So a little back-story. Been a PC gamer since the mid 90's but always owned pre-built desktop PC's. Two HPs and three Dells to be exact. The last Dell was my go to gaming system; I had it rigged with a GeForce GTX 260 (almost 10 years ago), extra RAM, and a new power supply so it's lasted me quite some time since.
Fast forward to today. My old Dell PC is slow, loud, dusty, and doesn't run games as well anymore. My girlfriend has a powerful gaming PC that she purchased before we were together. We love playing games together so I wanted to get a new PC so we could enjoy newer co-op games such as 7 Days to Die, Rust, and some others. I also wanted a newer rig so I could play CS, TF2, L4D, Minecraft, and other games maxed out and smooth as butter. Another goal was to build a PC that I can upgrade in the future. The PC I've built can be upgraded with a better video card (or two), a better power supply, more RAM, and a faster processor.
There was one main obstacle and that was $$$. I had to keep it within a $600 - $700 budget. This is the first PC I have ever built. I was a bit apprehensive but it worked out smooth and painless with a calm 3 hour build. I bought all of the parts from New Egg except for the processor which I got from Amazon. All prices are what I paid, manually entered so the $700 price tag is firm (give or take a couple dollars). I already have a monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse. The result is what follows.
To keep within my budget, I had to go the cheaper route here but still wanted something solid. Originally, I was looking at even cheaper AMD options ($85 range) but I decided to go the Intel route instead. I will most likely upgrade the processor in the future but I'm happy with it for now. It arrived from Amazon in perfect shape, installed in a couple minutes. No problems.
I wanted a solid motherboard; didn't want to completely cheap out on it. This one fits the build and the budget. The BiOS was user friendly and everything installed easily. I like the way it looks and the overall quality seems very good. I went with mATX because there was not much need for all of the extra features that a full ATX has. No problems installing, no problems with BiOS, I like ASRock so far.
I like the way the G. Skills RAM looks. I'll probably get 2 more sticks of 4GB. This is DDR4 so I was excited because I'm coming from dusty old DDR2 land. No problems here.
Fast, cheap, works well so far. Installed without issue. This particular case doesn't come with a SSD drive bay, they are all 3.5 inches. I ordered a cheap adapter off of Amazon. No problems, easy install.
Solid all around HDD. I'm coming from 250 GB so 1TB makes me smile. Clean install, no issues.
It was budget friendly and powerful. Most reviews online praise this card and I like it too. It's fairly long so you may need to plan ahead with the hard drives. I had to move the drives down a couple spots to accommodate the length of this card completely. This was most due to how my case was designed and the fact that I installed them so high. The card is quiet and runs all the games that I play at high settings. Snapped right into this motherboard with ease.
The case was nice and simple. It feels a bit dated and didn't have the best cable management layout but still a solid case. Plenty of room, ventilation, etc. No problems with screws and everything installed very smoothly and room for upgrades. Front USB is only two USB 2.0s but I had a USB 2.0 plug on my motherboard so there's no issue there. I can always upgrade and add some 3.0 slots if needed. I like the vents on the sides, rear, and top. I also like the quality of the metal. If I could go back, I would've gotten a better case honestly. This one is just, slightly above average but I still really appreciate it's overall simplicity, price, and quality.
No problems, it works fine and quiet. Seems of good quality and is more than enough. Originally I had a cheaper PSU however I learned from many reviews that going cheap on a PSU is a no no.
I picked the one with the most stars and reviews. No problems here, it's your basic DVD drive.
Windows 7 is my favorite, but too old. Windows 10 is too new and I've read enough about it to want to avoid for now. 8.1 is right in the middle. Yeah it has all that annoying Windows 8 start tab menu, annoying apps, have to log into MS account, I was built for a tablet bs. However, with classic shell installed, I feel like I'm working with a faster Windows 7. I like the visual experience of the UI better than 7. Feels newer all around. I've only ever used XP, Vista, & 7.