I mainly use my PC for gaming. After many attempts at trying to find somewhere (Box, Chillblast, Pcspecialist etc) to build the PC that I wanted within the budget I had, and with the right case, I finally gave up and decided to build it myself.
Pretty daunting task as I've never owned a desktop before, or played around with one. In the end I found that the hardest part was making the decision to do it, then trying to find all of the parts and making sure they were compatible. The build itself had its challenges but for a first time builder it was definitely the parts compatibility and learning curve which gave me the most trouble.
I started with a AMD processor but found that the ITX motherboard support for AMD wasn't anywhere near as good as for intel, in the end I went with intel and downgraded my graphics card from a GTX 980 ti to a GTX 970 to stay in my budget.
As a first time builder, it was pretty easy to put together but I would suggest investing in a no 1 Phillips screwdriver (make sure it's a long one, 10 inches if possible. I got mine from the £1 store). Some small zip ties, I ended up using a good 30 or so to hold wires in place (also from the £1 store).
THINGS I WISH I'D KNOWN BEFORE BUILDING
CPU Putting in a CPU is TERRIFYING. Okay, so it went like this. Everything went together fine, lined the CPU into the socket, dropped it in, tried to close the CPU bracket over the top and it gave a lot of resistance. A LOT... panic ensued. Did I put it in wrong? Oh crap, did I damage the pins? Why won't it close! Surely this is too much pressure to close it! No. No it's not. You have to push pretty firmly to get the clasp back down into position. There may even be a slight click sound, that's fine. Don't panic... unless you left the little plastic sheath on top, then panic because that needs to come out before you put the CPU in.
CPU COOLER So, the back bracket is confusing as frack. It does fit, it just takes some careful lining up with the holes on the motherboard. I suggest putting the little metal pins into the bracket slots before applying to the motherboard. It makes life easier. Also the CPU takes up two 3/4pin fan connectors on the Gigabyte motherboard, the motherboard only has two of them. Buy a molex and connect the front and back fans direct to the power source.
VIDEO CARD (Some) Graphic cards need drivers to work, surprise! Put the graphics card in last, after you've installed windows and booted the PC. Load drivers, shut everything down, put in graphics card and like magic it will work. If you try to boot the PC with the graphics card installed there will be no image on your monitor.
CASE It's small, really small and the easiest way to get the power supply in and all the wires you need in place is to remove the hard drive bay, easy thumb screw and then put it back in once you've installed the power supply.
POWER SUPPLY Put it in first, it's a tight fit so remove the hard drive bays and route all your cables behind/under/around the 3.5 bay then replace the bay when done. I pointed the fan downwards as the case has a nice hole at the bottom and dust shield.
FANS: If you buy replacement case fans for this case make sure you pay strict attention to both the depth and length measurement. I bought a 200mm Coolmaster fan for the front which did not fit because the depth was 30mm, it needs to be 20mm or the front won't close.
Also note that the motherboard I chose only has two fan ports and the CPU cooler uses both of them. Invest in a molex adapter to power your front and back fans, they will be on full power when hooked directly to the power source so invest in some quiet ones. The ones that came with the case are not overly loud but far from silent either.
OPTICAL DRIVE Okay, here's the deal. The internal optical drive does not fit into the case. There's no room or slot for it, but you do need one to put your OS onto your system. I used the cheapest one I could find, worked great.
Great little cooler, fits into my build snugly and keeps everything nice and cool. The only issue I have with it is the fan it comes with is a 3 pin connection, so I can't control the speed. Will upgrade the fan and that's about it. Note it takes not only the CPU fan slot but another fan slot on your motherboard as well.
Great motherboard, easy to set up, comes with wifi, nice audio, plenty of input and the bios was easy to get used to. It recognized my optical drive straight away and booted windows from it with no issue. Only issue I had was it only has two 4pin fan connectors, and I needed 4. Molex to the rescue.
It's ram. It does ram like things. Ram it into the motherboard and all's good.
This thing is a VERY tight fit in the Corsair 380t, but with some careful squishing and adjusting everything fit fine in the end.