80+ Gold As this PSU is fully-modular, I can use only the needed cables, which in turn keeps the build cooler and cleaner. 750W is more than enough for my current needs, and may even support a 2nd GPU if I'm ever in a position to move up to SLI / Crossfire. The 80+ Gold efficiency rating gives me as much performance as I can reasonably squeeze out of a power supply, and helps keep down on excess heat production.
Microsoft Windows 10 Home Originally started with Win7 with my first build in 2011, and took advantage of the Anytime Upgrade.
Gigabyte PCI-E Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Adapter The 802.11AC standard is much broader than the internet I pay for, and Bluetooth 4.2 is included in the same unit. I had my PC hardwired until purchasing this, and I can't say I see any decrease in connectivity despite now being wireless. Bluetooth allows me to connect my Xbox One controller, when desired.
Acer 23" 1080p Monitor Purchased with my original build, and is nothing fancy, but does the job very well.
Acer 28" 4K Monitor Acquired on Black Friday to replace the aging 1080p monitor above. I was torn between 4K and 144Hz, but as I grew up on consoles the 4K seemed more appealing. While I am not disappointed with this monitor itself, I would probably go with something 144Hz if I could go back and make the purchase again. The unit does boast a 4ms G-2-G rating, which is great for both my Xbox one and PC gaming.
Microsoft Comfort Desktop 5050 Wireless mouse and keyboard, ergonomic in design for long sessions in front of a game or word document. Battery life in these units is astounding: I replace the AAs in it annually at most.
Razer Tartarus Chroma This was actually gifted to me by some friends for my birthday, along with the Naga Chroma, and I'm still ambivalent about this product. Customization requires use of a Razer application, which is clunky at best. I also find the keys harder to locate, as it is a typical mechanical setup: I'm used to ergonomic keys both at work and at home.
Razer Naga Chroma This was also gifted to me by some friends for my birthday, along with the Tartarus Chroma. Unlike the keyboard, I am smitten by this mouse! The wire is a bit disappointing, but the 12 hotkeys near the thumb are each slightly different shapes, making the desired key easy to locate. Generally speaking, I let the keys here mirror my N-pad, which has been highly useful for quick-slots and whatnot.
Sennheiser G4ME ONE Headset / Microphone in one unit allows me to not only use this on my PC, but on my Xbox One console as well. Both units offer their own pros and cons, and perhaps surprisingly, the two headsets are far from identical: the Game Zero model feels more light-weight, and folds flat, but does not have nearly as rich of sound quality as the Game One model. While the sound quality of the Game Zero's is far from bad (and correctable to a degree with an equalizer on PC), the Game One headset sounds much nicer at default, especially where bass is concerned - this makes the Game Ones a clear winner when used on the console. Additionally, the velvet earpieces on the Game One are more comfortable than the sticky leather on the Game Zero model. Given that the Game Ones are $50 less at MSRP ($229 v. $279), I expected them to be worse in all aspects, but that is hardly the case. At the end of the day, I've returned the Game Zero (even though I really wanted a closed setup for immersion), purely because the sound quality does not appeal to an audiophile like myself.
PS: I tried to include units for everything, but please note that all prices as in US Dollars and all temperatures are in Celsius. The prices listed are actual product prices, not including shipping/taxes: parts came from everywhere, including sites like Jet.com and Massdrop.com. I cannot recall what I paid for the 1080p monitor nor the 5050M/K combo, as I have had them longer than my first build (was on a pre-built HP machine before that), so I left them at $0.