I built this PC to replace a 9 year old HP Windows XP Desktop. The motivation for building this PC was so that I could get the experience of building a PC, and have a ‘modern’ machine for everyday use and light gaming. I set the original budget at around $600.
I bought as much as I could at Micro Center. Micro Center has nice bundle deals, so I actually did pretty well on the core components. I used Newegg for the remaining items. In the end I paid about $20 in tax, but it gave me peace of mind that I wasn’t likely to have to abandon the project returning parts through the mail.
Anything with a price of $0 was a gift.
The original build went really well, no issues getting the PC to post and no major issues during assembly. As you can read below, I did make some changes shortly after completing the build and using the machine for a few weeks. For more information on the part selection and my thoughts on those, see the part reviews.
The computer had some fan/noise issues. The front intake fan didn't have a long enough plug to reach the motherboard chassis fan header, so it was going at 100%. I fixed this for $2 by getting an extension. The other was the stock CPU cooler on the FX-6300. It wasn't cutting it, so I replaced it with a CM Hyper 212 Evo.
I also noticed some coil whine from the PSU. Got a replacement unit which solved the problem (Thanks Micro Center).
I got a new 120mm fan (gift) so that my case wouldn't glow blue anymore, and I finally got around to installing it. I also removed the middle HDD cage and put my HDD in the lower bay. The Arctic Cooling F12 fan is quieter than the two pre-installed cooler master fans. I may replace those at a later date.
Improved cable management. Pics now include multiple versions of the cable management and hdd config. Moved the HDD back to the middle cage because I was having some vibration issues. Most recent pic is last.
Got myself another 3-pin fan extension, so now I have 2 120mm fans (blue one is back) in the front and 1 120mm in the back.
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PCpartpicker | Tom’s Hardware Systems Forum | Newegg How to Build a PC videos | Microcenter
Still a great budget chip, even a few years later. It doesn't run too hot once an aftermarket cooler is installed. I haven't tried overclocking it- haven't needed to. The only major drawback is the lack of significant upgrade path, something you should definitely consider if you plan on putting more money into the platform before replacing the CPU/Mobo/RAM.
Really got the job done for me. Definitely a contender in the budget air cooler space, and a great fit for the 6300.
Practically no issues with this board since I got it. I would recommend stepping up to this or the Gigabyte 970 board at a minimum for the FX chips- better cooling design is important here. Between these two mid-range 970 boards, they trade blows. This one had all the features I need and worked well right out of the box.
Rock-solid RAM. Running at 1600mhz straight out of the box and no issues at all.
This is the previous generation Black HDD. I had a case of terrible timing and purchased this while they were clearing out the last of them to make way for the current gen of Black drives. This drive is on the loud side, so I have to dock it a star for that. I get good performance though, and I expect this drive to last for quite some time.
Still a competent 1080p card, if you put it to work. The card doesn't run too hot, but the fan is pretty noticeable if you're pushing it. If you don't mind playing at conservative settings, this card runs very well and reasonably quietly at lower usage. These days at $100 there are better buys, but a second-hand 7770 is still relevant.
Overall, solid case for the money, even if it is getting a bit old. The updated version I purchased included USB-3 front panel connectors. The standard version of this case is not painted black on the inside, so be mindful of that. On the functional side though- very good results. The case feels sturdy, there are ample configuration options and cable management space, and I have had good experiences with temps throughout the system.
Good choice in the budget space, especially if you can get it with MIR. For my situation, the 8-pin connector wasn't long enough to reach around the back of the case, so I had to buy an adapter. Consider your layout when making your purchase decision, as it does add a bit to the cost. Also remember, as a budget entry this PSU is not modular, and the cables are not all sleeved. Not a big deal if you want function over form, however. Going on 2 years and no issues with power delivery.
Ahh Windows 8/8.1. I don't actually hate it, but then again, I am not a power user. Now that the computer boots straight to desktop, I really don't have issues with the UI outside of the charms bar (which I don't have to use all that much). I have my programs clustered on the task bar or linked on the desktop. I actually find the right-clickable windows logo to be helpful, as it has shortcuts to many key utilities. The one thing I'm still wrestling with 8.1 over is the task scheduler creating work for the HDD whenever the computer goes idle. The HDD is often at very high usage doing "maintenance", which can certainly be annoying.
Great fan so far. Long warranty (which generally indicates quality), and silent compared to the other 120mm fans that came with my HAF 912 case.
Easy to set-up, nice display. I like the increased viewing angles and this has suited my needs well so far. I have noticed that the experience using HDMI is a little less user-friendly than with DVI. It took me some configuring to get the HDMI signal to be full-screen. Otherwise very nice for the money.