My 1st ever build, never attempted anything like this before. I'm going to be using this PC mainly for gaming, video editing and encoding, and general office type stuff. Didn't have the money to buy everything all at once so I've been picking up parts here and there (mainly local Microcenter and online at Newegg and Amazon) for almost 5 months, hence part of the reason for the un matching parts. It started off as a reasonable price/performance machine, not worrying so much about things like color matching as much as pure price/performance. Then a few things happened and I ended up going overboard, but ended up with my dream machine and I'm very happy! I figured if I'm going to put a PC together from scratch, might as well give it everything I've always wanted.
CPU - Since I wasn't doing anything too heavy I was looking at the i5-3570K, i5-4670K, or an FX-8320. I found an FX-8350 for $150 so grabbed it, I figured the difference in games was negligible and for things like video encoding it would actually be better than the more expensive 4 core i5. I'm new at overclocking so only have it at 4.4 Ghz right now but am really happy so far.
CPU Cooler - Was going to go with something like the H100i but AIOs are expensive and take up a lot of room. I'm not a fan of giant tower air coolers either, taking up half the case (and just as expensive). I found a compromise in the Zalman, it cools very well, doesn't take up much space (no blocked RAM slots!), got it for a great price, and as a bonus it looks really cool, LOL.
Motherboard - One of the benefits of going with an AMD proc is the corresponding MBs are cheaper than their Intel counterparts. Went with the Sabertooth, which I felt offered better quality and features than the lower priced boards without being overpriced like the super high end boards (like the ROG boards, for example).
Memory - Got 8Gs of DDR3-1866, pretty much the sweet spot for gaming and most things. May pick up more if find a good deal.
Storage - OK, here's the 1st deviation from the plan, LOL. Started off with the standard 240G SSD (got the Kingston for a very good price) for boot drive, OS, and most used programs. My 1st ever SSD. I had 2 500G WD HDDs my dad had laying around he gave me I was going to use for storage. But I have a TON of Steam games and a bunch programs I use all the time, almost 750Gs worth, and I really liked the idea of having all of them on the same SSD for convenience and super fast load times. So I went overboard and got the Crucial 960G SSD. Not quite price/performance, but still, it cost less than 50 cents per G and everything loads so much faster than an HDD that it's ALMOST worth the money, overall I'm very happy.
Video Cards - Why do I have two different brand cards? Well, here's the story: The plan for what VC to use changed a lot over the planning stages of this build. Started off planning on going with R9-290 or R9-280X since at $400 and $300 felt they were a great bang for the buck. Then the mining craze hit and the prices became crazy. So shifted over to looking at 770s and 780s. I planned on going 2 reference 780s in SLI. I found what was advertised as a new EVGA reference 780 on Ebay and ended up getting it for $400. But when it came in I found that, while it was a new, sealed card, it wasn't an EVGA reference card but a Galaxy custom card! I thought about sending it back but since I got it at such a great price I kept it (and it's turned out to be a pretty good card, almost as good as the Lightning). Since my plan for 2 reference cards was foiled and matching Galaxy cards are hard to find, I decided to go ahead and grab a 780 Lightning that I found at MicroCenter for a good price (since I always LOVED that card anyway). So far I've overclocked the Lightning to a boost speed of 1215 and the Galaxy to 1188. Great cards, though again I probably spent way too much but then you can't beat the performance (OC'd the these two cards are giving me more than 2 overpriced stock 780 Ti performance).
Case - I LOVE this case. The set up made it easy for a first time builder like me, it looks great and the airflow keeps everything very, very cool.
Fans - Bought some fans to move air and match the rest of the case, their quieter than I thought they'd be, which is good.
Power Supply - Good quality from a good brand, no issues so far.
OS - I actually like Windows 8.1, everything runs fast and well in it (I do have it set up to boot directly to the desktop, though). My dad orders a lot of software for his business so he gave me copy, hence the no cost.
Monitor - Great monitor for gaming, 144hz. Colors and picture aren't bad, better than I thought after reading about it. Saving up now for possible 1440p upgrade in future (like the Asus ROG Swift 1440p, 144hz G-Sync monitor).
Speakers - Very nice surround sound for $70-80. Perfect for my small office area.
Now I just need to finish my Office/Game Room/Man Cave in the basement that my wife has banished me to (Only couple walls up so far, that's why you see just a wooden frame in the pictures, LOL)!