The intent of this build was to make a gaming computer capable of 1080p for around $1000. I primarily play MMORPGs including GW2 and WoW, plus other games like SC2 and D3. When Half-Life 3 comes out (crosses-fingers), I will be one of the first in line. Enough small talk let us get to the parts.
CPU: I chose Intel over AMD due to the increased FPS afforded to online games. I spent a bit more to get the K model to ensure I could venture into over clocking if it was as easy as all the sources suggest. (It totally is.)
CPU Cooler: Yup it fits, and it wasn't too hard to attach.
Motherboard: I was first looking at the ASUS Z87-C, it would have suited my needs but the Asrock was on sale and a much more robust MB.
Memory: Well, here was my first mistake. As you will see its only one DIMM. Yup, my bad. I saw 8GB on sale and thought it was 2 x 4GB... well at least I know my first upgrade. Yes, I know the color does not match... do not care.
Storage: Great brand, great price, great drive. Will probably be my second upgrade, I just have to wonder how much of a hassle it is to move the operating system from the WD to a new SSD on the same computer. Do I have to reinstall everything?
Video Card: I was originally looking at the GTX 760s for around $250, when the Sapphire went on sale for $270 I was able to justify the extra $20 for a better card. In addition, three free games never hurt. I have not over clocked it yet, but considering the fans on the card never go above like 50% I think I may have to try it.
Case: Another good sale and a fine case with plenty of included fans.
Power Supply: I actually bought this PSU before that Sapphire went on sale. Glad I was aiming a little high and that the R9 280X did not require more power than I already had. Although, I really can see the benefit of getting a modular power supply, as I am sure you can see in the pictures.
Optical Drive: For burning and ripping.
Operating System: So far, I have had no problems with Win 8.1. I cannot say its better or worse than Windows 7, it is just different. The student price is why it came relatively inexpensive.
Monitor: Bigger than I have used in the past but, so far, quite a nice experience.
Keyboard: The keyboard is a cheap, wired keyboard that has everything you could need.
Keyboard 2: The G13 is an awesome gaming keypad that I have been using for about 4 years now. I love the little joystick that fits perfectly by my left thumb for additional movement options.
Mouse: I was looking for a wired mouse with at least two thumb buttons and my wife found this one at the local Best Buy and forced me to buy it... bummer.
Speakers: Good enough for me :P
As I mentioned earlier, over clocking the CPU was very easy and not nearly as scary as I first thought. I was able to over clock it to 4.5 GHz but the temperature under load was about 80 and that worried me, so I just settled with 4.3 and called it good for now. I'll keep watching for the G.Skill to go on sale again and grab another 8GB stick to allow the mother board to enjoy its dual channel greatness. As for a SSD, I am sure that the prices will continue to decrease and when the time is right, I will decrease my boot time from 10 seconds to 2 seconds.
Constructive criticism is always welcome! My next build will quite likely be a mITX build though it may be a bit.
EDIT: I reduced the Antec Case price by $10.00 because the rebate arrived today, May 30, 2014. EDIT: I reduced the Corsair PSU price by $20.00 because the rebate arrived, June 23, 2014. EDIT: I reduced the Asus Monitor Price by $20.00 because the rebate arrived, July 8,2014. EDIT: I reduced the Cooler Master Hyper 212 price by $10.00 because the rebate arrived, July 23, 2014. EDIT: I reduced the ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer price by $20.00 because the rebate arrived, July 23, 2014.
And finally the rebates are complete. The posted price reflects all the rebates.