The Wizard of Oz says hello. The great and powerful Oz.
This was built for my mother. She loves green colors so I thought, why not build her a good computer and make it pop with green? My mom calls her computer Oz but I'll explain about that in a moment. Parts were gradually bought from February and March. I will try my best to summarize instead of blabber too much since I had a lot of pictures.
I'm showing the finished build ahead of time from photo numbers 1-16. The rest of the photos shows the process of the finished build but internally.
This build alone is $689.98. I'm actually happy on how it turned out. This computer will be used for Office work and mostly for personal use to watch movies, stream, Netflix and gaming. There is currently 10 light games installed, and the only thing that is something different and new for her would be the Telltale Game. The Walking Dead, Season 1. I do foresee more games in this build in the future but my guess is very light games.
I was originally going to paint the optical drive to a bright green. However, I asked my Mom first by showing the PC ahead of time and I couldn't hide it any longer, she thought it looked better without it. Her computer reminds her of the wizard of Oz. (Because of the face on the optical drive and the case is so green with a hint of black. She loves green to death. Seriously... I'm really dead serious...) So hence forth it's name: Oz, The Wizard of Oz. "We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz!" Sorry, I may have quoted that incorrectly.
It's a pretty looking optical and it's nice to have a change of appearance. I got this from Newegg when a promo sale occurred. I'm glad I didn't install a plain DVD optical because it would have looked... meh.
So far it's been a great processor to have! It's also nice to have the speedy multi-tasks that it can do with the needs. I would recommend this i3 processor for darn sure! With everyday daily tasks, it runs quite great and its temperatures have been good! I would definitely buy this processor again if I could, but anyone getting this $120 and below is smart to grab this.
The average temperatures for simple daily tasks is seen around 30~35° C. The 59° C came from the result of Valley Benchmark and seem to stay steady there when testing the GPU.
I actually had no intention to grab this motherboard for my mother since this was originally going to be used for my sister's build. I didn't get that Pentium G3450 or the Celeron G1830 processor so I didn't want to waste this MOBO. I'm actually surprised with it and I also did get my $10 dollar rebate from this.
It does not have two 4-pin System Fan connectors, ONLY ONE. I think it's a major downfall so far but there are solutions here too. It covers the basic needs. The BIOS is F1 but there is another BIOS known as F2. It supposedly resolves those who install Windows 10 and have the G3258 Pentium processor. The F1 BIOS works so no update required and if you are used to basic BIOS interfaces then it's not too difficult to navigate.
For the price that I got it for, its reasonable enough despite the minor setback. I do recommend to not pay pass $50 for this MOBO. Especially if you are in a tight budget and need a good basic MOBO. Just be aware of what you pay for and do your research before rating this "zero" or one star which I do not think it deserves such a rating. Lastly, I would suggest to add the extra features with this MOBO to help with calibrations, updates for BIOS, or checking temperatures etc.
I was extremely excited to try this memory for the first time! I heard great things about Crucial and I love it so much! CAS Latency is 9, which is great and no XMP required! It already detects the 1600 speed. I can definitely say that Cruical RAM is great to have and I will buy more in the future.
I also love how simple and clean it appears. I needed some more green too, to help add more green with the different colors in-between. It's also good to have the option to add another stick of RAM down the road if needed. This explains my reasoning for a single RAM.
Wow! It's absolutely amazing! It almost feels about the same comparing with my 850 pro. This SSD boots in 3 seconds and about 5~7 seconds to load up Windows 8.1! I'm very impressed with this EVO so grab one if you can afford it!
It's used to hold Windows 8.1, additional programs and MS Office 2013. My mom uses Word and Excel often so she needs Office for work. PLEASE USE the Samsung Magician, it helps your SSD so much! I would recommend these for anyone else who wants something close to par with the 850 Pro but being able to keep within budget.
NOTES @ 1/12/2016: This GPU has been updated to a GTX 1050.
I got a rebate for 20 dollars when I purchased this card a few months ago. The ti at the time was asking around $140~$150, hence the reason. I'm actually very impressed with this little card! I know it's not a ti, and yes I would prefer the ti over the regular but it's still pretty good!
Doesn't require any 6-pin PCI cable connector and it's compact. I like the clean look and it's good enough for what it will be used for. So I'll mention it here again, wanted to give her the experience of a decent graphics when she starts installing more games down the road. A simulator, light games, Steam, etc.
With Valley Benchmark, the average FPS in low quality settings was 70-80. The average FPS in medium quality was 60-70. Lastly, the average FPS in high quality was 50-60. They all could reach pass 110 FPS by certain environments in the benchmark but in the end of it all, I think it's a good card to nab with the i3 paired by its side. I do recommend it for some basic gaming if this is on sale and the ti version isn't easily attainable, but do double check on what list of games that it could play and what it cannot.
The average temperatures for simple tasks was at 27° C. Again, with the 59° C came from the result of Valley Benchmark in High Quality settings. No, I didn't OC this GPU and I wouldn't recommend it when paired with this type of PSU. Right now, this is connected by an HDMI with a TV that displays in a resolution of 1920x1080, 60Hz. Adjustments on how icons and size was displayed but so far it's working great and the audio truly works.
Here's also a chart of the GTX 750 for a general idea on FPS from NVIDIA's website. Of course, take it as a grain of salt.
I had intended to install 3 fans but the 3-way fan splitter did not work, hence only two fans were running. I had a spare 2-way fan splitter which works perfectly, and probably for the best. I'm not surprised to see no improvement with two fans working close together, an intake and exhaust didn't halt the cooling on the CPU but slowed it down. It basically works better with the end result since an adjustment was needed.
I could make a suggestion on one thing but take my word as a grain of salt since I cannot test this yet. I would place a third fan that is exhausting, where the back top/GPU is. Get a MOBO that has more System Fans if possible, at least two or more. Or buy a mod that you can stick onto the case to have a 3 or 5 way fan to keep it cool within the case.
The bottom fan, closest to the PSU, is an intake. The exhaust is the back fan. It's actually doing a great job so far and the green led is a nice touch. They don't run too loud since RPM averages at 800. Even when the RPM goes higher it's not bad at all, hits around 1100 RPM if going to test it with Valley Benchmark.
So this is literally my first time spending a lot on a case and it is quite the difference. I had sadly scratched the case's side twice, where the power/reset buttons and the 3.0 USB connector is. First time I dropped the side case on accident on a screwdriver, and the second time was dropping it on the table.
The side covers are kinda heavy and awkward once you cable management and zip-tie down a lot. However, they are easier to re-install them back into place if the case is laying onto its side. I blame myself for my klutzy results, not even my previous builds had this much drama.
It's a great looking case, but quite a puzzle to cable manage. I removed the three-hold 2.5 storage cage to make extra space for the cables. I tried with it in but I discovered it was only obstructing the space. I unscrewed it and gently bend in one side of it to pop it out with ease. I'll keep it around in case I need to reinstall it but I doubt I will to be honest.
The one thing that might bother some, is the side panel that can hold three 2.5 storage and two 3.5 hard drives. I get it, it blocks the beautiful view of your hardware inside. However, let me say one thing... you don't get to see your GPU too well either so... I kinda think it comes down to preferences. I doubt this PC is going to be purposely placed in an angle to see the window view but I wanted that nice green glow effect. I like the case on how it appears a lot, but again it's a puzzle at times.
I was super happy to get this deal, rebate for 30 dollars off! I did mess up on one thing, I missed the promo code for an extra 3 dollars off... >Smacks her forehead< I still saved a lot but every penny counts.
So far I had no issues with this power supply and would get more semi-modulars in the future. Cables are easy to manage and this is plenty enough for the purpose of this build. If I ever need to upgrade it I will but I don't see a need anytime soon for additional storage. If I get the word "I need more storage" then I will upgrade it but I truly doubt this will occur in 2~4 years. Of course, I could be wrong?
I am sort of repeating myself with the WiFi but remember to not install Rosewell's WiFi driver and let Realtek handle the WiFi. Here is what I think about this bulky little WiFi. Also I'll name him "Toto", credit goes to auldae for the cleverness. I did get a promo from this too in Newegg so I saved some dollars!
Toto has two ways to install it. USB alone or you can attach him with the USB stand as I have normally done and prefer it. Toto is big for an external WiFi plug and ready to go. I did not install the driver hence it's literally detected and ready to connect to a WiFi router.
I did a quick rough idea with this measurement but about 96 feet which I still receive 4~5 bars. No lag or stutters. It's going through a level floor up and 3 walls. I have been impressed with Toto before and I am once again. I'm certain Toto will perform well for those who may need a strong WiFi reception. Just make sure to leave him in the basket in-case you need to adjust the reception. :)
(At the bottom of the list, and why am I even mentioning this? ... You do notice something in the photos, right?) I swapped out the CPU fan which was a Rosewell product and went back to the stock default. The Rosewill RCX-Z90-CP had issues: I suspect the weight was too much for this MOBO and the height may have effect the contact, in-between the center of the processor.
Again, I couldn't get the RCX-Z90-CP to fully contact onto the center of the i3. I tried re-seating five times but the temperatures wouldn't show improvement. Of course, the evidence was extremely obvious because the center of the thermal compound remained untouched.
Also another obvious hint was seeing the processor reaching to 72 Celsius when running Valley Benchmark at High settings. Not even my grandma's i3 went that high so I knew it had to be the heat-sink. Sorry, I know it's an Intel stock fan but for now it's working and better temps than what I had before. No more spiky temperatures, and it's definitely in the comfort zone. I had to sleeve the stockfan's wires.
Why did I use it last in the first place? I guess... my worst reason was: I got too distracted since I forgot to grab the right CPU fan. Too much excitement to build my mom's computer got the best of me... I built this PC in the basement from Saturday and Sunday Morning & Evening. I had relocated it back to my room since I needed my heat-gun and a big box to properly do a sleeve.
I would like to do some minor tweaking on the cable management in the future, but I'm a bit clueless. I actually don't know what to do, to be honest here. Either I had installed the side panel to hold the storage or not, I had no complaints so far with my mother. Actually I was even surprised that my father liked the build too, so I'm not going to change it anytime soon. It's just wishful thinking on my end to do better with this case but I have not yet comprehend the format.
Maybe I'll reinstall the SSD cage but I hate it sucking space away since I tried with it and it made it easier without it. I'll try again another time. I also don't think the angle of the window will be viewed anytime soon since it's going to be tucked away somewhere.
My major concerns were the temperatures and it's airflow so the priority was more important to manage the cables. I wanted everything pulled to the side, basically, so I adjusted with so many wires around the sides. I like seeing the System Temperature hitting the 33 Celsius range. I just wish the logo on the stockfan was green or black to match the color scheme so it minorly bugs me but it doesn't bother my mom. Then again... there is a blue LED on the side so I cannot complain too much.
I truly wish I had better input here but I didn't installed any demanding games and hard-working programs. Hence the Valley Benchmark helped some here. I'll update anything more if need be. Thank you for taking your time to read this. Any feedback, questions and constructive criticism is welcome here.