This is for my cousin. The build itself is $384.87. She has been needing a new computer since her 7 year or older laptop is too sluggish and unbearable for her to type papers. Most of these parts were bought around September. The reason it took me so long to show this is because I had to hold onto this PC for a while until it got closer to December since it's a Christmas present. Of course after the semester, it gave me more time to do some last touch ups before shipping it out.
Nothing too fancy here. Its main purpose is to type up documents and use the internet. That is it. However, I'm certain people are wondering why I didn't go cheaper on the processor and RAM. Well, I wanted to see how this Haswell Pentium would perform. Plus I'm using System RAM for the integrated graphics so it does not hurt to have 8GB of RAM. It gives enough left over for daily multitasking.
It's a great dual core processor. I been very impressed with it. No hyper-threading but it is not a need for this intended build. Since she types documents the most and is tired of a slow computer, this Haswell Pentium seems to fit well. So far it works like a charm for the daily routines on a computer. And it's also nice to have a Pentium that can see 1600MHz of RAM and not cap the RAM to 1333MHz. Most LGA1150 Pentiums only recognize 1333MHz (sometimes can cap to 1400MHz too if have higher speed of RAM).
I would recommend it for those who don't care for gaming but one could game with this processor. I know it's not the famous G3258 since it cannot overclock but it still is a great processor that packs plenty of speed. I would not recommend spending pass 80 dollars or I would probably say the G3258 Pentium or some other reasonable priced Pentium if you are already thinking of spending 90-100 dollars on this.
I originally had an Arctic Alpine 11 GT Rev. 2 but after sometime it was decided to be replaced. Temps would be higher then preferable, 60~65° C, due to height. I also think when a MOBO is flimsy they tend to have issues with tall CPU coolers. This may be due to only my experiences so take it with a grain of salt.
I'm not digressing of getting new CPU coolers but sometimes one of them is not the solution either. So the stockfan was returned and much easier to install with some Arctic Silver 5. Oh gee I knew that would happen... It is working a lot better as temps will be steady around 27~30° C doing the daily tasks. Easy games will hit around 40-50~° C but I cannot speak for anything else.
I had to fix the temps a bit until I managed to find the vCore and set it to 1.005. So the processor no longer reaches 65° C which is great. It tones it down about 10° C. I found the BIOS to be easy once you explore enough. I never touched ASRock until now. I wanted a MOBO that was good for office and had WiFi already without breaking the bank for a tight budget.
The only thing is, it feels flimsy or sometimes it feels fragile when connecting a VGA, and USBs. Maybe it's just me? I do not know. All I know is it works great despite how weak it can feel. Keep in mind about this, it comes with 2 SATA cables so I had additional MSI SATA cables laying around.
I also had lots of fun installing the WiFi. I believe one needs two 5/16 or 5/8 nut wrenches to properly hold still the nut inside the case from moving and screw the other nut from the outside to tighten until the WiFi antenna can move without loosening. If one does not like the idea of installing their own half-mini PCI WiFi, then maybe don't buy this MOBO.
I actually wanted to try this version for quite some time. It works pretty fast. Normally boots 3 seconds and takes about 7~9 seconds to load Windows 8.1. It's a very fast SSD and I have the SSD Tool installed to trim and check its current status of how it is doing. For an office build, this fits perfectly.
One thing that I am aware of is that it can get toasty when it first loads up. Starts at 50° C but then drops down in the 30~40° C range. Just something to be aware of but so far I had no issues. I must be used to seeing 22~32° C with my SSDs by now.
I am sure one is wondering why a Hard Drive? And why this one? I got it for a pretty reasonable price from Amazon. It was new, is 2.5" and decent amount of storage.
It does not hurt to have additional storage just in-case. It is pretty snappy when transferring data back and forth and that is all I can expect. Maybe not required but I rather be prepared then to say sorry I should have placed more storage into the build. No heat issues and it stays under 30° C.
I worked in this case before with an office build that I made for my job. I enjoyed it so much that I had to buy it. It's compact enough with room to hold an optical bay and a 3.5" hard drive. Or as I did, using a 3.5" converter for two 2.5" drives. The only thing I can think of as a flaw with this case is how the optical constricts space when installed and extremely limited space when working with the additional PSU connectors plus varies upon length. So if one intends to install an optical drive, keep it last until ready after organizing the cables so much.
It's a great case for office and had no heating issues. Intake is the case fan. Otherwise the CPU and PSU are exhausting heat pretty well. Though I dispose the PSU that automatically comes with this. The downfall: there is no manual so hence forth my photos to give an idea of what to do.
I have been very impressed with it and does the job fast with all the daily routines that one would do with a computer. As I experienced with it personally, it did very well with surfing the internet and playing none graphic demanding games such as Monopoly and Scrabble. OK I am sorry, guilty as charge to install two games despite she does not care for games. It feels wrong to not install some easy basic digital board games into a custom computer and they only need 1GB of free storage. I will hear on what she thinks of it around Christmas. I cannot wait to hear her response and hope it does the job for what she needed.
Thanks for taking the time to read my description. Please leave any feedback, questions, and constructive criticism. I'll update anything if need be.