I had been using a six year old Dell laptop with a broken screen as my primary computer. For games I had a hand me down Xbox 360 that my friend and I brought back from the red rings of death twice before it completely broke down. So I was in the market for a laptop and I was planning to get one of the new consoles coming out until I stumbled onto the idea of building a PC. Here is what I came up with after giving myself an $1,100 budget (the same as I was planning to spend on a high end laptop).
CPU: I wasn't interested in overclocking and from what I read this won't bottleneck my GPU at all. At that price you cant really beat it. Motherboard: Went with Z87 for the bluetooth and wifi Memory: Seemed like a good price for 8GB. SSD: Good reviews and good price HDD: I don"t have a huge library of files so 1TB should be enough for me. Video Card: Its factory overclocked and with my budget the 770 fit. I kind of fell in love with the way it looks so that is why I paid a little more for this particular one. Case: I really like the case because its small yet roomy which made it a little easier since it is my first build. I also like the way you can see the whole GPU in the window. Case Fan: I got them on a whim at microcenter and seem pretty quiet. I might add a top 120mm with an LED because i think it would look cool. Power Supply: I got a good deal and I heard good things about XFX. I was a little worried but it fit just fine in the case. Optical Drive: Also from Microcenter OS: Had a free copy from MSDNAA Other: GPU came with Splinter Cell Blacklist and a free back plate (its in the mail). I was able to get some games from the steam summer sale right before it ended. I am using an Xbox 360 controller and steam big picture which so far works great. Future: I need to get a monitor and/or a better TV to play games on. I want to get a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Also a larger SSD would be nice as my game library grows.
Overall it was a really fun project I have been learning a lot about how computers work.
EDIT: I added a mesh grill and Spectre Pro LED rear fan. Air flow is much better now my GPU doesn't get over 55C when playing games.