I was looking to build my first gaming PC. I bought an XPS 410 about 8 years ago and have been limping along for the last couple years making upgrades but always wanted to do a complete build. I was trying to keep the build between $1100-$1400. I purchased the parts over a 3 month span using price alerts to notify me when something hit a threshold. It was a little hard not to start jumping on the final parts when I was almost done and should have waited another week or two to save $20 - $30 on the video card during Black Friday / Holiday sales, but I couldn't help myself.
CPU - Went with a Intel Core i5-4690(k) since I will be using the computer almost strictly for gaming. Just got everything setup and am excited to give overclocking a try.
CPU Cooler - Was trying to cut costs on the overall build so I went with the tried and true Hyper 212 Evo. Debated for a long time about getting the Corsair H100i, but to keep costs down went with less expensive CPU Cooler.
Motherboard - Very well reviewed and its beginner friendly tools and BIOS will help this rookie overclocker. Spent a little more than I would have liked here but love the other bells and whistles.
Memory - Was between Corsair and G.Skill and ultimately I found a sale on the Corsair RAM and jumped on it. Still a bit pricy for RAM but it matched my build nicely.
Storage - Wanted a SSD for my OS and my most used applications. Was shooting for the Samsung 840 EVO but the price comparison / performance for me didn't make sense when the Crucial went on sale for $40 less.
Video Card - Had originally purchased a EVGA GTX 780 on Newegg when they had a Shell Shocker deal on it. That night I realized that there was a deal because NVidia was going to announce their new 970 and 980 models. Even though it had already shipped and the Shell shocker deal said all sales were final, I contacted Newegg and they accepted the return without hassle. I was happy to pay the extra $5 over Amazon to buy the EVGA GTX 970 Superclocked ACX 2.0 from Newegg based on their friendly and accommodating customer service. This was the last part I bought and I completed the build before I received it in the mail so the first set of pictures is missing the GTX 970.
Case - When I got the case I wasn't thrilled about how the LED fans looked but they are starting to grow on me. Good cable management and I like the overall look of the case.
Power Supply - Has hoping to a get a good deal on a Seagate but could never find a sale. Settled on the Corsair and happy with it. Switching video cards brought my needed wattage down but I had already purchased the Power Supply so I stuck with the 750W.
Optical Drive - Didn't need a Blue Ray so wanted affordable and reliable. This Asus one hit the mark.
Operating System - I have a friend that works at Microsoft so I was able to get Windows 8.1 at a nice discount.
Case Fans - Easy to install and very quiet. I ended up switching out the stock exhaust fan for a AF140 and took the stock fan and mounted it to the bottom on the case as an intake. Other than that, just added two AF120's to the top of the case (exhaust) and a SP120 to the CPU Cooler.
Overall I found the experience to be exciting and very interesting. Going to miss watching build videos and reading build guides. Appreciate any comments, feedback and questions. Will update the CPU Temp and GPU Temps soon after I start overclocking.