This is my first build. Primary use will be for 1440p gaming at high to ultra settings. Everything is running with no issues. Still tweaking things (still learning how) so will update the performance stats at a later time.
This is a pretty cookie-cutter build based on the other builds on this site but here's a quick run-down of the choices I made.
CPU. Wanted the latest technology - Z170 chipset.
CPU Cooler. My apartment is small so need to ensure I get efficient and quiet cooling. This thing is pretty much silent. Manual suggested installing the fans as intakes. I haven't tested any other configuration so if someone has please share in the comments.
Motherboard. Went with Asus due to their reputation of making quality MOBOs and the BIOS is user-friendly (reiterate I am new at this). I probably would have been happy with the Z170-A but the price difference wasn't horrendous and the color scheme of the HERO matches the rest of my build.
Memory. 16GB of fairly priced RAM. Holding off on getting anything more/better until prices drop for the DDR4 sticks.
SSD. Went with the latest V-NAND technology for SSDs. The EVO-series is reasonably priced. Again 250GB will be enough for the OS and frequently run games while the price of SSDs drops.
HDD. WD has a great reputation of making quality storage devices. Marketing sold me on the BLACK series - they said it's for gaming!
GPU. GTX 980ti for 1440p gaming. Went with Asus STRIX after hours of research. Fastest clock speeds, second quietest after the MSI equivalent. Here's the article that really summed it up for me: TechReport Article.
CASE. Looks amazingly stylish, pretty nice cable management space and hides the psu. Plus, I have no need for an optical drive. And if I get annoyed with the LED lights I can always turn them off. If you're buying this case, I just recommend installing the CPU power cable and SATA cables before any other components since the space is tight.
PSU. Probably overkill (in terms of price) but being new I wanted to ensure I'm working with a stable power unit. After learning some more, probably would have gone with the RM series as opposed to the HXi.
MONITOR. This thing sells itself. Amazing.
I'll probably change out the stock fans in the near future and get some custom sleeving for the mobo and gpu power.