I wanted a small form factor rig that had some bite to it and this was the result.
My cable management is non-existent but since it isn't a windowed case it doesn't bother me too much. Also after taking the pictures I realized I need to clean and dust the hell out of this.
It took about a year to actually complete this build as I slowly bought parts for it. Most of the components were all bought around November-December of 2014, while most of the peripherals were purchased throughout this year(2015).
I live in Southern California and CA sales tax is pretty hefty so that added to the final price for many items but since I was able to find great deals and since I'm a Prime member I did it for convenience sake (Free two-day shipping, I also order super saver shipping from newegg and since they aren't too far from where I'm at it usually gets here the next day or in 2 days.).
I honestly was deciding between a mid-tower (h440) or a mini itx build and one late night while browsing Amazon I saw the white BitFenix Prodigy Case on sale for $50 instead of the usual $80-110. That kicked off everything else I got the PSU on sale during an Amazon GoldBox sale and waited until black friday weekend to look for a good cpu deal.
TigerDirect had the i5 and i7s on sale during black friday (I5 4690k was $209 or something like that) but they also had an extra $25 off if you checked out with Paypal (a win-win) and they also don't apply sales tax so it was an even sweeter deal. The Motherboard was at full price but it's actually really nice so I'm satisfied with that purchase.
The SSD was on sale on Amazon for about $10 less than usual and also included a free copy of Far Cry 4 so I jumped on that. Sticking with the theme of small form factor I decided to stick with 2.5 drives and got the 2TB 2.5 HDD on sale from Amazon (it was actually a Seagate External Backup Slim Plus HDD and I just removed the casing and the USB-sata adapter). The other 500gb 2.5 HDD was from my PS4 after I also replaced it with a 2TB drive.
I don't really like the concept of Mail-In-Rebates and usually don't deal with the hassle of them unless they save me $20 and upwards.
I actually got the GTX970 in April 2015 and between last November until then I used an EVGA GTX 760 SSC from an older rig. Was on sale and had another $30 MIR and also included Witcher 3 and when they recently announced Batman Arkham Knight bundled on top of that I spoke to Amazon Customer Service and they gave me a key for that.
OS I already had so that didn't matter too much and the fans were all about $50 which wasn't too big a deal for me.
Monitor was on sale just late last month (May) and I picked it up no tax just shipping and it finally arrived Tuesday
Amazon(Components): Motherboard (Full Price), SSD (Sale/Black Friday), HDD (Sale), Case (Sale), Ram (Sale), Power Supply (Sale), Graphics/Video Card (Sale+MIR).
Newegg(Components): CPU Cooler (Full Price + Rebate - It was out of stock on Amazon at the time so Newegg was the alternative and the price was a wash)
Amazon(Peripherals/Accessories): Keyboard (Sale), Mouse (Sale), Fan Controller (Only a few $ off).
TigerDirect(Components/Peripherals): CPU(Black Friday Sale), Monitor (Sale)
CPU is overclocked to 4.5GHz and at 55-65C at full load. GPU is overclocked 1669MHz 3705MHz (+170MHz GPU Core +200 MHz Memory Clock) and at 60-65C full load.
The Hyper 212 EVO was a tight fit but I still managed to stick 2 exhaust AF120s above it and was able to fit the beast of the Gigabyte GTX 970 and not hit my 230mm front intake fan. Air flows directly in and clears the low profile ram into the Hyper 212 EVO fan and right out to the rear AF120 exhaust. The case is not windowed but it is well ventilated (a bunch of holes) and air directly goes in and the GTX 970 fans are right there pulling it in.
I only run at 1080p and everything runs really nice. Unigine Valley scored 2671 with an average FPS of 63.8. GTA V maxed out (even the advanced graphics minus hi-res shadows) runs at a constant 60. Witcher 3 runs at a constant 60 high/ultra. Shadow of Mordor (High/Ultra sans ultra textures) runs around 90-100 FPS. Battlefield 4 runs nicely (don't remember exactly what fps i was getting).
In the end I saved about $200-$300 and this thing stays cool and runs like a dream.
TL;DR - You don't have to always wait until black friday for deals. As things go on sale just pick them up as you go. I only ended up getting one, albeit important, component on black friday. It also makes the hit to your wallet much lighter (purchasing in increments) as a result.
EDIT: I decided to tidy up the cables a bit and create some space. Still not the best but a little better than before .