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A Moderately-Budget Friendly Casual Gamer Build

by IncredibleJedi



Date Published

May 20, 2017

Date Built

May 19, 2017

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

44.5° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

54.8° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C


So, the purpose of the build was to replace my six year old desktop computer, which recently died. All of my computers were either family computers, which I would upgrade RAM and GPU on, and pre-built/ordered. My desktop that died, was actually a pre-built customized unit from HP (the six year old one).

This is my first build, ever. I'm currently in grad school and working on my dissertation, and I prefer typing on my desktop over a laptop over extended periods of time, so I knew I wanted to replace it quick. I also consider myself a casual-moderate gamer (Overwatch, SWTOR, Mass Effect Andromeda, etc.). I threw this parts list together on (5/12 and 5/13), and got some helpful feedback from folks on this site. Being my first build, there were definitely some things that I overlooked... Such as RAM frequency that would best support the CPU and motherboard, and future-proofing just a little for when I upgrade down the road. My budget was about $700 ballpark, with some flexibility.

Why the AMD Ryzen 5 1600? Well, I was originally looking at the Ryzen 5 1500X, and when I created my first part list, the first people to comment and create a list for me just plugged in the 1600. Wasn't even considering that, but for an extra $30, I thought why not.

Why the MSI B350 Tomahawk? It was actually a Newegg bundle where I saved $20. on both the CPU and this motherboard. I also did quite a bit of reading on reviews here and there (Newegg, Amazon, Tom's Hardware, this website), and although this board needed a lot of updates and fixes, it seemed like for the most part that it has leveled out a bit more.

The GPU I already had, as I bought over the Christmas holidays, and was upgrading from a GTX 260 (Believe me, I know... I'll upgrade towards the end of the year). The PSU I chose 650 because I'm planning on upgrading my graphics card down the road, and just wanted more than enough power. Plus it was only $10 more and on sale, at the time. And the rest, the memory and the case, I chose those purely based on aesthetics and looks to my liking.

This being my first build, it actually took me 4 hours to put the entire thing together. I followed the manuals just to see where everything was and how things were laid out. The most difficult thing for me was actually putting on the Wraith Spine cooler (came with the CPU) on the motherboard... That was probably because I decided to put it on before inserting the motherboard into the case... (Yep, I may have been an idiot for that, but you live and you learn). Aside from that moment and freaking out for about 10 minutes trying to secure the stock cooler on the CPU, everything else went well. It was time consuming, of course, as I wanted to make sure I did everything right. Cable management was pretty easy for the case - lots of room - and the motherboard needed to be placed carefully in as space got tight.

It was a great feeling turning on the computer for the first time and seeing the boot option screen. That was pretty awesome and a "Oh yeeeeeeeah!" for me :) Everything is running smooth. I have not OC'd my CPU, and I am not sure if I will at this point, though I have my ram running at 3k right now.

If I could change one thing, it'd obviously be the GPU. But as money got tight, I saved myself $100+ for not upgrading now. Overall, I am very, very happy with my build. And so very happy that it actually turned on.

In the words of Lego Batman, "FIRST TRY!"

Comments Sorted by:

iTzRemmY 3 points 12 months ago

I wish that you spent an extra 25-30$ for a 1050ti 4gb. Great build nonetheless.

IncredibleJedi submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Thank ya! I had bought the 1050 for my then nearly 6 year old desktop, knowing that my next computer was going to be the first one I actually built. But I wasn't planning to build one til the end of the year at the earliest. Unfortunately my desktop died early, so now I'll be waiting towards the fall/winter to pick up a better GPU on sale.

Destructive55AZ 1 Build 2 points 11 months ago

I'd recommend upgrading to a GTX 1070. Vega and Volta launch will lower the price, and the Ryzen 1600 won't bottleneck it. I would like to ask if you can turn mobo LEDs off.

IncredibleJedi submitter 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

I am thinking a 1070 or 1080 towards Fall or end of the year. I believe nVidia is releasing the 20XX series this year, too, yah? I may pick one of those up since I'll have some money saved up by then.

Also, I believe you can turn off the LED lights, but I haven't messed around with it, yet, since I like the lights.

Destructive55AZ 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Yea, Volta (Nvidia 20xx) is launching soon, along with AMD's VEGA. AMD likely has a 1070 level VEGA, and Volta will either be a good buy, or at the least will lower other GPUs prices.

jdye1214 2 points 9 months ago

I'm really glad to see you had no troubles, as I am looking into my first ever build (also very new to this), and am leaning toward a lot of the similar parts! (Same CPU, MOBO, RAM)

IncredibleJedi submitter 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

Right on. Some of the prices for the parts I've used have gone back to their "normal" retail price, so this build is looking a little more expensive now than when I built it.

The RAM for example, I picked up from Amazon for $130, the GPU was $110 when I purchased it, and the SSD was $155.. So, that's about $50 right there that I was able to save.

I am not sure what your time frame looks like, but with fall and winter coming up soon, I'm sure there are going to be more sales where you may be able to pick these components, or "better" or "upgraded" components for similar prices,

jdye1214 1 point 9 months ago

Yea, I'm in no rush. I've been things one or two at a time, trying to save cash whenever I can. Of course, the closer I get, the quicker I want to buy everything so I can get it built! It's been a real battle against my patience, that's for sure.

Coolcoll1n 1 point 6 months ago

Is there anything wrong with the case? I am buying the same one

IncredibleJedi submitter 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

It's a great case. With a full size motherboard, it got a little snug, but you have the room for it. It probably felt snug because I large hands. Other than that, plenty of room for cable management. This is my first build, so I wanted a larger case to have more than enough room, and a window to show off components.

The one thing I've read that some folks mind is the "Rosewill" sticker on the front of the case, but that's a personal preference for some people. I don't mind it.

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IncredibleJedi submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Appreciate it, thank ya!

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IncredibleJedi submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Flashed the bios for the Tomahawk to the most recent version (1.5), and then went in and manually set it to 3k. I'll add a pic shortly for folks to see, just to make sure and since I'm new at this sort of stuff.

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IncredibleJedi submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Edit: Spoke too soon. Pic added.

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