My first build. I've upgraded graphics cards, PSU's and HDD & SSD's before, but never a full build from scratch. I did not have any significant problems, it just took a really long time to complete it. (Or I was just really anxious to complete the build...haha) Mainly case prep, hard drive cage removal, repositioning fans, etc. Cable management was so easy in the case with ample room behind the motherboard tray.
I had to be careful with my PSU selection as my motherboard accepted two CPU power connections, so I opted for the 750w EVGA SuperNova G3 over the 650w. I think my first attempt at thermal compound application did not go too well as I was seeing higher than expected CPU temps on a few benchmarks, so I un-mounted the water block and cleaned the CPU and water block with some isopropyl and did a fresh application; now everything is fine. I also used the included fan hub that came with the case, but I was not having too much luck with fan speed regulation, so I decided to swap it out with the proprietary fan hub that came with the motherboard, and it works great now, with individual fan speed curves for each fan connected to it.
Speaking of the motherboard, it is great! It certainly is not the least expensive for the X-99 platform, but with the included accessories and features, I think it is one of the best value offers. It features premium sound hardware, a custom CPU socket with extra pins for greater and more efficient overclocking, the aforementioned fan extension card, onboard power and reset buttons, troubleshooting code indicator, memOK button, onboard WiFi, m.2 support (2 drives if using included PCI-e adapter), thunderbolt add-in card, onboard USB 3.1, and USB type-c(5 gbps though), and lots of SATA cables and additional accessories to get you up and running.
My only complaint with the motherboard, is with some sort of driver issue with ASUS's software. IOMap64.sys, an ASUS driver can cause occasional BSOD's upon login. However, I was able to resolve this issue by deleting the file while in Safe Mode.
As for the storage, I, admittedly, went a bit overkill with the 960 Pro, but it is definitely a speedy drive. However, I can say that after 3 months of use, one will generally not notice the speed difference between this and a normal SATA SSD in normal day-to-day use or gaming especially. My approach to the storage solution, however, was simple, I wanted the fastest storage I could get for my OS and one or two games. Then, I wanted a standard SSD to serve as a temporary space for large files, so I can work with them at high read & write speeds as well as a repository for a few programs and games that are important to me. Lastly the WD Blue is for general mass storage. Side Note: the WD Blue was actually surprisingly fast for a mechanical HDD, with one Crystal Disk Mark yielding a 200+ MB/s sequential read speed.
The memory was purely an aesthetic choice, but it's speedy and from a reputable company too!
The video card was a great deal on the best consumer card at the time, runs cool, and lots of frames! (even though these are 60 Hz panels I'm using) ;P
The case was a breeze to build in, but it should be, it is huge and expensive. I liked the tempered glass side window and the LEDs on the outside of the case, have them set to white to match the white elements in the build. I also like the PSU shroud. The possibilities are numerous with this one, lots of custom water cooling options too!
I picked up the Blu-Ray drive because I'm working on transferring my movie collection to my home media collection, and it's nice to watch Blu-Rays when I want. Just not ready to give up optical discs altogether.
The Windows 10 USB stick is the way to go IMO. Worked like it was supposed to, even when I had to do a couple reinstalls while troubleshooting the aforementioned issue and I can always fall back on it if I ever need to.
Looking back now, I probably should have waited and maybe forked over the extra cash for the 1080TI, but honestly the 1080 is overkill as it is. Overall, I'm very happy with the build and proud to say I did this myself, and look forward to getting years of use out of this machine!