Description

Excited to build my own PC for the first time (and typing this up on it!)

I built this since my laptop (no slouch in its own right) is approaching 4 years old, and though I added some storage and RAM, I'd still like a more powerful machine for learning photo/video editing and some occasional gaming.

I figured for a first build I'd keep it small (MicroATX), and the Core V21 went on sale with a decent rebate and has plenty of room if I want to try an AIO or anything. Relatively easy case to build in, lots of customizability (the 4 non-front/back panels are interchangeable in any combination). Also the included 200mm fan is near-silent at normal speeds and barely noticeable when gaming.

I wasn't necessarily looking to try OC'ing in my first build, so when the 7600 (non-K) and a B250M mobo went on sale (the mobo with a rebate), I went for it. The B250M Gaming Pro isn't the most featureful, but it's got plenty in a really small package.

The RAM is limited by Mobo to 2400, but 16 GB went on sale for that price for a couple of days so I jumped on it.

I wanted a 960 EVO for the speed. I'm not going to be playing too many games or storing too many files or anything, and I can always add a second drive if necessary.

The graphics card went on sale, and at that price a low-end 1080 would have been fine but the ROG Strix card is a bargain.

The SeaSonic PSU is nice, and a sale + rebate brought the price down to "gotta get it now" range.

I added a red case fan since the Mobo has some ambient red lighting and the Strix card has some RGB capabilities.

The wifi card is for cases (such as currently) where I can't attach ethernet -- better to have it than not.

The monitor is really nice so far, and at a relatively good price for a decent 144Hz screen.

Also my cable management needs work, I know.

Overall, for a little under $1200 (discounting the monitor, win10), I feel like I did pretty well :)

Part Reviews

CPU

Got it on sale, wasn't planning to OC so it works out fine. Does everything I ask it to.

CPU Cooler

Quiet, cool, and looks nice to boot. A little weird to install but not too much of a hassle.

Thermal Compound

Stay frosty, my friends. Also 4g is enough for multiple builds.

Motherboard

Not very feature-packed, but I got it for $60 and it has everything I need. (Not planning to OC or SLI/Crossfire) Notes: 3 fan headers (1 CPU + 2 SYS) 2 RAM Slots 1 PCI-E x16, 2 x1 Has both on-board USB 2.0 and 3.0 headers Has ambient red lighting

Memory

Got this at a "steal" level price for late 2017, even though I only needed 2400.

Storage

Transfer data in the fast lane(s)

Video Card

Good card, fairly quiet, got it for $510 so I'm happy

Case

This is a great case but for one thing: THE PSU BRACKET. I was debating whether to dock a star but it annoyed the crap out of me so I did.

Power Supply

The Mobo/CPU/PCI-E cables come sleeved, which is cool. Modularity is nice, as is the warranty.

Wireless Network Adapter

Connects to interwebz signals. Haven't tested bluetooth (which requires connection to a USB-2.0 header on Mobo if I'm not mistaken)

Case Fan

Quiet and bright red. It's a nice fan. The Magnetic-Levitation bearing or whatever does its job.

Monitor

Looks good, got it for $200. Very adjustable and has different input options (DVI or DP required for 144Hz)

Comments

  • 24 months ago
  • 3 points

You ought to work on that cable management

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Very true.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

i feel like you probably should have done a bit better on the cpu with the 1080.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't disagree. I think my upgrade (when I feel like stepping up) would be an OC-able CPU/Mobo combo. I would have liked an i5-8400 for this build, but availability and the limited mobo selection (only Z370 now) pushed me back to 7th gen.

If I get around to upgrading, I already have a pretty darn good GPU to plug into the new machine.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build! How did you get that 7600 for so cheap? They're normally floating around the $200+ range rather than $179. Anyways, very nice!

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Just caught in on sale. Amazon had it for $179 about 10 days ago, and then they had the 7600K for $189 a couple days after I received my 7600. I debated doing the swap, but a bird in the hand and all that.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

It’s your first build so I don’t expect it to Be the best. Probably get a hard drive along with that ssd and get a better cpu. i7 with a1080 works WAY better than an i5. It will cost a little over $300 for the upgrade.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build. Question, did you have an troubles fitting that graphics card inside that case? I am planning to upgrade to a 1080 and have this same case, but I was worried that some of these bigger cards wouldn't fit.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

The case can fit large cards without an issue. This particular card is on the larger side and there's room to spare.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

To be fair, his system is very capable of reaching 144+ fps in any game, and this seems like a really good price for a 144hz monitor. I agree that matching them together would make a world of a difference, but sometimes that cannot happen.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

It seems FreeSync is included on cheaper monitors (i.e. it doesn't add much to price) whereas G-Sync is $100-$150 more for an otherwise comparable monitor. I was looking for $180-$220, and this happened to have everything I was looking for at a reasonable price. If it didn't have freesync I probably still get it. If I used an AMD GPU, it would have been a nice bonus but since FreeSync isn't forced on it's not the end of the world.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly right now it's pretty much harder to find a 144Hz relatively cheap monitor without FreeSync than with it... (the joy of open-source)

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Point being that if you're looking for a 144Hz monitor, it'll most likely have FreeSync. Since that doesn't detract from the value, it's not a bad thing no matter what GPU you use.