I have no experience building PCs and really did not know alot about them (probably evident by the case selection and cord management) I wanted to build a machine that would be powerful enough to run as my HTPC w/ XBMC as well as be useful for programming/Statistical modeling as I get more involved in that. I was limited in my choices for a lot of the parts because i was impatient and bought them all from a local Tiger Direct. I researched for a couple weeks first trying to figure out the setup I would need and really thought about getting the i-5 over the i-3 so I could get a discreet video card down the line and make the system more versatile but my budget shrunk and I had to cut back. I am happy with all my selections except for the case - I thought I needed a larger case because I didn't want to have to worry about making sure all the parts fit and proper cable management. I did not realize the ATX MB with the SSD disk drive and no GPU would take up barely any room.
When I got all the parts back I began pulling up some youtube videos I had seen and started following along. I immediately thought I was screwed when installing the CPU into the motherboard. I knew how fragile this connection was and was freaked out by how hard I had to push on the metal lever to secure the two. The rest of the build I just kept thinking about how pointless it was because I had already ruined the CPU. After getting everything set up outside of the case I tried to test boot it but was unsuccessful. At this point I was really regretting my choice of buying all these parts and building my own PC instead of just buying a prebuilt system. I decided to take it apart again and reinstall everything. After I got it all set up I hit the test power switch and nearly fainted when I saw the fans begin to spin. I felt so accomplished. Thankfully I didn't know all the trouble ahead with drivers/OS systems/XBMC or I woulda given up but Two weeks later I got everything up and running smoothly and feel like it was a great learning opportunity.