First time building a PC. Mostly looking for a mid-range gaming platform after realizing that I really want to play things that are far outside the functional grasp of my laptop (though it held up surprisingly well under what I threw at it at first).
Overall, this build was a lot of fun to design and put together, and it's been working splendidly. I'd like to be a little cleaner with my cable management, but I couldn't think of any further convolutions that would actually be helpful. Input from more experienced builders would be nice, if applicable.
CPU: Figured I didn't need to go crazy here, and heard that the 3570 was a pretty solid performer. Also discovered that Staples would price-match Microcenter's in-store only deal pricing, which made the decision a cinch. I'm planning to dabble in overclocking eventually, which is why I went with the K.
Mobo: It works with everything else I had planned, was at a good price point for this build, and haven't had any problems with it since. And the BIOS is pretty, which is...cool, I guess.
Memory: Saw a deal on these for what seemed like an excellent price - got 'em, popped 'em in, no complaints.
Storage: I'd been going back and forth between the 840 EVO and the 840 Pro for a while. Since I've never had an SSD before, I figured the small decrement in performance wouldn't be noticeable compared to what I'm used to. And it's not. Boot and load times are awesome with the EVO. WD Caviar Black 'cause 5-year warranty, 1TB 'cause space for stuff.
GPU: From the beginning, I was pretty set on the GTX 760, given its decent price/performance balance. Ended up going with the EVGA for the little bit of extra out-of-the-box overclock - the only complaint I've heard about this card is that it gets loud/hot, but I figured my case of choice should go a ways towards helping with that, which it did.
Case: It's cool, it's quiet, it's sleek, it's got some nice cable management tools. People complain about the dual-hinged front door being a little gimmicky (specifically, the snaps have a tendency to break), but I don't use it much, so it's not a problem for me. Nice and roomy, easy to use.
PSU: Basic. Pretty good price. Hasn't blown up yet. Not much else to say.
Optical: Funny story. I was down a SATA cable for the optical, and didn't bother getting one for close to a month (plenty of USB ports, so didn't really need the drive for anything; also, I'm lazy). When I finally hooked it up, it was alive but nonfunctional - the computer knew the drive was there and so forth, but it wouldn't open at all except by manual override (yay paper clips). And then when something was put in it, it wouldn't read. So I'm looking to return it, unless someone has a magical cure they could send my way.
OS: 8.1 is actually less aggravating than I expected. Smooth sailing thus far.
Peripherals: Picked up the keyboard and mouse refurbished from Woot. Never had a gaming mouse or a mechanical keyboard before, and I love 'em both. Once again, no complaints.
She's handled everything fine thus far: both Crysis 2 and BF 3 run with graphics set to "Bedazzle" @ 50-60 fps. The noise is present and noticeable, but not unpleasantly so, especially with headphones in. Seriously been enjoying this computer, and everything has worked out splendidly (except for the optical drive, of course...but who's keeping score?).
P.S. Shoutout to Destructle for his help in this process, and for assuring me I (probably) wasn't going to break anything. It seems you were right.