So after getting married and having only my early-2011 Macbook Pro between me and my wife, I made the decision to build a desktop PC. And thus, my journey to be initiated into the PC Master Race began. After many months of youtube videos, online articles, PC Part Picker and bargain hunting, I finally managed to purchase all my parts and put it together. Aside from the RAM and the SSD, all parts were purchased from Umart.
CPU: For the CPU, I chose the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G with Radeon Vega 8 graphics. Yes I know I'm hopping on the bandwagon for the "budget PC of 2018" but I'm not a heavy gamer and the few indie games I do play run well. I haven't gotten around to doing much testing or benchmarks yet, but so far so good.
Motherboard: The ASRock AB350M Pro4 was the cheapest B350 chipset MoBo I could find that had 4 DIMM slots and a M.2 slot. It was also Ryzen 2000 ready, which was a plus.
RAM: So 2 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 retails for $159 at Umart. I knew Ryzen works better with faster RAM so I was adamant to get RAM rated for at least 2666mhz. And then one day I was browsing Facebook Marketplace and to my great surprise, somebody was selling this 2 month old Corsair Vengeance kit for $110!!! So long story short, I managed to get it down to $100. At first, I was a little worried that it might not be compatible with MoBo and CPU. But by God's grace, it currently runs stable at 2933mhz.
SSD: I kind of jumped the gun on this purchase. Early on in my research days, I saw this Samsung 960 EVO on sale for $109 at Computer Alliance. Thinking it was a great bargain, I jumped on it. In retrospect, this may have been a little rash. With recent eBay sales, I realised that if I had purchased a 2.5' drive instead, I could have built a system with a Ryzen 5 1600 and a RX 570 for $750 (which I thought was a pretty good price). But the M.2 drive looks cool and runs well, so no regrets. Just remember to update your BIOS when installing Windows.
Case: I was tossing up between the Cooler Master N200 and the Fractal Design Focus G Mini. But in the end, I went with the N200 and so I don't fall down the rainbow-coloured slippery slope. The N200 comes with 2 fans, a lot of zip ties, and sufficient space for cable management. I did struggle a little in figuring out where to route cables, but that was more me than the case (the YouTubers make it look so easy...). This case should make it easier to make future upgrade decisions as I don't need to worry about RGB.
PSU: I chose the Silverstone Strider Plus 500W 80 because it was the cheapest fully modular PSU that I could find with a Bronze rating. I wanted a fully modular PSU because it was my first time building and I figured it would make up for my lack of cable management skills.
Future Upgrades: - A 1TB HDD. I am getting one for free from a friend. Yay. - Graphics card (probably a GTX1060 3GB or equivalent) - Another 2 sticks of 4GB RAM. I might hold out a bit on the RAM though as there are still issues with Ryzen not being able to run RAM at rated speeds when all 4 DIMM slots are occupied. - More fans
Final Thoughts: Overall, I really enjoyed the whole process and experience of building this PC. Currently, I mainly use the PC just for web browsing, word processing, spreadsheeting and light gaming. Maybe one day, I will have saved up enough money to do another build. Until then, I will try and resist the temptation of excessively buying PC parts... T.T
Thanks for reading!