Not really a first time builder been doing this for awhile under the table and have only posted here twice as far as I can tell. Since I'm pretty poor at all this description stuff I'll cut to the chase.
This was a build I've been working on building for a few years out of spare parts for my sister who needed an upgrade from the Athlon x2 she was using for the longest time to use her Wacom tablet to draw on. Whilst the X2 was more the sufficient for her drawing needs, multitasking....was a bit out of its reach. So in Oct. of 2013 I started gather parts and equipment to give her something worth using.
In the end life got in the way and well the project got pushed to the back burner for awhile due to circumstances. Until roughly late last year when I planned to build a mATX rig replacement for my dead gaming desktop, ended up going a different route ( Gaming Laptop Lenovo Y50 on the cheap whattup) that met my needs and I no longer needed the case or parts that I had. So my sisters build changed with those needs to what you see before you.
The point could be made that this processor is a weak point in this build due to how old the architecture is compared to the new Intel nodes. But I ended up trading a friend a 7950 Twin FROZR for it and some cash awhile back and this seemed like a great usage case for her due to it's relatively decent performance in Photoshop and other photo editing software that she would most likely be using.
Deepcool ICE EDGE 400 XT aka Logisys MC4004IEXT:
This cooler definitely hits above its price point and is very well put together to boot, I chose this as again originally was for a mATX Intel build. The main reason I went with this is it was a guarenteed fit in the case that I had chosen for this build. It seems to perform amiably and should be sufficient for my sisters needs as she's not overclocking for the most part.
Arguably this outside of the case was the most disappointing item in this build, while I love Gigabyte and have nothing but good things to say about them. This board simply lacks in certain design choices due to the age of the chipset and the fact the AM3+ runs as hot as it does. My main gripe and was a heavy oversight on my part is mainly due to the fact that the motherboard did not have SATA3 on it for the SSD. Again that's not the boards fault but more mine than anything. Outside of that the board functioned as Intended and does the job I asked it to at a VERY reasonable price point.
Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB DDR3 1600: Decent ram, went with the color scheme while only costing me a few dollars to do so. Never used Corsair RAM before but I was not disappointed it worked out of the box without complications.
OCZ ARC 100 120GB:
Out of everything on this list, this SSD had me troubleshooting for about 2 days until I figured out that my USB 3.0 Flash drive I was installing windows off of was the issue (head ups Sandisk Extreme has issues installing windows). Overall though the drive once everything was installed worked flawlessly albeit slightly slower than rated due to the SATA 2 interface it was on. One thing I will say is the build quality of these "budget" SSD's was phenomenal and OCZ/Toshiba should definitely keep up the good work in that department.
It's a 1 TB HDD...it works...moving on.
Xigmatek Spirit M Tower:
Alright, this really is the whole reason this build existed in the first place. In my quest to find cases similar to the Fractal Design Core 1000 I stumbled across this case. Overall the design is alright, but really this case is made for ITX motherboards more so than mATX or uATX board. This was an unfortunate oversight on my part as I wasn't able to use a large portion of the nice cable management holes this case actually had. Outside of that the case was sturdy enough though thin metal was used much throughout and you can definitely feel flex when pushing against interior surfaces. I would say that for less than $40 this case has amazing value for those looking for watercooling capabilities in a tiny foot print case, but anything more than that and it really is not worth it.
Rosewill HIVE 750W:
Semi-Modular, bronze rated, high capacity, and nearly silent these are great things that this power supply does and it carries high value in its price segment. Sleeving was decent on all cables with good maneuverability achievable on them as well. Honestly I bought this PSU as it was the Cheapest semi-modular I could get at the time and it highly exceeded my expectations of it. Outside of that it has plenty of room for any future upgrades my sister or I have planned.
Yate Loon D12SH-12?4W's:
Decent 120mm fans that can variably speed up to some insane noise and airflow levels, they looked really cool and do a decent job of pushing air through the case. Would highly recommend to those looking for lighted fans and have a fan controller as on stock molex power these things are stupid loud and require the head unti.
Normally wouldn't have used this but due to the YL's and their enormous sound levels I used this fan header to tone them down a decent portion. It has changing LED's, is made of Aluminum/Steel, and has variable speeds across 4 control heads that when I tested could control 2 fans on each head fairly easy enough. Would definitely recommend it at the price I paid for it but at $50 its a bit pricey. It does look really bad *** though :P
So that's the general wrap up, as you may have noticed there isn't a GPU in this rig and while it's not technically necessary it was lack of fore site on my part. Originally I had bought a used 6950 to use in the original build, but due to life and usual I ended up giving the GPU to a friend who recently had his die out. So after awhile I forgot about this and thusly assumed it was in my sisters old rig which I had remembered putting it into...Sadly was not the case. So until I can get her the GPU she'll just have to use integrated ;).
All in all I really did love the challenges this build provided me in both building and software installation later, it was a blast and I look forward to doing it again sometime.
Until Then, Thanks for reading this long *** post I hope you all enjoyed it :D