I have never built a PC before, and here goes my first attempt. This computer will be used mostly for gaming, with light usage of various productivity software (Photoshop, AutoCAD). And web browsing. Lots of web browsing.
Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core. I wanted Skylake. I did not need an i7. Hence, this.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing. A popular and cheap cooler; it is destined to spend the rest of its useful life in total anonymity. My friends will surely inquire what sort of CPU I have (but will not understand the answer), how much RAM I have, how much storage I have. They will stare at my gaming monitor in awe. They will even find some way to fetishize my new mechanical keyboard. But the cooler? No one ever strikes up a conversation about it. No one ever sings its praises. Maybe this is why there are so many weird and funky water coolers lining the store shelves these days. But they're trying too hard.
MSI Z170-A PRO ATX LGA1151. I had a heart-to-heart talk with myself and decided that I do not need the option of SLI. This motherboard was otherwise cheap ($80 on sale), and came from a good manufacturer.
It also came with a FREE MOUSE (see picture).
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400. RAM is quite cheap these days, isn't it? I instantly felt ashamed of ripping G.Skill off when I added only a mere 8GB to my shopping cart. Repentantly, I revised my purchase to 16GB for what felt like an extra 5 bucks. How do these people make money? Does it cost $0.01 each to manufacture these things?
Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" SSD. I would have preferred 1TB. Oh well. I'll buy a second SSD when I run out of space. I hope that SSDs will drop in price significantly by then.
EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB FTW ACX 2.0+. I'm pretty sure that I'm set with this card for a while. Yes, I know that an even better card is on the horizon. Nonetheless, I am still looking forward to my games looking amazing with this 980 ti for several years to come.
Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower. This seems to be a pretty solid budget case.
Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V. It's totally overkill, isn't it? Oh well. YOLO. I got a good deal for it. Plus, Platinum efficiency.
Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM (64-bit). I was debating between this and MS-DOS 3.3, and begrudgingly chose the former. Just kidding, I wasn't really debating at all - MS-DOS is clearly the superior OS. But I'm a sucker for punishment.
Dell S2716DG 27.0". Dell gift cards from previous Dell purchases lead to more items bought from Dell. Got this monitor refurbished. Wanted an IPS 144HZ panel, but have no patience to play the panel lottery. I never win at those. Not in Powerball. Not in any scratch-to-win games either. Not ever.
Final thoughts: Compiling a build on pcpartpicker.com at nearly midnight on a Friday must surely mean that I am rather excited about building my own PC. The experience thus far has made me feel savvy, skillful, almost techie. This is a good feeling. I will be spending less than $2,000 on this set-up, but my enhanced opinion of myself is surely priceless.