My husband convinced me to build a PC after I started experiencing some frustration with the refurbished pre-built ASUS computer that I bought in 2013. After researching for five or six months (and waiting for prices to drop on some parts), I ultimately decided on some pretty common and well-reviewed parts. I bought everything with photo editing and light gaming in mind.
Intel i7-8700k: I debated between this and the Ryzen 7 2700x, but ultimately decided on the processor based on my past experiences.
be quiet! Dark Rock 4: The instructions were terrible, but I eventually figured it out. So far, it has been plenty quiet and cool enough. I don't plan on overclocking or anything anytime soon though. I also really like how it looks.
Asus ROG Strix Z370-I: This motherboard is small, obviously, so that made plugging things in hilarious at times, but it was one of the only motherboards that had a USB-C slot, which will be great for many of the external hard drives I use with my current MacBook Pro. So far, wireless and bluetooth seem to be pretty good, which was also important to me.
RAM, M.2 SSD, and other SSD: These are great for what I need for photo editing. Everything is super speedy for any editing that I do. While this is not a ton of internal storage, I use external hard drives pretty regularly for redundancy.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 ti: This is super overkill for anything that I need, but I got a really great deal on it from B&H Photo before they started charging taxes. I originally planned to keep using my GTX 750ti, but I upgraded my monitor to a 4k monitor with HDR and I wanted my graphics card to be able to handle that. I've been able to play GTA V 4k with normal & very good settings at 60 fps, which is a fun bonus. Typically, I really just play the Sims 4 though.
LG 27UK600 - The part list lists the 27UK650, but I actually purchased the 600 model from Best Buy which is identical according to LG, but does not have an adjustable stand. This wasn't a problem at all as I have a monitor arm. This monitor is beautiful and I got it on sale, so I am very happy. Color accuracy also seems good and works great with my MacBook Pro with a USB-C to HDMI cable.
Originally, I purchased the NZXT 400i case, however, this was larger than it needed to be, so I purchased the 200i. I'm much happier with the smaller case. The cooling does not seem to be any different at all and the noise remains to be very very reasonable. Cable management on the 200i turned out to actually be easier with my parts. I'm not 100% happy with all of the power cables at the bottom of the computer, but it's also not a huge priority to me to make sure unseen parts are meticulous and delightful.
Overall, I've built a quiet, powerful, small, and stylish computer. While hardly a budget build, I feel that the overall value is great and this computer should last me a very long time.
Edited to include home-made custom GPU Back plate! I originally ordered a back plate that was much too thick and did not fit in my build. I designed the leaf design myself, cut out the design with my Cricut Explore Air 2, and applied the permanent vinyl adhesive to the acrylic plastic. Using very very small adhesive magnets, the back plate is easy to remove whenever needed.