This was a build to replace our 'home office' computer where we pay bills, occasionally surf the internet and check email, but never play a game or anything like that. The current computer in that location is a 16 year old Dell that I did some modifications to about 7 years ago to keep it running and started running Linux Mint as the OS because it could no longer handle Windows very well. I thought I would harvest a couple of things from it but that didn't end up happening because it was just too old.
The goal was to stay in the $225 range as we just a week or so ago built a $1300 gaming rig for my son and I was not wanting to spend anywhere that much for this system that gets only occasional usage. Originally debated getting a really cheap pre-built computer, but wanted to do the build primarily to put an SSD into it.
CPU - Chose the A6-6400K for economy reasons and because I got offered the Motherboard for $10 with it. No problems with the CPU so far - It performs fine and the video it puts out is reasonable for what the computer's purpose was.
Motherboard - My first Micro ATX board. Not really sold that it was what I wanted, but hey - for $10, I got one that normally runs about $50. As they go, it is a motherboard - Don't really care much for the placement of the backup power inputs and the little cover for the input slots was truly a cheap thing of work.
Memory: Nothing out of the ordinary. I think I may ultimately add 2 more GB just because, but for a start this was fine.
Storage - Here begins the adventure - I had never put an SSD card into a computer, but the existing computer only had 40 gig of space on an old HDD, so this seemed like a great chance to use an SSD on a system as the sole storage. I made a mistake, however, in assuming my case would be like my son's case and ready to roll...It was not and I had to return for a bracket for the SSD card to lock into the bay.
Case - This was a mistake. The salesman told me the case would be fine for what I was doing, but it was a 'rebuilt' one that normally runs about $34.95. I took him up because I figured 'big deal' a rebuilt case? So what? Well - There was several things - The rebuild apparently removed the case fan, so I ended up having to run back to the store to get a couple of case fans - I went with an LED blue because my wife was with me and she uses the computer more. It did make a nice look, but the front fan did not install easily at all - I never did find where it was supposed to mount and even if I had, I'm not sure I could have reached it through the bays. I did something absolutely stupid, but functional and actually applied some glue to the four corners of the fan and glued it into place. It looks fine and when it goes out, it goes out I guess. I'll want a different build by then anyway :)
Power supply was mistake number two. Between the fans and the power supply fan, this thing is pretty loud. The other thing is that some of the cables were on the short side. Indeed the backup power cord was so short that I have had no choice but to run it across the mother board to the input slots on the motherboard - It looks awful and I hate it, but this build was never about being pretty anyway.
I would have hit my cost goal had I used Linux Mint as planned, but when we put it on the machine, the video became extremely wonky...not filling in everything and acting really strange. I tried several solutions, but finding a driver for all the parts for Linux was nearly impossible.
Ultimately I grabbed the Windows 7 disc from my son's gaming build and installed it and will have to pay for the key in 30 days. That killed my budget.
Monitor/keyboard/mouse from old computer (They were all purchased within the last couple years).
Overall, the computer performs fine for what it is designed for and I LOVE the speed of the SSD. Things launch instantly - I use Open Office for documents and that program opens in about 1-2 seconds. Amazing.
Still, this is not my favorite build - too many trips back to Microcenter for parts and I was really frustrated with my Linux Operating system install. For that reason, I can't really say that I would do this again in this fashion.