Edit: 4 new pics added of the current build, ended up upgrading to the captain 240 ex because I was seeing higher temps than I would have liked with the smaller nzxt rad and the price difference wasn't justified for the aesthetics of the nzxt bigger rad, temps are a lot better now! also another reason was because the led's would not turn off during sleep which was kind of bothersome, same with the ram which is why I just ended up turning them off. satisfied for now!
Ended up spending more then I originally thought I would but created a little budget beast that has been keeping me very satisfied! (:
All in all ended up making a rig valued around 1.5k while only having to spend around 1k.
Story of how I got there:
All started when I saw my little cousin building a PC when I recalled that I had a "Samsung 970 EVO NVMe" installed in an old laptop to speed up performance and even then, felt horrible to use. I believe it was a 2017 low end HP envy, I really loved the sleek logo and polished accents HP threw on the this line of laptops and even though I was never really a fan oh HP products to begin with I thought I'd give it a chance, long story short I probably only used it for a month. After this I figured the only things I was really using my laptop for were things that a chromebook could do(ie. mostly websurfing), started looking around and I found that a majority of chromebooks were just plain ugly imo, mainly for the huge bezels which aren't the norm of today. However, finally set my eyes on the "2015 Google Chromebook Pixel 2 LS" and fell in love and to this day can speak nothing but positive on it's name. This chromebook was in my eyes and probably many others the pinnacle of chromebooks. It has the build and trackpad quality similar to that of a macbook, screen is flawless, ran smooth and fast af, battery is amazing, usb-c charging, basically the ultimate websurfing machine. Only downfalls were that the storage is limited (which doesn't really matter when everything is saved online) and I wasn't able to use some adobe products like photoshop and illustrator (which I knew going in so can't knock it, and I believe there's even a work around was just too lazy to try). Nevertheless will probably keep it for a while just cause of how amazing I truly think it is.
ANYWAYS, decided I wanted to pull the ssd from the coffin that was the hp envy and build a pc around it so it wasn't just wasted money since it wasn't even being used anymore. I would have never thought I could build a pc as when I was growing up it just seemed impossible and whenever someones computer started acting up it was time to buy a new one.. But here I am typing from a pc, that I built myself. (: Watched my cousin and his friend figure out how to build a pc and the more I watched the more I thought "that looks easy". I've worked on cars as a hobby for quite some time now and I saw building a pc as just a small version of it, especially when I started hearing about water cooling, radiators and fans. lol So I got to it and for the most parts I was right and I strongly encourage anyone who thinks they can do it to just go for it, as having something you built yourself and knowing how everything works and how to fix it is an amazing feeling! And if you do I recommend taking your time and enjoying the process not stressing because you messed something up trying to rush the build. Take time to research making sure everything is going to work together and that your getting the most for your money and it never hurts to ask for help, I suggest making a reddit account if you don't have one and posting your questions in the builapc subreddit as there was plenty of people willing to quickly respond and help a noob such as myself, really helped me along the way.
I thought about what I would be using the pc for. Originally(lol), I thought I would build it to regain the accessibility to adobe products once again and maybe play a couple of games trying to be as budget friendly as possible. The more and more I got into it the more I valued being able to game on it, and now I know why the "pc master race" is a thing now. lol
Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD, absolute beast for loading times. Only has 250gb but I also have a Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB 2.5" SSD as back up in case I need it.
Ryzen 5 2600 seemed to be heavily praised so that's where I started with my budget. At the time it was going for about 185 new and the 2600x was going for about 220. I was fine going with the non-x until I saw someone local selling the 2600x for 140 in like new condition. Decided to take a gamble, made the purchase and in the end (ie now) everything is working great!
I knew I wanted something with a small footprint for space constraints and I just thought the appeal of having a beast in a smaller form factor was quite beautiful. At the time I ended up choosing a micro set up as I didn't want to bite off more then I could chew but in hindsight I think I would have liked the mini even more, that's not to say I don't like what I've built, I still think it looks amazing! So now that I had decided to go team red I decided on the Asrock b450m steel legend for my motherboard as it had NVMe support and some nice features, such as a nice digital camo skin, rgb heatsinks and USB type c, and it fit my budget.
Moved onto the case at which I ended up going for the Corsair 280x which was quite a bit more that some of my other options but it was pretty much at this point that I fully decided I wanted to build something that not only worked good but looked aesthetically pleasing as well. During the build I felt like it was a little bigger than what I was hoping for but now after building it and looking at it, it's damn near perfect. Made installation a breeze and looks as beautiful as I had hoped. side note: always check that you don't have any extra standoffs for your motherboard as I believe I had one the was shorting my motherboard and creating a headache for a bit.
Underestimated the size of air cooling as I had planned to go with something along the lines of the cooler master hyper 212 evo, as it had been recommended to me but luckily this site did not bring it into light at what first I thought was weird but ended up being the nice feature of telling me that It wouldn't be compatible due to its size. At first I was kind of bummed but I suppose at the same time it was nice because aio's do clean up the case quite a bit, unfortunately that does come at a cost sometimes. When looking at aio's and people using them in the 280x I came across the NZXT Kraken M22 and fell in love with the infinity styled led rings. When I saw people mentioning they were getting good temps with the smaller radiator of the m22 I knew I couldn't beat the price, so I went for it. I do have small gripes with the m22 such as the led not being able to turn off in sleep but I believe the aesthetics proper cooling of it ended up being worth it in the end.
Had a look at asrock polychrome sync compatible rgb ram and came across the g.skill trident z sticks which I had seen earlier and thought they looked really nice so once I saw this I thought it was a no brainer. Few gripes with this as well where the led's do not turn off during sleep which pretty much light up my whole room if I'm trying to sleep can become very annoying, just end up shutting down if that's the case. The asrock rgb app I feel isn't all that reliable as well, every time I shut down the rgb goes back to default upon start up. Not the end of the world so I'll deal as the rgb's on this look amazing.
Another reason why I started this build was because I had a coworker who was willing to give me some old spare parts he had such as an extra GeForce GTX 750 ti. This was nice to get me started but ended up wanting some performance and ended up setting on my eyes on the MSI - Radeon RX 580 8 GB GAMING X which goes for about 400 but found someone selling manufacture refurbished on ebay for 150. Yet another gamble I took that ended up working out pleasingly. Only flaws I found when looking close was a tiny bit of paint missing from the front of the cover, doesn't bother me as the case window has a tint to it so you hardly even see it especially with the lights off. Chose the Radeon 580 for the native freesync support and because it seemed to be reviewed well and is top tier in terms of value. Would have just got one of the cheaper versions of it but when I came across the deal of the higher valued one for a good price I decided to just purchase it. Very pleased with the performance as now I'm able to play max at the max frame rate of my monitor which is exactly what I was looking for. Much louder and creates a lot more heat than the 750 ti but makes sense with the dual fans and overall power difference. Wasn't really a fan of the bright red on it but gotta say the led's really bring it out and make good use of the color looks really nice. The backplate is a nice touch as well which I don't think I would have gotten out of the cheaper versions of this card. I think it fits really nicely in this case as well.
Knew I wanted ultrawide and got the LG - 34UM69G-B for what I thought was a really good price @ 300 dollars after price matching from 330. After doing some reseach on reddit, people make it seem otherwise but overall a really nice monitor with a slight bump from 60hz to 75hz. After realizing I was playing more games then I had originally thought I would I went back to look if there was anything I should return for with a higher refresh rate but the price differences for an ultrawide from this 75hz to a 144hz gets close to double in price which I couldn't justify. For the time being I'll manage but in the future I plan on upgrading to 2k 144hz ultrawide and at that time will probably have to upgrade video card once again.
Another part that my coworker handed over to me, however this one is definitely staying as this thing seems A1. Not too much too say about the EVGA - SuperNOVA NEX 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply. Does it's job no problems and the fully modular support is a really nice feature to have.
Thanks for reading!
Does everything I need it to do and fast!
looks beautiful and does its job. nice to have added features such as usb-c and rgb.
beautiful, should add a feature to turn off led's during sleep.
super fast load times for me
fast loading times
big step up from 750 ti. able to max out ultrawide 1080p 75hz no prob (:
beautiful and easy to work with
does its job and nice to have full modular support
beautiful screen, would have hoped to get some more fps going but that's more reliant on my budget I suppose