This is my first build on my own, not necessarily my first build ever.
Processor: I went for the 3570k because I wanted a good processor for gaming and that was really fast, but at the same time I am able to overclock, so I went for the k. I decided to go for a 4450 at first, but for $10 more to get this one, I decided this one had a good price.
CPU Cooler: I am not overclocking yet since I am new at this, but I am not scared to do it, I just don't feel ready for it yet, I don't know which cooler to get (sleeve or water cooling). I went with the loud and not so good stock cooler for now, it keeps my temperatures below 60 at stock clocks which is all I care about right now.
Motherboard: I really didn't care which brand I wanted for the motherboard, I just wanted a Z77 chipset motherboard and the HD3 was all I could find that was a ATX mobo under $100 at the time.
RAM: The RAM memory module was free, it was a gift from my father to motivate me to build my first computer. I told him I wanted dual channel memory of 8GB, he ended up giving me 8GB on a single module, that's fine and all, but I might buy another one of these and make it 16GB (and mod the **** out of Skyrim).
SSD: Since I was on a budget, I wasn't deciding to buy an SSD, I am new to SSD's and I heard so many good things about it and let me tell you that it was well worth the money, SSD's are amazing. I just wanted a small and cheap SSD to install windows on, but I might buy another SSD (120GB or higher) to fit all my games in it in the future.
Hard Drive: I can't say much here, to me all hard drives are the same, I never had a problem with a hard drive on any computer/laptop so I can't say much, I don't have all the experience with hard drives. I just wanted a 1TB HDD to fit all my stuff and not worry about storage problems, also I made sure the HDD was SATA III just cause it's really fast (again I don't know much about HDD's but faster is always better in my opinion), and also Caviar Blue by WD is mentioned a lot in forums and videos.
Wireless Network Adapter: This was also another addition that was not supposed to be in my budget, but I realized that all I have is Wi-Fi at home because the router is too far from my room to be able to move a Ethernet cable across rooms (in my dorm room is just right behind the desk) so I decided to get a wireless card. I did a lot of research on what to buy (USB, PCI, PCIe) and according to what I read PCIe was my best decision because some say that USB wireless don't have really good performance and you might feel disconnection or lag in some games, and for the price I thought this wireless card was really good. I don't know anything about the brand, I just read the features on it, and I haven't had any problems at all whatsoever, this wireless card is better than the one in my G53SX ROG laptop.
Case: The only reason why I went for this case was because it was another donation of motivation (that rhymes) from one of my roommates in school, he just gave it to me at no cost so I took it. I really like this case because of how spacious it is, I like Cooler Master, and because I am able to fit large radiators and 200mm fans on it, and also because I can route the cables through the back of the case which is really all I wanted (I just wish the inside was painted black).
Power Supply: I think I spend my time looking at PSU's the most. I went on forums, read comments on PCPartPicker, I read reviews on many PSU, until I finally decided to get the builder series. I was looking for a cheap PSU that could give me 750W minimum, but I read a lot of stuff and they all said that 750W is way more of what I need, even if I had a Nvidia Titan, 750W is a lot. I read a lot of stuff and some said that 600W is just fine. I had some PSU picked out and then I looked for reviews and some other stuff and I found that Corsair was used by almost everyone, I saw videos that people used Corsair and Corsair is an awesome brand so I went for this PSU at the lowest cost I could find. I wanted a fully modular PSU, but those were over my budget.
OS: I wanted the latest OS. I used both Windows 7 and 8/8.1. I have experience with both. I actually like Windows 8, it's not as bad as people say it is. And the coolest part is that I am a computer science major in my university so I am automatically enrolled in the Microsoft DREAMSPARK program which means I can get most of their products for free, I went for Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit at no cost.
Pictures: The pictures represent what my build looked like the first time I built it, I will be posting pictures really soon with the 7870 and the new fans. Also most of the stuff you see on the table (monitor, mouse, etc) are old components I bought 1-2 years ago that I already had.
NOTES: There are some fans that came with the case, one of them was an aftermarket fan that my roommate gave me with the case, I don't know anything about that fan so I didn't list it. I took my old laptop's 750GB and put it in this build. Also I know I didn't add a graphics card because I am thinking about getting a 780 in January, but I've decided to wait for the 800 series by Nvidia or a 290x later this January. I'm a Nvidia fan so I might wait. My friend let me borrow his 7870 GPU, which I didn't think was really that good, but it is a really good GPU, I was amazed. I am able to play Battlefield 4 maxed out (no AA) at 1080p with an average frames of 50-70 FPS, and lowest frames don't go below 40 FPS. I am going to stick with the 7870 until I buy a graphics card or until my friend decides to take it back. I am also buying new fans to put on the case (the fans on the case are sooooo loud). My budget started at $500, then $800, and now $1000 mainly because a 780 costs at least $500 and the build itself with no GPU was about $500 as well. I don't like SLI or Crossfire, I don't trust it much. I will be buying a G-Sync enabled monitor later next year, a new mouse, and a new keyboard.