Several weeks ago I built a new PC from components. This is essentially my "dream machine" and I was able to spec it out to get the best performance per dollar. My old PC I built back in 2008 and is a dual-core, so this is a significant upgrade to the Intel i7 Ivy bridge. After some price comparison I discovered that my old source for components, New Egg, was just as competitive as ever so that is where I picked up everything. Here is a list of the components I selected.
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GH
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Case: Fractal Design Core 3000ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: EVGA 600W 100-B1-0600-KR Power Supply
Video Card: EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 650 2GB 128-bit Video Card
Hard Drive: Crucial M500 240GB SATA Internal Solid State Drive
CPU Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler
The build was complete success, posting on the very first power up. I installed windows to the SSD in less than 30 minutes, very nice. I did have some trouble with drivers for my old wireless adapter, but that was mainly my lack of foresight. It is fast, and barely ever even uses more than 50% CPU at any given time. I was able to transcode a 1 hour 30 minute video at full 1080p with Handbrake in about 35 minutes -- a task which would take 5-6 hours on my old PC.
I was a bit concerned that the CPU heatsink i choose was so large that it wouldn't fit in the case. All the measurements seemed good, and in the end there was about 1cm of clearance between it and the case.
Eventually I plan to experiment with overclocking, so on my second screen I setup some real-time monitors to view things like CPU %, RAM usage, CPU Temp and so on. I'm seeing that the CPU temps even when working hard, are never even getting close to dangerous levels. This is a good sign for overclocking these things, something which I made sure the motherboard I chose will support.
The only task I have left to do is getting the rest of my data backed up off some old HDs I plan to retire. Once that's set, one of the internal drives will be a dedicated backup which will insure that so long as only one drive fails at a time, no important data will be lost.
I'm very happy with how everything turned out. This PC should last me at least a good 5 years, but who knows how technology will change during that time!