This is my first build in over 10 years. Before that, I built a lot of computers as a paid professional. Sometime around 2002, I bought a laptop and never looked back. My desktop PC's became antiquated and sat there gathering mold until they got misplaced somehow or another. After my last laptop (a MacBook Pro) had a failed graphics card for the second damn time (I'm DONE with Apple. DONE !!!), I was relegated to an old HP Pavilion Slimline with 3GB RAM and so decided it was time.
This wasn't an easy "reentry" build by any stretch:
First RMA; ASRock FM2A58M-VG3+ R2.0. Amazon (or whoever) sent me an open box/broken seal and it would not POST. I'll be damned if I'm going to mess around with a part of unknown origin which may or may not have passed factory QC (no matter how bad that QC is). I decided to go with the Gigabyte board instead and I'm glad I did. More expansion and USB 3.0.
Second RMA; the EVGA 750w PSU. It had a short somewhere so every time the computer was touched (even a slight nudge), the power would go out and it would reboot. I decided to just get another one of those cuz it was "easier" than researching another brand and I was so tired of the HP Pavlovillion (arf, arf). It has been running for a few weeks now without incident.
I used two WD 500GB Black HD's that were laying around and a set of four 1TB WD Black in an OWC RAID case (stripe 5) for backups. Anyone who needs to access Mac HD's without a Mac should try MacDrive (5 day eval).
It's hard to believe this bit of gear set me back less than $12. It's whisper quiet and matches my RAM.
The Rosewill case is pretty great for $25. It was even cheaper than that last time I looked. Of course it was. Anyway, I modded the case a little (and made it non-returnable but it's cheapness permits experimentation) by cutting out/drilling some ventilation in the front panel with a Dremel tool and adding a screen mesh to the front fan. My only complaint with it is the pesky non-removable HD holders. You have to remove the motherboard if you want to access to the HD's. Either that or remove the CPU cooler (oh that's right, they're called "APU's" now ha ha ha !!!) which is way more trouble than it's worth. But what should I expect for $25? It's definitely not a "mini tower" as it has a lot of more space than one of those.