UPDATE 10/10/2018: Girlfriend was in need of an update, we knew even for the time the hardware was older but it wasn't in the budget at the time to build a system with DDR4 memory. The system would occasionally crash and I think that was due to the excessive power draw from a 450W PSU
Athlon X4 860K to Athlon X4 845: Though we lost 200MHz and the ability to overclock, the Excavator architecture fared very well over the Steamroller architecture. Overall we do see a slight FPS increase in games and boot up time seems to be lessened, and the 30W less power draw I believe really helps this build out.
GTX 760 Ti to RX 580: Honestly, this upgrade wasn't going to happen, but when AMD had their huge sale I picked this baby up for only $219! And with Assassin's Creed Odyssey free with two other new games, it was hard to say no. I know ASRock isn't the #1 company out there but I personally love their motherboards and I really wanted to support them in their release of AMD GPU's. Though I wish I went with the RX 570, the 580 comes at 15W higher TDP than the GTX 760 Ti and power usage has been such a concern but there haven't been any issues yet.
DIY-F2-P mATX Mini Tower to MasterBox Q300L: When I saw this case I fell in love with it, rotatable side panel that I could put on either side of the case, full side panel window, extra space in the back to hide away bulky HDDs and making cable management a breeze, and all for only $40! I wasn't a big fan of her old case, she loved the purple stripe but the materials were somehow both sharp and flimsy, with such a small side panel window, it was an easy decision to switch
We know how poorly AMD's old architecture has aged in the past few years, and that we have gone as far as this build can go without having to replace the board, CPU and RAM, which we'll get there one day, but for now it boots up swiftly, handles her retro games and indie games like Life is Strange, and she can manage her work with ease with her triple monitors!
ORIGINAL BUILD: This was my first build for a friend and my third build overall and though I was pretty proud of the build, I'm not very proud of the performance. Now I like to name all of my builds after the Fallout series, hence "Little Lamplight," the pretty glow, and it being a beginner's build I thought the name was cute and fitting. Now my friend is a HUGE Zelda fan and with her red hair she wanted to name it after her favorite game franchise so Malon also seemed very fitting.
So this friend knew nothing about computers but they wanted something that could handle the Portal series, Dolphin Emulator, and the Sonic Mega Collections, and of course surfing the web and Netflix. Now I know I could have gotten away with lesser parts but I knew I'd be trying to get her into more advanced games later down the road.
Being an AMD fanboy and love experimenting with new components, when I heard that the Athlon X4 860K and the GTX 750 Ti were the ultimate in budget gaming combo, I felt I just had to jump on that. The cooler, memory, wifi card and motherboard all came from my second build and the HDD was salvaged from an old junkyard build. It's hard to say what was really spent on this build but I know she spent no more than $200, me picking up the rest but that was fine by me, I had a lot of fun building it and seeing her smile when she uses it makes it all worth while.
The Case is beautiful, the cooler is cool, and she is absolutely in love with this build so mission accomplished right? Well being nit-picky I am a little disappointed at the performance of the simple things like web browsing, and streaming Youtube videos and Netflix, but I have to admit it does game pretty well, but in the end I had fun with it and my friend is happy, I definitely learned a lot and am looking forward to many more builds.