Finally got this build to a state that can reasonably be described as "done". Though we all know how long THAT lasts.
The goal of this machine was to build a new PC for gaming and CAD applications (Civil3D, Map3D, Inventor, etc.). I didn't have a specific budget, but did want to get the best value where I could.
The major value coup here was getting a R9 290 for $180 locally. It was mined on, obviously, but was in fine condition - the poor guy bought in right before the value crashed so it only had a few weeks of use on it. The reference cooler, as everyone knows, is HOT and LOUD so I only ran it for a few days before getting a Kraken G10 bracket and a refurb H55 cooler. Now I'm running about 65C under full load and a mild overclock.
CPU is a Xeon because I wanted the hyperthreading for CAD applications, but didn't need the iGPU. I know it is a Z mobo meant for overclocking, but it had some other features I liked so it just came along for the ride.
The CPU cooler is the Noctua NH-L12, with the top fan removed and put on the front radiator. The damn thing is literally as big as it could possibly be and still fit in this case. You MUST use Very Low Profile RAM (Crucial Ballistix Sport has a VLP version) or you lose the first RAM slot. These pics represent a single standard height DIMM, but I just changed to the VLP and it fits nicely. CPU hits equilibrium under 1-hr stress testing at around 81C.
My impressions of the case are good. I drilled out the rivets to remove the 5.25" bay, because why bother with optical - the airflow is more valuable to me. It would be nice if the case had some cable management trays - underneath the case would actually work pretty well. Semi or fully modular PSUs are basically a requirement here. You can see with some clever use of splitters I'm only using two of the modular inputs on the PSU, leaving a lot of air space.