this is a BUDGET build for web browsing, gaming, movies, music, downloading filez, and light word processing. i'm poor so i ordered this part-by-part as fast as i could afford, and made a few upgrades later. i researched each potential part quite a bit before making my choices. consulted 4chan/g/, Logical Increments, and Tom's Hardware. prices are before tax, after promos/rebates. most parts came from NewEgg, but a few were from Amazon. total build time was about 6 hours including cable management, because this was my first build and i took breaks.
cpu: best mid-range cpu i could afford. need to do multitasking and gaming.
cpu cooler: the PH-TC14PE exhausts horizontal like i wanted. it barely fits in case, but it does fit; contrary to what PCPartPicker says. good thing i got low profile ram.
motherboard: supports uefi, usb 3.0, sata 6 gb/s, raid 0, crossfire, sli and has a ps/2 port.
memory: wasn't cheap, but low profile, nice looking, and made in USA. was close to cheapest option at the time of purchase.
storage: got an ssd for windows, apps, and games. will use my regular hd for data and tv/movies.
video card: need a mid-range video card for gaming. nothing too hardware intensive, but i'll be expecting high graphics settings with respectable fps too. i checked the performance of this card and it beats my old laptop's (GTX 670M), so i'm ok with skimping here a bit for now. this one supports Mantle as well.
case: 4chan/g/ recommended. clean looking, good cable management and cooling.
case fans: got one 85 cfm pwm Phanteks fan for my rear exhaust to help keep up with the two 66 cfm front intakes that came with the case. All three fans are wired to the case's built in three speed fan controller.
power supply: got this beast on Black Friday sale based on it's price, gold rating, and it's fully modular. it really was close to cheapest option at time of purchase. the option for crossfire/sli is there with this much power. UPDATE: flipped the psu fan side up so i could put the case on carpet, plus it also helps bring more air toward my gpu.
optical drive: i need it for the os install and i burn discs frequently too. it was a popular and inexpensive choice.
operating system: Windows 8 boots up and runs faster in general. i don't use the metro stuff, just the regular desktop.
temperatures posted are with an ambient room temperature of 69F. fan controller is on high, bios has cool n' quiet turned on, cpu and gpu are at default settings, and windows is running in balanced performance mode.
this completed build profile has been updated since it's original post. i will keep updating it as i upgrade my pc.
i appreciate all constructive comments, high-fives, and questions.