Build is a bit of old, bit of new for the niece.
Upgraded her from 32bit windows vista on an old quad core intel and 4 gigs of ram... had upgraded her old 8400gt to the 750ti a few months ago, but it was time to do some more serious tweaking to the machine, as she is getting into photoshop and gaming.
Ended up getting a good deal on the cpu, mb, and ssd... and the wattage seems to be okay for now on the psu, will upgrade that down the road if needed, haven't had any issues with this series back when i used them for budget builds, so we'll see. I will say that the 8pin mb cable could have been 2 inches longer to allow behind the tray routing, so i might get an extension cable right now, but no one is really looking into the case.
The only issues I had with this build were care of PNY and BBUY, which is why you see a graveyard kit of the crucial tracer ram (only 4 gigs). This was supposed to be 8, but the XL8R ram dimms i got via rewards points at bbuy ended up throwing all sorts of problems (windows wouldn't even boot, mb would stop posting). Both kits failed memtest on my test bench, so they're going back tonight, ordered hyperx dimms from an online retailer to go in hopefully friday.
Part reviews: CPU - i've used this on two other builds so far, runs hot, but hasn't been anything but a pleasant experience for gaming and general use
cooler - arriving today - i've used it before and love CR's installation method, performance, value etc... it's now between them, phanteks and noctua for air cooling in my humble opinion.
mb- first board i've used in a while that doesnt clearly label the pins and such, necessitating using the manual (sarcastic gasp). There also seems to be NO qualified vendor list for memory, which had me thinking that the pny memory was just not supported, did a bios update from MSI that expanded the supported ram, to no effect. Tried underclocking and loosening the timings, still wouldn't work. NOT purchasing memory from PNY (or best buy) ever again, first set of memory where both sticks failed memtest. Will be using kingston hyperx (black) going forward.
pros: solid feel, really nice look and feel to it when handling and inside the black case, the illuminated trace along the mb separation for the sound card also looks great if you're into the whole red and black thing. Included driver software was not really bloated and didn't sneak anything on. DO wish they included 2 more sata cables in the package instead of the door hang tag.
storage - you know em you trust em... both are great, reviewed ad nauseum everywhere...move along
video card - works just fine for her sims games, sai tools, photoshop, ceasar, etc... she's not yet into things like crysis... also nice that it doesn't require external power considering the psu i had to work with.
case- great for the 35 i spent on it... more than that i would consider the new phanteks budget case, or the nzxt s340... I Loathe the pci slot retention method in this case with the removable panel requiring the screws, and poor threading in this whole area by the factory (had this in 2 units now). Also replaced the front fans with 2 purple led corsair AF fans i had laying around.
next upgrades are certainly the psu/case/gpu.