Although I've build PCs for myself and my girlfriend in the past, this is the first PC someone has given me money to build. The first PC I've had a strict budget on. And although it was just my parents, it gave me a taste of what building for a customer really feels like. It can be slightly stressful, yes. But it's so rewarding seeing the surprise in their eyes when they realize just how bad their old PC was, and just how much they just got for their money.
I was so excited about this build. Not only was I tasked with updating their technology, but I took it upon myself to set them up with an upgrade path for this build. That way later on down to road I can actually make money upgrading it for them. The only two parts I wouldn't switch out are the case and mobo. Everything else is there to be replace-able or expandable. Planned upgrades in coming years: i3-i5-i7, 8GB ram-16gb ram, 120GB SSD-SSD+HDD backup-SSDX2+HDD backup, Add discrete GPU, Replace PSU before 2020, re-apply thermal paste before 2019(earlier if necessary).
There were actually three reasons I chose to have an upgrade path. The first is that I wanted to be able to extend the longevity of their home PC while minimalizing upfront cost. Second I wanted to help them with the grandkids(my niece and nephew) in my own way, by providing a PC that can be used and upgraded for light video games later on down the road. And lastly I wanted to satisfy my own intense urge to build by having yet another PC that I maintain, giving me side jobs to tide me over in-between full builds.
The actual build was smooth up until I derped hardcore and forgot the onboard graphics power connection due to working in a dimly lit house.(Didn't even notice it, and I'm used to using GPUs instead) At which point I was baffled as to why the PC didn't show up despite successfully starting up and giving no signs of error other than the blank screen. At first I thought my monitor was just being dumb, because it's garbage. So I hooked up the nice monitor and it didn't work either. After all too long rooting around with a flashlight I did a double take and totally called myself out for being a moron. Then everything else worked out quite well.
Easy build. Took a couple hours because I derped hardcore. But oh so rewarding. non-modular PSU was annoying to work with, but I got it under control well enough to ensure no wires got caught in fans. I was so jealous of the boot speed that I finally broke down and went out and bought a SSD for my PC.
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Didn't get benchmarks in before delivery. But all basic functions were downright speedy compared to some of the ancient i3 processors I had become accustomed to. It got to where I was skeptical that an i3 could hold it's own. But it sure can. Although I will be upgrading to an i5 or i7 later on down the road, I think this little bugger will do the job with ease for now.
I have used this before, which is why I used it again. It's an upgrade from stock paste, but it's not the apex at all. If you want to use a stock cooler, I recommend using this stuff or the Gelid one that is so popular right now. Electrically non-conductive was an important feature to me, as I am clumsy and don't want to ruin anything. Temp differences not available for this build. But in the past I have seen significant drops over stock cooler paste.
This makes my current PC look like garbage. The bios is so easy on the eyes. The setup was easy going. Everything worked out so well. The only bios hitch I ran into was my own mistake. I left a disc in the drive while installing Win10 via USB and windows read it as a boot drive instead of just leaving it alone. Not the PC's fault... That one's on me. Just had to eject the disc to continue. I was looking for a cheap mobo with the ability to upgrade to an i7 later on down the road, and I got way more than I was looking for. I just might be converted to Asus mobos over my previous Gigabyte obsession. No hassle, no problem, just easy use.
Cheap RAM. Works well. I don't really know what to say. Ram is one of those parts you can easily cheap out on, because it is so easily replaceable. Don't like one? Pop it out and add a new one. Need more? Get another and pop it in. I really hate the pressure it takes to install ram, but that is not the ram's fault. Every ram I've used works that way.
Small, but my family only uses about 80GB of space at peak storage. I'll be adding a HDD backup to go with it eventually. But for now this will do perfectly. Fast SSD. I know there are faster ones, but I really like PNY. They've always done me well. At first I was skeptical having heard about past issues. But when it comes right down to it they're cheap and my family doesn't use much space so write cycles won't be an issue until quite a few years down the road.
Cheap. Easy enough to work with. It's not amazing, and one of the front panel USBs was misaligned so far that it' shard to plug in. Disc drives don't sit flush or even sink in due to the case's rounded design. They all stick out unless you can find a rounded one to match the case. But if you're going through all the trouble of finding a better disc drive you might as well use a better case instead. Luckily for me, I just used a salvaged drive that worked well enough for me. 4/5 for silly little issues. I would use it again for this build, but only because it's a great budget saver.
Salvaged this from a lightly used older PC. It works amazingly well, and is rated abut 3X the power consumption of this build's parts. I figure 3X the power is enough head room for now. Once I get around to upgrading the build I'll upgrade the PSU. But for a few years it will do just fine. At $50-$60 you can get better PSUs. The only reason I used this one is that it was free. I can't give more than 4 stars to it due to it being non-modular, but for the price of free I can't give less.
Windows 10 is convenient, and fast. For the average user who doesn't want to worry about their operating system and doesn't do anything shady on their PC, windows 10 is awesome. Home-vs-Pro is something I don't know much about. But I know that Home Full is good enough for one PC at a time. If you want to install on multiple PCs at once AND use all their features, you would need multiple copies of Windows 10 Home. But if you want to re-install on the same PC, or get rid of the old PC and build a new one. Windows 10 home works perfectly. One PC at a time.