MANY OF THE PARTS WERE ON SALE WHEN BOUGHT. DON'T PAY THE LISTED PRICES, THEY MAY NOT BE WORTH IT. Also, sorry for the cable spaghetti and potato camera. I might attempt management someday.
This was a great upgrade from a 2008 laptop for both me and my family (but mainly me). It's been used for Web browsing and any game I can throw at it, including Minecraft modpacks, Civ 4/5, Spelunky, and emulation up to the Wii and PS2. It's definitely not being pushed to the limit, but that will probably change when I buy more games. Meeting a $750-800 budget was a little tough, but it eventually worked out.
Imgur album of benchmarks
- I went with the 960 (purchased for $200) because the RX 480 wasn't out and I prefer Nvidia over AMD (mainly because of software).
- I already had the headphones.
- The SD card reader was included because our old laptop had one built in, and the extra cables were included because of motherboard limitations.
- The keyboard and mouse are brighter and greener than the photo suggests, blame my camera.
- The CRT monitor was used because the Sceptre monitor wouldn't arrive until after Windows 10 was free.
It's cheap, it's fast, and it works. Doesn't appear to bottleneck my 960. Stock cooler works just fine.
Skylake, USB 3, and plenty of ports for a good price. I didn't realize that there was only 1 case fan header, but that was a $5 fix on Amazon. BIOS is great, too.
It's RAM, what more do you need? Perfect if you don't care about aesthetics.
Stores the OS and games just fine. The one cheap brand I recognized and trusted.
The perfect budget HDD for storage or larger games. Get an SSD if you can, though. They're worth it.
$260 (the price when I wrote this) will get you a GTX 1060, which is way better. If you really want a 960, wait for it to drop to $200. (Rating is based on the $200 price, not whatever it currently is.)
An amazing case for the low price. Room for a whole ton of fans, good cable management, and tools are only needed for the motherboard and PSU. Everything else is held in with clips or thumbscrews, which work surprisingly well.
Cheap, not modular, plenty of connectors, and it hasn't exploded yet. (I believe it's actually 480W, though. Not a dealbreaker.)
Reads my PSX and PS2 games (for emulation/ripping) just fine. It gets pretty loud and doesn't read as fast as an ISO, but that's to be expected. It also spins up every time the PC turns on for some reason (probably a valid one, but still weird).
Worth $85 or $90, but not $100. If it's not on sale, go for something else. Quality control is pretty bad, with my first being DOA and the second having a single dead pixel (which the warranty won't cover because it isn't a cluster of 5 or more). Speakers simply exist; not the best, but not awful.
Some keys degrade faster than others do and Scroll Lock controlling the backlight creates problems in Excel and Linux, but the keyboard is mostly good. The mouse's side buttons aren't the greatest, but the ones that matter are good. The mouse LED stays on when the computer is off, but that was fixed by a BIOS tweak. (http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2074065/mouse-light-turn.html)