So instead of getting a new gaming laptop, I realized from work that building a computer may not be so bad.
The first iteration of this project was to use an old family PC (HP 6150pt) and update the graphics card to see how well it works. Granted I was just stepping into the PC building world. I realized that A) there wasn't enough power and B) This will probably bottleneck. And with an Intel Pentium something at like 2.5GHz on a decade old PCIe 1.0 slot the 1060 EVGA 3GB NVIDIA GPU it did bottleneck. But it did work ok, I also had to pick up a power supply from best buy.
The PC originally came with Vista but the family upgraded it to 7 (32 bit). I actually installed 64 bit Windows 10 for free from my college software store (the CPU could handle it) and that helped it a little. But it still needed to not bottleneck.
I shopped and saved up for weeks, and did some research of what I could do with the old HP tower. I found that it was a Micro ATX board, and that HP's weren't too bad to upgrade. So one day I finally pulled the trigger to build it.
First was to remove all the old parts. GPU came out fine. Took pics of old motherboard then unplugged and took that out. Wasn't too bad. Then I went to put in the AB350M, and I realized that the new motherboard was a half-inch shorter on both sides. But everything lined up (except like 1 screw) so I put some cardboard under the one mount to prevent any short.
The hard drive was pretty funny, I couldn't get the old one out no matter what, and there was a free "C" slot, so I stuck it in there. It was longer than the slot, but since the mobo was shorter it didn't matter. I could use one screw to hold it in, which ya know, ain't bad. Rolled with it.
Next I put in the GPU, which wasn't too bad. Then I put the M.2 which was simple. Then I was eager to put the CPU in, accidentally put the CPU in without pulling up the lever, didn't put anything on it though. I just took it off, opened the lever and put it in fine. Then was the cooler, which I wasn't sure which way to orient it. I chose wrong because I noticed the logo was blocking my RAM which I hadn't put in yet. I had started the screws so the paste was touching the CPU. I just spun it around with the Fan still on the CPU. It was only on it for like a minute. Then I secured it down. Last was the RAM, and all the power and SATA cables.
On first attempt was nothing at all. Freaked out. I went and looked at old motherboard pics and realized that the "pwr btn" cables setup wasn't what I thought it was. (Had to look at the mobo pics which saved my butt.) Placed the correct block on it (two times, must not have been far enough down the first time) and boom got a light. I was very relieved. But it started boot looping with no logo or nothing. I finally realized that maybe the ram wasn't in all the way. After several attempts, I just decided to really push on it and heard two clicks instead of one. From there on it booted up. The two old disk drives worked just fine on the new motherboard, ran the Windows 10 install first thing.
Also just taped the chassis fan wires to the side of the PSU as you can see in the pic because it was hitting the open GPU fan and making a terrible noise.
So yeah, first build, made mistakes but it is working now. Running pretty good, I will see how it performs over the next few weeks.
All I currently have is a wireless mouse and keyboard, along with an Insignia TV.
Edit: Just got a new monitor. Affordable, working nice so far.
Edit2: With some random restarts, I decided to upgrade my PSU from 400W Insignia to 550W Rosewill. Should be enough juice now, and actually have all 8 connections for CPU lol
Edit3: Yeah I slammed in a liquid cooler, which required a bad boy 88mm to 120mm fan converter. The side of the case doesn't fit well anymore, but she holds and that is all I need. Also got a mouse and better mouse pad. Added some cd drives closest to what I have so people know the case had them. Liquid cooler is amazing so far. I'm lefty so this mouse is amazing too.
Edit4: Got another monitor, refurbished. Bought a new keyboard too. I added my headset on here which I've had for years. This is everything.
Doing well for me, first ever use. Two things: A) RAM has only one side to click, but you must push hard enough to hear two clicks. B) As another review said, and I forgot, make sure your cooler doesn't have the logo over the RAM. I had to spin my around. I can see why people complain about CMOS clear but I haven't used it yet lol. But I was able to get everything to go, so far so good!