Description

After many hours of gaming on my laptop, I decided that I was tired of running even minesweeper on the lowest settings @ 2 fps. (exaggeration of course, but you get the point.) I was first going to buy my own laptop a few years ago to replace it. Then I heard that desktops were better. Curious, I researched this and then started looking at pre-built desktops. Soon after, I discovered the world of custom computers (thanks Hardware Revolution!). I started looking for an online computer builder and found this website. And so it started. After a much researching, and as Christmas was nearing, I put together a part list similar to this. Soon after, Christmas arrived. I then updated the list a bit to get some of the best prices. and then I ordered the parts. I bought most of the parts on Newegg, which only cost about $5 extra rather than ordering from several different websites. The parts arrived and I built the computer without a hitch. The only time consuming problem was when I installed the motherboard without the I/O plate..whoops.. I am satisfied with the performance so far, even without the graphics card. It is quite fast.

Part Breakdown:

 Purchased:
  • G3258: I chose this over an I3 with a cheaper board for the sake of upgradability. I have been very satisfied with the performance of this so far. I have yet to overclock it, but it is still running CPU intensive programs pretty well. The IGPU is lacking of course, but what can be expected of Intel HD Graphics?

  • MSI Z97 PC MATE: This is a great board. I am very happy to get Z97 at this price. Click Bios 4 is great. There is a noticeable improvement with the Fast Boot feature. The board felt very solid and had good mass to it. The color is slightly off-black, but still blends into the case well. No problems during installation.

  • Corsair Vengeance 8GB: It worked as advertised.

  • Seagate Barracuda 1TB: Noticeably faster than my laptop HDD.

  • R9 280: Please, give me another. Outstanding performance. Runs nearly anything at the highest settings and 60 FPS. Runs Metro LL at 30-60 FPS on the highest settings.

  • Enermax Ostrog ATX Mid Tower: From a beginner's standpoint, it was solid. Cable management wasn't the best, but it was good enough. No fancy rubberized cable routing holes. Came with zip ties, two Velcro straps, and all the screws I needed. The PSU dust filter is a nice feature that already caught some dog hair. Hard Drive installation is very easy.

  • EVGA PSU: Quiet, more than enough connectors for me.

  • Acer S231HLBBid: I've had this monitor for awhile, I had previously used it for my Xbox 360/One and as a second screen for my laptop. The color is far better than what my laptop screen has.

  • Edimax USB wifi adapter: Changed opinion: This works great with a usb extension cord. The case had apparently caused some interference.

  • Cobra E-3lue Wired Mouse: Best $10 I have ever spent. Far better than what I expected. The LED's are not obnoxiously bright, and the DPI settings work flawlessly. The build quality is high, it scrolls in subtle clicks, tracks well, etc. Overall, a very good value. Fits my hand well. Works good for all grip styles, although I use a claw grip. The side buttons are handy in games.

  • Keyboard: I had this already. It's old but it functions. Not ideal for the 60WPM+ that I have...

Feel free to ask questions! I am very satisfied with this build and am happy to have it in my possession.

EDIT: Update! I put the Wifi adapter on a usb extension cable. Performance improved greatly.

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Comments

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Get yourself a GTX 750 Ti instead, since you only have a dual core processor with no hyper-threading to make it act like a quad core you'll be bottlenecking the R9 280. Its also 30-40 dollars cheaper

  • 64 months ago
  • 3 points

The G3258 overclocks to 4.7 GHz. I've tried the processor on the most graphically demanding games I own, and it doesn't reach 100%, even though it's still only operating on integrated graphics. The games I'll be playing, like Fallout 3 with a lot of texture mods, require more from the graphics card than the CPU. I appreciate the feedback though, but the minimum I'm going with is a 270X.

That, and I'd prefer to buy a better card now, so that the GPU doesn't become the CPU's bottleneck when I upgrade the cpu to and i5 later.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Good choice, everyone keeps saying that the G3258 will bottleneck based solely on speculation. Check out the tests guys, coupled with a Titan Black the G3258 (when overclocked) performs just under what an i5 4690k does. These are from actual tests. I've personally used the AE chip in 3 builds and no one has complained yet. Those are the best chips for the money right now. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-g3258-overclocking-performance,3849-5.html

Disclaimer: You DONT have to have a Z87/Z97 board to overclock the AE chip either, I've done it on an H81, H97, and a B85 board with the stock cooler up to 4.4Ghz.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I went with the Z97 to make things a bit more simple, and so I have maximum future comparability. I definitely did consider non z boards though. I've managed to get a very stable 4.1ghz on the stock cooler with mine (1 case fan), but the computer is just unwilling to go beyond 4.1GHz. I know I have more than enough voltage. When I put it at 4.2, the computer doesn't boot and I have to refresh the CMOS. Regardless, 4.1 is good enough for me :)

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok, good logic. I plan on eventually buying a whole new Intel rig instead of attempting to upgrade my current AMD build (unless the next-gen FX processors are released on the FM2+ socket, in that case i'll stick with AMD)

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Unfortunately I believe you can OC that CPU with H81 or B85 boards. :(

Is there any reason why a more expensive mobo is better? [other than oc]

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, a more expensive motherboard can net you better quality, better features, etc. I'd imagine you used to have to pay more for USB 3.0 when it was new. More recently, paying more might net you a M.2 slot, an E-SATA slot, a SAS 12Gbps slot. However, if you get a good brand even a cheap motherboard would be just fine.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay. There are USB 3.0 ports on a MB for 5$ more or so, just to let you know.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

I guess so with older boards. If that's worth it to you I'm not sure, but the only real reason for USB 3.0 in my opinion is future-proofing as it's not too widely applied yet in my experience.