Like many who couldn't smash open the piggy bank when the now current generation of consoles dropped, or the new Skylake CPU's & high end GPU's came out, I had to make a decision in which direction to fling my money. This was my first PC build and prior to about September (2015) I didn't have a great deal of usable tech knowledge when it came to PC hardware and software, but I researched my metaphorical balls off in constant fear that not doing so would lead to monumental ****-ups. I would now consider myself at least semi-competent in the aforementioned areas. So that's something. Still figuring some areas out, but hardware I have down.
The naming of the system is a reference to the Ship computer "Holly" from the British TV show 'Red Dwarf', and "Murphy's Law" is a reference to both the adage 'Everything that can go wrong will go wrong' and Robocop. I had a little fun with it.
The price of my component upon purchasing them using this terrific website [pcpartpicker] (http://pcpartpicker.com), CCL and eBuyer was £438.05, a price I consider to be good for what I got. It may not have been the optimal time to buy a PC, but god damn it I did it, AND I'D DO IT ALL AGAIN, Y'HEAR?!
EDIT I ran the first of my benchmarks and stress tests today, running everything at stock speeds prior overclocking. On Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0 this build scored 2631! Which I am very impressed with!
Edit Edit Overclocking my CPU by only 500MHz to 4.0GHz I increased my CPU score in Passmark by one hundred. And with this TX3 Evo on the 8320 my temps are great!
Parts and Explaining myself:
After considering a low end i5 processor like the 4440 or the 4460 and having to make a substantial sacrifice in another important area such as GPU, I decided after a recommendation from a friend and some research to go with a mid-tier AMD FX series CPU, the FX 8320. This gives my system the computing power to do what I need without issue, and offers significant overclock potential that I fully intend to take advantage of in the near future with an aftermarket cooler. All for a price far lower than even the lower level Intel i5 CPU's! Even if it does under perform in areas like single core operations, and uses more power.
Standard Gigabyte 970 chipset motherboard, good features for the budget price and quite capable. Would really have liked a more expensive Mobo with more features and better VRM's, but it was not within my budget.
Good ol' fashioned Kingston DDR3 1866 8GB RAM, heat-spreader looks sleek and cool.
1TB Seagate storage, nice and simple, 7200RPM. Would have liked to include a 120GB SSD in the initial build, but couldn't quite fit it in for budget reasons.
Now, the GPU I debated long and hard over... obviously the advantage of getting a cheaper card in a budget build is that it can later be upgraded and switched out. Initially the 750 Ti seemed like a great option for budget gaming, but I yearned for more power! Finally ended up going with this ASUS GTX950, new and shiny, I look forward to seeing what I can get out of this card benchmark wise. This Graphics Card will be enough for my current 1080p gaming needs, & at only £20 more than a 750 Ti. Also this card uses only 90W, low compared to most everything at or above its level, which matches well with my hot-running power hungry AMD CPU. It does warm up to just around the 70 degree mark, and at full speed the fan is noisy, but that doesn't really happen.
Simple cheap case from Corsair with some decent features (some bad), the Spec-01. Would have liked to fork out a little more for a case, but at a low price this thing gets it done (with a few close shaves) for ATX mobos and internals. I love how it looks and the side panel is a great cool-factor feature. With a little effort I feel like I cable managed this rig quite well, and to reward my efforts I consider this to have good airflow.
Solid built 500W EVGA PSU, 80+ efficiency rated, non-modular. Admittedly an area I tried to shave some money off in, but these Power Supplies are well made and EVGA use quality components. Nice and safe for my relatively low power consumption build.
Cooling and airflow wise I decided to go with an overall posi pressure inside the case, to try and keep as much dust out. I used two 120mm Cooler Master fans with good CFM airflow and a 120mm Corsair fan came installed in the case, all with nice Red LEDs, these are great and run nice and quiet as long as they are at low or middling speeds. I also had two extra fans around that I could use so I thought "screw it." (pun intended) and put those in as well.
Bought a cheap K/M off Amazon, fully intending to get better ones later. Also purchased a set of HyperX Cloud headphones, and they're great! 10/10 would recomend.
So there it is, my induction into the PC master race, I look forward to many years of glorious superiority. I encountered issues along the way but I learnt so much! Any questions, feel free to leave them. ;-}
Fantastic CPU, hasn't broken a sweat yet in the tasks and stress tests I've put it to. With a good mobo, solid cooler and the right adjustments of voltages and frequencies you have so much headroom with this Processor. Without even touching the voltage I had 4.0GHz stable at 44 degrees w/ 100% load. Passmark scores for this chip say the rest, beastly. And although single core performance struggles in comparison to Intel Core series chips it compensates in other areas.
Great little cooler, I have an FX 8320 OC'd to 4.0GHz and it very rarely rises above 45-47 degrees centigrade. Excellent for the price and very small in comparison to many other coolers. Second best in its class.
Good solid, cheap, budget mobo. Good features, USB 3.0 headers, good I/O features (I/O shield is a little cheap but w/ever.) Three fan headers + CPU fan, Great on board audio in my opinion. Something to bare in mind is the power phase of this motherboard, it only uses 4 +1, this means it is NOT good for overclocking as the board cannot handle large increases in voltage. The mobo is very important for OCing, but for non OCing purposes this is fine. BIOS is decent enough.
It is RAM and it is not rubbish. Good RAM pats RAM. I know there is never much to say about RAM but this is genuinely great for the price range.
It's no SSD obviously but it's quick for a HDD at 7200RPM, no issues yet and good price per GB. Not too loud either, though if your concerned about how loud your storage will be you should really be looking at backup drives and SSD's.
I have to say this is a solid little card! Using only one fan for cooling and a heat sink half the size of that of a full card this gets up to 71 degrees whilst gaming, boost clock goes all the way to 1.2GHz. Got it because it was only £120 (I'm extremely salty about U.S. GPU prices.) Not sure about overclock potential for the aforementioned cooling reasons, but it runs well for 1080p budget gaming. Score of 4982 on Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0.
Like many others I have mixed feeling on this case. So I won't faff about, I'm starting with the problems, things you need to bear in mind when building, things that could make your life difficult (especially if you're a first time builder); Only 1cm of space behind the motherboard tray for cable management & zero to no space at the top of the case, this will lead to problems if you ever want to run a cable such as CPU power through after you've mounted the mobo. The PCI mount at the back of the case is a bad design, there's a reason most case manufacturers use the design they do on the inside of the case, this makes inserting your GPU(s) more complicated than it needs to be. Okay, that's enough complaints, Pros; The case has good airflow, its quiet with the right configuration of fans and cooling. Looks cool, the window in the left side of the case provides a good view to all the juicy innards of your machine. Dust filters on the front fan placings & PSU intake (on bottom of case). Plenty of space inside, drive trays & slots to run wires through & ITS CHEAP(try and get it for under £40)! Relatively so, anyway. Probably the largest selling point of this case. Just be wary, a good case makes a BIG difference
Great price for a good quality non-modular 80+ rated Bronze PSU. Mesh sleeving on cables was decent enough for protection, not particularly pretty and not colour coordinated, but hey. No coil whine and the fan is nice and quiet (at least i think so).
Great fans for the price for general use inside a case, extremely loud at high RPMs, for example running off a 12v 3pin molex supply. LED's decent enough, nut super bright or anything.