A friend of mine who is being deployed to Okinawa asked me to build him a system around August and ship it to him.
He gave me a Max range of $1500 to include Windows 8, Keyboard, Mouse, and (for some reason) a Xbox controller. He wants it for gaming and general use.
Here is what I have so far:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8TkbCJ
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8TkbCJ/by_merchant/
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($119.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Team Xtreem Dark Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($76.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB Dual-X Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 250D Mini ITX Tower Case ($76.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G-750 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($57.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - 64-bit (OEM) (64-bit) ($135.98 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Rapid Wired Gaming Keyboard ($81.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech G500s Laser Gaming Mouse Wired Laser Mouse ($51.49 @ Amazon)
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
I haven't heard much of "Team Xtreem" or their memory and that might be for good reason, I'd take a safer route and go with a more known company like G. Skill, Corsair, Mushkin, etc. Also 1, 8GB dimm would allow for that upgrade-ability you were mentioning, and is easy enough for him to install.
I'd upgrade the CPU to the equivalent K part for about 10 bucks. With ASUS' suite, I was able to one click overclock it to 3.8ghz.
Good pick for the storage and motherboard.
Just a suggestion, but benchmark the equivalently priced Nvidia card for games he likes. AMD used to be cheaper for equivalent performance in most games, but with the bitcoining surge, I've heard them skyrocket in price.
You could save a bit of money by going with a 650W PSU, since you can't fit SLI or Crossfire inside the 250D.
Only things I would change: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/PxyYQ7
Make sure to take the graphics card out before possible shipping.
Teem Xtreem is popular in China and a decent amount of other countries on the eastern side of the world.
Having a K makes sense with that motherboard.
AMD cards have come down in price; bitcoin mining is no longer an issue.
Yeah, I have been trying to get him to convert to the Keyboard/Mouse camp but he seems determined to use a controller for just about everything. Very Annoying. I had originally selected a 760 or 770 but was informed that the 280X was the better deal. Granted, I myself have a 7970Ghz card. As for the CPU, he does not plan on OCing his rig or I would have included a Liquid cooler. As for the PSU, I wanted to give him a decent overhead on the PSU. The Case is a difficult choice. I went with the 250D because of limited options really. If I can get a better Mini-ITX case that would still fit an ATX PSU and a Fullsize GPU, I will. I went with Gigabyte for the Mobo since I trust Gigabyte over MSI since Every MSI product I have owned has failed either on arrival or shortly thereafter. I have yet to have a Gigabyte product fail.