Basically when I started University 4 years ago, I had a very old machine I was keeping alive with life support (Pentium 4, 64MB GPU etc..). I needed a new PC especially since I was studying Games Development so I went to my local second hand electronics store & bought a PC second hand that would be powerful enough to run the game engine & play games & it only cost £240 The spec of that was: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @2.4GHz 8GB DDR2 RAM 500GB HDD Radeon HD 5770 1GB
In 2011 that was fine but now in 2015 I can barely run any of the latest games not even at 720p & the hardware is too old to upgrade so I decided to build. The aim of this PC is to completely own games at 1080p with the option of 1440p in the future. I was able to save money on things like Windows because I'm a computing student & Microsoft have that lovely Dreamspark programme for students giving away everything that isn't office for free & my biggest saving was on my case which usually retails for £150 but I was able to get for £82.50 brand new (thank you eBay).
I spent about 4 months researching & monitoring price trends before taking the plunge.
The overall theme is a minimal black & white themed machine because I wanted it to look professional looking & the standard red & black colour scheme most gaming builds are isn't for me. I decided to go for the Intel Core i5-4690k because an i7 for gaming just isn't needed & that extra money can go towards the GPU, also it's unlocked so I can overclock when I need more power.
The GPU I went for a GALAX/KFA2 GTX 970, the whole memory issue with the 970 doesn't really bother me especially since it runs cooler, quiter & generally performs better than it's AMD rival. I went for this particular non reference card because it is all black so it goes with my build, it's the highest overclocked 970 iv'e seen, it runs very cool & quiet & the zero coil whine guarantee is also good. Why I didn't go for a cheaper card? Because I don't plan on upgrading this rig for a while.
Motherboard is the MSI Z97s SLI Krait Edition, main reason I chose it was for the striking black & white colour scheme but I also read reviews & it scored highly.
The case is the Bitfenix Shinobi XL Window, I chose this because I liked the minimalist look of the case & the fact that its very spacious with lots of room for cable management, it's also black & white.
For storage I went for a Crucial MX100 128GB, I don't care that much for the blistering speeds that the stupidly expensive SSD's get you & the MX100 can keep up with the best on speed anyway, my secondary drive is a WD Caviar Green 2TB, I went for reliability over speed because I don't have the best of luck with hard drives lasting, so the lower rpm should help it last as long as possible, also nice to save a few pence on the bill.
For PSU i chose the EVGA Supernova 650w 80+ Gold Modular PSU, I wanted the cheapest 80+ Gold PSU by a decent name, alot of people online said this PSU is noisy but I can barely hear it & it's 10 year warranty was also a bonus.
The RAM I went for the Kingston HyperX Fury White in 8GB, I only went for 8GB because my budget was only £900 & more than 8GB for gaming isn't needed, with a lifetime warranty & from a brand like Kingston this was a no brainer (it's also white).
The CPU cooler I chose the Enermax ETS-T40 air cooler, it's white, my budget didnt stretch to a decent liquid cooler & this cooler can help achieve some really good cooling when a CPU is overclocked.
Some people are probably asking why i've used an optical drive, 2 reasons: 1. It was lying around 2. Some games I buy are physical so I can install that way.
Building the PC was pretty straight forward, only 2 issues 1. When assembling on the motherboard box to check to see if it posts it would only send signal through the onboard graphics not the GPU which was odd. 2. The HDD decided to fail after 1 use (1st time that's happened to me & Amazon sorted it right away & it's working beautifully.
The PC has stayed quiet even when doing heavy gaming. Talking about gaming this PC breezes through games like nothing, I've been playing games on the highest setttings at 1080p & this doesnt break a sweat which is exactly what I wanted. For example GTA V is running with basically everything on ultra & i can barely hear the system with the fans keeping everything cool.
My budget was £900 & I barely made it, if I hadn't had the black & white colour scheme I probably would have been quite a lot under but I'm happy with the outcome
Feel free to ask me any questions.
UPDATE I have recently started overclocking and have easily got 4.2GHz without barely tweaking. I'm going to tweak alot more with voltages etc... Would like to get 4.4GHz ideally, however overclocking with the motherboard was extremely simply and trouble free.