This is my first time. I did tons of research, and built a plan to fit in my budget now. I just powered through the build, in about 90 minutes, and everything else was super easy. it boots a seconds. It runs games at high settings, stays super cool, its not very loud. I really love this pc. I am going to by two more dimms and hard drive soon but this is what I could afford right this minute.
If you really must know more: Things i learned: pay more attention when taking the photos. they look terrible, i think my camera lens was dirty for at least one of them. and it was way too much work to go back and shoot a staged build photo of all the boxes...
Use Normally i just game or watch tv with my gf, but on sundays: I game, and i watch tv using usb tuners (i actually bought them a year ago for use with my tablet and my laptop, but when at home i actually found the most i have the most use for them) at the same time on sundays, and from 1 to 4 EST I watch 2 NFL games (and record them) and because i think i can multitask i will game at the same time depending on the quality of the match ups, mostly just looking over based on what the announcer says when the game is not very interesting... i digress
the point being i am able to game at high settings and watch tv ( 3 monitors) and the pc does great though occasionally some frames drop (very rarely)
The plan is to build a moderate gaming pc, and in a year or so i am going to buy another motherboard, cpu, case, some faster ram and more powerful psu (z chipset and unlocked i am thinking of some sort the amount of time and whats on the market then will decide) and this pc will get a gt730 from my and my GFs shared pc (no longer shared that i built this pc, which has led to much happiness between us) (if it benchmarks better than just the integrated graphics, they get similar marks but i figure that is from the gt730 generally being benchmarked on older pcs, but again i digress) and i will take the 960 out and into the new pc, until i can afford a newer better gpu to make another but better gaming pc and upgrade both of our pcs, as i can afford it. I am looking at about $600 to build a second pc and i will keep swapping out parts from my pc to her pc as i upgrade. to hopfully save some money while giving both of us decent affordable pcs to meet our needs.
UPDATES SINCE INITIAL BUILD (11-15-15) Lamptron FC9 fan controller, and more powerful exhaust fan 110 cfm, and an additional slim side intake fan for the gpu, and moved extra fan to bottom of case. when i am not doing anything demanding i turn all the fans down, nice and quiet, what mostly bothered me was not the constant noise of the fan but the change in volume with the system temp changes, so i bought the fan controller, and i like it quite a bit and my system is doing great!
Update 2 (12-12-15) Many commentators told me to change the psu. I was always planning on it but was waiting for a sale. For my build, i am still positive that the 500w evga (#1 selling PSU on amazon as of this being written) is perfect for my build, but since my plan is to build 2 pcs, and the 750w Supernova bronze was on sale for 56.99, i bought it and installed it. And in the process of re working my wires, broke a sata connector off my mobo. I was able to just slip it back in place with some patience and my dvd drive is working fine. (i could have used the sata express port but i am planning on adding a m.2 SSD or maybe a sata express device in the future so using the original was my goal)
Great cpu, decent price, runs cool with stock cooler (which was super easy to install), which also is not very loud.
I dont know if i will ever buy another brand of motherboard. i really like everything asus has done here.
if you don't have a motherboard meant for overclocking, this is best ram you can get. suberb performance.
Works like a an ssd should, very cheap, decent specs for an ssd (especially at this price) a little quirky though...
run 3 1080p monitors, and n the stock bios in never makes a noise! (not over the sound of my case fans at least) though I changed the fan curve to keep my whole case cooler, since the fans didnt turn on til 60 C. Which the fan are very powerful and when stress testing my system the fans can get loud but i have not gotten my card to its 80 C ceiling yet.
great case. wish i had spent more and gotten a case with a top exhaust but it is working great, i really shouldn't complain.