Ever met someone who obstinately refuses to renounce or change something they have? Meet my friends. They both have MacBook Pros, play games on consoles, and refuse to buy a gaming PC. No matter how much pleading or explaining how much Apple overcharges for their hardware could convince them. So I decided to build another PC for them to use when they came over to play games such as Just Cause 2 MP mod (which is utterly fantastic by the way). There was only one problem. I had no money at the time, so the plans were postponed. A few months ago, I replaced my Corsair CX500M with an HX750i. This meant I had a spare PSU sitting around, checking one of the items off my parts list. I also had an extra keyboard after I upgraded to my K95 from an AZIO L70, so another part was checked off the list. But the real break came when one of my friends upgraded his prebuilt PC's GPU to a GTX 950 so he could play Fallout 4, and he gave me his old GPU, a Powercolor HD 6450. Not a great card, but with 1GB of GDDR3, it would be perfect for Source games, Minecraft, and Just Cause 2. (I plan to upgrade to a 750ti when my birthday rolls around). I had an extra WD blue 1tb that I originally bought for my main rig to add another terabyte, but I never used it, so it was re purposed into the meme machine. Now all I needed was a CPU, Motherboard, RAM, and a case. After I bought my Sapphire r9 290x, I had a GTX 960 that wasn't being used for anything, so I sold it for 160 dollars. With this money, I bought the remaining parts.
CPU: G3258 I went for this CPU because it was the cheapest option available. Also, I wanted something that I could overclock, as I'd never done it before. I managed to get this up to 4.1 GHz with stock voltages, reaching a max temperature of 70 degrees in Prime95 after 10 minutes with the stock cooler. I replaced that stock Intel thermal paste with some CRYORIG CP9 for slightly lower temperatures, as it lowered the load temps of my 290x by 7 degrees, so I went for it.
Motherboard: MSI Z97 MATE "Y u Z97 motherboard with pentium" "wat a skreb. expensive motherboard with dual core CPU" "m8, that isn't gr8" Alright, I know. A Z97 board with a pentium doesn't make much sense. I had originally selected an MSI H81M-P33 for this build, but, at MicroCenter, they only had the H81M-E33, which was 59.99, which I figured wasn't worth it for such a budget chipset. For 20 dollars more, it was either the MATE or an AsRock H97 board, so I decided to go for the slightly better overclocking and crossfire support of the Z97 board. All in all, I only spent 20 dollars more for a motherboard with MUCH better VRM cooling, more expansion slots, and a better upgrade path.
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB You may notice that the photos show a single stick of Vengeance LP in white. The RAM I ordered hasn't come in yet, so I decided to build the PC anyway with a 4gb stick from my main rig. RAM is RAM, and since I don't have a side panel window, you don't see the hideous heat spreader. Again, I went for the cheapest available.
Storage: WD BLUE 1TB It's mechanical, loud, and slow, but I already had it, so it was a no-brainer. I may eventually go SSD, but only after I get my main rig to one.
Video Card: PowerColor HD 6450 This is probably worse than the integrated graphics on the pentium, but I have the ability to overclock it! I got it up to 725 MHz on the core, and 750 MHz on the memory, with temps good, considering this card is passively cooled. Gaming performance is nothing spectacular, but Minecraft at 2560x1080 runs at about 40fps with low settings, and rocket league at 27-30. Keep in mind that my 290x sometimes struggles with 2560x1080, and turning down the resolution definitely helps performance.
Case: NZXT Source 210 I love this case for a few reasons. 1. It's cheap 2. It looks clean and modern 3. 8 hard drive bays! 4. Reasonably quiet. At Micro Center, this was the second cheapest case, after the Fractal Core 1000, which was a bit too budget-oriented for me. This case was extremely easy to build in, with cable management quite good thanks to generous room behind the mobo tray. That said, I did have to push the side panel on with much force to get my 24-pin ATX connector to stay in place. I am definitely adding some sound-deadening foam, as well as a few more fans to make this case slightly quieter. I might also mod a side panel window on, but that'll come later.
PSU: CX500M The CX500M gets tons of hate for being a low-quality unit that will fail and probably take your pc with it. But for such a low-power, low-cost system, I'll never reach 500 watts of power draw. (I think the system uses 200 at full load)
You may notice that there is no OS listed, but I'm running 8.1, as 10 has all sorts of problems with the g3258. Just for the hell of it, I tried the key I had used previously for my main rig, and to my surprise and relief, it worked! So I got 8.1 for free, essentially.
So all in all, I think this build went well. I'm using an old IBM thinkvision monitor at the moment for this rig, and it's great. With such a low resolution, the 6450 isn't taxed too much, but I'm eventually getting an AOC one. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009V8F700?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER If anyone has experience with this monitor, please leave your input below. The 8-pin connecter is running across the motherboard because it wouldn't fit through the cutout in the Source 210. It doesn't look very good, but I don't have to look at it. (EDIT: I fit it by splitting the 8-pin connector into dual 4-pins and plugging those in) (See last pic) When I'm not using it, I use this PC as a folding rig along with my main rig. It's quite good at it, and the 6450 is ,surprisingly a good folding card Leave feedback, comments, or turnips in the comments below!