Description

Well I had always dabbled with RAM, GPU and case fan upgrades as a kid but had never completed a full build. After my S-series VAIO laptop with a 2nd gen i-7 had its motherboard fry ~6 months ago (RIP) I was left using a 9 year old HP core 2 duo laptop with a broken clicker (>.<). Fast forward after a few months of research and price checking and I am very happy with my build (so far!).

Motherboard: Opted for the z170 board for the potential CPU and/or GPU upgrade(s) in the future (and got a good deal on a budget z170 board from newegg; its not very pretty but I wasn't going to have a case window anyways).

CPU: For my current needs, this i3 is really impressive. Was expecting to potentially be disappointed, but so far it runs nearly silent and is very snappy.

CPU Cooler: Stayed with the stock Intel cooler since I most likely won't be overclocking this CPU (if I do it will be to only 4.0ghz or less).

Case: The case is roomy for my needs. I didn't like the SSD/HDD mount very much but it's w/e. Cable management was not bad (I made a few first time builder errors here but overall it came out pretty nice). My only real issue with the case is the standoff points were not perfect on the right-hand side for my motherboard (they were off by like 3/4 inch; the middle and left standoff positions were fine). Made plugging in the 20-pin power connector nerve-wracking as I tried to not flex the board. It worked out fine though.

RAM: Pretty freakin' fast and got it for cheap (also looks good). Should've gone 2666 (first time builder error lol) but 2400 is probably fast enough for my needs.

CD/DVD Drive: Decided to get an optical drive to back-up some old music and to make life easier when installing Windows from disc (my flash drive was a tad too small). Was $20 shipped and works great so far!

PSU: Heard great things about Seasonic and knew through research not to cheap-out on the PSU. Should handle upgrading in the future as it supplies way more power than the rig currently needs. Should have gone modular but was trying to cut $ everywhere I felt comfortable (saved ~$15).

HDD: 1TB. ~$50. Easy call.

WiFi: Belkin adapter works great so far. Was the cheapest way to get WiFi. (Update: this WiFi adapter works, but its pretty weak. It will get you connected but don't expect any insane bandwidth. Currently running a hard wire, will upgrade to WiFi card in future if needed.)

GPU: Bought on Jet.com. Saved a little over $20 with a code. Didn't have the funds for the R9 380 or GTX 960. I like the value of the GTX 950, especially at $120. CS:GO/DoTA 2 MAX. Haven't tested AAA's (cause I don't plan on playing many AAA titles honestly) but I will be testing a few soon.

OS: I left this off the price list because most people will probably have access to an upgradeable/free copy. I opted to buy a new copy of Windows 10 because my only running PC was on Vista (>.<). At least $85 was reasonable.

I also saved another ~10% off my newegg purchases (~ $17 savings) with a code.

OVERALL UPDATE - 10/21/2017 Still quite happy with it. I haven't touched a thing since the build except for the occasional internal cleaning with compressed air. Quite shocked by how much of an effect dust can have on performance of the machine. Keep those fans + cases clean boys.

Comments

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

1.RAM hardly has an impact on any application unless your using a apu. 2.The gtx 960 is a small step up from the gtx 950 you made a great choice there.

Just throwing some constructive criticism in the works but overall great first build!!! ;D

I also have little experience with amd graphics cards so I didn't say anything about the R9 380

  • 43 months ago
  • 0 points

I have experiance with am gpu's 950<960<380<970=rx 480<390<390x<980<fury x<980ti<1070<1080

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Spring for a better wifi adapter eventually those Belkin ones have gave trouble before

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Totally agree. I have already noticed some slow speeds/rubber-banding when downloading/gaming at the same time (have never had that problem before with previous computers on the same network). I will probably upgrade the Belkin to a real Wi-Fi card soon.

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Well done! This is a fine build for your first, don't worry about anything you might have thought was a mistake. This is DIY and you must do wrong to learn right. I think you did great for this budget and will be happy with it. I like that you chose a solid PSU and motherboard... Those are key areas IMO, that many new builders skimp on. Overall theme looks good too, reminds me very much of some of my previous builds.

Good job and happy gaming!

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point
The black theme is very nice. Very clean.

+1

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for all of the feedback/comments and support! Really enjoying my build!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Im also planing now to get almost same build , so when I read about u having problems with Mobo mounting in the case , is there any chance I could screw something , cuz Im also trying to buy and build my first PC . Budget too, cuz Im earning for myself, and Im from Europe, where these damn prices are also much higher.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

This MoBo definitely did not fit the case perfectly (but at the price I got it I am still very happy so far). Even though the right two standoffs did not line up, it is still secured well. The only thing I was really worried about was the flexing of the board when plugging in the main power cable (20-pin I believe). It plugs in on the right side of the board where the stand-offs are missing. Just be careful not to slam it in there and brace it a bit and it will be just fine.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Ok, thank u my friend.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I like your budget build. The Z motherboard is confusing, but still ok as you can overclock that cpu with the right bios if that is the plan.

Overall it a big Thumbs up! +1

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! That was the plan. I felt it was worth the extra $30-35 (got it for a good deal) over the regular budget MoBo's (the $45-$55 ones) to have the option to overclock as well as the newer chip-set (in case I decide to just upgrade my CPU in a year or two).

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Solid plan.

  • 43 months ago
  • 0 points

XD this is literally my build +1

  • 43 months ago
  • -3 points
  1. Z170 motherboard for gpu upgrade? Wut? I het the cpu part but gpu? (As long as it is pcie gen 3 16x it isnt gonna impact the performance or any card)

Can't give a +1 becouse you made to manny mistakes in the reasioning behind your parts but i can say that is defenetly isnt a bad pc

Also! You can not overclock a non k/x cpu so that 4 gigahertz isnt gonna happen

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

Actually you can BLCK overclock if your motherboard has the right BIOS patch.

Source: my i3 runs at 4.5 Ghz thanks to a BLCK overclock.

  • 43 months ago
  • -1 points

Oke oke, if you still have the old bios and havnt updated it yet. Then you can :/

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

You can probably downgrade your BIOS too, but that's generally not recommended. Well, even upgrading your BIOS isn't recommended unless you need to.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the input. You sure about it not being overclockable? http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2934167/overclocking-6100-budget-worth.html They aren't "supposed" to be, but I'm pretty sure they can be.

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  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

where can you get os for less than that??

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  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

The sale of those keys violate Microsoft ToS, and the keys may be unexpectedly disabled. Recommending, suggesting, advising, encouraging, hinting, or in any way implying these keys as a solution or option is not allowed on this site.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Are keys from Kinguin safe?

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

That depends on your definition of safe. It's possible for them to be disabled at any moment, and it does happen to people.

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  • 43 months ago
  • 0 points

Oke

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Can't advertise that on this site. Fair warning.

  • 43 months ago
  • -1 points

Oke

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Bought a broken laptop with a Windows 7 Key for about 30 bucks then I upgraded to Windows 10, that's an efficient way of getting an official OS.

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