This is my first build and was designed to replace my old laptop. I was playing 2-year-old games on min graphics settings just to get them to work and they were very slow. Push the power button and go do something else for five minutes while the laptop boots up. NO MAS! The goal of this rig was to play newer games on medium settings and to be lightning fast. I was shooting for $750 but I nudged a couple things and added a couple others and forgot to mail in my rebates. So, prices below reflect what I actually paid. There was about $60 in rebates total that I could have saved. When I need a new PC in a few years, I only have to upgrade select components that are wearing out and not buy a whole new system.
Processor: FX-6300 I wanted to go with AMD b/c of the price. This is a great cpu with awesome reviews. It comes with a turbo feature which gives me 3.8 GHz without doing anything else.
Motherboard (MoBo): Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 ATX AM3+ I wanted full ATX because I've read that the micro-ATX isn't as robust in the AM3+ socket. This was only $20 more than a 970 chipset with a mail-in rebate when I was buying parts but I didn't print off the rebate thing in time. Print off the rebate forms when you order your parts! I wanted the 990 chipset becasue it has better overclocking (OC) abilities than the 970 chipset. This board is awesome! I had a lot of issues getting it to boot the first time to the UEFI and ASUS tech support was awesome! The root of my problems was I was plugged into a 720p tv via HDMI. Something about radeon + 720/1080p + HDMI causes these issues. Use a monitor with a digital cable and it works flawlessly. This board has LEDs at the memory, graphics card and cpu to tell you if they are working correctly and makes troubleshooting a breeze. The bios flash option is awesome because you don't need it to be running and you can flash to fix any issues you may have. Amazing board! I am definitely set for when I need to upgrade/replace components in the future.
CPU cooler: it was blue and good reviews and cheapish.
Memory: it was blue and pretty and cheapish. I chose the 1866 speed b/c the MoBo would accept it. It will probably OC very easily to 2133 (which it supports in OC) with how close to room temperature the MoBo is.
SSD: I chose the Samsung over the cheaper (by $20 at the time) Sandisk based off of reviews. I'm loving it. I'm booting faster than the tv can turn on, 10-15sec? Haven't timed it. Powers down in half the time, so like 8 sec.
HDD: this had great reviews and was cheap. Programs load and shut down fairly quickly as well.
Video card: I chose the r9 270 based on reviews. It is cheaper than the 270X and can achieve the same performance with OC. I haven't ventured there yet as I haven't found the need. I chose sapphire based on good reviews and color.
Case: I LOVE THIS CASE! This case is amazing! It is a bit large as a full ATX tower. There are noise dampening foam pieces all over and included in all the little details such as HDD mounts, back panel padding, etc. I am very impressed with the build quality of this case and it is definitely worth $120 min. It comes with two fans which I have mounted in the front and an additional mounted at the rear, all hooked up to the included fan control switch. You can't even tell it is running it is so quiet.
Power supply: Take my power requirements and add 30% and it is just under 500W. This had an awesome rebate at the time and was semi-modular (which is awesome). Again, print your rebate when you order!
Optical drive: cheap, good reviews
Case fan: cheap, 140mm so it can spin slower and move more air (quieter)
Overall, I am very pleased with this build. I got Thief for free with the graphics card and it runs great on max settings. 20 min fps, 40 avg fps, 60 max fps. On my 720p tv at 1900x1200 30hz, it looks great. A note about the pictures I have loaded, the extensions were removed b/c there seemed to be an issue with the 24 pin one not working. When I plugged in the one that came with the psu it didn't look that bad and it is cheaper as well as making the cable management a bit easier. If you can consolidate the parts to mostly one vendor, it really helps with shipping! I went with a couple parts that were <$5 more on newegg just to get them all in one box. Everything but the cpu, mobo, case and OS were from newegg and the total shipping from newegg was $4 (not included below). Total comes out to about. I bought all the parts at once so that I could return any non-compatible items.