After 15 years without a PC (last one had a Duron processor). I thought I'd give it another go and build a decent(ish) PC for some light gaming and programming. There was also some nostalgia as I always enjoyed building and upgrading PC's in the 90's. Being something of a tight wad and adopting the reuse and recycle principle, I went for mainly used parts.
I already had an 7200rpm drive from a relative's old PC and have an old Technika TV (Tesco's) as a monitor - surprisingly it is 1080p. The one thing I wanted new was a PSU as a cheap or abused PSU can kill a system. The EVGA was a relatively cheap PSU but from a known brand and with two PCIe cables covers me for most GPU. The case was also new and I was pleasantly surprised on the quality considering the price.
All other parts are from eBay. I tried to find sellers with a good rating who also provided detailed descriptions about the parts on sale. The motherboard was a clearance item from a parts retailed selling on eBay. I was also going to start with a Celeron, but the i3 was a good price and although a dual core it does two extra logical cores for newer games.
The Windows licence was an OEM from eBay and I was a little sceptical but has been fine and I've since upgraded to Windows 10. As the licence is locked (I think) to the motherboard, I went for the newer 1150 socket which gives me scope to upgrade to an i5 or i7. I use the PassMark benchmarks to assess performance and this seemed a good blend of power to price. Similarly for the 560ti, although with hindsight I might have stumped up a few quid extra for a 750ti and benefited from the lower power consumption.
Well, despite a heart flutter when I forgot to plug in the CPU power cable , the build was fine and all components worked a treat. I'm very happy with the build and the old TV makes an unexpectedly good monitor, although when funds permit I will upgrade. For gaming I can run the Witcher 2 at 1080p and 50ish FPS, same for Crysis. I've yet to play much else. I hope this shows that you can build a decent (to me anyway and thats what matters) PC on a budget if you are willing to take a risk and do some research.