I would like to preface this by stating my age, intentions, and experience. I am a 16 year old male who has always been extremely interested in computers, hardware, software, and just cool technology in general. My intentions for this computer are gaming, video editing, 3D animation with programs like Maya, AutoCad, and the general stuff like web browsing, word processing, etc. For 3 months before building this computer, I spent countless hours watching every video, reading every article/how-to, researching every part, and visiting local stores. I prepared myself the best I could.
Now, for the good stuff! I actually go all of these parts for Christmas, so I am not sure of the exact price on each part. However, for a general ballpark of price, between $1500-1600 (not including the hard drive, as I already owned it.) I put together the computer in 4-5 hours (not including set up of OS, etc.), and was up and running by the end of the day.
Everything went very smoothly. I first did an external build with the stock heatsink (I don't know why I did it with the stock heatsink..) to test all of the parts, shorting the two power pins on the motherboard to start it up. After it booted into the BIOS smoothly, the very first thing I did was take the flash drive that I had copied the BIOS update onto and us Asus EZ-Flash to update the BIOS. The reason I did this as soon as I possibly could was because my CPU was not officially supported by the stock BIOS revision on the R1.0 motherboard, and I did not want to take any chances with it not working a next time for whatever unknown reason.
After the successful BIOS flash, I took the parts off (except for RAM and CPU) and started with my build into the case. First was the I/O shield and motherboard, next was the PSU, next was the GPU, next was the HDD, etc. The whole time, I was doing my best to focus on cable management as I did not want to deal with it later on in my computers life. For example, I ran all 6 SATA cables to the different places they might be needed even though I am only using one actual HDD right now. (3 other SATA cables used for eSata and 2 hotswap bays)
Now that I have been up and running for a couple of days, everything is running fantastic! I can max out any game I want to, sometimes with up to 200fps. (On Minecraft stock, I got 380fps. There is literally no point, but damn it's cool to say that). I have not given the animation and editing programs a go yet, but since this is indeed a GTX680 with Cuda cores and everything, I imagine it will take care of those quite nicely. People hate on AMD processors, but this one really kicks *** for the price. I have had no problem with it, and I'm sure your i5 is much better, and I don't care. I knew what it was when I chose it. Also, I know that the HX1050 PSU is a bit overkill.. I chose this because it will for any expansion I so desire in the future without having to buy another one. Same deal with the case.. I am ready for absolutely anything I could possibly want in it in the future.
Needless to say, as with most builds, I have had a few problems. One of the problems I have had is that I can not, for the life of me, figure out getting the RAM to work at 1866mhz. For some reason the motherboard thinks the maximum is 1333mhz and will only run it at up to 1439mhz (I have literally never heard of that number..). If any of y'all have insight, it would be much appreciated. The only other problem I have had is that sometimes my heatsink will run at 400-600 RPM (200 lower than the minimum for this fan) and give me a "CPU Fan Error!" when booting. However, a quick hard restart or two fixes it :)
Take a look at the pictures! I did my best to capture everything, if you want any more... just ask! I have 2x2TB HDDs and a optical drive shipping to me right now, so don't worry about storage space. Also, I'm going to buy an SSD when I find the chance to store the OS and crucial programs on.
Thank you, this has been quite the experience. I have had many requests from friends and my parents to build them a computer after showing them the price-to-power difference between custom computers and OEM ones.
Have a great almost New Years Eve! :)