Once upon a time, there lived a boy who would play the latest flash games on max settings on his basement desktop. But then, everything changed when he got his own laptop. It never really satisfied him like his desktop though. Years later, he got another laptop, but after a month or two, he realized it wasn't enough. He journeyed back to his abandoned basement and started to clear out space on his old desk and he found some interesting things, some DDR2 ram, and some old IDE hard drives and optical drives. Then it hit him, his father built his old PC! And that was the beginning of his long 6 month journey of research and learning, until he felt he was ready to build on his own.
All jokes aside, this is a build I will use to replace my old raggedy HP netbook that only lasts for 5 minutes off the charger and can't play Minecraft on the lowest settings at 20 fps. With funding provided by my wonderful mother as a reward for being 8th grade valedictorian, I set off to build my own computer. Budget started at around $600 including monitor and OS, then went to $1300, then down to $1200. Everything was purchased at Microcenter except the GPU, Wi-fi card, Monitor, and OS, which were from NewEgg back in December. Now to explain why I picked each part:
- CPU (AMD FX-8350): Wanted somthing strong as all other processors I've dealt with in the past (AMD E-450 & Intel Atom) have been garbage. The i5 was out of my price range with a z87 mobo and I wanted overclocking capabilities. Overall I feel this processor should last me a long time.
- Cooler (Hyper 212 EVO): Fairly standard, but gave me some problems. I didn't realize you had to adjust the screws for AMD boards and it wouldn't go in at first so i had to almost force it before I realized I was doing something wrong. Overall, not very confidence inspiring but good cooling.
- MOBO (Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3): Very nice black and dark gray theme, 990FX chipset, good cooling, and low price with the MicroCenter bundle.
- Memory (Corsair Vengeance): Fairly standard, reliable ram. Purchased back when prices were still really high.
- Storage (840 Evo & WD Blue): The 840 Evo is one of the fastest budget drives out right now and the WD blue is a really reliable place to store my large files.
- GPU (R9 270X): I know, I know, everyone will say, "You could have gotten a 270 non-X and just overclocked it!" but when I purchased it the difference was only around ten bucks. I got Asus because I've heard great things about them and pretty much everything else was sold out. I originally planned to go with a 280X but the prices jumped and the 770 was still out of reach.
- Case (Corsair 200R): Another fairly standard part that gave me a bit of trouble. First, the thumbscrews on the back were screwed in really tight and i had to use pliers so I didn't strip them trying to use the screwdriver. Then, there were too many mobo standoffs installed so I had to get a wrench with the correct tip and pull them out, one being extremely close to the back of the case and was really tough to get out. I had to remove a PCI bracket to get to it. Also, sometimes when a moving part in the front starts, like the hard drive or fan, the front of the case vibrates and makes an annoying buzzing sound. Other than that, it was fine.
- PSU (Corsair 600M): Semi-modular PSU from a reliable brand at an ok price.
- Accessories: Optical drive to install Windows, Windows 8 because it is snappy and not that bad in my opinion, Asus monitor because it was the cheapest with HDMI, speakers, and low response time, needed Wi-fi as my router is upstairs and I'm in my basement, white led fanz cuz fanz, and a cheap keyboard and mouse setup.
Upgrades in this order will probably be: better keyboard and mouse, dust filters, and possibly down the line a more powerful GPU.