Finished this system on 08/10/13. I was commissioned by one of my friends to help him build a general purpose rig with the potential for light to medium gaming if he so chose the path. He initially gave me a budget of about $800, but that was quickly thrown out the window and settled at $875.
This was probably the most fun, and stress inducing, project I have ever taken on and now have the building fever I hear so many people talk about. I plan on building my own somewhere down the road and figured this would be a good starting point to get my feet wet in the entire building scene.
The build itself went pretty smooth. I was very over cautious in every step because I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything the correct way. The only trouble I really encountered was with the 24-pin connector on the PSU and motherboard. I could not tell which was at fault, but it was EXTREMELY difficult to install into the motherboard and get clipped into the socket and very reluctant to leave as well. This was really the only difficulty that I encountered through out the entire process. Everything else was fairly straight forward and simple. The only area of concern I had was the cable management aspect and I know, from looking at the pictures, it is completely noob. I have been scowering the site and Google for the past 2-3 months, looking at all the builds posted to get a better idea of the methodology behind it and tried to implement it the best way that I could. All in all, with the inside fairly clean and the back side panel closing without any bowing, I considered it a success for a first time build and look forward to taking a crack at it again.
All of the parts were bought from Amazon with free 2 day shipping and were all great to work with. I was able to take 2 fan from another build he had and use the LED in the front for an extra intake and another on the top right slot in front of the 212 for additional intake. Like I mentioned earlier, the 24-pin PSU was the only really issues I had, but I do not know who to place fault in that area. I did not get to run any extensive benchmarks on the entire system, but the temps seem to stay fairly cool for the everyday use that my friend said he would use it for. The temps that are listed are just from idle temps in the OS and from a couple runs of Unigen Vally. We tried to squeeze and SSD into the budget, but sadly we were unable to do so. I think that will be his next initial upgrade when he has the money to do so. The prices listed are before taxes are applied. Rebates were taken from the motherboard and the GTX 660 for a total of $30. The total price of the parts before taxes was $895.32. Apparently the DVD drive is no longer listed on PCPP, so it's listed as a custom part but was purchased from Amazon!
I would love to hear your comments of what you think of the part selection, the cable management and the overall build itself. Perfection is what I'm aiming for and I know there are much more knowledgeable people than I, and your opinions are very much welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for taking a look and happy computing/gaming/building!
Update #1, 08/13/13: Enabled MSI's OC Genie to overclock the CPU to 4.2 GHz. Idle and normal use run temps around 40 C. Seems a little high to me for an idle temp, but doesn't cause me much concern.
Update #2, 08/29/13: Added 2 more pictures.