This is my first build in years. I wanted something small yet powerful to keep on my desk for work and play. Ultimately I went with an mATX over an mITX form factor for the two extra RAM slots and because I favor a more traditional case layout. So far (~1 week) I'm very happy with my build.
*Edit - As suggested by nervozer4, I plan to swap the rear radiator/CPU fan with a front intake to see if my CPU temps go down.
*Edit 2 - It was a success! My CPU temps have dropped 5-8 deg C under load and my GPU temps have dropped about 3 deg C.
I was determined to try water cooling, and for $30 the Seidon 120V is solid. +1 star for the $20 rebate. I had to apply more thermal paste than I was accustomed, and it took me three attempts to get the block/paste situated properly. I ended up adding a thick line of compound across the CPU rather than a blob. The pump is the only thing I hear at idle CPU load, and the CPU fan becomes audible under increasing load.
This card hardly breaks a sweat on whatever game I throw at it! I'm currently gaming at 1900 x 1200 at 60 Hz, and the GPU has yet to kick its fan above ~55%. It's making me want to upgrade my monitor sooner.
I really like the size and the features of this case. I have a rear 120mm radiator exhaust fan and two front 120mm intake fans, and there seems to be decent (but not great) airflow based on my temperatures. Very quiet at idle, and reasonably noisy under load. Cable management was tricky but doable after smooshing the side panel shut, which will leave a permanent imprint in the sound-dampening foam.
I docked one star for the following reasons: 1) would have liked another ~1/8" behind the mobo tray for cable management, 2) top panel arrived without one of the magnets that hold it in place, and 3) their website claimed that the case came with 2 XtraFlo fans, which have 4-pin PWM headers, but the case instead arrived with completely different 3-pin fans. The customer service rep. said it was a marketing error, which is irritating because the fans were a selling point.
This seems like the most premium product in my build. Came with a protective storage cloth and a canvas storage bag for the cables. Even the box smelled like quality. *Edit Haha, yes it smelled so good. Plenty of extra power cables, velcro cable ties, and a 24-pin PSU tester were included. It runs so quiet that I wonder if I'll ever hear the fan whirring!
Great bundle for $30. The keyboard feels solid and looks good. The mouse is also nice but a little too large and clunky for my liking. I also wish I could sometimes turn off the mouse LED.