My goal for this build was to have a home theater with a gaming computer connected 24/7, so I wanted it to be completely silent when idle, and quiet when gaming. This would allow the computer to be turned on while watching movies, listening to calm quiet music and for people to sleep in the room without having to turn the computer off. For the PC I also looked at how to best match it with the speakers and general setup, and also being able to use the Led's that comes with most of today's tech, but with the ability to control them and also turn them off.
Home Cinema Components
For Audio I went with a 5.1 setup consisting of Dali Rubicon speakers combined with 2x JL Audio Fathom F112 sub-woofers. For Visuals I went with a 75" UHD TV from Samsung. Since I sit fairly close to the surface the picture will be on I figured thos would be better than a projector - as well as not having to worry about switching bulbs and having low light conditions. The swivel makes me able to pull the TV 60cm out from the wall putting it flush with the speakers, and makes a perfect view-condition when watching movies or playing games - while casual viewing is good with the TV up against the wall. Only minus as I see it is that 4K TV's only are fed 60hz at the moment, so I can't have 120hz gaming from the PC on it.
Computer Build Components
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz Quad-Core
I decided on the Z270 platform with the 7700k simply because it seemed like the best and logic chose. I also did lots of research on 6-8 and 10 core setups, but for gaming their main benefit was more PCI Lanes, which - I didn't see the need for. The reason is that when two 1080 Ti's are working in SLI I already have the power I need for 60Fps 4K Gaming, where as when I have to disable SLI and rely on one card in games that does not support SLI, the extra Lanes won't really benefit me, and these are the moments I need the extra ompf from the computer - which the Cpu then will help with as it is clocked higher.
Cpu Cooler: be quiet: Dark Rock Pro 3
I looked at several reviews and benchmarks and found that Dark Rock Pro 3 is just slightly beaten in performance by the same sized Noctua - but the Dark Rock Pro 3 is a tiny bit more quiet, and looks hell of a lot better with the setup, so it was a simple choice for me. I was worried that the huge heatsink would be touching GPU1, as my predictions calculated 4mm clearance - and that's not counting the pin from the fan - but I figured that if the main parts isnt touching I will be able to solve the rest. As it ended up I indeed have the fan-pin touching the back-plate of the Gpu1, so I've got both pins covered in a small piece of tape just in case. The SLI bridge is also super-close to touching the Dark Rock Pro 3, but luckily it's corners are cut, and thus clears it with about 1mm.
Motherboard: MSI Z270 XPower Gaming Titanium
I was torn between Asus and Msi really, as both have a RGB-system that syncs well with the case I chose.. For a long time I had Asus Strix GPU's and Asus ROG Maximus IX Apex on the list (because I wanted to have that extra slot of space between the GPU's) but the Apex uses two of the Ram-slots for a vertical board which you mount m.2 drives to. First of this means I would have to either change CPU cooler or run it without the front fan - as it hovers over these ram-slots - and it also means you directly block airflow going from the front fans to the CPU with something I'd say is a poorly decided place to introduce a slot-card for m.2's. This then lead to me having to look for the best alternative, which was the Gaming Titanium combined with Msi Gaming X Gpu's. This board has RGB Led strip out, and is well equipped for gaming.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666
I went with the fastest low profile chips I could find allowing 2x16GB without having to over-volt. I was unsure of going with 2 or 4x 16GB - but reading that there is no performance boost having 4 sticks (actually a theoretical performance loss from more handling by the Ram controller) and the fact that I don't see myself maxing 32GB or Ram while Gaming - caused me to go with only two sticks this time around. I was looking at Led alternatives, but RGB memory has a huge premium price so far - and they also seem to not be available in all the speeds you might want them in.
Storage: 2x Samsung 960 Evo 1TB M.2 + 1x Crucial MX300 1.1TB SSD Sata
I didn't want any HDD in this build as they introduce noise in the system (as well as might suffer when placed right next to a powerful subwoofer). So I went with 2 M.2's so I could have one for the OS and apps, and then the other one for Games only. In addition I like using Shadowplay for recording all the time in the background so I can at any time store the last few minutes of game-play if epic moments appear - so this called for a third SSD which didn't need to be the same speed as the two first. The Crucial MX300 was perfect for that job.
GPU: 2Way SLI MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Gaming X
The main reason I've waited as long as I did with this build was the 1080 Ti's. I knew even before the 1080's went live that those were the ones I wanted - and I felt they were going to be the first cards that could actually pull off 4K 60Fps gaming in Ultra in most titles. For the particular cards I went with these since they have very beefy heat pipes allowing the cards to turn off the fans at idle, and still run rather quiet while gaming. And they also go well with the Msi Led-setup as they can be controlled through the same App from MSI.
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass Black
The primary concern with picking case was airflow. It had to have excellent airflow and cable management solutions, to allow me to ramp down fans as much as possible to make a completely silent computer when idle. My old Cooler Master Silencio is super-loud as it has horrible airflow, but rather try to keep the noise down by trying to block it inside the case. I've learned that the right way to make things quiet is to ensure good airflow to stop the noise from happening in the first place.
Power Supply: Corsair HX1200i
My previous PSU was a Corsair, and I was very happy with it, and it also have silent operation with fans off when not working too hard. This combined with the fact that most Psu's are most happy when at medium load, as well as PSU effeciency going down over a few years, I found the 1200W to be a good choice.
Thoughts on the build
I'm very pleased with the build. It is completely silent when idle - I can't hear a single thing even if I put my head up against the shiny plexi glass. At first boot it was emitting some sound, but a quick jump into the Bios to set up some custom fan-profiles solved this. I ended up around 450 RPM (PWM) on the Case Fans and 500 RPM (DC) on the CPU Fans when idle. this keeps both Gpu's and the Cpu at 50°C. The led's can be controlled separately within the MSI software, and can easily be turned off or toned down - so I'm also very happy with that. For gaming, this thing hits that golden mark I've been hoping for, I can run all the new games I play in 4K on Ultra and maintain 60FPS. Temporal Anti Aliasing should be switched to any of the other AA modes as SLI does not like the TA, but that's really not a loss. I play Wildlands and Witcher 3 (Hairworks off) and get 60-70Fps from the Gpu's so staying above the TV Hz - both these games support SLI well. For Battlefield 1 I run single-card but also plays above 60Fps at Ultra all the time. I did notice a strange sloppyness during my testing, but I read forums suggesting my problem could come from Teamviewer which I happened to have active between my two gaming-rigs, and closing down Teamviewer did indeed solve that entirely.
If you have in mind building a Silent 4k gaming rig (quiet while gaming) and got some questions - just send me a message and I'll answer as best I can. I learned a lot through this site as well as the likely 100 hours I spent researching online, and would be happy to help others who are looking to build something similar. As for the price the PC alone, it was a little above 5000$, but things are usually a bit pricey here in Norway compared to say the US, so depending on where you are the price for such a rig can vary.
I've done a few upgrades on the 4K Home Cinema Setup, I needed more storage, but seeing as SSD storage is expensive (as well as not too large yet) I decided to get two NAS's to help out which is located in other rooms where they do not disturb. I chose Synology for this and went with a 8 bay for storage, as well as a 2 bay for backup of those important files. I got 11 Seagate Ironwolf disks to total out at 80TB of storage, 16TB of backup as well as 1 drive for hot-swap backup if (when) one drive fails. I also got a Steelseries Siberia 800 to be able to game late nights when everyone else might be sleeping without disturbing anyone. I also added a 2TB Crucial SSD internal to have some more quick storage on board :)