6/21/2013 - Updated the cable management. Special thanks to Biernot for the examples.
I was thinking about replacing my home PC when I stumbled on an article that talked about building your own. It is something that has always interested me so I started researching it a bit. Then I found PCPartPicker and I was hooked.
I am a software developer and I use my PC for both work and play. There are a couple video games I play but nothing super intensive. I also do some video editing on occasion.
My intent was to build a general purpose PC that could do a little of everything. Plus, I just wanted to have the fun of building one from scratch.
CPU: Based on the original article I found, I started with the i5-3570. Since this is my first build I was a little nervous about doing any overclocking, so I decided against going with the k series. Also, I don’t consider myself a serious gamer.
CPU Cooler: Since I am not overclocking, I probably didn't need a CPU Cooler but I saw the Zalman on sale for $20 and it looked kind of cool. So, I figured I’d give it a try.
Motherboard: I ordered this because it had some decent reviews and it came with 8GB of memory. In hindsight I didn't really need a Z77 (not overclocking) and I probably could have gotten a little better quality board. Still, it’s working OK so far.
Memory: My original plan was to get a total of 8GB. However, the memory that came with my motherboard was a single stick and I wanted to take advantage of dual channel so I ended up ordering another stick.
Storage: I had read about SSDs and I loved the idea of an SSD for my OS and programs, with an HDD for all my files. This has worked out great so far. The PC boots in less than 20 seconds and my programs load very quickly compared to my old machine.
Video Card: As I said earlier I am not really a serious gamer, so I just wanted a solid GPU that would fit in with the rest of the build. I found a GPU Hierarchy chart on “tom’s hardware” and settled on the 660. Plus it came with a free game. Maybe I’ll become a gamer after all.
Case: There was a Silverstone that I really wanted to get here but just couldn't justify the expense (I think it was over $200). Ended up selecting the Fractal Design and am very happy with it. It’s very quiet and the build went smoothly. The case came with two fans. One intake and one exhaust. I ordered one additional 140mm to fill out the front panel. All three fans are connected to the controller that comes with the case.
Power Supply: This is another area where I would probably do it differently if I did it again. I have done a lot more reading since I ordered my parts and am certain I could have gotten by very easily with a 650. But the unit I got was semi-modular and that made cable management a lot simpler. And, who knows, if I get really hooked on building my own PCs, maybe the 750 will last me a couple builds if I decide to upgrade.
OS: I use Windows 7 at work and was tempted to stick with that, but Windows 8 was on sale. Also, I read somewhere that it performs a bit better than Windows 7. Plus, I figured I might as well take the plunge and get used to it.