In Summer of 2015 my roommate just bought a new retail PC for $2,000. He told me I should do the same so we can play Ark: Survival Evolved. But I'm on a budget and the last time I built a gaming PC was in 2004! He then told me he bought an EVGA GeForce GTX760 GPU with the intention to upgrade his old NZXT custom gaming PC he bought from a friend who liked to build gaming PCs back in 2014. Unfortunately my roommate discovered he's not tech savvy and the PC along with the GPU ended up in the closet. So when I told him I plan to do a budget build for my second PC in 10yrs, he donated the extra PC parts from his closet. If that's not fate I don't know what is. Free case, free monitor, free, free, free...etc. So I decided to install his 970 GPU and then just play on his closet NZXT(GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L/Intel Core 2 Quad) to hold me over while I gather the parts one purchase at a time. The gaming Gods are good.
From October 2015 through January 2016 I played Ark: Survival Evolved and Minecraft on my roommates GeForce 970 I installed for him and continued to slowly collect the following parts while comparing builds/prices using this helpful site.
-MicroCenter in Houston(Black Friday): INTEL CORE I7-4790K LGA 1150- $249.99 ASUS Z97-A/USB 3.1 1150 ATX - $129.99 Total: 411.33 (w/tax) -Newegg.com: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 - $34.99(no tax/shipping free) EVGA GeForce GTX 970 04G-P4-3975-KR 4GB SSC - $309.99 EVGA 220-G2-0650-Y1 80 PLUS GOLD 650W - $89.99 Total: 434.97 -Roommates closet: Asus VP228H 22" Gaming LED Monitor(priceless) NZXT Source 210 Elite(priceless) Windows 10 Pro(priceless) WD Caviar Blue 1.0TB SATA(priceless) ASUS DVD-R/RW 24b1st(priceless) Logitech Keyboard(priceless) Total: free -Amazon.com Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD - $77.99 Total:77.99 -Best Buy: Razer DeathAdder Wired Laser - $60.00
Grand Total: $984.29 :)
I've never OC'd before but the clerk at Micro Center convinced me that the ASUS UEFI Bios makes it fool proof. I told him I'll take that challenge(with your help)! He sold me buy adding a $20 instore discount with bundle of the 4790K w/ the Z97-A(i'm such a sucker for in-store promos).
The return policy for Micro Center is only 14 days so I had to act fast and do a boot test to make sure everything worked. I ordered the 1866 instead of the standard 1600 GSkill for the spirit of OC'ing. I continued to play my Closet PC when I finally got my memory sticks in the mail. I temporarily pulled my closet PC PSU to power my motherboard for a simple boot test. The damn stock cooler fan would not spin. Damn you Intel, luckily I was planning on investing in a tower cooler to OC so this just made my fate seem that much more convincing.
Buy January I had enough parts to build the PC. The only exception being the 970 SSC GPU I was saving up for. I started by removing my roommates old Gigabyte motherboard from the case. Still in great condition so I'm thinking of posting it on Ebay ASAP. I took a damp terry cloth and wiped every inch of the case. The fans were caked in black dust. Once it was clean I installed the new motherboard/tower cooler/cpu/memory in one shot. I removed the 550w PSU and replaced it with a new 80Gold 650w PSU just because. Using my tablet to downloaded all the newest drivers and put them on a USB flash drive. I updated my Bios first and then all my drivers for the motherboard so i could get online. I installed my new Samsung SSD and using the active copy of Widows 10 I already had on my Closet PC's WD 1.0TB HDD. I used the Samsung Wizard that came with the SSD to copy everything from his WD HDD to my Samsung SSD for faster Windows 10 booting. Once it was done I went back in Windows 10 and I did a long format on the WD HDD and went to bed.
In the morning I booted into the UEFI bios and click and easily dragged my SSD to be my 1st boot priority then named my SSD "C:" and the HDD "D:" for extra storage. I had to contact Microsoft via their customer service text line to reactivate my roommates copy of Windows 10. It was already active before I used the Wizard so I told them via Customer Service IM I had to update my hard drive and motherboard and I didn't have my Windows key! I gave the polite Microsoft CS rep permission to log on my new PC and he re-activated it w/in only 5 mins! Thanks MS.
That same day I saw the EVGA 970 SSC had a price drop that was pretty close to it's Black Friday price so I went for it. I had to move the SSD and HDD down because the GPU was so long the SATA cables were touching. It really makes a huge difference in game play compared to my roommates EVGA GTX 760 ACX 2GB(off to ebay!) and was worth every penny.
Now that I had everything installed in my recycled case I zip tied the wires as best I could. Then I decided to try this UEFI Bios and OC for the first time. I enabled the XMP drop down box to use "Profile 1" so my memory is runs at 1867 instead of 1600(I think it worked). Also the EZ Tuning Wizard was pretty fool proof and estimated tuning result 12% CPU performance and clicked save. I'm sure there are many other things I missed but the free copy of "Rise of Tomb Raider" and "Farcry 3" I got with my purchase of the EVGA 970 SSC looks amazing on High at 60Hz. Same for ark survival evolved.
So far I've had this for a week and my games look great. I recommend everybody get a roommate with a good job and terrible building skllz. Now get out there and search people's closets for treasure!
If you have any suggestions to optimize my bios i would welcome any feedback. And thanks for reading.
Good CPU... terrible cooler fans. No big deal sense I planned to upgrade for OC anyways.
Best for the price and easy to install. So quiet you have to open your case to see if it's on.
Great UEFI Bios for beginner OC.
Fast, affordable and comes with great tools to optimize SSD with old HHD.
fast, affordable now that the 980ti is out, easy to install, lots of free games... what's not to love.
Quite and powerful, everything you want in a PSU.
It's very pretty. It's a luxury item and I don't care if I don't need it, I like it.