MANY THANKS FOR THE FEATURE! ALL YOUR POSITIVE COMMENTS MEAN A LOT TO ME!
Inspired by a couple of great deals on previously-owned components, I decided to make a budget gaming build just for fun. I'll probably end up selling it on Craigslist for a bit of profit, but if I break even that's cool too. I just like the ritual of gathering parts, building, testing and gaming.
I purchased both the CPU and GPU used for $80 and $150 respectively. The mobo was $75 new from Newegg. The case, PSU, HDD, RAM and case fans were purchased new from Jet.com which allowed me to avoid tax and get free shipping all while saving an extra $30 using a helpful new customer code. When the dust settled I had only spent $457. Not bad for a very capable gaming PC in a cute little chassis.
It games quite well. I've only tested DOOM and GTAV and both run really well despite the obvious i3 bottleneck and get well over 60 fps when the framerate is unlocked. I've seen several videos that demonstrate how using VSync can reduce the bottleneck in more demanding CPU-heavy games since the components never have to target anything higher than 60 fps.
Everything works without a hitch and I must say that this case is crazy-easy to work in. Even with a non-modular PSU, I had no trouble with cable management. I'll probably get the "Snow" white colored version next time I go mini ITX.