This was my first build. I will primarily be using it for gaming, but I will also be doing some light video and audio work on it as well as basic day-to-day computing.
A friend of mine at the office who works in IT recommended that I build my next PC to replace the old dinosaur that I had had since late 2010. At that point I had little experience outside of installing RAM and uninstalling and reinstalling my graphics card. So, there was a steep learning curve for me. Overall it a near perfect textbook build. I did take my time with it. From hardware still in boxes to windows up and running and cables (more or less) managed it took a little over four hours. That includes unboxing time, as well as time spent squinting at manuals. The actual build time was probably two and a half hours or so.
The most challenging aspect for me as a novice was dealing with the case, which was the Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Tempered glass special edition. The front I/O connectors where fairly straight forward, but what took way too much time was the RGB connectors that came with the case. This case has two 140mm intake fans in front with two Phanteks RGB Halos. I tried to figure out how this was going to connect to my motherboard, but ultimately, after going to google, I discovered that they were controlled through an onboard RGB controller and just needed power.
The one other misstep was plugging my AIO fan connector onto the AIO Pump header rather than the CPU Fan header. That was easily resolved. Other than that, when I hit the power button, everything came on. I updated the BIOS for the motherboard and installed windows from a USB drive. That was that.
I have since added an additional Phanteks RGB Halo for the exhaust fan. And, most recently, I added CableMod Custom Pro Series Cables and and AIO sleeving kit. You can check out the configurator here (https://store.cablemod.com/configurator/). These additions from CableMod really add a lot to the overall look of the build.
I will probably add an additional storage drive at some point, and I am also contemplating switching out the radiator fans that came with the Corsair H100i V2 with some ones, either from Corsair or Phanteks, with white blades and adding Halos to that. That may be RGB overkill though. I will probably look into overclocking the CPU and maybe the GPU and memory at some point soon as well, but that is another learning curve.
Altogether as a first-time builder this was an enjoyable experience from the learning process, to selecting components, to the actual build. I managed to get most of my hardware before prices, particularly graphics cards, went through the roof. So, I did end up saving money and getting a first-rate machine. However, I think I have caught the bug, and now I will be soliciting my friends and family to build their next computer.