This is my second build, a build I did for my brother for Christmas this year. All of the money he received from relatives and doing yard work. He is upgrading from my old hand-me-down prebuilt computer. I'll go into part choices later, but as far as installation, the build went smoothly. I took out most of the parts that I made reviews on so this page isn't so long.
All of these parts choices are based on the ideology that the two most important parts in any computer are the motherboard and power supply. They are the foundation parts needed for a long-lived computer.
Some random Walmart speakers
Even though these are Walmart speakers they are not bad. They have good sound for a $30-$50 set of desktop speakers.
Benchmarks and Temperatures
Note: these will be updated once the graphics card is installed. Most of his current games will be crushed, since he has been saving up money for a computer, not the current AAA titles.
His processor only reaches 60 when doing a full load folding at home session, and his graphics card sits
Minecraft: We haven't installed many games just yet, and my brother isn't getting his GPU till Christmas. He still pulls 80 frames consistently on Amplified Minecraft worlds, heating the CPU up to 51C.
Goat Simulator: He doesn't notice any lag on this game. The CPU only goes up to 41C on average.
Team Fortress 2: He can play this game well on integrated graphics.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition: Pretty laggy with just integrated graphics. Might be playable if settings are turned down to the lowest. Easily ran with his new graphics card.
Just Cause 1: A game released quite awhile ago, and shows its age in not allowing a 1080p option. Easily played on integrated graphics.
Just Cause 2: The second game in the series, it calls for a little more power in the way of a dedicated graphics card. This game doesn't want to start up sometimes due to the simple Intel 530 graphics.
This game now plays at 1080p at 60 frames with his new R9 280X. The card only gets up 60C.
Some random Rogue-like games: Since these games were mostly 2D games with pixel art styles, my brother was able to play these games on integrated graphics with no problems.
Folding @ Home: I tried this little humanity-helping program a few days ago, and at the "full" option, it brings my brother's processor to 60C since it only using the stock cooler. At medium, it brings the processor to an average of 45C. At light, it sits at a comfortable 40C
The i5 6500 processor will generate around 3000 points per day.
The GPU runs FAH much better than the processor, and doesn't get as hot.
Conclusion The price comes in at around $700 including monitor, and $587 without monitor (this also depends on the GPU I purchase from /r/hardwareswap, for which there is a budget of $130; at most it would be a little over a $600 total). For a $600 build, this computer packs most cost into the important parts, thus future-proofing the build. Research and parts were conducted and purchased starting from May till now. Also, feel free to message me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the performance of this computer.
It will be totally complete a little after the new year.
It is now COMPLETE.
A nice quad-core CPU capable of gaming. This CPU might be possible to overclock if the rumors are true and your Z170 motherboard has a "hacked" BIOS.
An excellent mini-ITX motherboard with a ton of features. The wireless antenna provided is top-notch as are the more motherboard-bound things.
The heat spreader was a little loose. Other than that this RAM went right to 2400 Mhz.
One of the cheapest SSDs on the market. While it is cheap, it still boots my brother's computer just as fast as my PNY one.
This drive was in a prebuilt computer I've had for 5 years, and it was used before I had it. It's still running today with almost 30k power on hours.
A nice mini-ITX case. It was a pain sometimes, since it is a smaller case, however it is a little larger than some of the more popular ITX cases.
The fans that came with it are only three-pin fans, which means that they cannot be controlled through PWM ports, and that they are loud all the time.
18 August 2016 Update:
The front USB ports on this case are still stiff, and one of them actually broke (the port itself came out of the case). Also, when playing graphically demanding games, the a non-blower style card will become quite warm, as the plastic window is blocking the heat from escaping. I've taken 1 star from this review due to these problems.
I have nothing but praise for this very beefy EVGA power supply.
A loud fan that moves a lot of air, keeping my brother's case cool.
Replaced some loud Rosewill stock fans, and these allow more cooling for less noise. They also have some neat lighting effects that can be toggled with buttons.
I was able to grab this off jet.com for my brother for $45 under its standard price. No problems and smooth 144hz on the cheap.
A monitor that is nearly a widescreen. It has a very nice picture. It has no VESA mounts, and the stock stand is quite flimsy.
A Clacky blue switch keyboard that isn't expensive. I've found that most of these $40 dollar mechanical keyboards have cheap, non-doubleshot keycaps, meaning the lettering on the keycaps wears off over time.
A comfortable, affordable gaming mouse that doesn't just work for first-person shooter games.