I thought I'd share my first build. I hope some out there appreciate the look or this particular combo of core-items. It's definitely possible to be more efficient and make your money go farther for performance. But I needed only low end performance, and what I really wanted was a PC that looks somewhat unique and is not just another black box budget build, and that is something I picked on my own and put together myself.
When considering my parts list vs cost, please note two points:
1) Don't too quickly jump to conclusions about the total price vs the CPU, etc. It all depends on how someone intends to use the PC, on what their future build plans are, etc. I'm more of an email reader/online banking user, and I play PC games only once every few weeks. And that's like 10% League of Legends and then 90% Warcraft 3 (that one game from 2001). Also, I didn't mind leaving myself open to an upgrade path, just for the fun of it. Setting a clear next step in a year or two.
2) I did actually spend money on aesthetic stuff I thought looked good, without first putting it into speed & performance. The cost of a rig's looks can add up fast. Not necessarily a problem, especially if that's the plan.
It's easy come up with a better $900 part list for gaming, or video rendering, etc. See Build Guides up top for the best examples of that.
Just keep in mind performance for minimum cost just wasn't the purpose of this build, however. Think of it as an inexpensive core build but then with some added luxuries. I prioritized the subjective characteristics/components most heavily.
Intended use of the PC:
Personal Background with Computers:
Note: the case choice / light show / yellow theme is pretty much the whole reason I wanted to build my own PC.
1) If you want to see the sub-total of the actual guts of my build (cpu, mobo, ram, hard disk drive, gpu, psu), see this parts list. The stuff that makes the computer go does just what I intended it to do: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/s29Q99
2) If you're curious, see the sub-total of this peripheral/aesthetics/nice-to-have-SSD parts list that stayed within my 2nd separate budget: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hgzHD3
Apples to Oranges- I wasn't going to take money from one category and put it into the other.
CPU, Mobo & GPU
Since it's my first build, maybe this was easy to foresee and I just didn't know better. But the Mobo only came with 2 SATA3 data cables. Also, I suppose a lot of what I got was OEM, and didn't come with data cables (or maybe they never do, don't know). So my SSD, HDD and Optical drive each had to be covered by what I had. On the first day of my build, when needing to just get it up and running, I went ahead and just used the SATA data cables on the SSD and the Optical drive in order to install the OS. Then, after finishing the brief use of my Optical Drive, I went ahead and hooked up the SATA data cable on the HDD, and left the unnecessary Optical unhooked for a few days till I could get a 3rd SATA cable.
In order to use just one SATA power cable that came with my PSU (2 cables with typical 3 L-shaped connectors each) and reach all data drives , I needed a SATA power cable extension, since the optical drive was naturally so far from storage drives. During the initial build, I had to use both the 3 connector cables just to get power to the SSD and the Optical. With the extension, I can just use one SATA power cable for all three.
My Gigabyte H97-D3H Mobo has an ATX form factor, but the screw locations are very oddly placed, not your typical rectangle pattern. So I just had to really make sure to get those right in the case. No problems, but it took longer than I expected.
I wanted to include some information about the addition of a Wireless Adapter that I added shortly after posting the build. You can see it in the additional images I uploaded, as well as some other angles of the yella fiya!. It was the Airlink 101 Wireless N 150 PCI Adapter, got it at Fry's. Too late to add it to the parts list I think, but it was only another $13 so worth it.
Also, just wanted to mention that that little yellow brain sticker was home made (get it, CPU == a brain!). Stock coolers don't look as nice as water cooling systems in my opinion, so this was just a quick thing on Photoshop I made to make looking through my PC side window a little more enjoyable! Just printed a 1.125 inch diameter image, cut it out and used some double sided tape, and Voilà!
Awesome case, love the look. Nice features for cable management too. Great guide for it on overclockers.
Not really very bright at all, but I have 5 other Kingwin 120mm LED fans, so that didn't bother me too much. The color is yellow, though with a splash of orange (I was going for gold so that worked for me).
Works for air flow and looks great. Color is somewhat between yellow and gold (very small amount of orange), though I didn't mind that. Just know that you're not getting something like pure yellow when you think about the common RGB wheel.
Great price for a multi-color LED keyboard, would recommend.
All features worked for about 6 months, then track ball suffered some kind of mechanical failure and now spins freely without registering. Can still middle click with track ball though. But I use the track scrolling feature like crazy, as do most people, so I'm going to replace this with another brand. I do not recommend.