This is my first build and really my first foray into anything electrical. Just got sick of my old beater computer that I played CS 1.6 on and thought it was time to upgrade. Researched iBuyPower and their ilk and thought, why pay extra to have someone else build it for me, it can't be that hard... Through hours of scouring this site for part reviews, compatibility data, and completed builds I felt knowledgeable enough to start pricing out some parts. I wanted to keep it a budget build that I could play newer games at 1080, casually.
The price comparison tool on this site combined with Newegg Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals and my close proximity to MicroCenter really helped out immensely. I was able to score some pretty good deals.
MicroCenter: Bundled the CPU/MOBO for $220 GTX 1660ti for $249 after rebate (Black Friday) Samsung SSD for $49 (Black Friday) NZXT H510 for $59 (Black Friday) Newegg: TForce RBG RAM 2x8 3200 for $59 (Cyber Monday) PSU for $55 (Cyber Monday)
I wasn't planning a theme until I started inspecting the parts and realized they were all blacked out. That's what led me to get the black NZXT instead of the white. With the add-on white wire extenders and limited RGB, I thought it turned out pretty cool looking. Reminds me of Darth Vader and Store Troopers, hence "The Empire". (added the last photo just to show a diff color on RAM)
Anyway, I watched a few videos on YouTube and picked the brain of some of my more tech savvy friends for expectation and how-to of building a computer. The build itself went off with out a hitch, to be honest. Much easier than I anticipated; took me about 3 hours to build (with a couple beers) and 1 hour for Windows and drivers. The only issue I ran into was that my current monitor (cheapo) didn't have an HDMI cable for my GPU. I had to go grab a DVI - HDMI converter from Best Buy...
I really like how the whole experienced turned out. I plan on buying parts for another, cheaper, gaming PC and gifting them to my 6 and 9 year old nephews for Christmas. I'll then build their computer with them to hopefully spark an interest in their eye. We'll see how that turns out :D