This is my first custom water-cooling setup! I have only seen one other person cram a custom loop into this case which gave me the motivation I needed. It's definitely a tight fit being a Micro ATX case.
I chose the i7-8086k because it's a binned 8700k and I love overclocking. I had it sent off to Silicon Lottery for their delidding & binning services. It's capable of 5.3GHz @ 1.435V. I have it running 5.2GHz @ 1.39V daily. It still gets a bit warm with the custom loop and the liquid metal, so I may end up getting the new 9th gen CPUs once they come out and have been tested.
I really wanted to build a small form factor case for this build so I went with the Asus ROG Strix ITX board because it's a Z series with plenty of potential to overclock. I like the board layout as well. The RGBs on the back of the board give it a nice touch.
Corsair's new Crystal 280X was the case I had been scoping out for a while. I love the small footprint and dual chamber design. It's really been a great case overall. Whether you go with Air, CLC, or Custom Loop it has plenty of space to accommodate (relative to other Micro ATX or ITX cases). Although, it was trial and error on the specific layouts of radiators and fans to make it all fit.
For the RAM, I had to get the Corsair Dominator Platinum sticks because of their super elegant design and matching silver heat-sinks. They are also great to overclock with and have given me more than I expected in terms of performance and it's ability to overclock.
Samsung still has some of the best performing chips for the money so I went with their 970 EVO M.2 for the OS & Apps and 2 860 EVOs for everything else. I've been using Samsung SSDs on my previous few builds and they never cease to deliver fast read/write speeds with no issues.
I've always used EVGAs power supplies. They just work...
I chose the new RTX 2080 card because it has the latest and greatest technology. I'm excited for what the future holds with Real-time Ray Tracing capabilities. This card was in stock at the local Best Buy and so I went for it. It was literally the last one in stock! I came from a 980Ti Hybrid, so this is quite the upgrade. The overclocking ability of this card is spectacular. I have the memory clock +1200MHz and core clock +140MHz! And that's a FE card on water, I can't imagine what the board partner cards will be able to do with more power!
The Dell 27" gaming monitor (1440p @ 144Hz) is amazing and with this setup runs beautifully thanks to G-Sync. Definitely worth the price.
The Corsair mouse and keyboard are very well designed and easily used. Coming from Razer Green switches, the Cherry Red takes some getting used to.
The Asus monitor, UPS, and Turtle Beach Headset I've had for a little while now, but included in the part list as it's part of this setup now.
Now for the custom loop... I had originally decided against doing a custom loop for fear that it wouldn't fit. I purchased a Corsair H115i CLC which did it's job. Shortly after completing the build and doing some hardcore testing I noticed the VRMs were throttling the core ratio. I would touch the heat-sinks and they were extremely hot. I was not happy with this so I decided the mono-block from EKWB would be the best solution. After a few days of contemplation and measuring out the case, I ordered the parts. At this point I had my 2080 so I also ordered the water-block from EKWB as well. With all the components I needed to cool, I decided that two 280mm radiators would suffice especially when paired with four Furious Vardar fans. I was pretty nervous because the setup I ordered came down to millimeters in spacing and because I ordered hard tubing (which I have never done before). In the end it all worked out! It took about a week to get everything setup to how it is today (and I still have a few more things to add).