I completed this build in mid-July, but some of the parts were bought as early as June.
I wanted to go over some of the parts I've put into her and comment on a few things:
CPU and Cooler: The 3570K is plenty fast, and with the 212 EVO it runs plenty cool as well. Currently have it overclocked to 4.2 Ghz. If you're wondering why I didn't get Haswell, it's because I bought the CPU and motherboard about a week before it came out. I got good deals on these parts as well, so I didn't feel like it would be worth the wait.
Motherboard: When planning for this build, I was always just going to get an ATX board. But some of you might remember this board going on sale around the beginning of June. It seemed like too good of a deal to pass up, so I went for it. I'm heading off to college this fall, so I think going for the smaller mATX was a wise decision.
RAM: I do know that this is is 1 x 8GB rather than 2 x 4GB. I know that this will not take advantage of dual channel memory, but it came free with the motherboard, so I'm not complaining :)
Storage: Booting up in under 10 secs with the SSD is pretty mind-blowing for me. And having the 1TB hard drive gives me plenty of room for Steam games and whatever the hell else I want to put on it. A big change from my family's old desktop with only a 60GB hard drive...
GPU I'm so happy there's been such good deals on 7970's in the past few months. I was always planning on getting a 7950, but when the 7970 started showing up around $300-350 I got it right away. So far I've been able to run any game I want on Ultra settings without too much problems.
Case: Probably my favorite component of the build. I fell in love with this case the first time I laid eyes on it. It's sleek, minimalistic, easy to work with, and has a beautiful window on it. No issues with fitting any of my components or managing cables. It might be a bit larger than most mATX cases, but that's not a huge issue to me.
PSU: Good quality and plenty of wattage to power everything. Only wish it had come with an extra 8-pin PCI cable to power my GPU. I ended up having to use one of the two molex to 8-pin adapters that came with my card.
OS: I was really hesitant to use Windows 8 after hearing so much frustration with it on the internet. But hearing people discussing it on /r/buildapc convinced me to go for it. I have had ZERO issues with it so far. It's snappy and pretty easy to use.
One of the pictures shows the little stealth mod I did for the optical drive. It preserves the aesthetics of the case pretty well and still allows me to use the DVD drive. Also, the final picture shows the shitty battlestation in my room. I don't have a lot of room in there, so it is what it is!
Building this PC was one of the most fun things I've ever done, and was well worth the time and money. If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it.
9/13 EDIT: So I've had this build for a few months now and it's been running great. Anyways, I edited the build slightly, because as of today it now has a sound card! It's a pretty nice one, and I bought it used for only $35. The sound is spectacular :)
|CPU||Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core||$169.99|
|CPU Cooler||Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing||$29.99|
|Motherboard||ASRock Z77 Professional-M Micro ATX LGA1155||$109.99|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600||$0.00|
|Storage||Plextor M5P Series 128GB 2.5" SSD||$120.00|
|Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM||$66.62|
|Video Card||Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB||$319.99|
|Sound Card||Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD||$35.00|
|Case||Corsair 350D Window MicroATX Mid Tower||$109.99|
|Power Supply||SeaSonic 620W ATX12V / EPS12V||$89.99|
|Optical Drive||LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer||$15.99|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)||$89.74|
|Keyboard||Cooler Master Storm Quick Fire Pro||$74.99|
|Headphones||SteelSeries Siberia v2||$104.16|
|Custom||Steelseries Qck Mouse Pad||$7.90|
|CPU Clock Rate||4.2GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||40.0° C|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||65.0° C|
|GPU Core Clock Rate||1000MHz|
|GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate||1450MHz|
|GPU Temperature While Idle||45.0° C|
|GPU Temperature Under Load||70.0° C|