Update Jan 11th 2015: After over a month I finally got the chance to work on the cables. Got a new 1TB hard drive and used ~15 zip ties and yeah I know it still looks like crap, there's nothing more I can do. I seriously think whoever designed this case should be fired. :(
This build was named Project Big 10 because it was built in the year 2014, and my dad bought our first PC, which was a Dell with a Pentium 4 Processor, in 2004. I was only 6 at the time and I learned how to browse the web and play games with that old Dell. The experience made me fall in love with computers, and prompted me to learn programming, get into robotics and develop an interest in computer engineering.
I will be using this build to play games such as BF3, ARMA 2, Red Faction Guerrilla, MC, JC2 and CS:GO, some programming, schoolwork and mild modeling in Autodesk Inventor and Blender. This computer will not be used for photo/video editing and livestreaming.
PARTS LIST AND RATIONALE
CPU: I went with the i5-4440 because it was the cheapest i5 processor I could find on Black Friday. Plus, since I have Amazon Prime I had it within 2 days of purchase. I was originally debating between the FX-8300 and i5-4440 but considering the extra money I would've had to spend on a good mobo for the AMD and a cooler, I went with Intel.
MOTHERBOARD: Not much to say about the mobo. Highly reputable brand, simple layout, I love it. Doesn't really matter that it doesn't have onboard USB 3.0 headers - my friend has a PCIe USB 3.0 card that he is giving me which has 2 extra ports and a header.
RAM: I don't do video editing or anything that's particularly RAM-heavy, so I went with the cheapest single-channel solution I could find. I might upgrade it to dual-channel 16GB in the future but so far it is more than enough for me.
SSD: I realized I made a huge mistake on the SSD after I built my PC... Apparently Kingston surreptitiously switched from synchronous NAND to asynchronous on the V300 model and consequently the performance took a big hit. CrystalDiskMark tells me that the sequential read/write for the V300 is only 218MBs/127MBs which is significantly lower than the advertised standards. However Windows 7 so far seems to be booting pretty fast (~9 secs from power to login screen) so I'll probably stick with it for a while until I save up enough for an Intel or Samsung one.
GPU: Kinda debated between the R9 280 and GTX 760 for a while but given the issues my friend has with his 280, I went with its NVIDIA counterpart and I have to say I'm quite impressed by its performance. Furthermore it was on sale for only $169.99 on Newegg on Black Friday so I promptly ordered it. One thing I don't like about it, though, is that the fan makes a relatively loud noise.
CASE: It's small, it fits on top of my drawers with my HDTV perfectly, but HOLY **** cable management in this case is a PAIN IN THE ***. I have a non-modular PSU with pretty thick sleeves which makes things even worse. When I routed the cables from the back and plugged the PCIe 6-pins in I couldn't even close the side panels. I'll leave it panel-less for now and hopefully the dust buildup inside the case won't be that horrible.
PSU: Again not much to say about it. It's cheap, it's got pretty high-qual cables for a non-modular PSU, and it just works.
Although the cable management is horrible and the build itself is not necessarily pretty, I personally think that I've done a pretty decent job considering this is my first build. I will get an actual monitor that fits on my desk once I sell my PS3. Any suggestions to how to clean up the cables will be greatly appreciated! I will post more pictures and benchmark results next weekend after finals (;_;).
Thanks for stopping by.