Description

Hello all!

This is my very first build in terms of completely building a computer, part by part. I enjoyed, and hated the process at the same time, as I stumbled upon a few issues. I also realized that I could have waited for AMD Ry zen to launch, but I had referred to several friends and forums that this build seemed more sensible at the time. And quite honestly, I think I made the right choice.

First of all, let me give you a good overview on how this machine performs (disclaimer: I haven't had the opportunity to test modern AAA games yet, but if I do, I will update... probably). These games were played at 1080p, and ran off my HDD because they aren't the games I would consider priority at the moment.

Titanfall: By far my most strenuous game. Plays buttery smooth with medium detailing. CPU seems to bottleneck a bit, but overall experience is superb, even with higher settings.

World of Warships and Tanks: Again, great experiences, at high detailing. Map load times were reasonable, and game play really was awesome.

TF2 (Team Fortress 2): This should be self explanatory (ran at 100+ fps)

Heroes and Generals: I had some issues with steam not able to load from the desktop icon. I had to find the file in the local files to play, and haven't found a resolution yet. But overall, I had a great high setting, 1080p experience, but stuttering was noticeable in highly populated maps. It wasn't a huge deal though.

Warface: My favorite free FPS game to date. Had no issues playing, and map load times were superb, even on a HDD.

CS:GO: Gameplay was smooth for the most part. I had to tweak with the settings to reduce tearing. I think that my monitor is the bottleneck in this case, but I consistently get over 120 FPS.

BeamNG Drive: Being a more CPU dependent game, i was actually surprised to see 60+ FPS. However, every time there is a collision, there is a slight hiccup. Otherwise, the Pentium holds up.

Now to major components:

CPU: By far, this Pentium is the best budget chip. Runs all my programs, games, and anything else smoothly, and gives me a solid foundation to upgrade

Motherboard: Many people will probably question this. I "future proofed" the crap out of this, as I plan to upgrade to an i5 or i7 when prices go down (due to Ryzen) later on. I/O is ample, and supports USB type C for my future devices. Also, expansion is endless with two M.2 slots and 6 SATA ports. My only gripe is that the motherboard is more brown than black, as I was shooting for a black/white color scheme

RAM: I originally wanted to get white Crucial memory, but was only available to prime members. So I settled with Kingston, and honestly, couldn't have made a better choice.

PSU: I went with this PSU because of its reliability and high certification. EVGA seems to make quality components, so I couldn't have gone wrong here.

SSD and HDD: SSD serves as my boot drive at the moment, and soon to hold games like Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen. Boot times are between 5-10 seconds, and programs open quickly. HDD will serve as my music, picture, and file library, and seems to already do a good job at it.

Graphics: For me, the RX 480 gave me the best value for the money, with 4GB of VRAM, plenty for simple 1080p gaming. Uses 100W now, and still runs quiet and cool.

Monitor: My first 1080p monitor. Blue light filter is a plus, and color reproduction is pretty good for a TN panel. Also, it fits on my small desk (refer to pictures).

Case: This was my biggest challenge. I had a lot of room for parts, BUT NONE FOR CABLE MANAGEMENT! Or maybe I am a noob still... Anyway, it has a lot of ventilation, and the hot-swappable bays are a godsend. I wish it had more USB ports, and more room between the PSU compartment and the front drive bays.

Mouse and Keyboard: The best pair for office, gaming, and photo editing. I love the RGB lighting on the mouse, and the less tactile feel of the keyboard. Better typing experience than a laptop, and the expense of portability, but worth the transition.

To sum it up, I created a future proof, and reliable machine to serve my needs for years to come. I didn't settle for cheap budget options, and I believe that I made the right selection of components to compliment my needs. If you have any questions or suggestions (criticism), feel free leave them in the comment section below.

Thanks!

Part Reviews

CPU

Great budget option for gamers who don't have a lot to spend. General tasks are handled easily, and provides exceptional gaming performance at 1080p. Beware of antialiasing beyond 4x. It make cause a bottleneck and slash frame rates in half

Motherboard

A solid and basic motherboard with overclocking in the future. It has ample expansion and has M. 2, USB type C, and crossfire support. Also supports legacy keyboards and mice with a PS/2 port. Additionally, there are orange lights on the board that surrounds the sound chip, but are not changeable as far as I know. Also, the board appears to be more brown than black.

Memory

Basic RAM but a bit expensive when it was bought. Speeds are acceptable and overall provide good performance and reliability.

Storage

One of the best SSDs on the market. Read and write speeds are consistent and are as advertised. Boot up times are amazing, averaging about 8 seconds from a cold start.

Storage

Large storage drive for basic programs and games. Load times are acceptable for a HDD, but is somewhat audible. Vibrations can also be an issue without proper mounting brackets, and get annoying.

Video Card

Solid card for a budget build. Those who have a Pentium in their build shouldn't have a big problem, but I recommend to go for the 470. I chose the 480 4gb to future proof, but I think I should have went with the 8 GB version. Either way, it will provide great 8 GB performance between two cards later on when I upgrade. Gaming is smooth, and can handle most AAA titles, given you have a CPU better than a Pentium cough like me cough.

Case

Not the best case for cable management, but provides ample cooling, and a unique layout. The removable drive bays are awesome, and almost everything is modular, for the most part. The few dust filters are a plus, but the mesh top option doesn't have a dust filter. The carrying handles are good, if you want to haul a 30 pound computer around. Wish there were more dust filters, but overall, not a bad case

Power Supply

High quality PSU for high quality components. Not audible over the whine of all my other components, but recommend it for AMD graphics cards. They sometimes require more power. Haven't had any problems, besides the amount of dust that collects in my case dust filter due to the cooling fan.

Optical Drive

This is as amazingly fast as it is loud! It can rip a CD in .wav format in about 2 minutes, totalling almost 600 MB of data. Great for OS and game installation, but tends to be very noisy.

Operating System

Basic OS. Nothing special.

Case Fan

Quiet operation as an exhaust fan.

Case Fan

Massive fan that moves lots of air while being quiet. Recommend to keep it spinning full throttle aka connect it to your psu

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Comments

  • 39 months ago
  • 4 points

Your RAM should be either in the Grey DIMM Slots or the Black DIMM Slots. I'm not sure why the online manual doesn't say it or maybe I'm blind as to where it is on the user's manual, but downloading the Memory/Device Support recommends "2 DIMM: Supports one pair of modules inserted into either the gray slots or the black slots as one pair of Dual-channel memory configuration"


  • DIMM_A1 & DIMM_B1 = Black slots

  • DIMM_A2 & DIMM_B2 = Grey slots


Otherwise, congrats for your first build and it will serve you well. Good work. :)

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

I think I overlooked that. Thanks for the clarification!

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

No worries, I'm not even sure if the user manual suggests it or again I must be blind. Dual-Channeling for two RAMs will offer it maximum performance. So it's all good and of course it's your first build. I had my fair share of errors too from new and experience over the few years.

Again, enjoy your computer and thanks for sharing it.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Not bad for first try. Good Job. +1

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

It was VERY smart of you to spend most of your budget on other parts and get a cheap CPU, I just turned 15 and completed my first build last week and wish that I would have thought to do that.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

That is what my idea was. Games nowadays focus more on graphics than really CPU processing.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

"I didn't settle for cheap budget options" *gets a pentium

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol. Besides the CPU (Motherboard, PSU, Graphics). I am going to upgrade to an i7 soon. Hopefully. Kind of down about Coffee Lake not being on the same chipset.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Acording to LinusTechTips, Intel Coffer Lake is just going to be rebranded 7th gen cpu's

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

good.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

With Heroes and Generals, have you tried deleting the original shortcut icon, and just putting a new one in its place? I've had to do that with a few games.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

I have uninstalled the game completely and still have problems, but I will try replacing the shortcut. Thanks!

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

i just replaced the shortcut with a copy of the local file. Works great!

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome! I don't know why that happens sometimes, I guess for whatever reason, the shortcut gets corrupted and you have to replace it.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Isnt the CPU bottlenecking the 480?

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Not really. Only occasionally when maps get crowded. But I would go with a 470 next time.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks for the reply.. I just got the same CPU.. was contemplating on whether to go for the 470 4gb or the 480 4gb @ 1080p. The price diff is about 23$.

  • 39 months ago
  • 0 points

How you wasted 1,000 dolras on that?, I think you did something wrong.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

It was mostly motherboard, PSU, and graphics. I also bought all my periferals and a fresh copy of Windows 10. Otherwise, I would not pay more than like 750$

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