Description

Put together this build for a friend and his wife, for general family use. They gave me a 650€ budget and these requirements: wifi, ODD, at least 1TB storage, somewhat decent gaming capabilities.

All parts have been purchased though Amazon Italy, and the decision on which components to buy relied heavily on which parts were on sale at the time of purchase.

A little rationale:

CPU: Overclocking was out of the question because the build has to be as much hassle-free as it gets for the unskilled users, so we decided to ditch AMD FX chips. Tried squeezing an i5 into the budget but failed, so I went for the i3 4330 for its solid single-core performance, and HyperThreading for the modern multicore-optimized games. Eventual (albeit unlikely) upgrade path available.

CPU Cooler: I consider a good cooler mandatory for ANY modern pc build. Maybe not that important for heat dissipation on stock cpus but I care a big deal about noise. GPU is going to be the loudest component anyway, yes, but during general computing, when the GPU is idle, I want the PC to be QUIET. Picked the CM T4 because was the cheapest 120mm cooler available made by a reputable brand.

RAM: Nothing much to say here. Cheap, reliable, 1600MHz CL10 8GB dual channel kit. Pretty standard choice.

MOBO: Decent cheap H81 board. Pretty basic functionalities but seems reliable and I like the Gigabyte UEFI environment. 2x SATA3 ports (+2x SATA2), front and back USB3.0. And back COM port LOL :). Only two PCIe slots but I hardly imagine more would be needed. I chose a microATX board in order to shrink the dimension of the tower a little bit. Gen2 PCI-E shouldn't bottleneck the GPU.

CASE: I love this case. I LOVE it. Cheap as low-grade garbage cabinets but sports a lot of features, well beyond its price point. Pleasing aesthetics, well-finished materials, 5x 120mm fan vents (two 120mm fans included), plenty of space for massive air/liquid coolers, filtered intakes, decent cable management options.

GPU: was on sale at ~150€, even cheaper than a gtx750ti... Runs sufficiently cool and quiet under load.

PSU: Really wanted a modular psu, but couldn't fit it in the budget. Corsair was the cheapest reputable 500W psu available with sufficient 12V current and 2x PCI-E 6+2 pin connectors. Whisper silent.

SSHD: I refuse to build a PC in 2015 without a solid state drive, period. However, the SSD+HDD combo was a little to much for the budget and also having a second drive letter could have been inconvenient for the users. Also the storage requirement precluded the SSD-only solution. So I decided to buy the SSHD hybrid drive by Seagate, having used it in previous builds. Thanks to its optimization magic, OS and most common programs are blazing fast, almost SSD-grade and waaaaay faster than HDDs.

WiFI: 802.11n 300Mbps adapter, picked a PCI-e one for mobo compatibility. I usually buy TP-LINK adapters but the WN881ND was out of stock at the time.

ODD: it works.

Comments

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

nice

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

considering you got a non-modular psu, you did a good job on the cables.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks :)

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice cable management

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Why is there no out take fan?, that's going to heat up the inside quickly and might cause a shutdown as air is coming in but none is being sent out, or if it is being sent out it's not being sent out fast enough.

Other than that its a fine budget build, it's good to see people using i3's in builds and nice job on the bargain hunting for that graphics card.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

I decided to try and take out one of the case fans to see if it could help with lowering the noise (since they are not PWM). I have taken out the outtake one in order to create a positive pressure in the system and keep dust outside.

I did some temperature reading with MSI afterburner:

CPU: ~65°C (73°C max) after 1 hour in Prime 95, 4 cores at 100%, T4 fan didn't accelerate

GPU: locked at 70°C during 2 hours Unigine HEaven, fans at 50% max.

I should mount the aft fan back in and see how much the temps go down

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I think they'd rather deal with a little noise than have to spend more money replacing parts due to overheating. Not saying the owners are computer illiterate but I seriously doubt they care much about advanced things like benchmarks, I believe they just want a pc that can let them check their social networking pages, watch videos/listen to music and as in the description, play a few games.

Unless they sit very close to the pc and/or lean their ear up against the case, they probably won't hear any of the noise anyway as the games or video will probably drown it out.

Maybe one day you could explain to them about the benchmarks and preventive maintenance to keep their pc clean and free of dust, but as of now you should re-install that out take fan asap.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Well of course the benchmarks were run just for testing purposes, I will even uninstall them before giving the pc to my friends.

I was getting about 35°C from both CPU and GPU on idle (10-12 degrees above room temp), so I think that during non-demanding tasks there will be no overheating issues.

Do you think I should be worried by the 70 °C under load ?

  • 60 months ago
  • 0 points

70 degrees celsius equals to 158 degrees fahrenheit which is a high number so I would definitely re-install that out take fan and get that temperature lowered asap. Maybe you should consider telling the owners to buy two more fans (one for another intake fan as you only have one in the front and two would be a lot better for bringing in more air, and one to add to the cpu cooler for a push/pull configuration).

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I have found a spare low-noise adapter from a noctua fan I have used in another build.

Put back on the aft fan with the adapter so I have more airflow and no noise. Problem solved.

Anyway, the exhaust fan does not seem to impact the temps that much: all of the fans controlled by mobo and the sapphire ones are kept at the lowest spin rates while temperatures are below 70 °C...

  • 60 months ago
  • -3 points

Dis ain't entry level, bro. No +1 for you.

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

I'm not sure why you keep insisting on applying your definition of performance segments to other peoples' builds. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and many parts in this build can be considered "entry-level".

  • 60 months ago
  • -3 points

Entry level would mean just enough to do what you want well enough. Like a cheap $300 PC with an Athlon x4 860k and a GTX 650, but THIS is mid level at least.

I'm not sure why you keep forcing YOUR opinion that everyone can have their own opinion about the definition of PC build levels on ME.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

funny story? The pcpartpicker "entry-level" rig is more powerful than mine https://it.pcpartpicker.com/guide/gcTwrH/entry-level-gaming-build

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

People now believe things need to be powerful to run games, and that older hardware cannot ever run newer games.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions I have ever heard.

Your build can probably get high on Battlefield 4 at 1080p@60fps. That is better than good enough, as good enough would just mean playable.

Entry level would be that 'good enough' build for people who care more about gameplay than graphics and screen resolution. Like how I would rather have buttery smooth frame rates and no lag at 720p on low as long as the gameplay is the same.

Anyway, enough with my rant. To summarize, your build is better than 'entry level' and is better than 'good enoughj' for current gen and maybe next gen. I just get tired of people believing games need horsepower.

TOTALLY UNINTERESTING FACT!: I work for an architecture company, and my boss ACTUALLY DOES render skyscrapers and bridges at 4k in real time for the board in the conference room, and the PC in there is STILL just an i5 with 16 GB of RAM and two crossfired GTX 980s. My boss is quite the PC enthusiast.