For comparison, here is my sub $750 build for October 2014.
I followed the same rules as the article, meaning that I included the OS but skipped the monitor and peripherals. I also set my $750 mark for total price after all applicable mail-in rebates, so call me a cheat if you like. :P
Here is a link to the parts list I created at PCPartPicker(dot)com.
Motherboard - MSI Z97 PC MATE - $89 at Newegg (after $10 mail-in rebate, free S&H)
-This is an LGA1150 intel board in an ATX form factor. Not only that, but it has the latest Z97 chipset. This ensure compatibility with the latest crop of Haswell-E refresh chips (including the selected CPU), in addition to compatibility for the upcoming Broadwell chips in 2015. It has four DIMM slots and support OC'd RAM up to 3000 and a max size of 32GB. It supports Crossfire, but does NOT support SLI. Onboard Ethernet (Realtek 8111E), onboard 8 channel audio (Realtek ALC887), six SATA 6Gb/s, 1 PCI Express 3.0x16, 1 PIC Express 2.0x16, 2 PCI Express x1, 2 PCI slots, 2 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0, and a USB 3.0 header that will power the 2 USB 3.0 ports on the front of the case. This motherboard also has a modern UEFI (read: graphical interface) BIOS, for newbie friendly overclocking.
CPU - Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz '20th Anniversary' Dual-Core Processor - $69.99 at Newegg (free S&H)
-Wait, wait, wait! Put down the tar and feathers! Yes, I put a measly little dual-core in this build, butt hear me out! This is part of the Haswell-E refresh 'Devil's Canyon' series, which means this is an unlocked Pentium. What does that mean? It means that this cheap little CPU has regularly been hitting overclock numbers in the 4.4GHz+ range on tech review cites. Now when you take into account that many games still are not optimized to make use of more than 2 cores, overclocking this CPU allows you to make substantial real world gains in gaming performance. If you can, check out the LinusTechTips review of this chip on YouTube, they got theirs overclocked very quickly (as in, not really dialed in or had the voltage fine tuned) to 4.7GHz. On an test bench it put in 117.5 FPS in 'Bioshock Infinite' against a full 4 core i7 4790K that put up 124.2 FPS. Note too however, that the i7 47900K was overclocked to 4.8GHz, and it is still a $330 CPU.
CPU Cooler - Corsair H60 - $59.99 at Amazon
-While you can decently overclock the Pentium on the included air cooler and save yourself $60 if you wanted, this was done with an eye towards the future. Remember that this rig has a really forward looking motherboard, and when you do plan on replacing that CPU, you're going to want an unlocked K SKU chip. For right now, that would be an i5 4690K or an i7 4790K. Presumably the Broadwell series will also have their own K series chips as well. Regardless, you're going to want a good cooler to go along with it. That, and I'm a sucker for Corsair's closed loop liquid coolers (full disclosure, I have a H100i myself). Not only that, but if placed at the rear for exhaust, this will free up one of the case's two included fans for additional intake support.
Case - Corsair Carbide 200R - $38.98 at NCIXUS (after $10 mail-in rebate, free S&H)
-Yep, same case as the article, and for almost all the same reasons. I like that the case has a painted interior that looks clean and professional, in addition to being far less likely to accidentally short an electrical connection or the motherboard. It has front mounted USB 3.0 ports that will attached to the motherboard's USB 3.0 header. The case includes two Corsair AF120 series fans, and with the H60 cooler on exhaust, they can both be placed on intake (front and/or side); also bonus points for having a front air filter cover. It is a full sized tower that supports full sized ATX boards, and smaller Micro-ATX and Mini-ATX. The case includes pre-installed motherboard risers and a center nub that allows you to quickly and easily properly align the motherboard during installation. And on a subjective note, I am a huge fan of Corsair's minimalist case designs. You can certainly go cheaper here, but this is a good case with the size and quality that could handle consecutive upgrades or new builds over the years.
RAM - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 - $84.99 at Newegg (free S&H)
-This is quality RAM from one of the leading manufacturers of it. It shares the same 9-9-9-24 timing and 9 CAS latency, but at a faster 1600MHz frequency. You also get larger heat spreaders with this set, and this particular SKU comes in blue to match the motherboard and GPU. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, and supports XMP profiles for easy OC'ing of the memory in the UEFI BIOS.
Discrete GPU - MSI GeForce GTX 760 (N760-2GD5T/OC) 2GB - $184.99 at Newegg (after $20 mail-in rebate, free S&H)
-This is a GTX 760 series card sporting 1152 CUDA cores, 2GB 256-Bit of GDDR5 vRAM, with a 1059MHz (1124MHz boost) clock on the core. It support DirectX 11.2 and OpenGL 4.3, while outputting to a HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort 1.2, and 2 Dual-Link DVI (DVI-I/DVI-D). Want a GPU that will stomp all over the current consoles at 1080HD? Here you go.
Power Supply - Corsair CX500M - $54.99 at Amazon or $54.99 at Newegg (after $20 mail-in rebate, free S&H)
-Keeping with the theme here, we have a 80+ Bronze rated semi-modular power supply from Corsair. While the CX certainly isn't their top-of-the-line series, it does have a nice set of features in a reasonably priced package. Semi-modular allows you to keep the cable mess manageable, while the 80+ Bronze certification ensures that power usage meats a minimum efficiency of 82% under 100% load. 500W is also the current minimum recommended to run the latest and greatest from nVidia's GTX 900 series of cards (at this time the GTX 980 and GTX 970 respectively), and hopefully other later GPU's will either continue or maintain this trend of greater efficiency to help keep power consumption down.
Storage - Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB - $54.99 at Amazon
-It's a 3.5" HHD at 7200RPM, 64MB cache, and a SATA 6Gb/s connector. Basically identical to the Seagate Barracuda in the article. Either are great, choose whichever you prefer or can find cheaper; I just happen to be partial to WD.
Optical Drive - ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer - $16.99 at Newegg (after $3 $3 off w/ promo code EMCWPHF24, free S&H)
-The same one in the article, with 5100+ reviews on Newegg and a 5 egg average. It works like you'd expect a DVD burner to work, sans any software.
Operating System - Windows 8.1 - $90.26 at OutletPC
-Here's hoping that they do allow the free upgrade to Windows 10, and that it doesn't suck.
Final cost? $746.16*
*Does not including any additional shipping or handling, price is after all applicable rebates, and does not include a monitor or peripherals. Priced for ordering and shipping within the continental United States.*