+ Total (United States):
Primarily a gaming machine and graphics workstation (3D rendering / 2D illustration) that's meant to sit prominently on my desk instead of under it. Not listed in parts: Wacom Cintiq Pro 16.
Note: Some of the photos are from a slightly earlier incomplete version of this build, (incomplete lighting and no sound card.) The first photo is the now completed build.
This system was easy to put together and the final result is incredible looking. The Lian Li PC-O10 has excellent cable management with a large chamber behind the motherboard for cable routing and drive storage. The Corsair SF600 is probably the best SFX power supply you can buy right now. Both Lian-Li and Silverstone's 700W+ SFX PUS's use sub-par components inside and have weak fans. Be warned though, the cables that come with Corsair's are far too short for this case. You're going to want to buy some CableMod full-length ATX cables. I like the SFX standard for how little room it takes up in the case while still providing more than enough power for my needs. However, I believe that if an ATX-sized case is going to use an SFX power supply, the case maker should really supply a full selection of power cable extensions to go with the short ones provided by your SFX PSU.
The Asus Strix GTX 1080 just barely fits in this case, the power cables JUST clearing the side glass panel. For a card this large, 2x 120mm fans on the bottom are recommended to provide the GPU with fresh air since it very nearly cuts the case in half thermally.
An AIO water cooler for the CPU in this case is almost a necessity. I originally planned to use an air cooler, (the Cryorig H7,) but realized it was unfortunately a couple millimeters too tall for the case when I tried to install it. (Oops.) The main chamber has only 130mm of heatsink clearance, and even less if you include the motherboard height, so your options are very limited when it comes to heatsink towers for a high-end i7. Most low-profile air coolers will probably interfere with the memory slots, and going with a generic-but-effective-block cooler defeats the purpose of buying this case to begin with --- you want this to look niiiiice. Lian-Li evidently wants you to use an AIO cooler, as they provided plenty of room above the motherboard to easily fit a 240mm radiator without interfering with any of the cable routing openings or the motherboard itself. (Look at that spacing between the bottom of the radiator and the motherboard! I could easily fit another row of fans on the top for a push/pull config!) So, I picked up a NZXT Kraken-X52. And so far, it's been doing a great job in the PC-O10, and the tubes don't interfere with the memory slots at all. Furthermore, the additional cabling required by the water pump were all able to be routed behind the motherboard to keep the front of the case looking as clean as possible.
Kraken Setup Note: I have the fans of the Kraken's radiator and the two Cougar 120 PWM's all being controlled by the pump itself. The pump operates on its own separate from the motherboard, and knows when fan speeds have to ramp up to cool down the liquid. The Kraken has 4 fan slots that all share the same speed. When the radiator fans pick up, so do the two 120's at the bottom, helping keep the system in sync when usage goes up and down.
Sound wise, this system is reasonably quiet. I don't hear it when it's on and idle, but under load It's not silent. However, for how many fans (and a pump) that are in it, it passes my satisfaction of sound-to-performance ratio easily. Temps ride on the reasonably high side under hours-long gaming loads with the Kraken set to 'Performance' mode, but they never get high enough to raise concern.
I purposely picked parts for this build that were grayscale on their own, but would come alive with lighting. Except for the orange grommets on the Cougar fans, (which I may swap out for ones without these color accents on them later,) the case is 100% desaturated when off (as seen in photo.) When turned on, I wanted to be able to set any lighting color scheme I'd want without any pre-existing color interfering. This is the final lighting color I wanted for the case, a slow shifting between hot-pink and turquoise for an 80's Synthwave effect.
The Sound Blaster AE-5 might seem like a superfluous addition to my system given ASUS' 'SupremeFX' sound on the Z270E motherboard. I added the AE-5 mostly out of dissatisfaction with the drivers for the onboard audio, which would consistently forget my impedance settings and ALWAYS default to outputting 'Extreme Amplification' which would make any volume level higher than "On" too loud for my A2+'s. The sound quality from the onboard was also lacking, sounding no more dynamic than what I get out of my phone. This isn't surprising, since the onboard is just (yet another) some Realtek DAC with a beefier amplifier behind it. Adding the AE-5 opened a world of good things. After turning off the audio post-processing effects (seriously, don't use that crap,) I not only noticed a significant improvement to the sound of my speakers, it completely TRANSFORMED the way my headphones (Yamaha HPH-200) sound. The AE-5 has an incredible built-in headphone amp with a dedicated output. My headphones gained a deep richness I didn't know they had. Better yet, I can leave my headphones plugged in and switch between Speaker or Headphone output through software (!!!) The AE-5 is seriously worth the money alone as a kickass internal headphone amp.
The one con I can put against the card is that it only has three possible output modes: 5.1 surround, 2.0 Stereo, or Headphones. The card has no means to do a 2.1 or 4.1 speaker setup with a separate dedicated powered subwoofer. I use a Kanto SUB6 along with my A2+'s, and I was initially disappointed to find out I couldn't separate an LFE channel from the card itself. The A2+'s at least have a subwoofer connection, so I'm spared there. Just keep that in mind if you have a custom setup that isn't 5.1 exactly, or you'll have missing channels in your audio --- the AE-5 will NOT redirect unused channels to FR/FL.
Just don't buy into it for its supposed lighting capabilities -- aside from customizing the light-up logo on the card, it's near useless as a tasteful lighting controller. It can't sync with other tech and lacks any of the subtleties that AURA or NZXT's Hue system can do. Stick to sound, Creative, lol, the lighting aspect of the AE-5 was seriously unnecessary and I would've rather seen the card be $20 cheaper without those features or included LED strip in the box.