The iMac at home that my father uses for photo editing and CAD software for his architectural firm has been closing in on the end of its usable life for a good while now. The time had finally come for the poor old 2010 machine to see a replacement. He didn't fully realize just how outdated the iMac was until his company upgraded to BOXX rigs about a year ago and he got his first taste of the decent render times and overall speed brought by some decent modern hardware including an overclocked 4790k and a SATA SSD boot drive. After progressively getting more and more frustrated with the performance of the Mac (and the OS, he's been on windows computers otherwise for his whole life) he dove in for an upgrade.
After exploring various options he eventually settled on the parts list you see here. I'll try and run through some of the thought process for selecting these components. First thing he had mentioned to me was the desire for a small form factor. I had previous experience with the fracal define series of cases and recommended the ITX version and he liked that. He also toyed around with the idea of spurging a bit for a fancy Lian Li ITX case, but settled with the Define Nano S for the cost, though we both agree it looks pretty dang sharp as is.
That out of the way, he said he desired excellent performance in photo editing software like Lightroom, CAD software such as Revit as well as Graphic Design such as Adobe inDesign. These wishes were met with a liquid cooled i7 6700k as well as Samsung's M.2 PCIe SSD offering, the 950 PRO, to provide not only excellent program performance but supurb boot and program load times.
Motherboard choice was somwhat limited by not only the requirement for an M.2 slot, but also for his desire for bluetooth. This Asus option fit the need quite well actually. In addition to having bluetooth 4.1 it also comes with 2x2 802.11ac wireless, neat!
Initially I might have gone with a cheaper GPU, but a few things made me change my mind and recommend the 1060. Firstly, he used to own a Cessna and loves to fly around in X-Plane 10. Certianly not the most graphically demanding application out there, but on the 3440x1440 LG 34UM95, the extra graphics horsepower would certianly be welcomed. As it is, I think it was a good option. 6GB VRAM is a healthy amount for the large monitor, and the extra power allows him to hold an easy 60FPS in X-Plane, with which he has been quite pleased! In addition, the price for a 1060 is really not all that bad, and gives plenty of room for more demanding applications in the future if he ever desires.
The monitor was sort of the crowning jewel of the whole thing. He has always appreciated a good monitor and this certainly fit the bill. For Lightroom and X-Plane, I can't think of a better option. The amount of horizon that fills the 21:9 screen is stunning and since it is an IPS panel, colors are supurb! I secretly took it for a spin in Battlefield 1 and Civ V. In fast paced shooters I would certainly stick with my own Dell S2716DG, the response time and 144Hz is just too much to give up for the widers aspect ratio. But in games like Civ V and Forza 6 Apex...I can't think of much better! It really is a gorgeous display and is a awesome experience to sit in front of.
Other than that, a couple 8GB sticks of Corsair DDR4 RAM, a 2TB storage drive, Windows 10, and a nicely priced fully modular 550W PSU finished everything off.
That about does it, I'd be glad to expand on anything if anyone is interested!