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The Bowldawg

by csbowl10

Description

A little about me:

I'm in my early 30s. This was my first time building a PC and a goal of mine the past few years. Before October 2017, I did not know much about computer components. I spent many hours watching videos on YouTube, taking notes, and still finding myself overwhelmed and confused. I came up with 4 PC Part Picker lists: two with Intel CPUs and two with AMD CPUs. I then focused on the list you see on the left. I struggled with a few parts: Do I get a CPU Cooler? Do I get an M.2 SSD or not? Do I get a Gigabyte or MSI or another brand motherboard?

Cost:

Focusing on just the PC parts, the entire build cost me $1,102.00 ($1,062 after rebates). Adding in Windows 10, a gaming controller, gaming mouse, and SD Card Reader, the entire PC cost me $1,259.00 after rebates. Obviously, I went over my budget plan by $259.00.

Useage:

I'm primarily using this PC to store my personal information, edit and store family photo/videos, and gaming.

Pieces not included in part that I already have:

1 ASUS 24" 1920x1080 1 Dell 24" 1920x1080 1 Dell 1440 x 900

1 External DVD rom 1 audio-technica ATH-M30 headphones 1 Logitech Gamepad F310 (wired) 1 HP Wireless Elite v2 Keyboard - I tried 2 wired keyboards and didn't like them. The Elite v2 responds quickly.

My 3 year old daughter wanted to get in a photo for "helping" me build it.

Part Reviews

CPU

This processor has been great to use so far. Up until this build, I had only used Intel processors in pre-built PCs and laptops. A few factors drove me to getting this: the Ryzen reputation has been excellent, major Black Friday sale, it's 8-core processor, will be able to use it for years to come, and can be overclocked to higher frequencies without overheating easily. So far, I've only overclocked it to a moderate 3.7GHz. The idle temp has hovered around 18-22 degree Celsius. I sit in a cold room in an office, which helps. When it's overclocked, the temp rises to 31 degree Celsius which is not bad.

CPU Cooler

This was the 2nd to last piece I bought for my PC build. It's probably not a necessary component for my build because I am only doing moderate overclocking on the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 3.0GHz 8-Core. The Wraith Spire Cooler that comes with this CPU has had positive feedback from its users.

The cooler comes with AM4 bracket, but has an Intel bracket on the actual cooler. The manual is terrible and instructs you to turn the Intel bracket CLOCKWISE to pop it off. But you should actually turn the bracket counterclockwise. Also, you need to use four fingers in each corner to apply pressure in order for bracket to come off. 5 stars for proper functionality, but 2 stars for manual. Thank goodness Reddit/YouTube exist. When I first turned on my PC, the cooler fans spun for 5-20 seconds before shutting down. Turns out the fan connector needed to be plugged into SYS_FAN vs CPU_FAN or CPU_OPT.

Motherboard

I give 5 stars for the mobo working as expected, but 2 stars for an incomplete, confusing-to-read manual. When I first booted up my PC, the water cooler fans would spin for 5-20 seconds and then shut down. Turns out the CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT fan connectors were not the right connections. Instead, I had to plug the cooler fan into the SYS_FAN socket and then it worked. I also had trouble getting my HDD recognized, but turns out SATA 1 and SATA 0 ports are not useable because the M.2 SSD nullifies their use. The CPU was easy to install as well as most of the other components. The BIOS came with F7 version and I was able to overclock the CPU and RAM by watching YouTube videos.

Memory

Bought these on sale for $159.99 on NewEgg right before most 16GB DDR4 RAM sticks went above the $200.00. Originally, I wanted the black sticks, but they were sold out very quickly. These work great. They initially hovered around 2100 in the BIOS before I sped them up to 2933. So far so good.

Storage

It works great. Windows boots up in about 4 seconds and games load faster than I have time to read the hints or tips while it loads. Highly recommend.

Storage

So far, this does what I need it to do. What was close to 100% storage on my other laptops is now around 15% on this PC. I will most likely buy another one with more storage down the road and apply RAID to ensure no data is lost.

Video Card

Cannot believe this has jumped up to $289.00. I bought this on sale off B&H for $189.99 during a post-Black Friday sale. I was a little disappointed because I had an opportunity to get it for $179.99, but my indecisiveness was enough to see them become sold out with another retailer. Some YouTube tech experts cautioned users from buying this because its 3GB, but it has worked just fine for me on the two games I've tested so far on Ultra settings: Fall Out 4 and X-Plane 11. This will most likely be the first piece I upgrade in the future (along with 4K monitors), but that's years from now.

Case

Great case. This was one of the last items I purchased. Originally, I thought I would go with a mid-tower case, but I kept coming back to this case and really liking what I saw. This had been on sale for $84.99 and then went up to $98.99 before NewEgg added a shipping cost. I waited several weeks for price to go back down, but it wasn't happening. And I didn't want to hold up the build any longer. It is a great case -- cable management (which I know is a hot topic on this forum) is excellent. The ability to add or make custom changes is superior. I didn't realize I'd be using almost all of the USBs on both the Mobo and case, but that has been useful. The fans run nice and quiet.

Power Supply

The PSU is quiet and provides power to my PC. I brought a PSU that has more Watts than I need at the moment, but who knows when I'll need to make upgrades using more power.

Operating System

I decided not to gamble getting a license off eBay for under $10 or use any other site doing same thing. It's my understanding this 64 bit Home version is more expensive than the other 64 bit Home version due to pre-built vs PCs built by us + Microsoft support (hah) if needed.

Other

Bought this to offload videos from my SD cards and put on my nice 1 TB HDD.

Other

Works great, buy annoyed the scroller button controls volume vs scrolling. I cannot find a resource online that is helpful. I can say: I know how to build a computer but don't know how to adjust my mouse. However, it's very comfortable and I like the LEDs on it.

Comments Sorted by:

Eltech 20 Builds 3 points 14 months ago

My 3 year old daughter wanted to get in a photo for "helping" me build it.

Aw, how sweet and cool. I hope you two enjoyed it together and may your build serve you well. +1

csbowl10 submitter 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

Thank you! Figured it can't hurt to teach my daughter a little about computers and how they work. So far, the PC is running very nicely.

squidamint 2 points 14 months ago

Thanks for the focus of your comments. It's helpful to read real-world considerations and decisions, obstacles and solutions. Practical, budget-minded builds are beautiful in a special way. Nicely done, sir.

[ Now that you have a junior IT assistant, your official title is "Dadministrator". Wear that hat with distinction! ]

[ Bonus points for showing glimpses of instruments and the Marshall amp. A little out of focus, but looks like at least one knob goes to 11... ]

csbowl10 submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Thank you. There were definitely some challenges, but I couldn't be happier with the end result. Have you built a computer before, or are you thinking about it?

I love the "Dadminstrator" title. I haven't thought of that before. I also have a 2 year old son and another on the way, so the title will become even more valuable.

Good job spotting the Marshall amp. I have had it for many years and enjoy using it anything from a clean sound such as jazz to a nice distorted crunch for hard rock. The room is above a garage and I can blast it without my wife/kids really hearing it. Lots of fun. May use this PC to record some tunes.

[comment deleted by staff]
csbowl10 submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Thank you!