So I'm writing this after a year and a half, and as I'm prepping for another upgrade. I actually ended up spending about $1100 on this build, before the 2 monitors, about $1600 total.
While I'd custom ordered computers before and installed a lot of hardware, this was my first custom build. I'd been waiting for a while for several technologies to come out, mainly NVMe SSD's, and finally couldn't wait any longer.
First off, this case is awesome! I love the Core V1. It is a little tight to get around in at times, especially during cable management, but that is to be expected for such a small and sharp looking case. It's well laid out, I love that all the sides can be interchanged so I could move the window to the top. The included 200mm fan is nice and quiet, and the front filter keeps things perfectly clean and is relatively easy to clean.
Life developments made me scale back my build a little bit though, namely dropping back to an i5 instead of an i7. I thought that an i5 had become good enough, and for pretty much everything, it has been, but as I get deeper into VM use, I wish I'd opted for the i7.
My first issue was that the MSI AMD R9 390 I'd originally planned for and PCPartPicker said would fit... did not fit in my case. The slot in the Core V1 allowed it's length, but the card was about 1-2mm too thick. I went with the MSI 970 instead. Man is this thing quiet! The fan almost never runs and even when it does, it's almost inaudible.
Next issue came when I exchanged the GPU. For the first time in a decade of handling computers, I zapped my mobo from not being grounded. After a quick RMA, I was up and running again. Another issue with the mobo... why the heck is the M.2 slot on the bottom?? I know it's an Mini-ITX but talk about a pain. Replacement will require a complete dissemble of my computer. I do like the BIOS a lot though, as well as included apps to manipulate it from within the OS.
NVMe SSD's were so new when I put this together, that it was an extreme pain in the rear trying to get it working. First the mobo wouldn't recognize the Samsung 950 Pro. Days after I got it though, they released a new BIOS version that fixed it partially. Then I struggled to get windows installed to it as a boot drive because firmware issues. I think I finally got around this by running windows off a spare HDD I had, updating firmware, then reinstalling windows.
Once up and running, I was blown away by the speed!! This thing made my 1yr old MacBook Pro with PCIe SSD look like a snail. I often forget how fast it is until I try using someone else's computer.
Finally, I know how rarely optical disc drives get used, which is why I chose to leave it out and get this case... but when you need it, you need it. I've found myself wishing I had one again more now than I have the previous 5 years put together.
Prime95 - CPU hits 67deg, but doesn't budge past this once the fans ramp up. Still pretty quiet compared to previous computers I've owned.
Unigine Heaven - GPU maxes out at 68deg (staying right about 60fps without overclocking) and the fan doesn't even come on at all until about 60deg, even then stay low and quiet.
I'm preparing to upgrade again because while this is an insane computer for most needs, I'm about to step it up a notch and practically start running a server running multiple VM's consistently and put together a home lab. More CPU, more RAM, definitely more HDD (thanks Plex), more NIC's, eventually 2 GPU's (number crunching, not so much gaming), and possibly even liquid-cooling. Till next time...