My last build was a good enough build, in that it did what I wanted in good enough fashion. This time around, I didn't want good enough, I wanted better than good enough. I wanted GOOD. That's what I got this time. I decided to go with AMD instead of Intel because of the better value, as well as the fact that Ryzen 7 can do 80-90% of what the I7 & I9 do now, and when driver support and game optimization matures that gap will close even more. I'm currently using the stock cooler (Wraith Prism), and it's doing O.K. It's a little loud, but its' doing it's job so I can live with it for now.
I went with the RTX 2080 because I couldn't find a new 1080Ti from a reliable vendor for a reasonable price. I don't have the savvy to buy a used card with confidence, and if I spend several hundred dollars for something, I want peace of mind that what I bought is legit and stable. The 2080 does a fine job driving my 1440p 144+hz monitor both with games and videos. I have yet to overclock it, as I haven't a need to yet.
I really like this Cougar QBX case both in size and style. It was a little challenging to build in since it was my first ITX build. I had planned to use an AIO, but space restrictions caused me to use the stock cooler instead. Still though, there's a good bit of space for cable management behind the motherboard wall. The only drawbacks are that if you use the SSD/HDD mounts on the hinged wall, there's no hiding those cables when the case is open. Also, while there's a lot of cut outs for routing cables, they're cut just a hair too small for some of the best routing (24 pin mobo cable in particular).
I splurged on a SFF PSU, even though I could have used a small ATX PSU. I would have been hard pressed to find a higher rated PSU in any category, much less a SFF PSU. The SeaSonic is as good as it gets, and it's worth every penny. The cables are flat and bend well. I have no complaints at all with this unit, if fact I'd say that the Focus SGX sets the bar that all others should have to reach.
I took the opportunity to replace my old, small Seagate HDDs with a new bigger Seagate HDD. The old ones gave me more than 10 years of hassle free usage, so I can only hope this new one can match that record of service. The old build had a Adata 240 GB SSD that did a great job, so I bought a 480 GB without hesitation as the new boot drive. The Crucial SSD was already serving as my Steam/Origin storage, so I just brought it over along with the LG Blu-Ray drive. The Vantec adapter was plug and play, so I still get to use all my hard copy games for $20 instead of buying a slim drive for like $80-90.
The Pixio monitor had been recommended by Hardware Unboxed as a good budget 1440p Free-sync monitor. It's claims to refresh at 165hz, but there are some small glitches occasionally at 165hz so I set it for 144hz, and no hassles at all. With the newest driver from Nvidia, G-sync works well. The OSD has plenty of adjustments to make it just right for you. The other peripherals are carry overs from my last build. The Redragon Vara keyboard and Mionix NAOS mouse are great hardware that I'd recommend to anyone, and the Smartaudios E1 headset is a great cheap headset (under $25) but I don't think is available anymore.
Edit; new photos added.
Great value and excellent for gaming and general use. Advisable to download RyzenMaster to accompany it.
Nice piece of gear and worth the money. UEFI is easy to work with and understand.
Was looking for the reference card when this one dropped back to MSRP, so I bought it instead. EVGA makes good stuff and haven't been disappointed so far.
I love this case. Looks good, lots of room (for an ITX case), and inexpensive. If you're gonna use a full size graphics card in this case, a SFF PSU is a must.
I looked hard to find a better PSU in this size, I was hard pressed to find a better PSU in any size. Worth every penny, and cables are flat and black (no ketchup&mustard here) and bendy.
Not fashionable anymore but I like it and when paired with the Vantec NexStar adapter, it works as an external drive.
Bought after seeing the review on Hardware Unboxed Youtube channel. If you can find a better monitor for equal or less, buy it.