This is the third PC that I have built so far, and it was definitely the most interesting. A friend of mine's little brother had been saving up for a new pre-built PC for the past year or so. I mentioned to him that he should consider letting me build one for him and explained some of the reasons why. After I showed him the past two builds that I had worked on, he was pretty much sold. So, I put a list together and tweaked it over the course of a month, carefully watching prices as they fluctuated in the market, watching for price drops. Particularly for the 2x8 DDR4 3200 RAM to be $100 and for a fully modular PSU to be $50. Its really good that I bought when I did because it was just a few days before the cryptocurrency crash that caused GPU prices to double or triple.
I had a really weird problem when I finished putting the PC together. Basically, when I turned it on, it would start, but only for a split second. To me, it seemed like the problem didn't even get to the point of whether it was going to POST or boot-loop; the shutdown happened before that was an option. The thing that really stumped me was that I put the PC together outside of the case first and it worked, but wouldn't work when it was in the case. After hours of testing, trial and error, and frustrating calls to equally stumped tech friends, I had concluded that the metal of the case was contacting the motherboard in a way that was shorting it out. Because of the way that the case is laid out, it was impossible to determine where there was problematic contact. So again, after some trial and error, I came up with a solution that worked. This is where I would imagine half of readers will get mega-triggered and the other half will go, "huh, crafty".
I lined the bottom of the case and motherboard in duct tape, stuck rubber anti-vibration mounts around the standoffs, and used too-tall screws to screw in the motherboard (It'll hold in place unless you hold the computer upside-down?).
I probably should've sought for some legitimate help, but because I had taken the HDD from his old computer I left him without a working computer. I felt obligated to try and fix the issue on my own as quick as possible. I was too impatient to wait for responses on forums. Nonetheless, the solution I came up with works, so it worked out in the end. I had completed the build from start to finish in less than 24 hours across 2 days.
When I was about to purchase the parts, the final price tag was about $736. I was very disappointed by all of the hidden shipping costs. I tried my best to work around them but had little luck. I thought PCPartPicker did a better job at finding those costs.
This is the second time I have used this CPU. It is ice cold, comes with a beautiful stock cooler, handles any game you throw at it, and overclocks easily. Save $30 by googling for 30 seconds to pretty much match the performance of a 1300x. On tighter budgets, the 1200 is perfect.
I don't know whether to blame myself, the motherboard, or the case for the shorting-out issue that I talked about in my Build Description, so I won't knock it. The layout is well thought out, has a good manual, well labeled, neutral color scheme (the red dimm slots doesn't pop out as much as it does in the pictures), and the BIOS is simple. If WiFi is a must, ITX is actually an attractive option. If you play your cards right, it can be within a few dollars of a computer 4 times its size with only slightly worse thermals.
Having 3200 MHz Dual-Channel RAM squeezes out some extra performance in my 1200 CPU for just a few extra dollars, not to mention the black with a hint of red matching my motherboard is a nice touch. In this continually worsening RAM market, RAM of this caliber for $100 isn't bad.
Quiet, good looking, neutral color, cool temps, eats games for breakfast. Why haven't you bought it yet?
I guess if I had to complain, having 6-Pin VGA is just annoying because it adds more cable bulk than even an 8-Pin. The VGA cable is always configured as 6+2, so having an 8-pin connection holds the cables closer together. But the 1060 is efficient enough to only need a 6 and a twist-tie or two fixes the cable issue so its fine.
Again, I don't know whether to blame myself, the motherboard, or the case for the shorting-out issue that I talked about in my Build Description, so I won't knock it. Working in ITX is probably easier than you think. The pictures don't do it justice (you'd have to see it in person to understand) but there is very little blocking the intake fan bringing fresh air straight to the CPU Cooler. There is also tons of breathing room for the GPU too. It also comes with a decent fan, I don't feel like I'll need to replace it with something better.
EVGA, Fully modular, cool temps, quiet, $50. The cables were super stiff, but also super durable. I was pretty harsh when bending them to the shape that I wanted them and they showed no sign of wear. The VGA cable having two 6+2 ends is stupid.
The person I built this computer for specifically wanted this keyboard and would not be satisfied by anything else. Personally, I was surprised by how nice it is. Good lighting, form factor, material, feel, keys...