Another first timer here. It was really fun piecing everything together. I put this together mostly surfing, video watching (hooked to plasma)and mild game play (Dragon age & 2). I don't really need ridiculous graphics or anything. I used to play them on an 8500GT and was perfectly happy. I bought all this stuff when the prices dropped. I also bought the SSD refurbished for about $20 cheaper. By the time it was all said and done I paid under $470 for everything. I recently ordered a $15 ARCTIC Alpine 64 Plus that I have yet to install. Don't really need it cooler, but want it quieter.
The case fit my needs nicely. It was a little difficult managing the cables but I expected that. I like having all the USB ports up front, and having 2 3.0 ports is a bonus.
I had some troubles to start with. I had my TV hooked to my HDMI port and my 22" monitor hooked to the DVI. I couldn't figure out why after MSI screen and loading Windows 8 on to the machine everything would go black. After unplugging the HDMI I realized it was sending the signal to the TV (TV was on but on a different input). After I got that straightened out I was much happier
It also kept defaulting my 1866 to 1600. After doing a little research I figured out how to change it and get all the timings right. It seems pretty stable now.
I may do some light overclocking at some point, but for now it is fine. Haven't run any benchmarks yet but Windows scores are 7.3, 7.4, 6.9, 6.9, and 7.9.
I may return the Samsung drive. I was trying to back-up a movie and it wouldn't read it properly. I tried a second movie and it acted strange with that one too. It has worked ok for a few days now though.
Aside from not being sure about Windows 8 the computer is awesome
I watched prices for about 2 months to wait for everything to hit the right spot. A bunch of parts dropped all at the same time. It was well worth the wait and everything came together nicely. Saved about $80 bucks by watching and waiting.
Lastly, and most importantly. I am so glad I found this site. It was awesome knowing that items were going to be compatible and to be able to track everything.