You guys have some great ideas here. My next PC will probably be a customized steam box. I like the idea of having my rig more compact. My current PC is a huge tower, so the idea appeals to me greatly. You can always add an external video card too.
  •  Sim_8_3
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I haven't had a tower in years, I like the compact idea as well, but the problem is space to breathe especially cooling of GPUs big issue for box type rigs, I'm thinking I will stick with mid towers for now too much grief with overheating GPUs for me.
Maybe if you want to keep the footprint small you go with one of those Skylake NUCs which have Thunderbolt 3 and connect a PCIe card externally in an external box, like some of the ultrabooks are able to do.
In my last 15 years of exposure to computers I have never bought an OEM (pre-assembled) PC. Although things are changing with new AIO (all-in-one) PCs but still one can not beat the sheer pleasure and bang of the buck you get by assembling your own PC. It gives you a sense of better ownership as you get to know each component individually working with others to give you the optimum experience as a whole. Also, it is easy to troubleshoot issues if any ever come up in your own built machine.
Der Meister
I've done my own builds with custom WC loops in the past, they are fun to create and plan. Though I also enjoy my closed loop Corsair system I have now. I've watered everything other then the GPU, the WC block was just to expensive for a