Wireless Network Adapter
My apologies upfront if you still clicked on this seeking a ~$300 budget build. For a shortened version instead of a whole wall of text, you may skip along to the parts list and their ratings. (To be added in a few)
It'll be more like ~$600ish given you pay: ~$100 for the i3 6100 $50.00 for a 1tb HDD +/-$18.00 for a wireless network adapter ~$130 for one monitor
Not that bad though! Just remember to factor in your states' tax rate...
A quick heads up that much of this build was bought using Jets %15 off code that goes up to a maximum of $30 off a purchase of $200. However, there are a good amount of parts I still need to explain. The prices listed had already accounted for tax and the whatnot!
I got the i3 6100 and Toshiba HDD from the Dell prebuilt computer my dad had brought home from his place of work. He said something along the lines of "They want newer stuff, and don't want this anymore." This really baffled me as this had a Skylake CPU in it, indicating that it was still fairly new. My dad had also brought home two monitors out of nowhere! On his insistence, however, I'm running dual monitors both through HDMI and one on the RX 470 and one on the iGPU. (The HDMI cables were found in a ethernet/networking box from the early 2000's of all things). In the future, I believe I'm going to build my older brother a computer of his own, as he is soon to go to college and may need a computer of his own to game and work on at home. Side note, he is going to a local college so he won't be staying in any expensive dorms or living quarters. So I shouldn't get too comfortable with dual monitors, as he may require one of his own.
Moving on, the PCI-e wireless adapter was bought from Staples. Via ink recycling rewards however, it was free! (My dad brings home used ink toner from his work to recycle.)
The low price of the motherboard and graphics card can be attributed to Jets' discount codes and ASUS' rebates! The rebate master (my mom) helped me submit my $30 rebate for my GPU and $10 rebate for my motherboard. As of currently, the GPU rebate has been approved (rather quickly!) and I am awaiting a magical piece of plastic loaded with money to come in the mail.
It turned out I didn't really need the thermal paste as I had bought it before my dad had brought home the prebuilt Dell and I really didn't feel like replacing otherwise good thermal paste from the CPU. Still, I may need this in the future when I replace my CPU or for future builds!
Forgot to mention....since the Dell had a proprietary motherboard I had to buy a new one so I could fit everything in my (already bought) case. Here's the catch: It had a spring screw type of cooler! Meaning, (with the help of my good ol' dad), we had to install the plastic bracket the screws screw into onto the back of the ASUS motherboard. My wireless adapter is sitting neck and neck to my GPU, yet still keeps kicking!
I was able to overclock my RX 470 to 1400MHz on the core and 1750MHz on the memory using AMD Wattman. Since I'm a sissy cat, I didn't dare to touch the voltage. However, I'm still quite happy with the overclock from 1270 to 1400MHz and 1650 to 1750 MHz!
I hope you don't take we're poor, with all the nifty rebates and (as I like to call it) "scavenging". It's just that we are VERY conservative with our money. (I'm not talking about politics, so please don't kill me!)
Please leave any feedback, suggestions, or questions in the comments!
UPDATE: I think I've finally got the overclocks down. The core is at 1350MHz and the memory is at 1750MHz. From what I've read, anything beyond 1750MHz isn't exactly beneficial and something about timings being off if I were to otherwise.
A great budget CPU for gaming at around (give or take) 60 fps on 1080p. Just make sure you have a formidable and balanced graphics card and this will work like a champ along with its 4 threads!
Quite a nice feature filled board with an M.2 slot, a PCI-e x16 slot and two PCI-e x4 slots! Beware, however, if you're putting a graphics card into this board then it'll most likely cover the x4 slot right under the x16 slot. I had to put my wireless adapter in the bottom-most slot and it barely has any clearance from the card. (Though, not the fault of the board what-so-ever!) I was able to put a spring-type mounted cooler from a prebuilt onto this by just taking the plastic bracket from the prebuilt and putting it on the back side of this. I'm thinking I perhaps should have gotten one of the Asrock boards with a PCI-e x4 lane above the PCI-e x16 lane. However, reviews on those weren't exactly spectacular.
Does what its supposed to do and is at the maximum frequency my board can support.
A surprisingly snappy HDD! Boots into windows at around ~20 seconds give or take!
A long awaited upgrade from my AMD E1-1200 processor in a Toshiba Satellite C55D-A5380. Comes clocked at 1250MHz from the factory on the core and 1650MHz on the memory. If you want the advertised core boost clock of 1270MHz, you need to download "ASUS GPU Tweaker II" and set it on "OC Mode". I got it overclocked to 1400MHz on the core and 1750MHz on the memory... all without touching the voltage values! I got this real cheap with Jets' 15% discount they always have going on and a $30 rebate.
Surprisingly nice looking and feature filled case! It has 2 preinstalled molex/3 pin fans (the front fan is led and they both have molex and 3 pin connectors on each of them). All required screws are provided, the power button, HDD light, reset switch, top USB ports, etc. all work! It comes with a motherboard speaker, which beeps when restarted or when it is powered on. Cable management is possible, though you may need to slightly force the back down and inwards to close it up. Thumb screws are definitely a nice touch for the side panels, and keep them in should they have pressure on them from extruding power supply cables. Only gripes of mine would be some of the HDD holes do not line up (I may be positioning it wrong however), and that the PSU is not mounted on the bottom, where fresh air could be taken from the bottom and out of the PSU instead of taking warmer air from the components and then expelling it.
Great price and supplies ample amount of power to all my components. Has all the needed connectors you'll ever need to plug anything into. Of course it is non-modular, but for the price, can you REALLY complain?
Sitting right next to my GPU (not even a few centimeters apart), it keeps my connection going, even in a large player count game like Planetside 2, which infuriates me to no end.
They're 60Hz refresh monitors that look great when watching videos or playing games! I am in no way overly picky about video quality, but the contrast between this and a laptop screen is astounding. They are very large to me...makes me rethink how big 1440p truly is! Still, 1080p gaming is affordable and a new luxury to me.