This is my beloved first PC build! I built it around 8 months ago, for under $600. I already owned a CD drive and 1.5TB WD Green HDD, but eventually the WD Green drive failed, so I replaced it with a 1TB WD Black, bringing the total amount spent to exactly $600. I also owned a Windows 7 HP key already, and I use Avast free antivirus, so I didn't need to spend anything on software.
This being my first build, I did do some things that I wish I would have done differently: 1. Zalman Cooler: I ended up getting a 92mm Zalman CPU fan and heatsink, which was a mistake on my part. It definitely keeps the CPU cool on stock speed, and I haven't overclocked yet, but a larger fan size would have been quieter and allowed more overclocking flexibility.
Crucial RAM: This one is minor, but I went with this RAM just because it was like $4 cheaper than G.Skill. Performance is still great, but G.Skill could have matched my build more, I really love the look of G.Skill RAM.
Rosewill Case: Okay, so this is also minor, but I wish I would have gotten a black NZXT Phantom case. This case is not bad at all, and an absolute steal for $24 that I got it at, but I am a huge fan of NZXT cases, especially the Phantom. A Phantom not only would have looked sleek with my setup, but it would have given me a side panel, and I would have more of an opportunity to show off my rig. With more blue LED lights.
XFX R9-270X: Really really good card, but I was a bit misinformed and could have gotten a cheaper price. I like the look of MSI and Asus cards, the XFX is pretty plain. Though the card itself is very quiet, which is great, and it has 5 display outputs, which is awesome.
Building the PC took around 3 hours once all the parts arrived, not including the installation of Windows 7. Thankfully, my computer booted up successfully the very first try, absolutely no problems!
I used a single Dell 20" monitor for the first 7 months, until Christmas, when I received a 2nd matching Dell monitor, as well as a Sades 7.1 Pro Headset, and a Supernight 5m adjustable LED Strip Kit, both of which totally enhanced my setup. My personal office is currently set up in a 20 square foot walk in closet, with my multi-color LEDs and 5.1 speakers are set up. I absolutely love my office setup, it looks absolutely fantastic, especially with my LED light strips. I am currently looking for a deal on a matching Dell monitor, because gaming with dual monitors just doesn't work well, so I am limited to using one, which isn't ideal. I will also probably upgrade to an R9-290 or something like that, to adequately support my triple monitors at high-ultra settings.
Overall, I am very satisfied with my build. However, if I were to redo this, I would have spent more money knowing that it would be better in the long run. I would have made the 4 changes that I listed above and probably would have gotten an FX-8350, so that I would not need a replacement for a long while and enjoy the extra boost of speed.
Total cost of PC(Includes PC, keyboard+mouse): $600
Total cost of office setup(Includes PC, speakers, monitors, headset, keyboard+mouse, mousepad, LED strips): $750
I recommend budget builders to get something similar! Go for what is currently a great deal for performance, and make sure you buy enough performance so you don't need to scrap and upgrade for a while. Also, be sure to get your dream case the first time around, because there isn't much of a market for reselling a case, so you will likely be stuck with it for a while.
I totally recommend budget builds to be something like this. An R9 270X can be found for as low as $120 on Newegg, which is a bargain. You can find the FX-6300 for a little under $100 sometimes. Other parts can be swapped with whatever is the best deal and suits your needs.
I also recommend getting customizable LED strips like these. I got SUPERNIGHT 5m LED strips for for $27 on Amazon, and they have a huge array of colors. Work well for green or blue builds, red is a bit limited because most reds look more pink when you adjust it. You can brighten and dim these lights with the remote as well as turn on timed fading or flashing combos. Great product.
Update: Took some better pics with a HTC One M8 cam instead of my Nexus 4.