My requirements for the desktop: Last me for two years until I finish my degree. Be able to handle casual gaming for two years(I'll keep my fingers crossed on this one) Have the capability to running dual-monitors and multiple programs at the same time with reasonable ease. Such as: IDEs, Word, Excel, Chrome, VMs, etc. Stay within budget: $600
Most important lesson from build: Pay extra for a modular psu next time.
I have upgraded almost every computer that I have owned but never built one from the ground up. This is my first attempt and I am happy with the final cost and results. I've been using this build for a few month now and have no complaints. I can play all my games(bf3, wow, diablo3) at decent fps and have never noticed any performance issues running multiple programs at the same time. The case is pretty much always cool even when I overclock the cpu up to 4.4. it seems to barely break 40Cs even under heavy loads(my cold house also helps out). I got a lot of rebates and only paid $560 after rebates and before taxes.
$129.99 AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core -$10
$74.99 Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM 6Gb/s 64mb Cache (6Gb/s 64mb Cache? Deal at $75)
$19.99 Lite-On iHDS118-04 DVD/CD Drive
$49.99 Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 1GB -$20 Rebate
$84.99 Biostar Hi-Fi A85W ATX FM2 -$10 Rebate + 8 GB free ram
$79.99 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) -$20 Promocode
$37.49 NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower -$12.50 Promocode (Can take up to 7 case fans! Comes with 1 120mm & 1 140mm exhaust, USB 3, plenty of cable management, under $40! What else could I ask for? I'm very happy with this case)
$39.99 Antec 650W ATX12V CrossFire 80 PLUS BRONZE -$25.00 Rebate
$24.99 Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing -$5 Rebate
$44.99 G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 (APU boost in graphics)
($30.00) FREE - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 worth $39.99 SOLD $30
$1.99 COOLER MASTER R4-S2S-124K-GP 120mm 4 in 1 Pack