This was my first build and I'm very excited about it. The goal was to build a semi-quiet air-cooled over-clockable gaming machine capable of taking advantage of my Alienware 34" G-Sync monitor's 3440x1440 resolution. I did about a month of research into the parts regarding things such as price, compatibility, and gaming performance while keeping things under $1500.
GPU I'll start with the GPU as that was anchor of the system. Had to be G-sync so I had to go team green. 1080ti's were about $1200 when I started shopping parts so that was out. It then became a battle between the 1080 and the 1070ti. I was more than comfortable going with the GTX 1070ti as all reviews suggest OC'ing get's near 1080 results. Perusing Amazon I saw the EVGA 1070 ti FTW Ultra Silent on sale for $510 and pulled the trigger as it was $729 two weeks earlier. Now all of a sudden things had gone from ideas to action and it was time to buy the rest of my parts!
CPU Next up the CPU had to be unlocked so it was between the 8700k and 8600k. Chose the latter as it is quite capable for gaming while being $140 cheaper. Have it stably clocked to 4.8ghz on a Hyper EVO 212 currently and temps stay around 65C running prime.
Motherboard Mobo is the area where I compromised the most. Would have loved to get one with wifi, usb C, etc. but those are "nice-to-haves" in my situation so I settled on the MSI Z370 Gaming Plus for $90 AR. I like the BIOS and MSI's apps/utilities but my impatience with learning a new-to-me BIOS had me using Intel XTU for OC'ing out of the gate. I'll learn it in due time if/when I want to OC further (spoiler alert: I do and I will). All in all it is quite capable for my needs without all the bells and whistles you see on boards out there today.
Memory Snagged 16gb (2x8) G.Skill Ripjaws V Series for $160 on an eBay sale. Black looks good with the red and black themed MSI Gaming Plus board and XMP capability takes full advantage of the sticks.
Case Went with Rosewill Challenger S for $45 shipped. I like the looks. It's light. It wasn't too difficult for a first time builder to work in but.... cable management was not all that easy to deal with, front panel usb's are cheap/flimsy and one doesn't work at all, front panel audio buzzes, and thumb screws for door panels are tough to line up to their holes. I consider this a compromise that I'll live with for a while but will continue looking out the corner of my eye for an upgrade at some point.
Storage Small compromise here because I initially wanted an EVO 960 m.2 nvme drive. So sexy. So fast. Less cables. All that good stuff. But the 500gb Samsung EVO 860 SSD I went with is no slouch at all. Novabench shows I'm getting 500+mb/s read/writes after optimization. Decent storage space to get things up and running and I may add another one later on as space becomes an issue. Initially paid $145 but had BestBuy price match down to $130 and counting the rewards I got things thing for $101 out of pocket in the end.
Optical Re-used an old DVD burner from previous machine. May eventually upgrade to a blu ray burner but if I'm honest with myself this may never happen. I just do not play with physical disks like was the norm 15 years ago (yes, I'm nearly 40).
So that's it. I was able to beat my budget and check all the boxes. Used the savings to grab Logitech Orion g810 paired with the G403 mouse and was still under budget! Having a blast playing Crysis on high setting and Skyrim on ultra at 3440x1440 in while getting frame rates that rarely drop below 70-80fps which is very playable for this non-competitive casual gamer.
I'd love to hear any feedback or answer questions.