I built this computer for fun. The aim was to do a sub $600 build without the OS. I got close.
I could have built it cheaper, but I didn't want to get any lower quality parts that might have issues in the future.
I really like the case: Thermaltake Core V1. I've built two computer in the case and it's just such a good form factor. The case could use some improvements: better drive brackets and more room for drives. I think offsetting the power supply and including a bracket for an SFX power supply would allow for a better drive mounting solution.
It's a good performing CPU in this price range. It came with a stock cooler, but I had an extra Cryorig C7 I had swapped out with an AIO laying around.
Great cooler for height limited cases. I didn't test it against the stock cooler, but I've read its cooling capacity is better and is quieter than stock. It's a close fit either touching or nearly touching some motherboard components.
Great motherboard especially for the price I paid which was $88. I wished it had USB 3.1 type C and another fan header, but it has everything else I could want. It's a handsome motherboard with a quality feel. The WiFi is quite good, too.
It's great looking RAM. I wished the prices haven't gotten so high, but that isn't that company's fault that makes/sells this RAM.
It's a classic HDD at a great price with reasonable performance.
I think it's the best graphics card it its price range not having a run and manage a power cable to it was awesome. It ran two or three year old games easily at 1080p, but more recent titles needed to have the settings turned down to be enjoyable. If I was saving money to buy parts for a new computer I would save up an additional $50 - $60 for a 1060 3GB or go without a SSD instead. The card is a good entry level video card and probably would be the absolute minimum card I would buy for a computer used for gaming.
I really like this case and it's the second computer I've built in it. It took me a while to get all the cables run to their components and dressed, but after doing it once the second time took me 1/4 of the time. I built the computer and did the cable management in just over a hour. It such a great size. I wished Thermaltake would sell a slightly better version, though with better storage brackets and more space for drives. I don't know why the power supply was placed in the middle if it was placed to the side drives might be able to be mounted horizontally which would be easier and allow more storage.
Great quality for the price. Having black modular cables make the build look much cleaner than if it had non-modular ketchup and mustard cables. The power supply feels well made and some parts of it look just like their more expensive PSUs.
Downloaded the IOS image from Microsoft and it's a very easy and quick install compared to disks.
Optane really makes it feel like a much more expensive computer. The first time anything is loaded it feel like it's running from a HDD, but the second time it's much faster. I haven't measured the boot times, but they are much quicker than before I had installed Optane.
The installation of Optane can be difficult there are all kinds of things that can keep it from working and the error messages aren't helpful at all. The first step was to make sure the BIOS detected the Optane module which needed a BIOS update. I wasn't able to get MSI's BIOS updater to work until I activated Windows. I'm not 100% sure the activation was the issue, but it seemed to work right after I activated Windows. Once the BIOS was updated I had to look up the correct settings and once it was set I was sure it was going to work, but it didn't I got another error from Intel's Optane software. Turns out installing the software is the last thing you do and if you install it too soon it won't work until it's uninstalled and reinstalled.