This represents my return to gaming and more specifically desktop gaming since 2006. I've been on the go and really only relied on tablets and laptops to do everything. I've become more home-centered and now have the time to add some gaming back into my list of hobbies. No real need to be on-the-go anymore and value is certainly a higher priority vs mobility.
I guess you could technically call this my first build as the most I ever did before was replace PSU's, GPU's and ram.
So there's the why, here's the what.
I needed everything... literally. Reno'd a spare room in my house and turned it into my "home office" (for tax purposes), needed desk, chair, etc. Eventually wall mount a tv if I move the gaming systems in here as well, futon for when I'm bad, etc.
This build cost me a total of $1174.53 (after mail-in rebates, sales and discounts) and includes an OS, 23" monitor, mouse, keyboard and even a gaming mat. If you didn't need any of those items this would have been around $875 to build.
On to the parts...
CPU: i5-4670k, I selected this in the end for price/performance and if I decide to eventually overclock I had that option too. I had originally thought about going with the fx-6300 for low cost, then leaned more towards the fx-8350 for better performance. BUT THEN ... A friend of mine who was in the Chicago area told me about the in-store special micro center was having on their i5-4670k's and I was sold. Ended up getting this at $189.99 ($30 savings off the next cheapest online price at the time of purchase). Friends FTW!
CPU COOLER: Decided to go with the 212 evo - too many good reviews and can't beat the cost / performance.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H. Picked this just in case I wanted to ever overclock and for a solid quality board without going overboard on price / additional features I may never need.
RAM: G.Skill Sniper (2x4gb) for dual channel. I really only was looking for quality, well reviewed product with a CAS under 10. The sniper series was that.
Storage: Crucial M500 120gb SSD - Quality, Cheap OS boot option. I had originally planned on going the 840 evo route, but couldn't pass up the $25 savings (vs the 840) at time of purchase. HDD I went with Seagate 1TB 7200 rpm. My previous laptops have all had seagate drives and never burned me, and it didn't hurt it was cheaper than it's rival the WD caviar blue at time of purchase.
GPU: Gigabyte R9 270x. I wanted to stay under $200 for a GPU. I was leaning towards a gigabyte card regardless of the card I was going just out of preference. I looked into the lower end of the spectrum with the gtx 750 ti and the r7 265 as well as the gtx 760. Since the 760 was above $200 ($240-260) I decided to pick up the R9 270x. I ended up getting this card for $184.99 with 2 free games, free 2 day shipping.
Case: Corsair Carbide 300R Window. I was shocked out how far and fancy cases and case options have come in the last 8 or so years. I liked a lot of what I saw so this ended up being the hardest decision of the build since it was a pure form over function purchase. I only needed something that could accommodate a radiator if I wanted to OC and front panel USB 3.0 as far as "needs" went. I wanted to stay around the $50-75 range for this purchase to stay under total cost. $69.99 after mail-in rebate.
PSU: Corsair 600W Semi Modular. Needed/Wanted Quality, 80+ Bronze Rating. More than enough power and was on sale for $49.99 (after mail-in rebate) at the time of purchase - which was the same price for the 500 so was a no brainer.
Monitor: Asus VX238H 23.0". Asus quality, reviews, must haves were decent built-in speakers, tilt, low response time. This was $159.99 at time of purchase with a $20 mail-in rebate and instant $20 off making it a $119.99 final cost.
Mouse / Keyboard / Mat: I have a lot of history with Logitech peripherals. Never had one go bad, never an issue or hiccup. So went with a nice priced combination with the G105 and G400s at $34.99 each. The Xtrac Ripper XXL desktop gaming mat was a bonus discounted item at checkout and for about half the normal retail price on other sites ... I couldn't pass it up.