This was my first build!
Always been a PC user, love the customization and freedom that come with it.
And soooo...let's dive in~
CPU: I chose to go Intel, and with the i7-8700k so I'll have room to upgrade in the future. Runs pretty level for me, and you don't have to OC for it to be a great processor. Easy install, and since 8th gen intel is not backwards compatible with Z270 mobo's, it just made sense for me to go with coffee lake after the prices dropped a bit.
PSU: I went fully modular for my power supply, and went with corsair individually sleeved cables. IMO, these things pull it all together. I didn't want to deal with a mess of cables all up in my grill, and only have what I need connected with my PSU. This was a huge help...just make sure your cable types match up with your PSU. I read that it's good to stay within brands when using separately bought cables, as there isn't great standardization across brands.
MOBO: The ASUS Prime Z370-A...love this board. This option was nice for me because I didn't need wifi (can always add it, yes I realize this), and loved that it had integrated graphics while I shopped around for a GPU. (RIP to MSRP prices for now...do not impulse buy people, make sure you're familiar with the market and price points before you buy. Use pcpartpicker to see price history to confirm a decent deal). This thing honestly looks GREAT. It's sharp, and has a tasteful amount of RGB just on the upper right side. ASUS aura is fine, it does what it aims to accomplish and doesn't need to be touched unless you want to change something. BIOS is good and bad, there's so much I don't understand within it--but the way that it's set up is easy to navigate.
AIO Cooler: Meh. Not thrilled with this cooler, but what do I know. If I could do it all over again maybe I'd do custom watercooling because I like being over the top, or go with another brand. I've had to play with the settings and still am not 100% reassured. It works, at the very least. Definitely one of the most time consuming parts of this process with me being a noob. Installing this thing sucked. If you have another set of hands, it might be helpful if you're new like myself. I had to reposition the radiator/fans a couple times until I was happy with the layout and airflow.
RAM: Just gorgeous. Fast, and syncs nicely with my mobo. This was a mostly aesthetic purchase, but a great choice otherwise as well--but you pay for the RGB.
Storage: EVO 850 is nice and fast, boots windows super fast.
GPU: I bought this GPU after stalking prices for a couple weeks. If you try to order straight from the manufacturer, it seems that's the best way to go. Got this little 1060 for $329 from newegg. Best price I had seen for a 6gb 1060. Big improvement (obviously) from my integrated graphics on my mobo (BUT that did get me by for the time until this purchase). I'll probably upgrade this in the future...but honestly, it's been cool, VERY quiet, and was so incredibly easy to install. I wasn't 100% on this purchase, but now that I'm using it, I think it was a good investment while I'm using a cheap (60Hrz, without G sync, non 4K) monitor.
Case fans: While the corsair HD120 RGB 120mm fans are fine and all...the corsair ML140 Pro magnetic levitation whatever the heck they were ARE AMAZING!!! These two 140mm's up top improved my airflow big time. They're quiet and VERY well made. If I had known, I would have skipped the HD120's and got more of these.
Case: The instructions kind of suck that come with this, unless I'm just an idiot. It was hard to understand where on the mobo the connectors for the case light, reset and power went to. In this case, cross referencing my manuals saved my ***. Get ready to pull out a magnifying glass--on my mobo it was barely noticeable. Tempered glass is nice, but it's extremely difficult to keep clean. I can wipe this bad boy down with windex and coffee filters and it still looks streaky. Other methods will be tested. I have read otherwise in reviews, but I wasn't super thrilled with cable management ease in the back of the case. Front is great, everything stays out of sight. However, it can get a little messy. If I could have bought another case, I think I would have. It looks a little too run of the mill for me, but perhaps I'll paint the inside down the road.
Overall, I'm thrilled with this build. Preforms quietly, stays cool and stable, and ATM I am not over clocking.
I'm hoping this build lasts me a while...it's gorgeous and I'm proud of it.
Please, people. Don't be afraid to watch countless youtube videos...that's what got me through this process. Don't rush your orders, and buying from mainstream online retailers meant I ACTUALLY got my products on time. I know newegg can be good and bad, but I had great experiences buying from them and would do it the same way all over again.
Plan ahead...have some direction for your build and it will save you time. This is your project, do it right and it will make you happy! Knowing what is compatible with what is huge. I had to go over this part of the project many times for the information to stick. Read your specs, write them down. Take notes! Watch videos. Watch tutorials on the toilet. Listen to keywords explained. Seriously, people. I haven't been into computers since '09...if I was able to do it, I'm pretty sure anyone can. Tried to include some helpful tidbits, hopefully someone can make use of some of this.
Thanks for checking out my build!!