* Mail-In Rebates:
BEFORE I SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE BUILD PROCESS: No, I did NOT pay 350 for the GPU, I paid 350 for a used PC consisting of the CPU, RAM, HDD, GPU, case, PSU, Monitor, keyboard and mouse. I'm just a lazy guy and didn't care enough to price all the parts as I bought it as a whole...
So, Christmas was only about a month and a half away and my brother has more than once mentioned that he wants a good gaming PC this year as he had been using my parents' laptop with an i5 and GT640 for quite over a year as well as the XBOX ONE we got two years ago...
the best with PCs in my family the only one who understands enough about PCs in my family to put one together (I built my own gaming rig and a office PC for my grandparents as well as a gaming PC for a friend) my parents tasked me with picking out parts and building a PC within a budget of 500Euro, including monitor and keyboard... So, I took a look at new parts and got pretty frustrated pretty quickly, the best I could have gotten would have been a G4560 with a 1050 and 8GB RAM, definitely no SSD...
Anyway, it doesn't need a genius to figure out that a build with used parts will be way better in terms of performance per $$$, so I started convincing my parents that used parts can also still have good quality and won't fail after 3 months of use... the next few weeks were spent browsing my local ebay classified ads at least twice a day (we don't have any good alternatives here in Germany) and I was basically hoping for something in the area of HD7970/R9 280/R9 380/GTX780/GTX960 with either an FX 83XX or i5. Time goes and I hit the refresh button at just the right time and see the PC (minus the SSD and WiFi adapter) for 350Euros! At first I thought this too good to be true since a used 970 itself sells for about 250-280 over here. But after talking with the dude who sold it it was clear he just wants this PC out of his flat as he's more happy with his 6700k and 1070 (so he told me). The next weekend my dad drove the ~100km to the sellers town and we picked it up and I spent the next few days cleaning it up and installing some necessary programs along with Win10, when the SSD arrived I just cloned it over and formatted the HDD once more - all set to go!
BUT of course I wouldn't let my brother have a fully built PC, he should understand which part does what and where it goes, so I took it apart again and only put the MB, PSU and ODD in the case and the rest was left separately.
Christmas comes and my brother is as excited as a kid who is about to get his first PC could be! After unpacking the RAM his first statement was "wow, 4 sticks of RAM, this is gonna be fast". After dinner we put it together and boot for the first time, or at least POST, because I somehow ****** up and the PC tried to boot from the empty HDD... one scared brother and a few clicks in the BIOS later it finally boots into windows 10 and my brother couldn't be happier!
Wow, that was a looooong wall of text for just the story of picking out the PC...
What will this PC be used for? Well, since my brother is only 12 he won't play many of the AAA games but has already sank quite a few hours into Minecraft and Fortnite since Christmas eve and these games obviously run at a flawless 60+ FPS on their maximum settings... apart from that he'll probably do his school work and watch a bunch of youtube videos on this, and I quote, "damn big" monitor...
I don't have the MB in the part list bc I didn't bother to look for it, but it's an OEM acer with H77 chipset.
I also can't write a review on the PSU because that's also the one that likely came prebuilt with the PC, all I can say is that it definitely DOES NOT deliver the rated 550W and I'm surprised it worked over all those years... This IED is 100% the first thing to get upgraded in here ASAP. Though when I asked the seller about it, he kinda jokingly said "well, it's 80+ rated, so at least it won't blow up right after it gets turned on..." EDIT: well, it is a LITE-ON, so it's true it's not a complete piece of trash... maybe my Brother will let me have a look inside the PC to figure out the model number which I would then post here.
The first 3 pictures are from me cleaning it and installing Windows, the PALIT GPU in the first pic is a GTX 960 as I washed the cooler on the 970 and it was still drying and I didn't think far enough to use the iGPU...
The others are from putting it together on Christmas eve and him enjoying the rig for the first time.
Quite old by now and was never the best to begin with, but should be able to just play along with a GTX 970 without causing too bad of a bottleneck...
My go-to thermal paste. Cheap, easy to apply and quite good at transferring heat.
It's RAM, nothing more, nothing less...
It's RAM, nothing more, nothing less...
While it doesn't run at the 1600 MHz in this PC (obviously, since the other two sticks are only arunning at 1333), it still does a good job and the pcb looks quite nice with the golden dragon and two red leds on each end.
Relatively cheap (especially on a cyber monday discount) and it's also MLC and not TLC, which is always a plus... Also, like one would expect from an SSD, it's very fast and boots into Win 10 in under 30 seconds. The body is made of Aluminium which I assume helps transfer heat away from the NAND chips. But it is bottlenecked in this build as I could only connect it via SATA-II, but this will be fixed in a future CPU and MB upgrade!
At least it's 1TB in size... nothing more to say... it's not the fastest, not the quietest and only has SATA-II.
Insanely quiet, even under 100% synthetic load and still performs similar to a GTX1060 or RX480, so at 1080p, you're atill gonna be happy for quite some time - right until you use more that 3.5GB of VRAM... I did notice that this card has some terrible coil whine at times, but I blame the el-cheapo PSU for this.
It reads DVDs and CDs and writes to them, also about as cheap as one can get with these drives, but it works, so why spend more?
Just don't buy the 130$ version, get some 5$ OEM key off Amazon and you'll be happy.
I just love arctic fans, they are quite cheap and still pack a punch! Their color also fits pretty much anywhere and their 6 year warranty is a nice add.
Generic monitor, unfortunately it doesn't have a HDMI port but other than that it's alright. If you're really desperate it also has "speakers" integrated, but come on, it's a monitor not a speaker system, so you're better off getting some 10$ 2.0 system from you preferred place of shopping.
Very nice keyboard with minimalistic blue LED lighting (meaning it's only on WASD and the arrow keys). Doesn't have any of the fancy macro key stuff or a number pad but DOES have authentic Cherry MX Browns and the normal function key controls such as volume and stuff.
Cheap, connects to the gigantic world of the interwebs and doesn't break a sweat with our so-called "HIgh-Speed 50mb/s" connection which very much prefers to stay at a maximum of 15mb/s...