Description

This build was made for a friend of mine that had been gaming on a laptop for the past few years. He saved up some extra cash from work and told me he needed a PC (no peripherals or OS needed) for 600$. Here is the list of parts I chose and why I decided on them:

  1. CPU: At this price point, I think it's imperative to choose the intel route, specifically an i5. While Skylake is the newest platform, DDR3 and Haswell both still have a lot of life to them so I didn't see any issue in saving him some money there that could be spent on other parts. He communicated that playing games like Witcher and GTA would be something he is interested in, so nothing under an i5 would be even considered.

  2. Motherboard: My go-to motherboard for non-tinkerers on a budget is the MSI H81-P33. I've used it in 4 different builds now and it has yet to show any negatives despite the fact that its less than 50$! It allows for 2 RAM slots and 1 standard PCI-E card. For the average person this can provide an excellent first PC experience and allow a little bit of upgradeability.

  3. RAM: The RAM itself is nothing special, I just looked for the cheapest RAM with a heat spreader on Amazon at the time of purchasing and went for it. I intentionally did NOT get a 2x4 set because the mobo only has 2 slots. This allows for him to upgrade to 16gb of RAM without wasting an old set. Crucial has good products, but if you can find better looking ram for about the same price, go for it.

  4. Storage: IMO, if the person I'm building for wants to save money, the two options for storage on a budget build are a boot SSD or a large HDD. While personally I would rather have a faster 128gb boot SSD and then add a storage drive later, he decided he couldn't afford both right now and that size was more important than speed. Because of this the WD 1TB Caviar Blue hard drive was the best choice. It's reliable, decently large cache, and isn't super loud.

The next three things are the most trivial choices I made for the build. Reliability, performance, and asthetics are all things to be considered while still trying to get the most out of a dollar.

  1. GPU: The R9 380 is the best new card under 200$. I could have gone the eBay/GPU shack/craigslist route with this part and maybe gotten a nicer part, but recently I had a very bad experience with Gigabyte and a used part so I wanted to guarantee a quality experience from the get-go. XFX is a reputable company and I've bought a GPU from them before that's still going strong in my brother's PC so I decided they would be my company of choice. Sidenote: I realize that 2gb of VRAM isn't enough in 2016. He won't be going above 1080p anytime soon and honestly this GPU can only utilize the full 4gb VRAM in very few games. It isn't powerful enough to get to the second 2gb most of the time to even make it worth paying for.

  2. Case: I don't really know what to think about this case. Currently my personal rig is housed in a Corsair 400R which I adore, but these are two very different price points(100$ to 50$). I knew there had to be some sacrifices to get a decent looking case that cheap and I was able to see these while actually building the PC. First off, the case looks really clean, I like the outside look a lot. My friend wanted a case with a window but specifically didn't want the SPEC 0-1 by Corsair because another mutual friend of ours has that case already. Secondly, installing the front fans sucks! Corsair did a terrible job designing the layout for the fans. I tried 3 different fans in the front to see if they could fit (all 120mm) and only 1 fit. Sadly I only had one extra fan so the second fan slot had to remain empty despite him having a fan that would usually be able to fit there. The cable management is decent in the visible side of the case, but the back is kind of a pain. I take a lot of time in keeping things clean so that if something goes wrong, whoever I built the PC for can look around and easily see what's going on. However, it fit all of my parts relatively easily and would allow for future upgradeability while looking pretty clean. Overall I'd give the case a B-.

  3. PSU: I've lived by the Johnny Guru PSU guides in my time building and have come to the conclusion that if the user has no desire to OC themselves, a decent tier 3 PSU should do the job very well. I have built a few computers using tier 2 and 3 PSUs and honestly I've seen almost no difference in reliability and how stable my OC's are. Because of this, the EVGA 600B was my choice. Typically hovering around 40-45$, It is a steal with a 2 year warranty and 80+ Bronze certification. If the budget was larger I would have recommended a SeaSonic or XFX PSU, but I don't feel like this one will be doing the build a disservice.

  4. MISC: Another mutual friend of ours had 3 CM Sickleflow fans laying around and let my friend buy them for 15$. While these fans are worth that low of a pricetag, I wouldn't recommend them. They are loud and one of the bearings in one of the fans already came loose and sounds just awful. Good fans are worth the money. Buy Noctua, be quiet!, or good Corsair fans. Not these. He already owned the mouse but I wouldn't recommend it either. Buy wired and paying for a good sensor is worth the money. My go-to recommendations are the Avago 3310 and 3366.

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Well done, J. The basic build--I love the basics. Nothing but sweating over price per performance! And ya even snuck in a quad core. <tips hat>

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

My favorite builds are the cheapest ones. It's easy to build a rig over 1000$. I've done it enough times to where it's kind of all the same. My favorite build was one I made for a friend that was under 400$.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi Jjohnson122, Could you give me some advice on my parts list please? I am building something similar to what you did and wonder if it is worth me changing some for what you advise in this post. Many thanks :)

Here is my post: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/151763-need-guidance-for-a-750-all-rounder

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Sure I'll post my recommendation and comments on your post!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build dude! shoulda gone with the 4gb though. Im getting the same build but mini itx and a rx 480 (:

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I put a lot of time into it!

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Good luck! If you have any questions msg me.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

I agree the 4gb version would have been a plus but depending on when you nab it you can get it for a similar price. I got my MSI 380 4gb for $195 on sale at Newegg

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