Sorry in advance for the rainbows but my four year old son loves it and won't let me change it.
This project ended up causing some arguments with me and my wife. Her generous intention of letting me spend money for a new system ended up with me going over budget by too much. Thankfully, I am still with my wife, but I know I spent too much time and money on this. What I ended up with is a powerful system that can overclock well, but still perform quietly for nighttime gaming when the kids are asleep.
The system went through many revisions for the first three months after building (new motherboard, SSD, case, cooler, fans). The cooler has changed the most (sorry Amazon) because I really needed to find the sweet spot for noise to performance. After going through so many different coolers and fans, I'm truly surprised that the H100i RGB Platinum really does the job well. The absolute best cooler that I have tried so far was the NZXT Kraken X72, however it was slightly too large for my motherboard with all of the DIMM slots filled. I also prefer to use iCUE for everything, especially now that I have a Corsair Commander Pro (it came with the Obsidian 500D RGB SE case). I ended up giving the X72 Kraken (didn't purchase that one from Amazon) to my brother so that he could use it in his build.
The system itself is great and my 9900k managed to reach a stable 5.1GHz across all cores at 1.35v. Unfortunately, due to noise and thermals, I can only enjoy the system at stock speed while gaming at night. As for the H100i RGB Platinum, I am impressed that a 240mm AIO can keep the 9900k cooled at stock at just 50% fan speed. It can keep the CPU cooled at 5.1GHz under full synthetic load, but I have to max the fans at 100% which can get pretty noisy. I've thought about going full custom loop, I even spent dozens of hours watching tutorials and finished builds for ideas. In the end though, I don't think I can justify the cost, especially if I can take that money and buy my wife a nice laptop or even help my brother upgrade his system.
Really loving the Obsidian 500D RGB SE from Corsair. I think it is perhaps my favorite case. I love having hinged panels for easy access to the system and dust filters, and the tinted glass does a perfect job in keeping the brightness down yet still showing off the colorful lighting. The fact that it comes with a set of LL RGB fans and a Commander Pro is the cherry on top for me. For me, iCUE has become such an integral part of controlling my system, from the lighting to the fans and the pump.
Just to add some captions to a few of the pics:
pic 4 - this is back when I had the H150i Pro with push/pull fan config and 2 LL140 RGB fans up top - this was not an ideal setup for me as there were too many fans and the temps weren't even all that great
pic 5 - current setup with H100i RGB Platinum (returned both the H150i Pro and 140mm fans), also added custom PSU cables from cablemod
pic 8 - wanted to show cables without the cable bar on in case someone wants an idea of how to manage them underneath (and actually close the damned thing, it can be difficult if you don't properly secure everything down first) - also, if you want to see some great cable management, check out chidy's build as I pretty much did the same thing with this build
Time Spy: https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37023209
Fire Strike: https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37023121
Beautiful and cools well due to excellent fans. A bit noisy above 1600 RPM, but gets the job done. Will definitely do a good job of cooling any stock CPU with fans set to 50% max which is very quiet. Much better than Corsair's bigger AIOs (both 280 and 360) due to the included fans.
970 Evo but $100 cheaper. I wish I had two of these and an extra $100 in my pocket instead of one and the 970 Evo. Oh well.
I love the hinges on the tinted glass panels and the easily accessible dust filters. Comes with a 3 pack of LL120 RGB fans and a Commander Pro! When comparing the case (currently $250) compared to the standard 500D ($150) and buying a separate 3 pack of LL120 fans ($100) and Commander Pro ($60), it's like getting the Commander Pro for free! Definitely worth it if you love RGB. Also, tinted glass panels are a must IMO if you plan to have a ton of RGB inside the case. The colors stand out while it tones down the brightness (much better than simply lowering the brightness in iCUE).