Completed in March 2017
When I first started this I knew nothing about PC building. I wasn't even sure what a lot of the parts even did. Many guides and tutorials later, though, and I was ready to put something together. Because I'm a student and only have a part time job, I don't make that much, so the bare minimum for what I considered "good" was all I needed. I chose all parts for price primarily, though I did use a few extra bucks to get a mobo with I/O housing purely for aesthetics. Overall, this build is a great starting point and has served me well since I put it together, and there is plenty of room for upgrades down the road.
I built this computer partially to replace my dying 2012 laptop that I had been using as my primary computer and also to delve into the world of PC gaming. My library of PC games is growing and I'm loving every minute of it.
The actual build process went pretty smoothly. My only real issue was booting to a black screen upon testing, which was a facepalm-worthy issue of my RAM stick not being in its slot all the way (I hadn't heard the click but was afraid to push it in too hard and didn't want to break it).
Since the build I've upgraded the RAM to 16GB at 2400MHz and added a second monitor. Future upgrades include a 4-core processor, more SSD storage, and a better graphics card. For now, though, it's a wonderful machine that suits all my needs and looks good doing it.
For budget gaming, you can't go wrong with the G4560. Its hyperthreading feature admirably closes the gap between 2 and 4 core performance, making this a great choice for builders just starting out or those with not a lot of cash to spare for something more substantial. It uses the LGA 1151 socket, which means that if you do want to upgrade later, a lot of great processors are available without having to get a new motherboard for an entirely new build. I'm incredibly happy with this processor's performance both inside and outside of games and I highly recommend it.
This was the only motherboard of the B250 chipset I found with I/O housing, which looks pretty and is plenty durable. The mobo itself is great for setting up a black/white aesthetic. It has plenty of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for all your peripherals, and even a 3.1 port if you've got something that uses it. This was incredibly easy to work with and is a fantastic choice for a first-time builder. The BIOS is nice and easy to use as well with great features.
It doesn't look all that pretty but it'll work just the same as any RAM. Value certainly doesn't mean a drop in performance in this case. This RAM will keep your applications running just fine.
I had no idea what a boost in PC speed meant until I used an SSD for the first time. From booting the computer to opening games and applications to loading screens within those games, everything moves like lightning. No more checking my phone or getting a snack while I'm waiting for something to load. With an SSD I spend much less time waiting and more time actually doing computer stuff.
I cannibalized this part from an old storebought PC my family was using until they got laptops. Even though it's about 4 years old now it still stores and retrieves files fine. It has lost some capacity over the years but I don't even come close to filling it up so it's not a big deal.
Despite objections from many of my friends who insisted on nVidia or bust, I am more than pleased with the RX470's performance. It was a much better choice than the GTX 1050 or 1050Ti for my price range based on benchmarks, and I'd consider it the highest of the "low end" cards. Every game I've played has hit 60fps or more at 1080p on their highest or next-to-highest settings (except Watch_Dogs 2, which taxes cards even better than this one anyway so I can't really complain). I've no complaints about the manufacturer, XFX, either. The card has never broken 60-62 degrees Celsius and the fan stays off until the card needs extra cooling, which is great for noise (something I personally don't care about but others might).
I managed to get this case on sale, and am incredibly happy I did. I didn't want to spend more than $50 on a case for my first build so when this thing that's normally $55-65 went on sale I grabbed it without a second thought. It's simple and sleek, durable, and I got great features like a USB 3.0 port for a great price. It only loses a star because even though it does offer some space to manage cables on the right side panel, it's not all that much and I had to squeeze some stuff in even after routing. For aesthetic reasons I'd also have liked a PSU shroud but my build was for function first and looks later so it's not a huge deal.
This PSU offers plenty of power for a great price. It will even be enough to power my build after some upgrades. I've had no problems with this power supply and am incredibly happy with it.
As my computer is nowhere close to my router I needed a wireless solution. Having never built a PC before I was surprised to find that these adapters were so cheap, and I was actually prepared to be sorely disappointed with something under $20. Color me surprised when this thing performs great even though I'm on one end of a ~1000 sq ft house and the router's on the other. Constant full signal strength, good download speeds and stable connection when online gaming.
Cheap little case intake fans I picked up at the only dedicated PC part store in my city. Places like Best Buy had fans too but at far higher prices and with lighting I didn't need as the fans are not visible in my case. They make noise but it's not too loud and not obtrusive when watching videos or movies or when gaming. Perhaps I'll find something quieter in the future but for now these are great.
Another steal I hopped on the second I saw it. Got it for $70 when regular price for it was $140. As I can't find it anymore I'm guessing it was discontinued but, wow, is it a great monitor. Full HD with great colors and thin bezels plus a sleek silver design. If you can find one and in you're in the market for a 1080p 60Hz monitor I'd get one (or two) right away.