UPDATED AS OF 4/19/15- Included pics of new keyboard and headphones w/mic (as requested).
(About the name. I went with Arakune because one, I main him in Blazblue, and two, his crest looks like a spider and he summons one as well, and since spiders have 8 legs and my CPU has 8 cores...you get the idea, haha)
Back in spring of '13, I replaced a laptop that I got for my birthday back in '11 and since my new one was marginally better, I decided to try some games (Portal and TERA). TERA ran okay, but Portal ran real smooth, albeit a mix between low-high settings. Then one day, I saw L4D2 on sale on Steam, and it was on that day, that I discovered the magic of Steam. Over the summer of last year, I spent about ~$150 on games alone (also discovered Humble Bundle), and I knew that some games, like Skyrim and BF3, wouldn't reach 60FPS. At the time, I really wanted to get a PS4 for my birthday, but after looking at the launch lineup, there really wasn't much getting (NBA 2K14 and Battlefield 4 only, but I'd rather get BF4 on PC), so I decided to hold off and wait for more games and get a decent rig instead.
The budget I was allowed was between $700-$800 so I browsed around and used ecollegepc as a sort of reference and used this site to pick parts and compare prices (again this was my first build, and at the time, I had doubts if these parts would be good enough).
CPU: I REALLY wanted to get a 3570k, but at the time, it would've gotten way over the budget. I remember one of my friends saying AMD was budget friendly, as he also has an AMD-based rig as well. I could've gone with the 8350 for ~$40-50 more, but went with this instead. Overclocked this to 4.2GHz
CPU Cooler: I had gotten this about 9 months after I completed this build. Everyone says this is a great budget cooler and I agree too. Happily got rid of the noisy stock cooler.
Mobo: I don't know much about motherboards, but from what I've read, this one was good for my CPU. Really neat BIOS too. Able to overclock easily.
Memory: At the time, I just wanted to get a trusted brand, but I knew I could've gotten something a bit more cheaper that would've performed just as well.
Storage: I knew from all that spending over the summer, I would need a big hard drive, so I went with a 1TB to fit my needs.
Video Card: Initially had an MSI HD7850 Twin Frozr 2GB/OC on this build and it performed really well. However, with titles like MGS V and the Star Wars Battlefront reboot coming out, I wanted the best experience possible with no frame drops. This card fit my needs and my budget. Plus, I wanted to make the switch to Nvidia.
Case: Just like the RAM, I could've gotten something just as good, but cheaper. Great case, though.
Power Supply: I read that 500W was good enough for most builds, but at the time, I thought it wouldn't be enough, so I got this instead for just a little bit more.
OS: I was contemplating whether to get 7 or 8, but I thought to myself that some games in the future would probably be optimized for 8 and plus, I already got accustomed to it on my laptop and IMO, aside from the metro interface, it's not much different from 7, so I went with 8. (Again, just my opinion). Upgraded to 8.1 when it came out.
Monitor: I was using a Samsung T260HD that I had gotten years back. I switched to this one this year because my brother was going to get an Xbox One for his birthday, and he had no HDTV/monitor. I decided to give him the Samsung, and get this one for myself. Some may see it as a downgrade, but I personally like the smaller screen/space.
Keyboard+Mouse: I had gone from a CM Storm Devastator KB+M Bundle to a K70 w/Brown Switches and a Logitech G502. Debated if I should save up for an RGB keyboard to match the blue LED of my mouse, but I figured a Red vs. Blue look would look good. Both the keyboard and mouse are great.
Headphones+Mic: Saw the headphones on sale thru Newegg's newsletter. Great sound and fit IMO. For a mic, I went with AntLion's ModMic 4.0. There's a noticeable static when I hear my recordings, but I heard it can be fixed by using a sound card, which I plan to get in the future.
A little more than a year later, this build has done me well. At the time, the build cost me a little over $800 and upgrades were made over the time span. With the 7850, I was able to play some of the demanding titles with a mix of High-Ultra settings with 40-60FPS. Now with the 970, with Skyrim+Mods on Max settings, I get constant 60FPS, even on ShadowPlay, and Ground Zeroes looks amazing. (will update with more games in the future)
As far as I can tell, the cable management looks okay, but I know it could be better. I plan to get an Asus Xonar DG to fix the static problem with my ModMic, an SSD, and another HDD (TOO MUCH GAMES haha). Also looking to upgrade to an Intel CPU as well, possibly an i5 4690k.
Thanks for checking out my first build!
The only mouse you'll ever need. Looks and works amazing. Software is great for programming the extra buttons to your liking.