This is my first PC build after using Macs all my life. I bought the CPU, Motherboard, Original 4 gigs of ram, Case, and Fans for $50 from my Friend. The PC was had been sitting in his garage for a few years, and to save it from destruction I bought it. I got lucky with the CPU and RAM because I didn't know what was in the PC until I booted it up. I could have ended up with a Sempron 140 and 2 gigs of ram!
So far I am very happy with this build. My CPU overclocked well, but it tends to Bottleneck my GPU quite a bit in DX11 titles. The case is terrible. Most of the 5.25 drive bay covers where bent out of shape and refused to go into the front panel, cable management is impossible due to there being hardly any cable management holes or space behind the Motherboard tray. But after I installed as many of the drive covers as possible, it looks kind of badass with the fan showing.
I bought the PSU, GPU, HDD, Thermal Paste, Fan Splitter, and Extra Ram at Fry's.
I was in a hurry so I grabbed the first 600+ watt PSU I saw, and as the Corsair one had the flashiest box I grabbed that one. It works well. stays very quiet and hasn't exploded yet... So that's nice...
I was a bit more careful when buying my 1060, because I didn't want to spend too much, and I didn't want a ugly MSI card. I am very happy with my Gigabyte card, fans are off most of the time, and stay very quiet under load. It has no coil whine, and it looks great, not that it matters with the case I have.
I have a hard drive. Its a bit slow when opening large files and games, but windows boots surprisingly fast and it wasn't all that expensive.
Ram. I have 12 gigs if it. Its overclocked slightly because of how I overclocked my CPU. It was quite an experience to upgrade from 4 to 12 gigs however. The Scythe cooler that the system came with covered the ram slots, and the case has no motherboard cut out, so in order to upgrade the ram I needed to take the entire system apart. Removing the motherboard was easy, but when I removed the Scythe cooler it pulled the CPU clean out of the socket due to hardened thermal paste. When the CPU was pulled out some of the pins got bent. That was terrifying. Luckily I was able to bend the bent pins back with a exacto knife, and carefully reinserted the CPU back into its socket. With that out of the way I put the extra 8 gig stick of ram into the fourth dimm slot, installed the Silverstone cooler, and rebuild the PC, only to have it fail to post. So, I took the entire computer apart again, removed the new CPU cooler and removed the new sick of ram. Still nothing. After another 30 minutes of testing I realized that one of the power supply cables wasn't plugged in correctly... So yeah. But the PC recognizes all 12 gigs of ram, which is nice.
The Silverstone NT06-E. It's a nice low profile cooler. I bought it at halted for $35, $40 cheaper than on Newegg!. It keeps my overclocked CPU at about 90c under Prime 95, and about 40c under normal usage. The only issue is that is disrupts the airflow of the case because the fan is pointed towards the motherboard, and not pointed towards the exhaust fan. This makes the temps inside the case a bit warmer than with the old scythe cooler... But it isn't sagging and about to fall apart, which is nice.
The pwm splitter made it so that I could control the all my fans. The issue being that speed fan only thinks that all the case fans are connected to one fan header, not the two that are on the mobo. This means that I cannot make the exhaust and front intake fan spin faster than the fans on the top of the case, disrupting airflow further.
So far the pc has been working great. Temps are fine, performance is acceptable, and the overclocks are rock stable. The pc does not collect any dust, and runs very quiet.
EDIT APRIL 10 2017
Replaced the rear exhaust fan with a Corsair AF120 fan, removing the horrid wine that the old fan had, and because it is so quiet I can run it al 100% at all times, lowering idle temps.
It's a surprisingly powerful little chip for how old it is. Mine overclocked to 3.65 GHz, making it just a bit slower than a FX 6300. It manages to stay surprisingly cool even when under full load under Prime95. Overall still a decent chip for 2016.
It manages to keep my overclocked AMD Phenom II X6 1055T at about 90c under Prime95, and about 40c under a gaming load. Installation was very easy. Managed to find it for $35 at Haltec. 4/5
Its ram. Hasn't blown up or failed yet even when overclocked.
Its also ram. However it wasn't able to OC as far as my Patriot Signature 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333.
Its a HDD. Its fast. 10/10 would buy again.
This is an amazing card. It is able to stay at about 75 degrees when overclocked to 2088 MHz, and with the ram overclocked to 4400 MHz. The fans will get rather loud when under full load, but that seldom ever happens.
It is almost impossible to have clean cable management in this case, due to the fact that there are is no room behind the motherboard tray, and the fact that there are very few places to pass cables through. Cable management is not an issue however, if you are able to get the side panels on. The 5.25 in drive bay covers are just made of flimsy metal and tend to bend and fall out. 3/5