Hello, all! This is my first build ever, assembled January 2014. It was an exciting process, but nerve-wracking at times. All parts were chosen after reasonable amounts of research. The cable management isn't the best in the world, but one of my friends (you can probably see him in the background of a couple of pictures) helped me out. The results you see here are mostly his fixes. I'm always looking for ways to improve, though. I use it for gaming almost exclusively, along with daily use, like e-mail and music.
Here's a breakdown of the parts:
Case - Fractal Design Define XL R2 - First things first, I sorely underestimated the size of a full tower. Which is fine, because there's plenty of space for upgrades. The case is fantastic, however. It looks amazing, has plenty of space, room for water cooling, excellent cable management options. One of my favorite features was the ability to get rid of the top hard drive cage. However, I had to unplug the power LED because when the PC is on, the light burns with an intensity of one million suns. Which may be fine if your tower is out of sight, but in my case, it's right nearby.
CPU - i5 4670K - This was one of the last parts I decided on. I knew wouldn't need an i7. In hindsight, it's probably more than I need right now, but I'm sure I'll put it to good use in the future. I got the K version to try out a small bit of overclocking, which I'll be working on soon.
CPU cooler - Noctua NH-U12S - Huge, efficient, cool, and near dead silent. It spins too slowly for my motherboard's liking. It would give me a CPU fan error every boot up. After some research, I saw some motherboards have issues with quieter, slower-spinning air coolers. Adjusting the acceptable RPM in the BIOS cleared this up. Yes, it's ugly as all Hell. But, as you can probably tell from the lack of any color-coordination, I don't care about. I have no window and I'm not a "visual frills" kind of guy.
Motherboard - Asus Z87-Pro - A very nice mobo. A bit overkill, but I thought having a motherboard with some spare features would make for a nice upgrade path later. It also comes with a good wi-fi antenna, which was a big selling point for me, being quite far from the router. My only complaint is that the I/O shield is a little flimsy, which made installation of the board a bit difficult. This can also be attributed to my own inexperience, however.
RAM - G. Skill Ripjaws X Series (2x4GB, DDR3-1866) - It's RAM. It does the job. I got a very lucky break on the price, though.
SSD - Sandisk Extreme II 120GB - My first solid state drive. I don't think I can ever go back to booting from a mechanical drive. I never believed the difference in time would be as much as people said. Sure, a lot is exaggeration, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was incredibly impressed.
Hard Drive - Seagate Barracude 1TB 7200 - I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how big 1000GB is. O.O It is a lot of space. Fits my entire library of games, music, and photos with quite a bit of room to spare.
GPU - Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB - It plays all of the games I want to play on max settings. I also got the bundle with Splinter Cell and ACIV. The Gigabyte card comes with a pretty nice overclock over the base card, along with the always awesome Windforce cooling.
PSU - Seasonic X-850 - 850W, gold efficiency. Gives me plenty of room to upgrade later.
OS - Windows 8 x64 - I don't get why people hate this operating system. The features that bother me are easily ignored or easily fixed.
The CD drive I pulled from a prebuilt computer I had and the monitor was my sister's, but she started using her TV instead.
Let me know what you guys think. Any tips, advice, or constructive criticism is welcome.
I'll be sure to add some benchmarks in the near future.