First of all, I would like to express my appreciation for this site. This site is excellent to track the price and to compare components. I also appreciate many members' comments on completed builds. Your insights were invaluable for my project.
I completed this build with my son over Thanksgiving weekend. I was accumulating components for a couple of weeks prior, and it was fun to build our own computer as you wonted. Cable management took the longest time. This is multipurpose PC serving as HTPC, media streaming , and general home and school work. Is has no problem recording and playing back HD TV shows with MS Media Center. Hauppauge included a small media center remote which works okay.
I love Microcenter's aggressive in-store prices. This was final price I paid after a couple of price adjustments during the Black Friday sale.
Component / Brand / Source / Final Price Paid / CPU Intel Core i5-3570K Microcenter $169.99 / CPU Cooler Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Microcenter $49.99 / Motherboard AS Rock Z77 Extreme4 ATX Microcenter $64.99 / Memory Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Microcenter $39.99 / Storage Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Amazon $148.99 / SSD Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" SSD Microcenter $99.99 / Case Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Amazon $68.98 / Power Supply SeaSonic 620W ATX12V / EPS12V (Modular) Amazon $89.99 / Optical Drive LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer Microcenter $54.99 / Fan controller Scythe "KAZE MASTER" KM01-BK Amazon $32.94 / Fans Cooler Master 200 mm - Red Amazon $12.98 / Fans Cooler Master 120 mm Red X 2 Amazon $16.98 / TV tuner Hauppauge 1213 WinTV-HVR-2250 Amazon $103.18 /
I like all components , but I like to add a few feedbacks for other members. ASROCK Z77 EX4 MB. I selected this one over Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H because ASROCK was cheaper and it has 4 6Gb/s SATA compared to 2 on Gigabyte. This was mentioned a few times, but I did not fully understand the consequence. This MB is narrow by 1 inch compared to normal ATX MBs; therefore, inside edge is not supported by the ATX mounting holes. I wish I had a few plastic spacers to support the edge of the board. It was bending while I was installing cables and power lines. Another problem is that if a large fan is installed on CPU, the fan will block the memory slot that are close to CPU. I did not have that problem though since I installed a liquid cooler.
Seasonic Modular power supply. Cables are pretty stiff. 8-pin power cable for the MB is a very tight fit for my application. I had to bend it very tight to connect it. I wished I had an extension.
Intel 330 SSD. I like fast boot up time of SSD. I don't know why, but this one makes occasional clicking noise.
Cooler Master Storm Enforcer case is wide and tall as shown in the picture. I like the USB device cradle on the top. However, the reset button is too close to the USB ports, and it can accidentally be pushed while connecting or disconnecting the USB devices. It happened to me once.
Future addition /upgrade considering in case my son wants to play games during summer break. Graphics card : GTX 670 at the right price Another WD 2TB HDD for Raid 0 IPS Monitor Gaming Keyboard