Total build cost was $1000.00 and I’m from Australia so keep this in mind as regional warranties and pricing is applicable.
Components were purchased from MSY Ultimo and Umart West Ryde.
I built this for a friend who hadn’t upgraded for many years and I wanted to do something special for him while keeping costs to a minimum but using quality components that also offer possible upgrade potential in the future.
CPU: Intel Pentium Processor G3258
I’ve wanted to complete a build with this CPU for ages and my friend was on a tight budget and this offer great performance and value. I reached 4.2GHz with stock cooler and after running Prime95 for 3.5 hours it only reached 85 Celsius and passed the Intel burn test easily. I ran a heap of other stress tests and it was great. I believe I could have raised the overclock higher but 4.2GHz is good.
Motherboard: ASRock H97M Pro4
I like this motherboard and it was easy to build with and I had no problems updating the bios, overclocking the CPU and working with the various fan/performance profiles it includes. It also had plenty of fan headers, more than others in the price range.
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws-X 8G Kit (4Gx2) DDR3 1600 F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
The CPU only supports 1333MHz RAM and I was unable to find cheaper ram with less MHz and I figured that since this was the cheapest ram with reasonable latency it was fine for this build. I didn’t bother playing with timings as all my testing with auto settings was sufficient.
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Great warranty, reliable brand with energy saving features so not much else to say.
Storage: SanDisk SSD SDSSDP-128G
I aligned the drive, optimised everything and it’s fast.
GPU: Asus R9270-DC2OC-2GD5
This GPU is fantastic and I was impressed how quiet, easy and stable the overclocking process was. I was able to raise the overclock as high and higher than the 270X cards. The current version overclocking software for this card is excellent. I was able to play BF3, Tomb Raider and other modern games on high with 2X AA. Includes a 3 year warranty!
Case: Coolermaster NSE-400-KWN2
Easy build and nice layout, the fan filters are well made and it comes with two quiet 120mm fans that perform well. This case doesn’t include the blue LED fans so I bought one just to make the case look a bit nicer.
Case Fan: Coolermaster Xtraflo 120mm
Because MSY didn’t have the cases I was originally reviewing I had to buy a LED case fan to make the case pretty as the other Coolermaster NSE-400 case includes two LED case fans.
Headset: Logitech G230 Gaming Headset
Comfortable, well designed, nice colours with great acoustics so was pleased with this headset.
PSU: Coolermaster GM Series RS650-AMAAB1 650Watt 80 Bronze
PSU includes a 5 year warranty, is modular and includes good cabling and the fit was perfect in the case. 80 plus bronze certified and was cheap with upgrade potential so was happy. I monitored the voltages while stressing the system and everything was within tolerance.
Optical Drive – Asus DRW-DRW-24B3ST
The optical drive is fast, cheap, made by Asus and has energy savings features.
Mouse Pad: Func F Series 10 L
Cheap, probably better than others in its class and it’s a nice size that should last a few years and will enhance the experience with a quality mouse.
Wireless Network Card: D-Link DWA-566 Dual Band
PCI express is easy to install and this model offers dual band. The software was simple to install and the purchase represents good value for money with dual band functionality.
Keyboard: Logitech G105 Keyboard
I own this keyboard and have been happy with the backlit keys and overall typing experience. Logitech is tried and tested and the keyboard includes 3 blue backlight levels and is practical for gaming/typing in the dark. I felt the keyboard legs could have been higher and offered a better angle for typing as I find it a bit flat.
Mouse: Logitech G105
Fast, good size for people with larger hands and works great with a hard surface mouse pad.