Impatient and lacking in funds, I got real resourceful at finding deals. Many items were of their previous generation; new enough to work for me but often heavily discounted. Ebay was, unsurprisingly, a great place to shop. So was Pricewatch.
The last time I assembled a home-built PC was over ten years ago. I’d won an Opteron CPU at an AMD event at a time when those babies were very expensive and among the most powerful workstation options, so I decided to begin there.