This is my first ever build. At first, it was very budget oriented (i3 6100, 8gb RAM, slower GPU), but I said "screw it", and sprung for better parts in the end to future proof and for better performance.
The pictures are terrible quality, excuse my terrible phone camera. I randomly snapped pics throughout the build but,as I became more stressed + tired, I took less pics, so that's why the pictures show the installation process at different stages, heh.
My goal was a rig to just play Dota/Overwatch/LoL/CS on etc, but I found myself becoming more interested in AAA titles and streaming/content creation so that's why I sprung for the better parts in the end. I do not regret my choice of doing so. I also plan to game on a higher res in the future so I wanted to future proof my build in that regard.
Price list isn't entirely accurate. I bought some parts on sale earlier in the year and some parts from another local retailer for cheaper. However, for sake of ease, I just used whatever the site had listed for Amazon UK.
In the end, this build is not fancy looks wise. It is however very sleek and very efficient. My temps are super low thanks to the 212x + 4 fans I have installed in my case. The 2 stock NZXT fans are surprisingly good, and quiet too at 75% load. At 100% load they are a bit loud but nothing major, however luckily I never have the need to run them at 100%. The Be Quiet Pure Wings are unbelievably good. They are so quiet @ max RPM that I had to open my front panel to even check they were running!!
Performance is a dream. The four cores on the 6500 are insanely efficient, and when turbo boost kicks in, even more so. 16GB RAM may be slightly overkill but it was only a bit more expensive than 8, so why not? RAM is cheap as chips anyway. I am mostly blown away by how snappy and insanely fast the SSD is. Just wow! The GPU does get slightly hot under max load (80 celcius), however I have yet to set a fan curve/custom RPM setting so I may need to look into that. I never see it go past 80 celsius though which is fine. Performance wise the 4GB GDDR5 is perfect for Ultra @ 1080 and likely will be fine for 1440 too in the future. It handles anything I throw at it no problem.
Like I said, while this build is not super smart or fancy, it's powerful, looks sleek and smart. Cable management was a dream in this case. It may not be perfectly done, but I'm pretty damn confident I did a good job. I'm happy with it and that's all that matters!
Thanks for taking the time to read this!
Insanely efficient CPU. Four physical cores is a dream over two. I feel like the 6500 is really well priced in terms of cost/performance ratio compared to the 6600 and other CPUs around it's spec range.
I was surprised at how massive this thing was, especially when being installed on my Micro ATX board! Installation was fairly straightforward, albeit a little tedious at times. The fan uses a 4 pin PWM for speed control, which is really nice. Performance wise, it's running fantasticly, never makes a sound. At full load it is slightly audible, however nothing major, especially when compared to a stock cooler @max load! Keeps my CPU really well cooled. You don't striclty need one of these if you aren't overclocking, however, there are still benefits to using one over the stock cooler, such as; less noise, longer life, lower temps, and better thermal compound is a bonus too. Overall, very happy with this. Recommended to anyone!
I bought this because it was cheap, and ticked all the boxes I needed it to; support for LGA 1151, DDR4, and 2133mhz RAM. Nice BIOS, too. Also, Gigabyte being a respectable name didn't hurt either as it gave me extra piece of mind. Not much to say here, it's a basic micro ATX board with features/spec you'd expect from this price range. Cheap and cheerful, and perfectly fine. Highly recommended for budget oriented builds!
It's RAM. Not much more to say! I chose this because it was cheapier than the fancier RAM such as the Corsair LPX series and the G Skill Ripjaws. Also, this RAM doesn't have any fancy heatspreaders so it clears large CPU coolers such as the 212 just fine, where as the afforementioned brands will likey cause issues. It works, so I give it 5 stars.
Insanely fast. Like, wow! Well priced for 120GB, and with stellar speeds accompanying such a small price tag, it's hard not to like this. Perfect for installing a fresh OS + software on a new build. Performance has been super snappy, and windows boots in mere seconds. You might not be able to install too many games on this thing, though, given how large game installs are these days. If you plan to install + run games from the SSD, maybe look into a higher capacity, as this will get full quick and will only hold so many games.
Seems to be very popular among many builds, and it's clear why; well priced, 6GB/s speeds, lots of space. Can't go wrong here! Working perfectly.
I picked this up for £170 on Amazon a few months back, so a bargain. I orginally was looking at the 1050ti but this card beats it straight up. I chose this 470 version simply because it was the cheapest + on sale, however the Sapphire Nitro version and the MSI version are similar. The Red Devil is OCed out of the box, and actually sits just behind the 480 by a couple percent/FPS in performance! This particular 470 even does better in some titles. Check out benchmarks to see for yourself. 4GB GDDR5 is perfect for high/ultra @ 1080p, so I am very happy with this card. It is pretty big though, so make sure your case has clearance!
I took a star away as this card can run quite hot (80 celcius under load!), but nothing too dangerous or major. I haven't setup a custom fan profile yet, so it could be me. Other than that, no complaints. AMD Crimson software is really great, too, plus this GPU supports FreeSync, Vulkan and DX12.
Sexy case. I wanted a sleek case with a side window and good cable management options, so this ticked every box. I was quite surprised at just how heavy it was! It feels quality and well built. The glossy finish is really nice and the side window is really sleek and shows off components well. A dream to build in, cannot recommend it enough!
Also, the two stock fans that come with this are the NZXT FN V2s 120mm, in case anyone reading this review is wondering. They are perfectly silent and do an excellent job as exhaust fans. At max RPM they are the teeniest bit noisy, but nothing major at all. I was shocked as I expected them to be MUCH louder based on what I read online. I set them to run at 75% power through my BIOS and they hum along nicely, and I haven't noticed a performance difference between that and 100% RPM.
Nice PSU for budget builds, and from a good name, which is VERY important. Never skimp on your PSU. This PSU is perfect for me as I only need about 400W so this gives me great headroom. The 80+ bronze certification is also good piece of mind. Highly recommended to builders who only need 400ish watts in their builds and won't do any overclocking, etc. EVGA are a trusted brand, I've had no issues with this at all.
The cables are super thick though, which is a slight con, but nothing major. Good cable management essentially negates this, and at this price point, you can't really complain about it!
Unbelievably good fans. I used these for intakes on my S340 and I couldn't be happier. They run so quiet at max rpm I had to double check they were even running as I thought I hadn't plugged them in right! They push a LOT of air, too. Honestly if you want a silent fan that has amazing cooling performance, please pick some of these up. They may not be the sexiest looking fans, but who cares!