Earlier this year I built a budget rig with a G3258 and a GTX 960 from my girlfriend.
In April, I found out my company was cutting our salary and running out of budget.
I had a panic attack, went to the hospital and started taking inventory of what I can sell to cover my costs until I bounce back on my feet. Regrettably, I sold my GTX 960 and G3258 and started interviewing for a new job.
Luck struck when I got an offer that was 25% higher salary than my previous company, along with better benefits and work culture.
And then the 1080 announcement happened and 970's dropped in price for a very very short sliver of time. I swooped in on an open box GTX 970 from MicroCenter for $174.99 and grabbed a replacement plan for $20. I found someone who had a 390 and wanted to trade it for a 970 so I jumped on the opportunity.
Combine that with a MicroCenter gift card I had for $100 that I used to purchase an i5-4690k and here I am!
I'm starting to feel like the NZXT Source 210 is a little cramped for this build though. I had returned the S340 because I didn't have a good time with cable management with it, which is kind of supposed to be the main reason to buy it.
I picked up a Source 210 to save money which worked out fine for a stock cooler on a G3258 and a GTX 960.
But now with an EVO 212 and an R9 390 (which is almost as good as an R9 390, I should've gotten a 390), I'm starting to feel a little cramped.
Suggestions on cases would be appreciated!
Some advice to those out there looking to capitalize on deals like this:
Waiting on a 970 deal meant gaming on a crappy Intel integrated graphics for a few weeks. So it's important that while you see that I got a great deal on a 970/390 trade up, I also gamed on crappy graphics for a time. You have to pick your battles and if you're someone who can't stand gaming on low graphics even for a short time, it's going to be a lot harder for you to be patient enough to capitalize on good deals. I would say that the window of opportunity for deals on hardware seems to be somewhere around 2-5 weeks.
Every 2-5 weeks, there's a lightning deal on some essential component.
Before the 970 price drop, there was a deal on refurbished cards at Newegg, and before that it was B-Stock at EVGA.
So be patient, be willing to take time waiting on parts and have anywhere from $150-300 set aside for "deals".