I built this PC with a few things in mind, POWER, EFFICIENCY, and SILENCE in a small form factor that I could put on my desk. I definitely wanted simple, Apple like aesthetics as well. This is an upgrade from an 8 year old i7-920 HP system that was big and LOUD. So I definitely wanted silence. This PC will be used primarily as a workstation, for streaming, and occasional 1080p gaming.
CASE: This was probably the hardest decision in the build. I knew I wanted an aluminum ITX case, but I was surprised at just how big most ITX cases were. Most ITX cases actually had a larger footprint than MICRO or even MID tower cases and looked like giant shoe boxes. I also wanted something sleek and minimal, no flashy LED's or plastic "gamer" cases. When I saw the Jonsbo UMX Plus 1 I knew this was the case I wanted. Just 13.8" high and 12" deep, aluminum construction. Has the Apple simplicity and styling that I like.
Unfortunately this wasn't available in the US, so I had to order one from the UK and it came out to $156 with shipping, a bit steep for a case, but hey this thing is going to be on my desk for years so I better like it!
I swapped out the included case fan with a Noctua 120mm fan. This was an added $22 but I was really impressed with the quality of the Noctua products and how quiet they are.
CPU: I waited for Skylake for this build, I don't upgrade often so I wanted to make sure I got the newer platform. Was lucky enough to get one at my local Microcenter. Initially I was going to go with the locked 6700, because of the lower TDP, but that CPU was not available anywhere and even though I don't intend to OC, the K version is clocked 600mhz higher right out of the box so it should be significantly faster.
CPU Cooler: I wanted to go Noctua here, from all my research they are the best and silent. The NH-L9x65 is a great fit for ITX cases. I also didn't want a massive cooler. This cooler is very simple, low profile, easy to install and has no problem keeping the CPU cool and it's extremely quiet. UPDATE : This cooler is really great, CPU temps are 27c at idle. I was about worried about ventilation and airflow in such a small case with only 1 case fan but this cooler is really great. I'm glad I got the K version now.
Motherboard: Basically I just went for the cheapest ITX board i could find. There was an h170 version of this board available, but the Z version was only $12 more so I decided to go with that one, just in case I want to OC or even Underclock in the future. Since I had already purchased the unlocked CPU I figured it was worth the extra $12 to at least have options.
Memory: RAM is RAM to me. I know there are some higher speed RAM kits with lower CAS available, but at the end of the day I doubt there would be any noticeable difference at all. So I saved some money here and went with the Crucial 16gb kit for just $89. I tend to have a ton of stuff open at once, and I have to leave it open in the background if I want to game, so 16gb was a no brainer.
Storage: I've never had an SSD. For this build I wanted SSD only storage. Didn't want any moving parts or big, slow spinning drives. 1TB is more than enough for my needs. For months I had the EVO 850 on my parts list. But the day before I purchased the parts I got an email from Tigerdirect and they had the PNY 960GB on sale for just $269 shipped with no tax. Also comes with a 4 year warranty. The cheapest total price on the EVO 1TB was $367. Nearly $100 more. From the reviews the EVO is only slightly faster, so the savings was too much for me to pass up. I will probably never notice the difference in day to day use. System boots up in about 5 seconds.
Graphics: This was a pretty easy choice. I am a casual 1080p gamer. I chose this card because it's silent, and the ITX form fits perfectly in my case. Should be able to handle just about anything at 1080p easily. I do like to fire up some Battlefield 3/4 and will definitely be playing DOOM reboot and Fallout on this. I honestly can't even tell the difference between HIGH and ULTRA on those games anyway.
PSU: This was a bit overwhelming. Alot of you guys here pointed me toward the EVGA PSU's. I wanted modular, and again, silence. This seemed to fit the bill. I was disappointed at just how looooong the cables were. It kinda defeated the purpose of modular for me... but the build quality was exceptional and this thing is whisper quiet. 550w and gold rated is plenty for this system.
Total price including the case, fan and Windows 10 came to about $1,482. But this thing should last me at least 5 years. I already had the monitors. Cable management was a bit of a pain, but considering how small this case is, it didn't turn out too bad.
This was my first build in about 10 years! Feel free to comment/critique!