Description

Beast of a build on a tiny $300 budget I put together with a LOT of hunting and luck on deals for my little-brother-in-law's first ascension. I ended coming in a bit under budget, I might add $25 of red LED strips to hit the budget; or maybe I'll go a little over-budget and get a ~120GB SSD if I can find a good sale instead.

RAM was sourced from a pricing error at Staples, HDD was sourced as a hand-me-down from a retired rig

I scored the GTX 770 on Craigslist for $150, and just before I left the guy's house he unexpectedly handed me a 3dvision2 kit that he meant to include in the listing.... Blew my mind, and I sold it on ebay for $85 ($65 after fees and shipping). Video card out of pocket dropped to $85!!

The i3-4160 also came from Craigslist, a mother listed it as punishment for her son's grades (He bought it to use in a build and was never able to install it). Another crazy steal that saved a ton of money

I planned on a used Z87-G41 first (~$60) but found a refurbished Z87-G45 on newegg that matched the red/black theme he wanted. Because of the CPU and GPU savings, I decided to splurge on it because I was already so underbudget.

The PSU came from a newegg sale + $30 mail-in rebate

The case came from a sale + $10 mail-in rebate

The two coolermaster fans were from a sale + $5 mail-in rebate for a 4-pack, and I decided once again to splurge on two red LED fans to continue the red+black theme since I was still under-budget at this point.

The retail on this build comes to just under $600, so all-in-all I paid less than half price!

EDIT: Just got back from a monitor purchase on Craigslist! Got a 23.6" Samsung S24D390HL for $20!!!!! These deals just won't stop coming! It has a small scuff only visible when lighter colors are behind it, but for the price I don't mind (and I hope he wont)! Photo added, but I can't figure out how to edit the parts list to add it :/

Comments

  • 49 months ago
  • 3 points

I believe you should get (slightly) better performance if you move your GPU to the first available spot from the top. On most motherboards, that is marked as the main PCI-E x16 slot

  • 49 months ago
  • 3 points

Other than that, great build! looks like you got some insane deals!

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

You're case has a ventilation cutout in the bottom for your psu. So you should flip it over so it doesn't count towards exhaust. This will help keep a positive pressure in your computer to help fight dust. Your GPU in the bottom slot won't affect performance (all 3 PCI-e slots are 3.0), but it'll should be a little cooler based on airflow pattern if you move it up. Great build BTW

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I saw that vent cutout in the bottom of the case, is it actually supposed to house a PSU mounted upside down? If I were keeping this computer I would do that and elevate it, but I don't want to risk that my brother-in-law would plop it down on carpet and muffle the intake. I appreciate any replies!

Also, I benchmarked the card in the current and the top (x16) slots and it had negligible differences, I like the look of it being spaced further down so I am leaving it there.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Update: I flipped the PSU and moved the card to the top slot

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 simply for username.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

I benchmarked in the x16 and x8 slots and got negligible differences, so for looks I left it in the bottom slot. Someone else mentioned temps being an issue with it so close to the PSU, I'm considering moving it.

Thanks for the comment!

  • 49 months ago
  • 3 points

This is probably the best build for cash spent I have ever seen (Aside from people who get most of their components free). You did a superb job finding the right opportunities. I think pitching for a boot-SSD would actually make this thing quite awesome. I mean, you've already got some bragging rights with it though, so as it stands, +1.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Yea, I'm REALLY tempted to get a SSD. I'm fighting two battles here, the first is budget and the second is that I had an SSD in one of my older builds when SSDs were just getting started and it went bad on me 1 year and 1 day in and OCZ refused to extend the warranty a single day to cover it. I wasn't counting on it crapping out and lost about a month's worth of personal programming and client website backup. Now I use GIT, but I still don't want to risk a crap-out for someone else's rig. I've heard great things about the newer SanDisk drives, if I get my rebate cards back before I meet up with my brother-in-law to give him the build I plan on using those to get one.

The deal hunting took a couple months but it definitely paid off! Thanks for the comment!

  • 49 months ago
  • 3 points

Great build with such a small budget!

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome deals ! Do you mind me asking where the name is from ?

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

It's a funny (and sad) story. I actually had a mineral oil submerged build I did as a media center computer in college. I came home from class one day and the entire den was covered in oil because the fish tank cracked. Since then, all of my builds Deepwater, Valdez, Corinthos are tributes to the oil spill I had :)

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Ohh, wow, that's cool I guess haha. Sorry to hear about that though

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Right on the money with the oil tanker, see the story replied above

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

You need to move the graphics card to the top slot. With the graphics card in the bottom slot and the psu fan up you starve both of air. The power supply has to be running hotter then it needs to, and the same with that gtx 770.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I benchmarked the card in the current and the top (x16) slots and it had negligible differences, I like the look of it being spaced further down so for now I plan on leaving it there. Temps looked fine (~75C under full load on the GPU)

I'll consider moving it, though, thanks for the comment.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

It really wasn't the graphics card that worried me, its the power supply. The power supply fan doesn't really spin up as much as the gpu fan does, and power supply temperatures aren't shown unless you have a unit with some special internals and a usb cable. The graphics card can hit 85c+ without problems, but the psu can start having problems in the 40s to 50s(c).

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I've moved the card up and flipped the PSU. :)

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Seems I have been shopping at the wrong Staples store !!

Amazing Value on this Build..

Fun Times !!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

The error was last year, here are two sticks of it. In total from 5 different cities between me and friends we got 36GB for less than $5! http://i.imgur.com/PGlCvWN.jpg

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Excellent! Most of my past Franken-builds used parts found in similar manners; local classifieds, friend's butchered PCs, computer trade shows (I wonder if those still exist), etc.

Being able to buy all new is easy compared to being able to make good things happen from the opposite end of the spectrum. Thanks for sharing your efforts! +1

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

The i3-4160 also came from Craigslist, a mother listed it as punishment for her son's grades (He bought it to use in a build and was never able to install it). Another crazy steal that saved a ton of money

This made me lol. Awesome deals, man! Great little rig here!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

After I handed her the cash I mentioned how great of a deal she just gave me, she said she was just happy she could tell him it was sold! Haha, poor kid :/

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

so cold hahaha xD

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I hate it when someone spent less on a pc than you did but still got a better performing PC.

JK, your build is awesome!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey would this PC be able to play GTA 5

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes! For single-monitor, the 970 is comprable to this 770. This guy on youtube has a great gameplay video showing an i3-4160 + 970 playing GTAV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6IwZ79hK2I

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

The RNG gods are watching over you.

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the comment!