After holding off on building a PC all throughout college due to lack of time and money, I finally decided to do it after some convincing from my co-workers. Also as a birthday gift to myself.

My only requirements were to be able to play 1080p and have the PC last for a few years. I do not plan on playing most AAA games like Witcher 3 or Fallout 4 and the such, so all I needed was something decent, but still wanted to go a little above that. Keep in mind that I've had laptops all my life, best one being a 5th gen i5 with 6GB RAM. Great laptop for all my regular needs, just not great for gaming. I also do not plan on overclocking anything.

When deciding on parts, I based it on price, positive/negative reviews ratio, and popularity.

Issues It took me about 6 hours to complete my build. When I booted for first time, it did not turn out. All lights and fan would work for 4 seconds, then stop, and computer would restart and try again. It kept shutting off every 4 seconds and wouldn't end unless I turn off the power supply. First reason was my heatsink fan was not spinning. It was DOA. Luckily, I got it at Micro Center, so got a new one the next day. The new one worked, but same issue. I later realized it was because I forgot to plug in the power supply cord for my CPU into the motherboard.

Budget: $1100 Was trying to spend less, but ended up going over a little. Definitely could have saved in some areas by choosing a different part, such as motherboard or case; and if I had waited for sales/deals. However, I was impatient and bought everything at one time. I spent about a week researching parts and hardware, as I've never built a PC before and not too familiar with all these technical specifications.

CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 I went with this because I knew I wanted at an i5. I read some things about an certain i3 being great, but still stuck with i5 as I've always used that in laptops. And Skylake sounds cool. Definitely didn't need an i7. Also chose a locked cpu because I didn't plan on overclocking and wanted the stock cooler, as I didn't plan on buying a cooler.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-170XP-SLI ATX I could have saved some money on this part by choosing a different motherboard, but this one had good reviews on Newegg and seemed pretty popular. My budge for the MOBA was $150. This was was not the cheapest, but also not super expensive. I didn't want to skimp on the MOBA. And I got this as a bundle deal with the CPU at Micro Center, so was able to save $30. Also could've went with an H170, but wanted to leave the option in the future for a cpu upgrade.

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 All I needed was 8GB RAM. This was a good deal, popular item, looks cool, and was on sale. Easy decision.

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD This was actually a hard decision. I could have saved a lot more if I had went with a different brand other than Samsung. I think I was deciding on the Crucial 240GB BX200. However, based on reading more, the Samsung one just wins above everything, so decided to spend a little more. Also had a hard time deciding between 120GB or 250GB, as I don't need too much storage. I typically delete games as I play them and don't let anything sit around. I constantly do cleanup. But, for only $20 more and lots of recommendations for the 250GB, went with it.

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 7200 RPM This was much easier. Knew I just needed 1TB, no more or less, as I have never used more than like 100GB on my laptops. And also knew I wanted 7200 RPM. Only choice was between this or the Seagate Barracuda, but went with Western Digital as I've used them in the past before for external storage. Also better reviews.

GPU: MSI GTX 970 100ME This was my hardest choice. Bought this last. So many options of GPUs, and then when I finally narrowed it down to 970s, there were also so many versions and brands. Gave me a headache researching. Had a hard time deciding between 970s and R9 390. Went with Nvidia because I like the brand more. Another factor was that the new 1060s, 1070s, and RX 480s were coming out. I was trying so hard to be patient and wait it out, but gave in. Definitely could have saved the most here if I waited. I know I overpaid for this GPU because it has been lower in past sales. I got the 100ME edition because it was cheaper than the regular.

Case: NZXT Phantom 410 ATX Mid Tower Didn't do enough research on cases, as I chose this one right away. Probably could've saved some if I researched more. But either way, great case. Good cable management and I knew I wanted a white color. Good reviews too. I didn't how big cases were until I looked at them in person at Micro Center. Full Towers were way too big. The smaller cases were good size, but I wanted something bigger to work with since I was new to this.

PSU: EVGA 650W GQ 80+ Gold Semi-Modular Heard not to skimp on the power supply, so narrowed it down to the EVGA brand and 650W. Was deciding between the different models, but went with GQ. No real reason except cheaper than the other ones, and I didn't mind just one cord being connected due to semi-modular design.

OS: Windows 10 Home OEM 64 Bit Simple. Can't believe these are so expensive. I technically haven't bought this yet, still using the trial version unactivated. Will be buying soon. Deciding if I should go OEM or non-OEM.

Wireless: Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Great price, very popular, and great reviews. Easy decision. Needed to get one as no way for me to use Ethernet with the router in the basement and me being on the top floor. My experience so far has been amazing. Very fast and made me realized the wireless cards in my laptop and PS4 suck. At first I thought it was just bad internet, but it's my range.

Keyboard/Mouse: Cooler Master Devastor Bundle Great price, good reviews, and very popular. Comes with both keybaord and mouse for a low price. Didn't do too much research on gaming keyboards and mouses, but I don't need anything fancy. Love the blue color too.

Monitor: Samsung 22" LED I got a deal on this with a coupon, but I'm currently not using it as I haven't received it yet. Samsung has it back-ordered. I'm borrowing my brother's monitor, Asus 22" VX228H. That's the one you see in the picture.

Thank you all for reading and I welcome any comments/suggestions!

Part Reviews


Not much to say, but very cool looking sticks of RAM. Love the red colors on it and the metal encasing. Also very good price.

Video Card

Great build quality! Exactly the same as the regular MSI GTX 970, but this edition is green instead of red. Also has a backplate. Love the green accents and lighting. The fans don't spin when idle and runs all my games so far. I use it for 1080p and it can handle any settings. Stays cool and quiet.


Love the white color. Comes with three fans pre-installed and blue LED lights inside the case. Has a nice small window. Not a huge window, which may be a con to some people, but I didn't mind. Screws are easy to take out. Also has a removable HDD tray in case you need room for big GPUs. Fairly big case, but it's normal for Mid Towers. Also has a cable management side. Only thing is that the top of the case curvy and not flat, so can't put anything on top of it.

Wireless Network Adapter

Awesome network adapter! Very good price and very fast. Has bluetooth included, which is a nice addition. At first I thought my internet was slow due to bad connections with my laptop and PS4, but turns out those network adapters aren't the best. I get great speeds and connections with my new PC using this adapter.


  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, could work on the cable management some more. Happy late birthday, enjoy your pc. :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so much! Was actually early birthday present, so you're not late. It's tomorrow! :)

As for the cable management, I agree, I tried making it neater, but those cords were so thick and bulky, I was scared to bend them too much. And the ports they needed to go into were not convenient for the case holes to loop it into the back. Maybe I'm doing something wrong haha. Or maybe it's just the cords that came with the power supply, not sure how other cords compare.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem. :) It should be quite safe to bend any power cable, no need to worry here. SATA data cables and USB headers require more attention. Feel free to route them through the rubber grommets.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice for a first time build. :D

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

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