First off, shout out to r/buildapc on Reddit because the good folks over there taught me pretty much everything I know about building computers. I couldn't have done it without them :D
This is my first build and it came out as a major success after about 2 months of planning and 3-4 days of building. I use it for mostly for gaming and some schoolwork. My budget was $1500 and I went for a red/black/white theme. I built it over spring break of 2016 but never got around to showing it off until now. I've never done a post here before and I'm not sure of how to format this description, so I guess I'll just list and describe why I chose each part:
CPU - Intel i5 is just right for my gaming needs, not overkill and not underpowered. I chose the 4690k because it was a good value for the money, it can handle pretty much anything I throw at it, and it can be overclocked. I don't plan to overclock it until it starts to lag behind new games, but it will allow me to squeeze out extra lifetime before a replacement is necessary.
CPU Cooler - I got a cooler for the overclocking, but also for the looks. That white fan combined with the white ram on a red and black mobo just looks so great.
Motherboard - It was in my price range, matched my color scheme, and had everything I needed. Despite the strange name, it is a great board.
RAM - I chose the ram because Kingston is a great company for ram and it looked nice and simple. Also not many companies that I have seen make white ram, and it looks really cool on the red and black mobo.
Storage - I went with a 250gb SSD and a 1tb HDD for all my storage needs. The games that benefit from the SSD go there, while everything else is relegated to the HDD. I am a simple man, so that is more than enough storage for me.
GPU - If the CPU is the brain and the mobo is the nervous system, then the GPU is the heart. I put the most thought into this part since it affects games so significantly. The 390 can play games at 1080p with frame rates consistently above 60, and it fit the budget as well. I chose the MSI version because it matches my color scheme and there is not a big difference between the different versions, at least for my purposes.
Case - I also put a lot of thought into the case. I wanted something around $60 that looked unique and visually appealing, had dust filters, and was easy to build in. There were a few cases that fit that bill, so I went off personal opinion and chose the V31. The front face has a unique rounded mesh grill that I like a lot, and there are dust filters all over the place (I have cats). It was also a breeze to build in. I love it, and would recommend this case to anyone.
PSU - Some may say Platinum rating is overkill for this system, and it is, but I actually got a good deal on it for around $67 which was about the same price as most gold PSUs I saw. I chose EVGA because they are a trusted power supply brand and I got a good deal.
Optical Drive - I needed it for Windows 10 installation, and I figured it would be better to have one than not
Wireless Adapter - My home does not have Ethernet cables, so wireless is a must for me.
Fans - I got them because they matched the color scheme perfectly and lit up the inside of the case to complement the V31's giant side window. The only problem I had with them was a cable hitting one as it spun and making noise, but I fixed it pretty easily. The one 120mm fan has not yet been installed because I had forgotten to order it with the other fans, but I plan to add it in along with a small LED lightstrip across the bottom of the case window.
Monitor - I wanted something that was cheap, tn, freesync, 1080p and 144hz. Some may say that IPS 1440p is the way to go, but the lower frame rates and glossy screen put me off. I knew I would hate the glare and get fingerprints all over it as I wiped the cat hair from the screen (if you've had a cat you know). I also value performance over looks so I was perfectly fine with 1080p. I had some problems setting up the monitor, but when I fixed them it worked great. One problem was that it only operated at 60hz with no freesync, but I fixed it by adjusting the settings in the AMD Catalyst Control Center program. Now it runs at 144hz with freesync perfectly. As a bonus it has a red stripe to match my color scheme and was cheap. I'd give it a 4/5 for causing me some initial trouble, but after I worked out the kinks it was perfect for me.
So that is my first build, please tell me what you think. If I had to do something differently, I would use a Skylake over a Haswell based cpu/mobo/ram. Somehow in the 2 months it took me to research this build I never learned that Skylake existed until after the fact. Anyway, I'm really happy with the build and I plan to use it for at least a few years. When I started, I knew nothing, but I learned with the help of others and accomplished one of my big goals.