The original iteration of this build was very different from how it ended, but mostly in a couple of key areas. The first notable difference is case. While the Evolv X is listed as the current case, the original build started with an NZXT H440 case in black and red. I initially was going for a red and black theme, hence why you'll see red G. Skill memory in the build.
The original cooling was done by the NZXT X62 Kraken as well. This remained the same cooler until 2019 when I changed things out for the EK Fluid Gaming Kit.
The build process was mostly smooth, except for some clearance issues with the X62 radiator in the H440. In the push configuration, I found that the radiator was putting too much pressure on the on EPS power. I eventually switched to a pull configuration, which alleviated that issue somewhat. I also didn't understand how the fan hub worked (I was very much unaware of a lot of things back then that I've since learned and have a better understanding of).
I went with X99 and the 5820k because I wanted the extra cores for editing and potentially streaming. While Ryzen was launching at the same time I was preparing to build this, I wasn't interested in any potential early adopter issues, which there were a few, so I stayed with Intel for this build. I also went with the 5820k over the 6800k due to it being a better overclocker in general, and I had plans of overclocking the CPU and GPU. In the end, I was able to get to 4.4ghz at 1.26 volts.
The motherboard of choice was the ASUS X99 A-II. I originally wanted the Deluxe-II, but Micro Center didn't have them in stock when I was ready to build. The board has been solid and there have been no major issues.
For cooling, I ended up going with the X62 Kraken because at the time, it was just the best looking AIO on the market. Issues with CAM marred my early experiences with it, but overall, it did the job it needed to do.
For memory, I went with G. Skill's red Ripjaws V at 2400mhz to stay withing the color scheme. In hindsight, this feels like a poor choice, especially once I moved the build into a more neutral colored case and started messing with RGB lighting more. However, the memory has worked flawlessly so I can't complain too much about this choice.
My boot drive was a Samsung SM951 OEM drive. I wanted to take advantage of M.2 NVMe and at the time, this was the cheapest 256GB drive I could find at $127. Kind of crazy to see 500GB drives going for less than that now, but when I bought it, that was a great deal. For additional storage, I have a 500GB 850 Evo and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda.
For power, I went with the Corsair RM850 that I found at Micro Center refurbished for $80. This has ended up being one of the most surprisingly effective components in the build, showing no signs of trouble since first using in nearly 3 years ago. I originally had stock cables in the build that eventually were changed over to some custom Cablemod cables with the first revision of the build.
The GPU of choice was the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070. I had keyed in on this GPU when I saw it perform very well at 1080p and 1440p. The original one was an open box item that I ended up returning to Micro Center when I ran into immediate artifacting in games. After switching to a new one, the issue was gone and it indeed did a great job at High/Ultra settings and is still in service today. ASUS did a great job with the cooling on this card as it rarely gets above 65C, even under intense loads, and the fans are very silent, even when ramping up.
The other major thing worth noting in this build is I replaced the front fans with some Noctua fans that were optimized for static pressure. This helped push air in past the drive cages and was around when I gave up trying to use the integrated fan hub.
The build was a success, but I'd deal with repeated issues with NZXT over the next month or so, prompting the first revision of this system. The first being the fan hub and NZXT not responding to my questions about it (and no, I couldn't check the manual for the case as it wasn't in the accessories box). The H440 I had bought was a refurbished model that was lacking a manual, plus the power supply bracket. They eventually shipped me a bracket (after a TON of complaining on social media and YouTube), but forgot the thumb screws. They then finally sent me a second accessory kit, but at this point, I had my mind made up and was going to change the case.
Aside from that, the system ran fine. I initially had a 4.1ghz overclock that I eventually bumped up to 4.4ghz. I was also able to get a mild overclock on the GPU as well. I was happy that it was running, but the first revision didn't take long.
The original set up, including the NZXT H440 case and BenQ secondary monitor I used.
The NZXT X62 Kraken and G. Skill memory. This AIO was definitely a looker and performed well enough.