What started as a "my brother has a spare processor hey let's build a budget box" has turned into this no compromises PC that I'm very happy with (despite going almost $500 over my initial budget). This is a gaming PC, built with the Mini ITX form factor in mind for LAN parties and the such. This is my first time building in such a small form factor, as well as only my second PC that I've ever build, so there were challenges.
CPU/MOBO - My brother was originally sending me a Core i5-4430, but when that got stuck in the mail , I decided to get my own instead. My brother is also going to teach me how to overclock this little guy (but only a little, stock cooler) so I splurged for the i5-4670K and the Z87N motherboard (which was on sale, yay). Lots of room on the motherboard for everything, despite it's size.
RAM - The difference between single and dual channel in gaming is so small, I opted for the futureproof option, easily upgrading to 16GB when I please.
STORAGE - I've used Adata SSDs in everything, they're cheap and reliable for the last few years I've used them. And of course, the standard WD Blue 1TB for holding stuff.
GPU - Another part of this that was originally a 750Ti, but when I saw the prices in Canada were nearing $200 for that card, i decided to look at alternatives (this is where my original budget got thrown out of the window). I lucked out on a sale at NCIX for this 760, and I've heard nothing but good things about the Windforce coolers.
CASE - I wanted something small and easy to build in, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. This little guy was difficult to work in with the cramped space, and cable management got thrown out the window. It's not all bad, I did manage to remove the drive cage I wasn't using and slapped everything (somewhat) neatly along that side.
OS - I've been using 7 for years, and I wanted to see what all the rage/rage was about. So far, I don't mind it, but the initial installation gave me grief. Here's hoping 9 comes back to a good desktop OS.
KEYBOARD - I'm a fan of chicklet keyboards after owning laptops for almost 5 years. No regrets here!
This build was more of a learning experience for me than anything, and at some point I will be taking this guy apart to re-do the wiring and get a better heatsink for the CPU. This website has helped a ton in picking parts and helping me make informed decisions on what's a good deal. Thanks guys!
Solid processor - haven't played a game that it couldn't handle alongside a GTX 770. Managed a stable 4.2GHz on a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo in a N200 case (heat stopped it from going further), going to see how it works with a AIO cooling loop soon.
Love this board - has everything you need in a motherboard that comes in this form factor and most of the board I/O is in a logical spot except for the USB 3.0 - which is mounted vertically on the board and has clearance issues with the PSU in my CM Elite 130 but it still works.