I haven't done a build in quite some time, but I have to say, the pcpartpicker site made it a breeze! I was able to procure some nice Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals, which was nice. We had zero issues with the build whatsoever. As seen in the pics, we decided to get the first POST outisde the case, in the event of any hardware issues, but we had none.
I did some extensive stress testing and benchmarking with Prime95, 3DMark, Aida65, Memtest86, Cinebench, Geekbench, etc...The computer kept up like a champ with zero errors and we couldn't be happier. We won't be overclocking the CPU or GPU at all (for now), but I did bump up the memory to 1866 via XMP. I think we did fairly well picking best bang for the buck components. Minus mail in rebates, the build came out to approximately $650.
CPU: Was going to go with the FX-6300, but found the 8320 at a great deal and couldn't pass it up.
MOBO: Originally had an MSI board chosen, but found there could be issues with the 8320 CPU, so I RMA'd that and went with the Gigabyte board. Made the right choice there I believe. I was glad we didn't have to flash a new BIOS version for the Vishera CPU to work properly, all worked out of the box.
RAM: running 1866 via XMP, ran through extensive memtest86 with zero errors. From what I've read, 8GB seems to be the gaming sweet spot currently.
GPU: Found the R9 280 for a great deal on Cyber Monday. It seems to be running like a champ, all games so far at 1080P Ultra settings are running buttery smooth. We have Skyrim with a ton of mods running great, no issues with Alien Isolation, Tomb Raider, etc...
CASE: I have read the SPEC 01 has space issues behind mobo tray for cable management, but I think we did very well (check the pics). One of the keys we found was to run the 8Pin mobo power cable prior to installing the motherboard. If you install the mobo first, you're gonna have to run the 8pin in the front, which isn't very tidy.
PSU: Could have gone a bit higher on wattage here, but it will be running in the 80% range, which seems to be the sweet spot for 80+ gold, so with no over clocking, we should be just fine here.
All in all, this was a great experience for my son and I. It was my second build ever, and his first, which was a great learning experience (he is 16).
Let me know what you think.