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I've built a few computers in the past. But this is the first that I built for myself thus why I titled the build "Pioneer" Red. This build is a bit sentimental to me. Probably most of you can tell by the fact that I named my baby, by the length of this description; and also by the fact that I called it my baby. This is also not a rig that is going to shred benchmarks. I don't have the money to make that happen; yet. So one could call this a "budget" build.
I believe I should define what I mean by "budget". By budget I mean good "gaming-centric" parts - if you haven't already guessed that I'm building this PC mainly for gaming. Good value gaming. In addition to having a decent amount of upgrade options.
The total price of this rig shown in pcpartpicker doesn't look the part of a budget build. But notice the Black Friday on the build title. I'm originally from a place that doesn't have this kind of sale, so I was pretty much excited about the prospects of cheap"er" PC parts. I admit that I might not have chosen the best parts or the best deals but forgive me for my incompetence as deal hunting is not easy and most definitely tiring for a person not so experienced such as myself. But I did my best and these are the parts that I turned up with.
Also the skylake bandwagon.
Intel core i5 6400: Skylake/Cheapest i5 of the Skylake bunch/Next gen Intel HD Graphics(Just Kidding).
MSI B150M Mortar: Trusted brand/Was on a Black Friday discount/Gaming centric features/Supports Crossfire for future upgrade options/Has M.2 port which is nice/Glows red.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x4GB 2400Mhz DDR4: Trusted Brand/Cheaper than 2133Mhz?/Don't need 16GB; yet.
Sandisk SSD Plus 120GB: I kinda like this brand(Been using their flash drives for a while)/It was on sale/SSD's are good(for reducing load times of OS based processes, some select games and programs).
Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 1TB: Trusted brand/ 120GB is not a lot of storage/1TB is a lot more than 120GB.
EVGA GTX 950 SC Single ACX 2.0 2GB GDDR5: Trusted brand/Cheapest, solid, entry level GPU out there on a Black Friday discount/Runs LoL at 200+fps.
Thermaltake Core V21: Starting to like the Tt brand/Design is not boring yet not too extravagant(Just right)/I'm very happy with the build quality for the price/Has window/Lots of space to work with and in/looks good on my desk(Especially when LED lit).
EVGA 500W 80+: Trusted brand/Black Friday Discount/Black Firday Discount(I repeated on purpose because there is pretty much no other reason for getting this)/other than 500W being plenty enough for future single GPU upgrades. Note: Not suggested though, but I'll do it anyway.
Windows 10?: Whatever floats your boat/Trusted brand?
Corsair SP140: For flair and air/In other words because case doesn't come with rear case fan :c/IT F*&KIN GLOWS!(Excuse language)
My monitor and peripheral choice was based on what I thought were good Black Friday deals. But I'll review it anyway(if you could call it a review)
Acer K242HL: 24" of FHD goodness/Basic quality/Good price/Has HDMI
CM Storm Devastator bundle: Cheap backlit, gaming-centric, keyboard/Black Friday Deal. Note: Not red :c
This build cost me a total of 630 GBP including the HDMI, ethernet cables and shipping. around 700 GBP with the OS included. So I'd say I didn't really save that much but nevertheless, I'm happy with my choice of components. Would have chosen a better PSU though, 80+ Bronze or better would have been nice. But I trust the build quality of EVGA products and I'm not too worried since I'm running pretty low wattage components. Might replace when I decide to upgrade.
Building into a square case was fun but not being able to get wires away from the window was really annoying. Probably with some "forceful insertions"; like into the nooks and crannies of the case. But overall I'm satisfied with the looks and the case in general. The fact that it glows might have helped a bit.
Everything else, kinda just worked actually; quite well in fact. No complains about any of the individual parts in the build. The case fan isn't loud and since the EVGA's single ACX2.0 fan doesn't turn on until the GPU reaches a specific temperature, Idle noise is very low but nevertheless present. I prefer some noise coming from my PC actually. It's like hearing your child breath (I'm probably going overboard with my metaphors).
Absolutely no issues with BIOS and OS installation(using windows 10 by the way). BIOS looks good and is easy to use but since its a B150 chipset mobo there is not much to be done there anyway (in terms of overclocking). You could mess around with fan profiles.
The EVGA GTX 950 SC GPU is awesome. Haven't got the chance to test it with a lot of games because I'm currently too engrossed in the games that I have tried it with. Stock performance is more than efficient to run non graphically demanding games like dota 2 and cs:go at 60++++++++++++fps in 1080p but this GPU can overclock well enough to give me solid 60fps average on games like Metro 2033 redux, Crysis 2, and planetside 2 at high to very high graphic settings. Note: Currently overclocking using EVGA precisionX 16.
The leaves in Crysis are more beautiful than I have previously imagined. I'm extremely satisfied with my build, its performance and its location on the right of my desk, glowing with pride. Its not going to max out graphic settings in most demanding game titles but it will still render them beautifully and at great frame rates, with the right tweaking. If any of you have any particular questions about any of the parts I used in my build you can comment down below; peripherals included.
A wise man once told me that the least you should get for a gaming rig is an i5, so I did. And I might as well get the Skylake while i'm at it. But in all seriousness, it is currently cheaper than last gen's i5 4460 in some places. I don't see why anyone shouldn't get it. Oh, and it runs as well as it should.
Good gaming-centric optimizations, no issues with hardware and software, good expansion options, and looks good in a windowed case. Would recommend.
After 1 year: Some issues with SATA ports. Blue screens sometimes though not very often. Could be the HDD.
It looks good with my black PCB motherboard. But then so does other black RAM stick. Hmmm, what is there to say?
Corsair makes good RAM. Can never go wrong with corsair's RAM.
Haven't actually tried any other SSD before. So no viable performance comparisons. Well it works!
This one works too!
After 1 year: It's starting to click. No severe problems just yet.
This little unintimidating piece of hardware has impressed me. Judge something by what it was meant to do. Well, this thing can do what it was intended to and do it very well.
After 1 year: Still runs like new. Absolutely no issues. Good job EVGA.
I like this case. looks good and has a ton of well thought out features that come with it. Wire management was good but wire related frustrations were not entirely void. The stacking option is a bit peculiar though. But overall, a good case.
After 1 year: HD Audio connectors' faulty.
It does what it was meant to do and it does it well.
After 1 year: No issues whatsoever.
I'm not good at reviewing operating systems. It works! But its windows. So conspiracy theories and all that good stuff.
Pricey. but quite enough, looks good, and above all does what it was made to do.
This is a relatively cheap 24" inch monitor. Image quality is good but it does use TN LED panel technology which honestly I have no issues about. Viewing angles to me are surprisingly good for that said fact. I know little about colour reproduction and my eyes have yet to see the difference. But where it counts, image quality is good. Build quality, not so much. Its a bit flimsy. But beyond that its a good product for the price.
Is not broken yet. 5/5
Serious review: mouse is not as ergonomic as CM would like you to believe and its CPI is not up to par to my requirements(not the best, for FPS - it rhymes). Keyboard buttons are a bit stiff but that is subjective to my taste. No issues in game with the keyboard but the side mouse buttons locations are not optimal for my rather small hands :c.
For this I guess I'll minus 2 stars. But this product is very likely to be the right match for the right person. Also notice why I didn't minus stars for it not being mechanical. P.S I also like typing with the backlit off, it helps me train my key memory. So no star reduction for that too.
My mouse roller is squeaking now after about 3 weeks. :c