I bought this CPU over the i5-7600k because I found a good price for it on ebay. I was nervous at first buying a used CPU, but the previous owner stated that he never overclocked it so I went for it. So far I have had it up to 4.8 with no problems, stability or temperature wise. I keep it at 4.5 because that seems to be the standard, and I don't notice a huge jump in performance considering I have a 1080 backing it up.
This was the biggest decision for my build. I knew I wanted to overclock, so I was looking for possible water cooling or bigger cooler options, with literal MM to spare, but another build guide with this case used the C7, my friend with a node 202 used the C7, and they never had any problems, so I went for it. It also helps that I have an SP120 corsair fan blowing right down on it, which enables me to overclock it. That is why I picked this case over the node 202.
I knew I wanted to overclock again so I went with a Z270 board because I also wanted WiFi and USB 3.0/USB-C ports. This board has 6 USB 3.0 ports, USB-C, and build in WiFi. It didn't have any reviews at the time of purchase, but it is an awesome board. The Strix is shiny yes, but this board gets the job done the same way with more ports and less lights, which don't show through my case anyway (hence the RGB fans). I ran my RAM at 3000 with literally one click of a button, XMP ftw. My only peeve with this board is that controlling the fans is difficult. I have it on SMART mode, but I feel like the fans run at higher RPM than needed, it is not loud, but its not absolutely silent.
Its 16GB @ 3000, I couldn't be happier with how easy this RAM was to clock. It fits perfectly, with literally maybe 1 mm between the cooler and the stick. Height wise you could go with whatever you wanted because the C7 fits perfectly in the motherboard CPU area, but I just went with the standard because it was a good price and good quality. If you get a different cooler than the C7, DO NOT GET ANYTHING OTHER THAN LOW PROFILE RAM, be warned.
I went with Plextor because it had good reviews and was cheaper than the Samsung 960 Evo. Its a great m.2 that I would recommend to anyone for boot and most used programs. From power button to log in screen is about 5 seconds if I can resist playing around in the bios.
The seagate is just a 3.5 HDD that can store everything else. I have it set as my storage drive and so far it hasn't skipped a beat. I will eventually replace it with a large capacity SSD, but those are still pricey.
I had my eyes on the Strix 1070 for the longest time, and was about to get it when I checked ebay one last time and saw a Newegg sale on this card for the same price as the Strix 1070, so naturally I went for it, no regrets at all. I have it overclocked to 2 mhz using the gigabyte software, and it hasn't let me down at all yet, and I have stressed this thing as much as I can to test it out. I ran battlefield on my 4k tv at max settings and it managed to stay at 50-60 fps, that'll do pig. Otherwise I have it hooked up to a widescreen monitor, and I have never had a game lag or stagger at all. The 1070 would have been fine, but if you find a 1080 on sale like I did, absolutely.
I was originally going to get the raven case, but I wanted something besides plastic, so I checked a little further and found that my case is aluminum and steel, perfect. The case is VERY sturdy and does not feel cheap in any way. The USB 3.0 connector is a massive cable for the size you get inside, but after many different cable routes I found a good spot for it. There are alot of good YouTube videos than basically tear this case down step by step, so watching those helped. If I had any peeves with this case it would be the GPU support bar. On my GPU there are three fans, and I could not find a good spot further down the card to hold it up better without hitting a fan blade (or coming uncomfortably close), so I had to move it back to just before halfway down the card. This leaves a little bit of sag, but not very much. Do not put a card without a back plate in this case. The case is from the fortress line, so hence the name of my build RGB Fortress.
This is very important: get a power supply that is as short as possible while still within your power needs. The shorter the PSU, the more room for cable management you have. If you do not mount the HDD on top of the PSU shroud, then you will have that room for cables, if not, good luck my friend, it took me a long time to make it look pretty, but I am a perfectionist. Keep a roll of electrical tape close by is all I will say.
The case comes with 2 fans (15mm), but I wanted some standard size 25mm high static pressure fans...with RGB of course. So naturally I landed on the corsair SP120's, which are amazing. I can feel the solid amount of air being sucked into the case, so this is why my temps are good while my overclocking is high, perfect. For this board with only 3 fan headers, you will need a fan splitter to connect all of them to the mobo. I paired the two GPU fans together, had the CPU fan on one, and the other corsair fan above the CPU on the last one. Make sure to tape the cables up nicely so that they do not hang down where they would hit the cpu or gpu fans. You will see what I mean if you do it.
A few building tips, install the PSU first, then the mobo, and leave the GPU bracket for last. Install the i/o connectors before the ram or 24 pin or else you will be using a flat head screwdriver and a flashlight like me, don't be me. The case fans should go on before anything else because you have to hold the case while you screw the fans in. Make sure the cables come out where you want them to so routing them is easier. The rbg and power for the fans are separate cables, so be aware whether its a 3 pin or 4 pin. 3 is for power, 4 is for rgb. I routed my GPU fan cables with the power supply cord, and the rgb cables up through the GPU shroud. The usb 3.0 cable can bend down behind the power supply shroud and go beneath the other power cables along the bottom of the case, behind the GPU riser bracket, and then up and over into the mobo, I zip tied the hd audio cable with the usb 3.0 cable because it is a solid cable. Then do the front i/o connectors and tape them up good and tuck them under the usb 3.0 cable and near the psu shroud towards the front of the case. Put as many cables as you can underneath the psu cables or else it will be wasted space. My biggest concern was blocking airflow to the cpu cooler, and having cables around it that might hit a fan blade. I took the sata connector to the HDD and used it to anchor the cpu fan cable, the fan splitter cable, and 8 pin mobo cable down so that they can't accidently roll over onto the mobo or cpu cooler, this is in one of the pictures. Tuck the sata connected beneath the HDD first and wrap it around to plug it in, this keeps those cables down while not putting pressure on any plugs, which was my other big concern. My sata power cable had like 6 connectors in a row on it, so I just have to tape it up and put it in the front of the case. To make your life easier get custom cables. The 24 pin is just a beast so all I could do was wrap it around and tuck it in best I could. This should be the last cable and should sit on top to keep the other cables held in place when the lid goes on. The cable for the fan above the cpu was routed over the mobo, but tucked into/near the wifi adapter, and then taped to the usb 3.0 cable so that it doesn't move at all. I know this is alot of tips, but I do not want the pain and suffering I went through to be put on any other human being. I installed everything in the wrong order, and I french fried when I should have pizza'd.