Description

My brother wanted a PC for gaming so I sprang into action looking for Black Friday deals. My credit card also offers 10% cash back at Amazon.com so it was the perfect opportunity to save big. I manually entered all prices to reflect final cost after cash back bonus and mail-in rebates.

CPU

I originally planned to get an i3 but thought it was worth it to bump up to an i5 for an extra $60 - $70. I know gaming doesn't require a whole lot of CPU power but after researching benchmarks and reviews a jump from i3 to i5 makes a noticeable difference in FPS. I realize it is a locked CPU and I am using the stock cooler (many would disapprove) but the temps are great and it runs nice and quiet.

Motherboard

Before you say anything, yes, I am using a Z97 board with a locked CPU but I love the color scheme of this board and it paves a path for upgrades in the future. It has some PCI slots for an older wireless-n adapter I had laying around.

Memory

Nice inexpensive memory with solid heat sinks to match color scheme.

Storage

I could have cut costs here but I insisted to opt for the SSD for the overall snappiness. Once you go SSD you never go back. I have a 500GB WD Black laptop drive I could install for extra storage but I have never had a problem with space with a 250GB SSD.

Video Card

After a mail-in rebate and cash back bonus I basically stole this card. My brother is only gaming at 1080p so the 2GB memory should be enough. The fans are inaudible. The colors are nice. My brother is able to play his games on Ultra @ 60 FPS so he is happy.

*One thing about this card though is the sagging. Near the power connector the heat sink and fans just hover there and are not secured to the card so the power cable tugs down on it. Kinda cheap feeling card but I have owned several MSI cards and all have been great.

Case

I have always wanted this case for myself so I decided to get it for my brother. Awesome case. Great aesthetics and solid construction. Plenty of space for cable management. I had an NZXT Hue that I wasn't using so I decided to delve into some case modification territory. I drilled 3 holes in the font panel to stick the 3 dials through. I glued the Hue face plate to the front to hide any scratches and burs. I installed in such a way where I could still attach fans or even a water cooler some day.

Power Supply

After reading reviews about the Corsair CX Series I decided to stay away from those even though they are very inexpensive. I went with a 80+ Gold Fully Modular PSU for a great deal I think. Plenty of extra cables I will probably never use but it's nice to have the option. Plenty of power to install a high end card some day too.

Operating System

My brother is a student at NCSU so he was able to acquire Windows 10 Education for free which was a huge savings for this build.


Overall I had a blast putting this computer together. I enjoyed putting my personal stamp on the machine by mounting the NZXT Hue to front of the case.

EDIT (12/7/2015) : Thanks everyone for feedback. I am always willing to learn more about building PC and appreciate all of your constructive feedback. Also, what is a good trust worthy source for PSU reviews? Users seem to hastily disapprove of PSU choices. And understandably so, it is an important part I just wanted to make sure I make good part choices in the future.

Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 24 points

The Hue mod looks great. When I was browsing the pictures I thought you used a case I hadn't seen before because it looked so natural.

  • 48 months ago
  • 11 points

Wow. I rarely see staff comment on builds. I guess these are the perks to getting featured!

  • 48 months ago
  • 12 points

I comment every now and then. I'm also the one the does the featuring ;)

  • 48 months ago
  • 4 points

Oh wow. I thought those were random picks!

  • 48 months ago
  • 3 points

A staff in the comments? WHAT KIND OF SORCERY IS THIS?!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

WHAT ARE THOSE?!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

BETTER THAN THOSE!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

not asking for a feature, but could you take a look at my build under my profile and share some knowledge and PC wizardry?

One love to you and all of the pcpartpicker team!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Any tips on how to get featured ? Always looking for feedback :)

  • 48 months ago
  • 6 points

Clean cables, clear pictures, and a good description are a great start.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

any suggestions with my current build I have posted?

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 5 points

After reading reviews about the Corsair CX Series I decided to stay away from those

Great choice, I don't think NEX series PSUs were the solution though.

  • 48 months ago
  • 0 points

The NEX are good though the G1 aren't the best but an improvement over the CX series.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

The NEX is the same thing as the G1.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

The NEX is the same thing as the G1.

I get what you're saying but technically there is the NEXG and the NEXB. The B is flat out awful and the G is mediocre. But IIRC the B is based on the Raider which is essentially a downgraded Aurum, which what the G is based on.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I get what you're saying but technically there is the NEXG and the NEXB.

True.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

But for around 20 dollars more the g2 was a better option, hell even the b2 would be a better option.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I know, but there's isnt much you can do now.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Good description. +1

I hope to see more builds with the huehuehuehuehuehuehuehuehuehuehuehuehue................

Sick build

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Cracking looking build for the money and excellent modding. Deserving of the featured status!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build. I think you should have gone with an R9 380 with 4GB of RAM though. The motherboard was fairly expensive for this level of build. If you had saved a bit on that you could have easily thrown a more powerful GPU into your build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a feeling his brother played a role in that. I know my inexperienced (in the computer world) brother just flat out will not use an AMD card. When I ask him why, he says "cause they suck and overheat." Ignorance is bliss.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I had a bad experience with the R9 290X a while back and have always looked down upon AMD for that which I shouldn't do. I have a 970 in my system and I love the ease of Geforce Experience and Shadowplay. I'll wait to see what AMD does next generation to hopefully give Nvidia a run for their money.

And you're right about the motherboard. There are a couple parts in this build I could have gone cheaper but I love the color scheme of the motherboard and have always enjoyed MSI's boards and included software.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

The 290X was a card that ran hot. Here's a video that compares the R9 390 and the GTX 970, and really helps to clarify the differences between the cards and where AMD cards currently stand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9cKZiJw6Pk

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build would look much better if u got a better color that match the color theme But hey you got a locked processor you probably needed money of other things. Case choice+1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I enjoyed putting my personal stamp on the machine by mounting the NZXT Hue to front of the case.

That sure does show hard-work and your pride in your system!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

The colour levels are OVER 9000!

+420

PS - This build is also very dank

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

In fact they are over 16.77 million xD jk jk

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

lol :P

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Great description, very detailed. Also I hardly noticed the HUE as a mod xD, looks really nice. Well done +1 :P

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

would be nice if you could make the hue control module flush with the front panel lol. it stands out a bit too much imo

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree it does stand out too much against the white. I should have put it on top above the I/O because it has a black color finish up there. Oh well. Next time I suppose!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

A beautiful build such as this coupled with a price tag that small is a dream come true, good job.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

This is the beauty behind monochrome mostly-white builds. They look good no matter the accent color.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

This build is sooo close to mine, except RAM, storage and PSU. Nice job with the HUE mod

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for the clever case mod, now you want to make me install a NZXT Hue on my case.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome mod to the case! Got a question about the PSU, is there noticeable fan noise at all? I recently built one with an EVGA NEX750G and you could definitely hear the fan just at idle. Was this the case with the NEX 650G?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't heard any fan noise from the PSU. I can hear the case fans more than anything in the build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Woo something cheaper here! :)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh snap this is great, good job :D

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I love how you did the mod. Nice job, definitely earned my +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Those are some sweet deals m8!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Crazy good bargain-hunting in addition to the build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

yeaaaah! I like the color combo!

Good part selections! the psu as some folks have been debating on, I think will be better than the Corsairs, better than the B series, but it's not G2 quality. it's still very good though.

good B.F. build! +1 from the Night Elf :)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow... Great Hue mod. I'm really impressed.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I have the exact same rig (https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/b/t8tJ7P#cx1143113)

Been gaming on it for a month and i LOVE it. Its a perfect rig for 1080p gaming at 60 fps.

always 300+ fps on CS:GO thats my main game and it handles well everything i throw at it!

Enjoy it !

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

any issue with the RAM slots? I built with that board a few weeks ago and managed to break all 4 of the tabs. I've never managed to do that EVER before but the tabs on my board were very flimsy, luckily it caused no issue but that was my only complaint. I love the board, it's so pretty.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't have an issues with the slots, no. Not sure why that would happen.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

well I installed a new cooler yesterday and when I did so I took out my RAM and re-installed it, it seems I just didn't push hard enough which is weird because when I first installed the RAM I felt like I'd bend the dimm if I pushed any harder

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow that deal nabbing doh! Nice build looks solid for 1080p gaming! +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Not the stock heat sink! But other than that very nice build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Imo, the stock heat sink is absolutely fine and almost encouraged with a budget build like this one. There's no point in getting an aftermarket cooler with a locked processor.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I know right! I hate the stock fan but it does the job keeping a locked processor cool enough.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

How did he receive windows? I am using Linux because I don't have windows and I would like to know if the education edition is free for qualifying schools.

Thank you

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Brother is an NC State University student and can get Windows 10 (and other software) for free. Most universities will offer free software to students you just gotta look for it.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

How did ya get win 10 for free??

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Brother is an NC State University student and can get Windows 10 (and other software) for free. Most universities will offer free software to students you just gotta look for it.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea my brother gets windows xp through 10 for $15 each as well.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for a great budget build and being an excellent brother! Regarding that sagging, do you think it's because the mobo is misaligned with the case?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! The motherboard is straight I think it's just how the heat sink assembly is secured to the board. It isn't reinforced very well but it's also a light card so it should be fine.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Dude really an ssd you needed a ssd/hdd combo that's what I did a 120 gb ssd and I should have gotten an Intel and a 1 to 7200 rpm 64mb cache hdd and my computers rating is a 8.1 for CPUs 8.1 for memory 8 for graphics 8for gaming graphics and a 7.6 for ssd just go to This link : http://pcpartpicker.com/user/54321Creeper1/saved/4YWqqs ssd would be fine if you got a 480 gb - infinity because I know that 250 gb isn't enough for gaming because on my laptop I have 400 gb worth of games and programs. Also i payed $775 for it because newegg had all my parts and it's the only one be uses Amazon that I trust.i it plays Just Cause 2 at 60fps and The Elder Scrolls Online at 40-80 fps

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't mean to me a jerk. I was just making a suggestion and came at it wrong.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Storage has never really been an issue for me and and I confirmed with brother (the build is for him) about the storage. I see a lot of builds on PCPP.com that have the 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD combo which is fine for most people but I will never need that much storage. I store all photos, videos, etc. in Google Drive and all copies of important files on external HDD. SSDs are just nice for fast boot times, snappy OS performance, and faster game loading times. I only ever play like 2 games at a time and backup the others on external HDDs if I want to switch in Steam.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

SOOOo clean. Gotta love a budget build. +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Does the pc case come with the lights like in the pictures?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

It does not. It is the NZXT Hue RBG Controller. It was a part I had lying around for about a year.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks at your build Drools Looks at my laptop Cries Looks at your build again Drools again +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

What credit card gives 10% back on Amazon?

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Chase Freedom for the next month or so, or so I have read

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Chase Freedom

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you not have any fans in the front panel of your case? I have the same tower (NZXT S340) and use that huge space to put a 240mm radiator. Not saying you gotta go liquid cooled or anything, but you could definitely get a pair of 120mm fans in that empty space. Especially with the small heatsink that you've got for your CPU, your internal temps will be much better.

Check out my build under my user profile.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea i thought about that. The parts are all pretty low power so temps shouldn't be too much of an issue. I'll keep an eye on them and consider throwing some in the front. Thanks!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Could get this cheaper without any deals.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the NZXT Hue mod! PSU isn't the best of the EVGA series, but it is great for the use since this build is rather low power and you aren't really overclocking. Noice!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

where did you get the lights from? could you reply with link? Im planning to build a pc with leds :)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey! Nice build dude! One question. Was the MSI Z97s SLI Krait Editon MB hard to install inside the NZXT S340 case? I'm also doing a similar build to yours and I would like to know.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

No it was pretty easy. Plenty of room in the case and this case, like most these days, has a pre-installed standoff peg to help you align the bug while you screw in the other MD screws.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay thanks!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! I'm planning on doing a build myself with the same GPU and CPU. Not sure if I will ever get the parts to build a rig, but I'm sure hoping for it. Anyways, nice $600 build great bang for your buck. What's the avg fps you get on most demanding games at ultra? Just wondering.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I havent't really gamed on it since I gave it to my brother but looking at benchmarks for the GTX 960 it should be able to play most AAA games at 50 - 60 fps @ 1080p on high settings. It is a decently priced GPU for 1080p gaming.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey how the heck do I make the Hue on the front like yours? I can't figure out where else to put mine

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Good build. +1

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Please move the stock cooler so you can read the Intel , I can't focus on the rest of the build because of that , my ocd

  • 48 months ago
  • 0 points

Not trying to scar you, but the hue looks slightly crooked. Is it just me, or is it "good enough" for you and your brother?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha. It may be off a little because we were so frustrated after about an hour of messing with it. I didn't really do a real Pro job with it but it was fun to try.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

You could have used a level.

  • 48 months ago
  • 0 points

Its annoying me too much... the bottom is slightly to the right

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

So it's not me. I feel slightly better now.

[comment deleted]
[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

What's wrong with it?

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Definitely could go worse than FSP. A PSU isn't going to blow up just because it's not a Seasonic.

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 0 points

k

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I nominate this build :)

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Yay!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

To be honest I'm not in love with the Controller being on the front the way it is. I originally planned on stamping out 3 clean holes to stick the dials through for a cleaner look, but I ended up scratching the hell out of the paint around the holes (people say the paint scratches easily on S340, oh yes it does!). So I just secured the faceplate around the dials to cover the scratches.