This was my first build. I shoot photo and video and needed a machine on which I could start doing 4K editing. After finding plenty of lesser machines that were "almost" what I was looking for, I opted to take that money and roll it into something I can adapt to meet my needs now and in the future. I could not justify spending that kind of money on an iMac and be locked into hardware from the outset. My wife calls this beast Megatron after she saw the size of the Phanteks case. I prefer NerdBox.
All in all, I could not have asked for it to have gone much more smoothly. The case was nice to work in with all of the extra space. I found the PSU cover to be unnecessarily large. It does a nice job of hiding cables, but it is impossible to plug anything in without removing it. The cable management openings were helpful. I would have preferred one or two more as they got crowded fast.
The MSI MEG ACE X570 board looks great but has only two USB 2.0 headers, thus the reason for the two hubs. The ere are two 3.0 headers, one at the bottom of the board and the other toward the front. The front header is a bit precarious in its placement. Cables are invariably routed near it, putting the header at risk of being damaged due to the shifting of that connection. Plugging the cord into it was quite awkward and I feared for the safety of the pins.
The Trident Z Neo was more of a splurge than a need. I set up the two HDDs as a RAID1 drive to store images. I did not need the second HDD cage, so removed it. The OS is installed on the M.2 drive. I am using the 2T SSD for temporary storage for current projects and backing it up onto the RAID drive.
Biggest frustrations: cable management and the Corsair Commander. There were not enough PMD headers. I removed the small block from the wall of the cable compartment since I had the other hubs. I am still trying to sort out how to synchronize the lighting without having to open three different applications.
Most clever idea: I linked the bottom dust filters together so I could just pull them out the front instead of messing with moving the whole machine.
Biggest oops: I debated about going with the 2080 GPU over the 2070 GPU. Cost was the deciding factor, with the idea being I could always add a second card and use an SLI bridge. Negative Ghostrider, that pattern is full. No spot on the 2070 GPU to bridge; it is one of the distinctions made to get folks to go with the higher-end card. Totally my fault for not paying attention to that. Only an issue if a purchase a big 4K monitor. I am debating between the Acer Predator Gaming XB273K and the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q. Open to thoughts/suggestions. I'm trying to keep it under 1500.
Annoyance: I have plenty of unused fans- Corsair RBG 120s and the Phanteks 140s that came with the case. My step-son has already suggested hanging onto them for his build. I am safe there- no job.
Availability and Pricing: I went with the Ryzen 7 when I could not find a Ryzen 9 available anywhere. I found the Seagate drives for $95 each instead of the $240 shown.