This is my first build in effort to reach my goal of building an effective PC to out perform a next-gen console. As a high-schooler my mom gave me a budget of 300 dollars for Christmas . On top of that I had 150$ saved up from doing summer jobs. With $450 dollar budget I decided it was enough for a gaming PC. I did my research watched deals very closely and game to these parts. Here are my reasons for the parts I chose:
CPU- In my original build I was going to go with an Intel 3570k. This was the primary CPU used for most gaming PCs so I figured that it is proven and tested. As I watched reviews and benchmarks on Youtube I came across this i5 3570k vs an AMD fx-6300. This chip did not beat the Intel but the differences were subtle 1- 2 fp/s at most. I read more into and for about $100 dollars less, 6 physical cores, 3.5 GHz stock clock, and easy overclocking I decided I would put $100 else were and buy this CPU. This CPU plus a decent aftermarket cooler and overclocked it rocks. I would suggest this to anyone building a mid-range build on a budget. Yes AMD does not beat Intel in performance but as games aren't has dependent on the CPU as much any more: and if they are some are being more and more optimized for more cores.
CPU Cooler- Great reviews, plenty of benchmarks and reviews, $30 bucks obvious choice.
Mobo- Since I was going AMD and wanting overclocking and I was on a budget I had to research very carefully. This mobo was originally $75 dollars at the time, but thanks to cyber Monday got it for $60. It has Crossfire support, up 32 gb of RAM all solid caps, USB 3.0 support, 6 x SATA 6gb/s, and best of all UEFI bios ( you can use the mouse!). Great buy and would suggest it in an AMD build. Beware it only is compatible up to 95W.
Memory- I know what your are thinking how in the h*** did I get it for $25 dollars. Simple I go to a public school with richer kids. So my friend bought it to test his RAM slots ( I geuss it makes sense to drop $60 to troubleshoot, but whatever.) So he comes to school telling everyone he's selling it to the highest offer pulled out $25 bucks and gave it to him. I know I took a gamble and if I lost I would be scrounging for RAM SO I put money aside and tested it in a friend's machine. It worked great best gamble I ever did. Good RAM planing on buy another DIMM.
Storage- Okay I know it's not an SSD and I plan on buying one later. Just wanted room vs speed right now. The second drive you see in the pictures is an 80gb Seagate that I scraped from a trash computer. I just too all the data from my old computer put it there and held onto it. Good drive overall, WD blues are good consumer drives. Please make suggestions for SSDs in comments.
Video Card- This is the bug one the biggest miracle ever. Originally I was going to go with a Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB card. Very solid card from what I heard would play most of my games on medium- high. Well I called my uncle who lives out of state and starting asking him questions about the CPU and Video card. ( he works for an IT repair/ PC shop.) About midway talking to him about the video card he ask if he wanted me to send me one since he just bought a brand new one. This card got about a year of use out of it that's it. When I asked him what kind he told me Radeon hd 6950. So I googled it and game to the ATi card. Very solid card. He just told me to make sure it has at least 500w PSU. When the box came in I was blown away. It was pretty much a complete upgrade from what I thought he was sending. It was has dual bios so he flashed one to unlocked the extra shaders so it runs as fast as a HD 6970. This card runs Skyrim at ultra with a high res pack co problem, no frame drops consistent 60 fp/s no sweat. AC4 no problem ultra. This card just brought my system to a whole new level.
Case- This case has everything I like. It's a nice balance of Red and Black ( not because I'm an AMD fanboy), not flimsy, decent paint job, plenty of drive bays, support fro USB 3.0, and support for vid cards up to 12 inches all of this for $60. Now I thought $60 bucks there must be some problems... and there is. You like cable management this is not the case for you. Side panel barely has room for cables without be utterly smooshed. No CPU power connector hole so I had to try to tuck it along the sides. The top fan exhausts have no room for a water cooler whats so ever; which is advertised in the product description. The biggest thing I hate is the fact the front panel USB 3.0 runs out the back. This annoys me so I am order a connector so I can plug it on board. I did read the reviews and they said all of these things, but for $60 bucks it came through. I took my time with the cables and tried my best to make them look neat. Overall decent case.
PSU- This is 600w and was about $60 with the cyber Monday deal on Newegg. It is modular so I was living on the wild side with this plus a bad cable management case. This PSU has the breathing room needed for the system. Did the math and everything under 100% load would only get up to 551w. SO yea I'm good. Has nice cable sleeves, good quality, and just overall happy.
Optical drive- taken from old system works like a charm.
Wireless Adapter- Pulled out of my old system. Very solid ASUS gets the job done. I sadly can hard wire since my parents don't want holes drilled in their house.
Final Thoughts- Overall I am astounded by the build. It's fast and games look great. Honestly I don't think I'll go back to consoles. With Steam being free, games on sale all the time, and better graphics. PC gaming is really a gamer's dream. Please give me feedback and things I could change and upgrade later.
- If you guys want benchmarks let me know will happily upload them.