To start off with, I thought this build would have never been possible. For the longest time, this was just a fictitious dream build of mine, that I would one day love to have, but never thought I would be capable of affording being a broke college student. The build itself had been planned for the better part of a year and a half, and under construction for almost the better part of a year and is now finally completed. It went through about 3 major revisions before I finalized it into what it is today. This is my second personal build, using the same name as my last, but a different title. I think I'll stick with this naming convention, instead of building computers with new names, I'll just make a new generational title.
CPU: For the processor I went for the i7-7700K. I had already settled for this before Ryzen had released. I feel currently for gaming, while Ryzen is good, the 7700K still dominates. This processor what quite the upgrade from my FX-8350 and it's crazy to see how far my 8350 was holding back my gaming performance. (I tested my GTX 1080 with my 8350 and literally got about half the FPS). For the 7700K, I delidded it using a Rockit 88 delidder tool along with some Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut. I noticed an almost 20 °C temperature drop, very impressive! I plan on overclocking hopefully to 5 GHz soon.
Motherboard: I did't even know it was possible to cram so many features into a single motherboard. WiFi and Bluetooth come standard, there's a gazillion overclocking features and tuning features that I'll probably never end up using. I love the compromise of the CODE. It's the same board as the Formula, but doesn't have that ridiculous VRM waterblock so it's cheaper. I love the aesthetic of the board, and the fact that it has TWO dedicated 12V RGB headers. I ended up using both in my build. The only drawback I could see for anybody is that it only features one USB 2.0 header and the placement of the 3.0 header made it very difficult to install in my case. It also has features that help 'future proof' it such as a dedicated internal USB 3.1 header for newer cases. The one feature I love most is that I can turn fans completely off if they're not being used. I have my exhaust fan turned all the way off if the processor is below 45 °C to cut down on noise.
Cooler: I purchased the H100i v2 mainly because of looks. Sadly about a week after I had purchased it, the Kraken X62 was released from NZXT. In hindsight, I should have returned the H100i and gone for the X62, I feel like it would fit this build better, and also offer a little better performance. The H100i V2 is still a very good cooler and I am satisfied with it. I used Gelid GC-Extreme as my TIM; it works really well.
Memory: I'll be honest, I splurged on the memory. Not only was it expensive for 2017 standards, but it was always one of the more high end kits to buy. I couldn't say no to the sleek, sexy aesthetic that the Dominator Platinums offered. I kind of wish I could have jumped to a 32 GB kit, but 16 GB would have to suffice because of the bad times us PC builders are in. I watched the price of this kit climb steadily over the span of a year. I'm so upset with the state of the market to buy RAM.
Storage: The only new storage in this computer was the Samsung 960 EVO, everything else came from my previous computer. The drive is blazing fast, it's crazy to see how far SSDs have come. I believe M.2 is going to eventually replace all SATA SSDs. With the (2) 1 TB WD Blues and the 250 GB 850 EVO, I'm able to offload my game library to these drives instead, keeping my 960 EVO rather empty and running fast.
Graphics: My graphics option changed a lot on this build before I finally settled on the FTW2 GTX 1080. When I had first started picking the parts for my build, I had started off with a 1060. "I'll never need more than this," I kept telling myself. After a while I had convinced myself to go with a 1070 and then later changed my mind to a 1080 so nobody would complain how I had spent all this money on aesthetics instead of performance. As soon as I had the money to buy a 1080, the mining craze hit and I had to put my build on hold for a little bit before I could purchase it. It was worth the wait though, there is a night and day difference between my old GTX 970 and my new GTX 1080.
Case: The case was the first thing I bought all the way back in December of 2016. I think this is by far the coolest looking glass and aluminium case on the market, the build quality is impeccable. At the time I bought it, this case was very new and I felt like I had landed on something unique that not a lot of other people would use; boy was I wrong. This case is more common than your average cold now. Even though it's lost its uniqueness to me I still love it. The only downside people have mentioned is the airflow, but when you have a total of 7 fans, it's not that big of a deal. Temperatures are still very well average.
Power Supply: I went back and forth on which power supply I wanted to use. I almost went with the EVGA G3, but changed my mind after the price for it spiked. The FOCUS Plus was a good decision for the money. I'm blown away by how physically small the PSU is. It feels like it's half the size and weight of my old EVGA NEX 650 G1. It is also much higher quality than my last one. The one complaint I have is not about my PSU, but the CableMod cables I purchased for it. This my first time shopping with them, and I wasn't impressed with the quality. Some of the cables were frayed at the ends, and didn't match the factory wiring. I was going to return them, but didn't want the downtime. I think I'm just going to sleeve my own cables next time.
Fans: I learned my lesson with my last computer, don't get ricey LED fans. They may look cool, but they'll keep you up at night if you are downloading a game or doing some other task that requires your computer stay powered on. I'm one of those people who have to sleep with no light whatsoever. After learning my lesson, I decided to go with the non-LED version of the Air series fans. I really like the idea of having a cusomizable plastic ring. On mine if you look close enough, I painted them a metallic gray with splashes of purple to match my monochrome and purple theme. I used an AF-140 as exhaust and SP-120s for all intakes due to the case being so restrictive of airflow.
Other Stuff: If you look in the window area where the PSU is typically visible, I made my own custom acrylic, RGB Backlit insignia featuring a Tesseract. I feel this adds the uniqueness to the build I was shooting for. It's not as bright as I want it, so I'm going to have to play around with it for a bit.
In the end, I knew I wanted a new PC, but never expected me to accomplish my dream build. This is something I've worked long and hard for and I hope that can be an inspiration to others. If you want something hard enough, it is obtainable, it's just a matter of how hard you want to work for it. I hope you all enjoyed my build! If you did, please drop me a +1! :)