Warning: Brief backstory
Up until recently, he has not had much personal time at all. He was managing ~70 people and was constantly on call and constantly working and sending emails, and when he was not doing that, the poor guy was busy fixing up their house! Even before this previous job, he was always a busy guy. One of the activities that we could do together on weeknights with his limited time was play Halo 3 and Reach on the old 360. We had a blast romping around Valhalla High Ground, Boneyard, and The Spire, spending hours upon hours ranking up and connecting. However as the player base of each game dwindled and our personal lives changed (school, moving out, etc.), we just did not have time to play video games together anymore.
Recently, however, he took a new job and my family is now moving back to the city (woohoo!) which then means that he will have much more free time at home and will not constantly be on call. A regular 8 to 5 job... finally. Because of this, he asked me to build him a gaming system so that we can continue our virtual adventures.
Now that the sappy bits are out of the way, this is my dad's first strictly gaming PC. He gave me $850 and asked me to build him something that would "be fast and last for a while" and I think I did pretty well here. What do you think?
Many hours of PoE, Halo Online, Stellaris, and Squad await us.
FYI Initially, I purchased an ASUS DUAL-RX580-O4G for $199 (184 before tax). I was initially blown away by how competitively priced this card was and immediately scooped one up. It performed on par with other 580s in games and benchmarks, but was noticeably very hot (maxed at 85C in Superposition and Rome 2). I began researching this card and came across one Amazon review that pointed out the lack of memory ( and possibly VRM) cooling on the card. I checked my own copy of the card and sure enough, the memory modules were completely exposed (final picture). It's no wonder that many other reviewers were complaining about dead cards. If I were you, I would avoid that card and spend a little extra money to get something that has proper cooling.
The Ryzen 2600 is a strong future proof CPU with 6C/12T and a decent cooler all for ~$160.
This is a great board for the money. It comes with multiple USB 2.0 headers and one 3.0 header, four fan connectors, two PCIEx16 slots, and hefty VRM coolers.
My dad is a bit of an old school guy, so I went with a full ATX board in case he wanted to add extra cards to the other slots (sound, USB cards, etc.)
This RAM and my motherboard (MSI B450-A Pro ATX) immediately and stably overclocked to 2933 mhz by using a XMP Profile. Would recommend, especially at a price of $64 plus tax.
A 480GB SSD for $67 plus tax is a hell of a deal and I urge everyone to get one while they are priced so low. I have primarily used Adata in all of my builds since they are cost effective and reliable, making them a highly competitive alternative to PNY's, Sandisk's, and Western Digital's offering.
I am very impressed with this card. It has not broken 70C yet under full load. I've tested it with Unigine Superposition and Rome Total War 2 (Very high graphics, unlimited Vram, Bloom, distortion effects on) and it stays cool. It also is aesthetically pleasing and the backplate is a nice plus. 8gb of VRAM should be plenty for my dad and give his build some staying power for the future.
Fairly quiet and good looking, but the LEDs are not as bright as I would want them to be. They dimly light up the case.