Description

I will add some better pictures in the next few weeks, very bust with school at the moment

This is a build I did for my roommate last fall. He was looking for a relatively cheap computer to circumvent buying a new console. As I was looking to upgrade my existing rig already, it gave me an opportunity to find a home for my PSU and R9 270X (Excluding the OS, he payed me $600 to get parts, so I didn't lose much on what I had originally payed for the parts I put into this thing + building computers is fun). He wasn't really interested in overclocking or having to upgrade hardware down the road, so I tried to keep the build simple while giving him a solid foundation for the next 5-10 years.

A few bumps in the road, such as the motherboard turning on the onboard graphics by default and cable management mayhem, but otherwise it has worked very smoothly for him. I didn't get a chance to test anything or record temperatures, but everything is at stock speeds.

CPU (Intel Core i3-4150): I wanted to go with the Pentium G3258 but settled for this chip. Essentially, more expensive but lower maintenance. Relatively swift chip. Not much else to say.

Motherboard (Gigabyte GA-B85N Pheonix): I'm not sure who this board is designed for but it was one of the cheaper mini-itx boards with onboard wifi that I could find at a more budget oriented-price. The orange LEDs are really random (especially on a business-grade mobo) but kinda cool. Had some weird defaults in the BIOS, but I think that's the case with every board so no harm, no fowl.

RAM (G. Skill Ripjams 4GB): Skimped a little here to save him some money. Only having 4 GB hasn't caused him too many issues as he really doesn't do anything too RAM intensive. It's the only thing in this build he would really ever need to upgrade and is relatively simple to do. So I thought it was a fair trade-off.

Video Card (Sapphire Radeon R9 270X): This was a used part from my rig. Both of us have actually been very impressed with this card. He has a 1080p 60Hz monitor and that seems to be this cards sweetspot. Because of its location in the case, it gets plenty of fresh air and doesn't seem to get too hot.

Case (Cooler Master Elite 130): You are doing yourself a favor by getting at least a semi-modular PSU if you plan on building in this case. Cable management was definitely a challenge, but once it was set and done the build looked very cozy in this case. If your using air cooling: a) the PSU is directly over the CPU so tall cooling blocks will not fit. b) be sure to allow for good air flow throughout the case so that the temps don't get too high under load (even idle, 45-50 degrees C, was a too high prior to fixing the cable management). All of this aside, the case looks nice and takes up very little space.

PSU (Antec EarthWatts Platinum 550W ): Also a part from my original rig. More Watts than I needed for this build but nice and efficient (he does tend to leave it on 24/7), although it probably isn't making that big of a dent in our electricity bill anyway (:P). The biggest problem with this was that it was non-modular and hiding what was a majority of the unused cables was a *. Otherwise it works well and saved the trouble of ordering a new part altogether.

While the building process itself was a bit of a challenge, ultimately we've been impressed with how well this computer handles games.

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Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 Bang for the Buck :p

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I love these i3 builds. Such a solid chip for around 100 bucks. I plan on using one in a future build, and everytime I see someone using them and just how much praise they give them I am more and more convinced to use it over the g3258. My only critique would have been it would've been cheaper to buy 8 gigs of ram. A set of Crucial Ballistix Sport is 60 bucks right now, so less than 20 bucks more. But you explained that really clearly, so I understand why you didn't. +1 all day for it.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, if I would've built this like a month or two later RAM would've been cheaper and I would've been all over that 8 GBs. Yeah, I love the G2358 for a temporary tweaker solution, but if your going long term with intel I think the i3 is a better option because of the hyperthreading.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

That's what I was thinking. I figured you might have built this when ram was priced out the *** lol. I'm most likely going to go for a 4150 and a used gpu from someplace like gpu shack or hardware swap on reddit.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

good choice. I was shy about used hardware when i started building but i fully accept now that its probably the most viable way to do a very budget-oriented build. good luck and lemme know when ya finish

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't blame you for it. I was hesitant at first, but after being on toms hardware and seeing so many recommendations for gpushack and hardware swap, I figured why not take the plunge. I can get a 7950 for 139ish bucks and get twice the performance than I would on a 750 ti. My only thing is I really want shadow play so that I wouldn't have to pay for dxtory or something similar.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

eh. I have a GTX 780 with the whole shadowplay thing. Its alright, but is kind of limited with what it can do compared to something like dxtory. Overall shadowplay is nice as an added feature but probably still not as useful as something like dxtory, OBS, xsplit, and other recording/streaming software.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

It's actually really funny you say all that, because i run an I3-3220 and 8 gigs of Crucial Ballistix Sport RAM in my build, due to it's budget and I love it. I never have issues with performance, and I've had the build for 3 years now.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

When I saw the i3's, I fell in love. Unlike the equivalent am3 platform with the 6300, the 1150 platform is going to have support for the next few years and offer upgrades to newer processors. Unless the x99 platform is going to be Skylake exclusive, which I hope not. DDR4 ram is just too expensive for my tastes.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

The Pentium K also can't run a lot of new games that are coming out because they're requiring quad cores .

A friend learned from experience: he got a Pentium K (my advice) for his first budget PC, then a few months later all the new games came out with quad core requirements and he's had to buy an i5 4460 :(

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah. I still think the G3258 is viable for say a build that you are going to upgrade with a quad core down the line given its price and its performance even for a dual core and the fact that it uses the same chipset as other haswell and the new broadwells coming out this year.

But alas, not everybody wants to experiment with their machines. :(

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah.

You certainly pay a price premium over AMD to get that upgradeability though.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I guess that's true. I definitely want to try an AMD build at some point (I've been concocting one as a video editing/rendering build for the multimedia section of our student newspaper). While intel has nice features and performance if you have the money, it seems like AMD (CPU-wise) is much more comparable than people online give it credit for

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

AMD certainly doesn't hold up in terms of IPC but you get a lot more cores for your money. FX 8-core CPUs can beat i5s in streaming and whatnot for less money. You won't get as good single thread performance but it depends on what you need really.