I definitely want to get a 970, I'm not sure about everything else though. What is a good processor? People seem to be recommending the i5 4690k.
As for actually building the thing, it's not THAT hard... right?
I finally got around to building my son a computer for Christmas. It is overwhelming to pick all the parts and I kept changing my mind. At some point I just decided to go for it and lock it down and not even look at alternate parts any more. To me, that was the hardest part!
But putting the thing together wasn't too bad. There are tons of cables to deal with inside the case (all the various fans and such). And getting some of the peripherals to work was a little tricky. The drivers were not automatically included with Windows but fortunately the motherboard came with a disc that has the drivers. The tricky part was that the disc drive didn't work at first so I had to put the installer on a flash drive from another computer and then install the drivers that way. But out of the box, the Ethernet and optical drive required that installer to get them to work.
For the building part, I put it all together and then it was turning on and right back off again. Looking at various web sites that pointed to a faulty power supply. Wonderful... So I stripped it all back down again and started putting things in one at a time. Eventually I found a site that said a common mistake is not plugging in the CPU power to the motherboard. There were so many cables from the power supply and connections on the motherboard that are not
used that I missed that one. It also doesn't plug in anywhere near the CPU itself. I just figured the giant power cable that plugged in should cover everything and that was some alternate cable. So that was my only real newb mistake and it only cost me an hour of undoing/redoing my build. The instructions that came with the motherboard were very sparse - it certainly didn't point this out. It was pretty much just a diagram of where stuff was.
One more thing: if you are using PC parts picker or one of those other sites, be VERY careful with their claims of rebate pricing. I went with OutletPC for three of my components. Two of them had $20 rebate offers that made them cheaper than Newegg/Amazon. But there's two problems: OutletPC charges even for their super-slow shipping. I had my Newegg and Amazon stuff in 2-3 days via free shipping but it took 10-14 days for the OutletPC stuff to arrive. Then to add insult to injury, their "rebates" are $20 coupons that can only be applied to different orders. Given that they charge $8 shipping for every little thing, those coupons are essentially worthless for me. I could have saved more money paying a bit more for those components on Newegg or Amazon and not dealing with the alleged "rebate". PC parts picker just deducted this $20 from the part price like it was an actual rebate. I'm sure the details were on OutletPC but it sure wasn't obvious when I put the order in. My "rebates" will either go to waste or I'll have to use them on something stupid like a 50-pack of DVD-Rs.
I went with this build to get it done for around $700. This was a Christmas/birthday present for my son. I've never had a computer with a dedicated graphics card so I'd really like to see how it differs from the integrated GPU stuff I'm used to (in iMac and PC laptops for example). But I have yet to really see it in action. He has it in his room
CPU Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core $184.88 (Pricing factors in $20 Outlet PC "rebate")
Motherboard ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 $80.98
Memory PNY XLR8 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 $66.99
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM $59.99
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 280 3GB TWIN FROZR $183.98 (this has a real $20 rebate in the form of an AMEX rewards card)
Case Rosewill Galaxy-03 ATX Mid Tower $49.99
Power Supply Corsair 500W ATX12V $29.99 (Pricing factors in $20 Outlet PC "rebate")
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer $14.98
That CPU is $184.88 at Outlet PC only
if you factor in the $20 rebate that isn't a rebate. It is really $204.88 plus $8 shipping. I bought this thinking I'd save even with the shipping factored in over the $200 that Amazon/Newegg had it for. Because to me a "rebate" is a check sent that you can then cash and offset the original price. Not a stupid coupon applied to future orders...
Hopefully I did OK - wasn't sure if I should post here only to have people say I should have used this or that instead!