So I initially wanted to get a new MacBook Pro (2017 15") with high specs and connect an eGPU via Thunderbolt 3 for games. I use my current MacBook for coding and messaging, but I wanted to run BootCamp and play my steam games, too. However, after looking at the price for the new MacBook and all necessary accessories (over $5k) I decided building a separate W10 gaming PC would be better.
I wanted something stylish, yet minimal, and powerful enough to run all of my games at 3440x1440 at 60FPS minimum, so I went and found the necessary things to build with in a relatively small case so I could display it on my desk without taking up half of my space. The NZXT H200i was my initial pick, but I realized the H400i would do better in terms of future upgradeability and chose it instead. However, I still chose a mini-ITX motherboard only because it had a Thunderbolt port built into it (and I figured in the far future I'll be getting a smaller, more portable, Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook, so they could connect together or at least share the same peripherals).
Let me just say cable management in this case was horrible, but only because I didn't order custom cables from CableMod or somewhere else. Most of the time spent assembling this thing was spent hiding all of the cables under the cable shroud or finding ways to run them along the built-in cable channels (which helped a LOT). However, I wouldn't get a bigger case to make cable management easier in the future; this case is the perfect size and I was able to cable manage in the end.
Setting up everything was slightly annoying, too. The case has a built-in LED strip at the top and I added on the extras along the edge in a clockwise direction (as they seemingly intended for you to do). However, after setting up a marquee pattern to fly around the case, I noticed it started on the rightsize of the top strip and flew to the left side, counter-clockwise, and then teleported over to the new strip at the top-right and went around clockwise. I ended up turning around the entire LED strip and using an extension cable to connect from the top-right of the case to the mid-left where the strip started, and now it runs along the edge of the case in one direction. Small design flaw, but I was able to fix it.
All in all, this was my first ever build, and I personally think it went very well. Hope you like it! Sorry about picture quality, using an iPhone for them.
(Note: I still haven't ordered the monitor, Samsung drive, keyboard, or headphones. I'll update this list and the reviews when I get them)
UPDATE: Added some more RGB pics and some images of the motherboard parts before going in the case. Just to clarify, the GPU was missing because it hadn't shipped yet and I was eager to mess with RGB and overclocking.
UPDATE 2: Added the keyboard and got some speakers instead of headphones. I'm so used to MacBook-style keyboards and I keep making typos, but I'll get used to it. Also, these speakers literally sound like surround, but there's only two!
UPDATE 3: Monitor and lightpack came in and the build is now complete. This monitor is HUGE when you sit in front of it and looks great! Overclocked to 115Hz and colors are amazing. Height adjustment allowed me to fit my HomePod under it just like I wanted!
I got this thing delidded from SiliconLottery and oh my GOD it's fast. Constant 5.0GHz, constant cool temperatures with my AIO cooler. Never above 55ºC.
Extremely quiet. Had some clearance issues with my RAM and had to turn it 90º, but it still looks great and works great. Let's hope it doesn't fail!
I know I applied way too much of it, but so far it's holding up great, even after re-seating the cooler like three times.
Nice looking mobo, all the IO you can think of, and even a Thunderbolt port! Only one usb header, so be sure to grab an internal USB hub or something, but otherwise it works great.
Beautiful RAM. Had a clearance issue with the AIO due to how tall these are, so be careful with your motherboard and cooler choices. Software is currently broken so I can't change the pattern on the LEDs from rainbow, but it fits the theme so it doesn't matter.
Oh my GOD this thing is fast, boots Windows in 5 seconds or less. FIVE!! Using it for OS and some applications, so far so good! However, the PCB is blue, not black, so if you're choosing this based on a color scheme, get something else, the picture is inaccurate.
Very quick! Used as a game drive so I have no idea how fast it boots but loads everything way quicker than a 7200RPM drive.
This thing DESTROYS every single game I throw at it in 1080p, have yet to try it in UW 1440p. Temps hit 65ºC at their highest! A fair bit of coil whine and the pump is the loudest thing in the case but I'm always listening to music so it doesn't phase me.
Amazing build quality. Front IO was a bit crooked at first but I was able to snap the PCB back in place. Front panel cables were a bit long for such a small case but I made them work. Add a HUE+ extension kit to this and enjoy the RGB!
Cables were a bit long for my case but I'm building in a microATX case, makes sense. Absolutely silent!
Quietest fans ever. Doesn't seem to push truckloads of air, but they work.
Amazing monitor. Didn't see reviews for it on here but it was much cheaper than others so I decided to try it. Boy am I glad I did. No issues with ghosting or anything, 4-port USB hub on the back, and very premium feel. Mine even overclocked to 115Hz!
Very quiet, RGB is amazing, and it feels very premium. Love it!
These things literally sound like surround sound when facing the right direction. Music with heavy bass sounds awful, but as gaming speakers, these are better than I could've imagined!
The amount of cables it takes to get this thing up and running is absurd: Molex, USB upstream, three USB downstream. Cable management was a chore for this thing, but at least it works!