Planning to build a computer can be fun also. Researching parts, making sure they work well together (if they are on Manufacturers QVL). Making a list of all the parts you need is the beginning of the purchasing, assembly and then seeing your machine in action! Lots of guides online help with the planning stage; but nearly all are advice and tips. How do you know which is biased? Are the benchmarks relevant to what you are building your machine for? Probably not most of the time. If you’re not a hardcore gamer like myself, your machine can mid-range and cheaper than a pre-built solution, saving you money. I am using my machine as a long term investment: I plan to have it long into the future and just replace components. I think that could save me at least €3000 over ten years (two €1,500 machines every 5 years, not beyond possibility) if not more. I can also re-use perfectly good parts when my other machines have departed to that big waste recycling plant in the sky.
One tool besides lots of online-based computer review reading is a custom made spreadsheet I created for the job. It allows me to see Part name, Quantity, Unit Price, Delivery Cost, Part Description, Link to Manufacturers site and best of all: it’s easily modified for other items. I coloured it real nice too; so its easy to read and understand. I hope it’s useful to anyone out there, so I am making it available under CC-BY-NC-SA. Here is a screenshot of it: