So, this all started with a case.
A no-frills, but solid case that's normally around $100 goes on sale for $50. The case arrives but I have no immediate plans for it because the idea of a fresh build and all the permutations it can take starts to rattle around inside my head. This process is part of the reason I enjoy building PCs so much. For now, the case simply waits.
Next, a power supply I had read a review about goes on sale with an excellent rebate. This is followed by an SSD.
I pull the guts out of an unused 10 year old Dell Inspiron 530 and place it inside the new case. Now able to contain a PC for the first time, it's purpose is partially fulfilled. It works...but it cannot compete with my 3 year old laptop so it doesn't get much use. Time passes. Glory is made not only with a breakthrough of action, but in tandem with the weight of history.
A good enough motherboard at a nice price leaves me with a problem: how can I tell if it works? There's only one way to find out. The rest of the components sans GPU are purchased. I figure I can buy the GPU later. Maybe during Black Friday when sales are good and the new GeForce 1080's are actually available for purchase?
FedEx hates me for awhile as CPU, memory, HDD, and more are delivered. If the driver only knew of the majesty he was a part of! Then, as if I was singled out among the faithful, the blessed /r/buildapcsales shone a spotlight upon the prodigal GPU: an EVGA FTW GeForce 1080 for less than retail price at a time when even finding one for purchase is nearly impossible.
My work space is carefully cleared of clutter. The electronic rhythms of Chvrches plays. I adorn myself with the vestments of a PC enthusiast with anti-static wrist strap and a Corsair baseball hat. The build commences.
Along with my ascendant Ultrawide monitor, Azalea does not merely live and breathe, my brothers and sisters. She flies.
It's fast and will handle everything I could conceivably throw at it. Except for pie. Don't throw a pie at this CPU guys. It WILL overheat.
This was a weird, but specific choice. One of my goals was to make sure this was a very quiet system. I thought long and hard about water cooling, especially a fully sealed AIO system. But, there's not a real performance or less noise-based benefit so I ultimately settled on the giant radiator/fan. It seems Thermalright is mostly marketed in Europe, so they don't seem to be well known in the US. However, the design competes with the Be Quiet! Dark Rock, Noctua and other more expensive models. I should be able to overclock well with the cooling this provides. Unfortunately, the width of the Macho X2 required me to remove the essentially redundant rear case fan. Temps are low. FPS are high.
It's a serviceable motherboard. It has enough SATA, USB, and SLI-capabilities to work for me. I can overclock, but I'm not going to force the issue by buying equipment that would only make sense if I was.
This memory looks amazingly cool. I splurged for PC3000 memory but I'm not sold on it being even noticeably better. Did I mention it looks really dope?
A decent SSD. I'll eventually replace it with NVMe when they drop in price.
Seriously, this thing is amazing. What a world it is when even my virtual life comes at me at a steady 60+ fps.
This case is great. I like the minimal look. It's machined well with no sharp corners, tons of fan mounting brackets that can be positioned perfectly. There are dust filters and lots of cutouts with rubber grommets to hide cables. The quick release drive caddies seem like they'd be nice, but when your power connection comes in parallel with 3 or 4 others you aren't going to be able to hot swap a drive without taking the side of the case off anyway.
A high quality power supply with enough to power an SLI rig. I really like the Corsair Link software this uses, too. It comes with a 10 year warranty, too, in case those specs like "Japanese capacitors" didn't mean much to you.
See /r/ultrawidemasterrace for reference. I'm a big fan of this monitor. I love that it is color calibrated at the factory simply because I do a fair amount of digital photography. For gaming, it brings an immersive quality that's hard to explain without experiencing it for yourself.