This build was my "Plan B" option. Ryzen CPUs do not support integrated graphics. I wanted to start gaming and streaming, so I went with an Intel CPU. I planned to add a graphics card as funds became available. I ordered my "Plan B" parts and, literally, the next day, this GPU went on sale AND included a game I planned on buying anyway, so I ordered the GPU, and built what you see here. As always, the individual parts costs has changed, (increased as of this writing, 9/7/2017), since I built this PC.

This is my first PC build. I look forward to your comments and suggestions for improvement for my future builds.

Part Reviews


I do not plan to do any overclocking at this point, so spending the additional money for an unlocked CPU, an aftermarket cooler, and a "Z" or "X" series motherboard seemed wasteful. I used the money saved to "upgrade" my storage options. More on that later.


This motherboard was chosen, as were most of the parts for this build, based on compatibility first, with low-cost and great performance second, with regards to my intended uses of this build. Plenty of expandability; four DIMM slots capable of supporting up to 64GB RAM; Six 6GB/s SATA ports; 1 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port; and on-board USB 3.0 ports. More than enough motherboard for my needs.


Adding another kit later will give me the 32GB recommended for live-streaming duties, and the current 16GB kit provides ample memory available for most current gaming duties. I know it is red, but as I stated previously, all parts were purchased based on compatibility first, (this kit is on the QVL), and low-cost second.


Boot times are measured in seconds. The OS, some applications, and a select list of games reside on this SSD. It is just barely over half-full.


I chose the Toshiba X300 4TB 3.5" 7200-rpm, again for its low-cost, low-noise, and high-capacity. Until I add additional storage drives, this is where everything else is stored. My continually growing Steam, GOG, and Origin game libraries, plus documents, spreadsheets, presentations, University assignments, (I graduated Summer 2017), etc., are all housed on this drive. I used slightly less than 0.7TB of its 3.63TB usable capacity.

Video Card

120-watts TDP; Dual fans; 210mm (8.27-inches) in length; One DVI-D Dual Link, One HDMI, and three DisplayPort connections for 1080p gaming duties. With the games I currently play, "Cold Waters" and "League of Maidens" being two of them, I have yet to hear the fans on this card. Perhaps that will change as I become more proficient with the gameplay, but for now, this card runs very cool and extremely quiet.


I am quite impressed with this case, taking into account this is the first case with which I have any experience. I did encounter a "problem" during this build. After making all of the connections, the USB 2.0 ports on the top panel were not recognized by the system. Long story short, the USB 2.0 cable was pinched between the top cover and the top of the case chassis. I am unsure if this was an intentional placement of the cable for some reason, or if it was lack of quality control. Either way, "problem" resolved.

This case comes with five 120mm blue LED fans installed. The rear exhaust fan is controlled directly by the motherboard. The two top exhaust fans and the two front intake fans are controlled by their own separate three-position, (Low-Stop-High), fan-controllers on the top-panel. This case has room for one external 5.25-inch drive, four internal 3.5-inch drives, or five internal 2.5-inch drives. The case can accommodate motherboards up to ATX size. There are two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports on the top panel for easy access. Of course, there are connections for headphone, microphone, LEDs for power and HDD activity, a "Reset" button, and SD and TF (Micro-SD?) ports, too. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a $60 case. Maximum video card length is 15.43-inches.

I ordered an optical drive; don't judge me. I play a lot of old games that are disk-based with some even requiring the disk remain in the drive during gameplay.

Power Supply

This PSU more than handles my current power needs. Being semi-modular means I saved some money vs. fully-modular and I can add additional cables as I add additional internal components. The only drawback about this PSU that I can see, and it is a visual issue, is the ketchup-and-mustard cabling on the fixed 24-pin power cable.


Keyboard: This keyboard and optical mouse combination are black with blue backlighting. I chose the blue backlighting to match my case fans' lighting. I must say, I am somewhat disappointed with this keyboard color. The blue backlighting does not illuminate the keys as much as I would like, even in a dark room. Even the angle of the lifting legs do not position the keyboard in a favorable hand position for me.

Mouse: I like the feel, look, lighting, and amount of control surfaces on the included optical mouse. I am 6' 2" and have somewhat large hands. This is right-hand only mouse configuration. The mouse fits very well in my hand and my fingers fall naturally into place over the control surfaces.

One annoying thing I have noticed about this mouse already is a squeaky mouse wheel. That is really the only complaint I have regarding the mouse.


  • 27 months ago
  • 6 points

You, good sir, are brave with showing a stock CPU cooler on this forum. +1 for having guts. :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for your comment.

Honestly, with all of the builds I have seen on here, I was a little concerned about how the stock CPU cooler would be received. Trying to keep costs as low as possible with no overclocking plans in mind, the stock CPU cooler was a no-brainer for me.

Next build? Could be a different story, but this build will be a bit unique by utilizing the stock CPU cooler.

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

Are you using an Elgato? If you aren't I feel like Ryzen would be better as Ryzen is better for streaming but great build!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope, no Elgato, yet, but it is on list of "wanted" upgrades. I would have preferred Ryzen, too. AMD does not have integrated graphics; Intel does. Due the ridiculously high GPU prices, I planned on gaming with the Intel system until I could afford a GPU, in a month or two. The day, literally one day, after I ordered my Intel parts, one of the GPUs I was looking at went on sale, AND it included a game I wanted. I wound up ordering the GPU and built this system.

If I had bought AMD parts, I would not have been able to use the system until I could afford a GPU. I will use this system for streaming, and if it proves problematic for me, I will build a Ryzen-base system. If I had waited one day to order my Intel parts, and the same GPU went on sale, I would have posted an entirely different build. Hindsight is 20/20, but so far, this system has been great for gaming. I have not started streaming, yet, but hope to begin some stream-testing soon.

With the components I already have in this system, to upgrade to a Ryzen, I would need to purchase a CPU and motherboard. I would either wipe and reuse my M.2-2280 or buy another one. The remaining components in my current build could be reused.

Thank you for your response.

  • 24 months ago
  • 3 points

Great review on that case! It came with 5 fans pre-installed?!? wow. Oh... and dont be ashamed of optical drives. These idiots on youtube love shaming people that still use them and want them in their cases but I still find them very useful as I'm sure many other people do as well.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, how did I miss your post? My apologies to you.

Thank you for the compliment, and for your response. Yes, those fans came preinstalled in the case. I'm old enough to not worry about what other people think about optical drives. I have games that disk-based, and I need an optical drive. That's all there is to it, and the other people can think/say what they want, but at the end of the day, this PC was built for my needs, not theirs.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

How are the temps with the stock cooler? is it loud under maybe 50 percent load?

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

The temps have been well-controlled by the stock cooler under load. It is a fan, so it does make noise. I do not have any equipment to measure sound output. When gaming with, or without, my Playstation headphones, I do not hear it as much as I expected to, even when the temps reach up to about 74*C.

I use Speccy and HWMonitor to track temperatures and other data. The i7-7700 is not overclockable, and the OEM cooler is more than adequate at this time. If you have no plans to overclock, I recommend using the stock cooler until you determine what your actual needs are as you use your PC for your daily tasks.

I do some word processing, spreadsheets, email, video watching, (YouTube and Twitch), and gaming, of course. I often do a majority of those tasks at the same time. I am not concerned about the stock cooler's cooling capability. It meets my needs and was included with the CPU. I would not hesitate to build another PC with the same components.

Hope that helps.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, it did! My upcoming build won't necessarily be a gaming rig, but rather a web surfing computer for my parents and my younger brothers. I want a build that is as quiet as possible, as the current computer is from the era of 2003, sporting an amd athlon +3800, a dual core to be precise. runs very hot and very loud, I can even hear the fans on idle from my room a couple dozen feet away! I have an I5 7500 now in my possession that I obtained in a really good local deal, and I ordered the Fractal Design Focus G, and the EVGA supernova G3 550 watt, gold rated.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I am glad I could help. If you are building a rig specifically for web surfing and occasional gamine, you might even consider an i3 or i5 CPU. That would definitely depend on which games you plan on playing, but an i7 for web surfing is definitely overkill.

As a suggestion, if you know which games you plan to play on the PC, research them on Steam or other gaming sites. Steam lists the "Minimum" and "Recommended" PC specifications needed to play a particular game. You can then adjust your build list accordingly.

If you are unsure how to do that, I would be happy to help you create a build list to meet your needs. I do not do this as a business. It is something I consider fun to do.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes I now have the I5-7500, bought it for $150. The only possible games that would be played are stuff from the windows store itself, as my brothers arn't interested in computers as much, and my parents are going to be the main users unless I need to use it for something like a windows only program that I use to get my samsung T3 external ssd to boot windows 10 on my MacBook pro.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Sounds good. That CPU may even a bit overkill, but since you already have it, it will work as an excellent upon which to build. There are a lot of free games on the gaming sites, too. Your family does not need to limit their gaming options to the Windows Store; there are many options available for gaming purposes. Good luck on your build. Let me know if I can assist you at any point.