It all started when I realized that my previous pc wouldn't be able to run NFS Heat well, and even after I tried the trial version thanks to Origin Access, my old pc was very slow and even turning down the settings I was hitting 30 fps on the intro at demanding parts. My old pc was a Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF, which I added an ssd, more ram, and a better gpu inside. It was rocking an i7 4770 and an RX 560 LP, which was great for esports titles and actually fared well in some more difficult titles such as Battlefield V and the 2 previous NFS games, but the new generation of games are much more demanding and my pc was aging too quick. However, I didn't complain much for the 5 months I had it for because I got the tower itself for an absolute steal. It was only 100 dollars because a company was running out of business and they were trying to sell all that they had. The pc came bundled with the tower, a basic keyboard, and two nice 1080p monitors (but at 60hz). I decided to sell the old pc to a friend of a friend. My friend told me that his friend wanted to get more into fortnite because his pc ran fortnite at lowest settings and got around 10 fps. I sold just the tower with all the modifications for 250 dollars, which I thought was as fair of a price that I could sell it, considering that it had a 1tb ssd and a low profile rx 560 (which is about 2 times more expensive than a normal rx 560). While I had the pc, I bought a couple of peripherals and I kept the monitors, which helped keep the price down on my new build. I got the Model O Minus for my birthday, I got the headset during some Amazon sale, I bought the Xbox 360 controller from a classmate, and my dad gave me the AC WiFi adapter when I got the original box, and the kid i sold it to said he would be using Ethernet, so I got to keep it (I don't have access to an Ethernet port so I need WiFi)
I got all my parts at Micro Center Houston, mostly because they had great deals and if a part goes wrong the process of getting a replacement would be a lot quicker. The sales rep was really nice and it seemed as if he knew what I wanted right after I asked for the Ryzen 7 2700X, which for $160 is a great price, seen as a 2700 on amazon would be roughly the same price give or take $10. I knew I was going to use an AMD processor because there was no way I would spend twice as much money for an Intel CPU that (for an equivalent performance standing and productivity performance) would have at best 10% extra performance, either a stock cooler that makes a locked processor still run hot/no stock cooler, and not be future proofed (as in the platform). This CPU is an absolute beast and without an overclock stays cool at only about 60c under load. My only complaint so far is that the cooler is somewhat audible at idle and gets louder during heavier loads, but it looks great and does its job. I also wear my headset most of the time so its not too bad of an issue. Next on the list was the motherboard, and for $40 dollars and pretty good reviews on all the websites that I could find it on, I had to go with this motherboard. The sales rep somehow knew that I had this motherboard on my list right after he saw that the Q300L was in my cart and after I asked for the 2700X. This being kind of like my 1.5th build (so still a noob), the bios was easy to navigate and it booted straight to my usb stick. My only complaint for this one was that there were only 2 case fan headers, so I had to buy a fan splitter, but I can't complain for $40. Ram and storage was pretty straightforward. 2 sticks of 8 gigabytes of ram from a reputable company for 60 dollars, also being at the "sweet spot" ddr4-3200 speed for gen 2 ryzen, was a no-brainer. The storage wasn't as much of a steal (only $20 dollars off), but it's faster than a standard SATA SSD and reduces the amount of cable clutter. The Q300L is a great case in my opinion. It has ample room in the back for cable routing and comes with plenty of cutouts. The 650w PowerSpec PSU does have ketchup and mustard cables that would bother many, but I don't spend my time looking at the pc; I spend my time looking at the game. The PSU doesn't make any weird noises and is fairly quiet (the noise, if any, is drowned out by the cpu cooler) and according to the reviews I saw, it is fairly reliable. Also, the semi-modular-ness made cable management nice and tidy Last but not least, the graphics card. I was debating between this (RTX 2070 Super) and the RX 5700XT. While the AMD offering offers way better price to performance and has room to grow with driver optimization, I chose the 2070S because of ray tracing. While many people see it as a joke, I have started to play a lot of BFV and it looks absolutely amazing. Sure, I lose out on frames making my reaction times slower, but such times are already bottlenecked by a lower refresh rate monitor and their higher ms reaction time. Also, I am really excited for Minecraft ray tracing, and Minecraft is my main game. My final reason for choosing the 2070S over the 5700XT is that Nvidia has better results for productivity and I edit plenty of videos in my spare time (when I'm not gaming). Also, I chose this specific 2070S because it comes with better cooling, and I was able to do +120 on the core and +310 on the memory for my "best performing" overclock. I was able to push it further, but I got too much micro-stutter.
My obvious biggest bottleneck in this system are the two monitors, but they run well and for the price that I was able to get them at with my old PC I really can't complain. I might actually not upgrade to a higher refresh rate monitor for a while because I know that if I get better with a lower refresh rate, I will be way better when I upgrade. These monitors aren't bad either. I was able to overclock both to 75hz refresh, which was slightly noticeable but not by much. Another upgrade I am definitely doing is adding a white LED strip to my pc, just because I want it to look a little bit nicer. My PC is located at the bottom of my desk, so it looks a bit dark. My other planned upgrade is definitely a new keyboard, but my keyboard isn't bad at all. I just want something a little smaller so I have more room on my desk. When I am trying to study or do homework, I find myself cramped for room. A "maybe" upgrade would be a new mousepad, preferably a larger one mainly so I don't end up bumping my mouse on the printer/keyboard
I have moved my pc to the top of my desk, along with moving the placement of the glorious sticker and adding an epic build picture (which would be epic if it were on a nice camera and not on an iphone)
I added a little turtle to my pc, which I got from the local Chinese restaurant, and it was only 2 bucks
Amazing processor. Even though ryzen 3000 seems great, micro center has a couple of 2nd gen ryzen cpus that really take the cake. This cpu was only 160 dollars, which is an absolute bargain compared to the more popular 3600 because despite the performance loss in raw performance, I get more cores that I utilize when editing and it comes with a great stock cooler. However, I docked a star because the CPU cooler can be quite loud.
Great motherboard for 40 bucks. Fairly expandable (although an extra 1x slot might be nice) and micro center's set of these came ryzen 3000 ready if you are getting one of those cpus. Great value for what I got it for, but I had to use a fan splitter for it (but for 40 dollars the extra 3 bucks for a fan splitter seems negligible)
I got these for cheap and they are great. they are in the price to performance area of ddr4-3200 (for ryzen 2000) with a low price. Also, they have this aesthetic that I really seem to like with the all-black with bumps and I am yet to see any shortcomings. Got these for 60 bucks at micro center.
Blazing fast for my standards. I haven't used a high performance samsung nvme ssd so I can't compare, but for 100 dollars I can't find any faults with this ssd. I always delete games that I don't really play anymore so 1TB is enough (I use origin access so if I want to re download my progress gets saved on the cloud). I also do see some improvements over the sata ssd that was in the pc before this, and loading up programs and bypassing need for speed loading screens by a couple of seconds compared to sata is great.
This is by no means the best 2070 Super in terms of functionality, seeing that it is missing usb-c, but this is one cool gpu. It idles silently at roughly 40c, but if you turn the fan speed to 100 percent during idle it drops to the mid 20s in seconds. This gpu has great overclocking headroom and I would definitely buy a three fan gigabyte card again.
For a mere 45 dollars this case has it all. It has a windowed side panel that is easy to remove when necessary, ample room in the rear for cable management, and came with "tweezers" for tidying up those cables. The reason I docked a star, however, is that it is nearly impossible to move the modular side panel IO to another side after building your system, and the screws that held it in place got lost-threaded when I tried to screw it back in.
Sure it has ketchup and mustard and is only semi-modular, but it has insane price to wattage and is really quiet. Would definitely buy again, even if it is a lesser-known brand.
It pushes air and does its job. It's also very cheap but has no pwm, but for 4 dollars each, the extra airflow goes a long way.
Great monitor for productivity and gaming on a budget. I easily overclocked these to 75hz and they are fairly good for video editing. With a rig like mine I would have gone with a high refresh rate monitor if it weren't for the fact that I already own two of these monitors.
Got these a while back for I believe 40 bucks on an amazon sale. This headset rocks surround sound and comfy (for me at least) leather. 7.1 surround is a real game changer for me, as I find it to boost my reaction times when in stressful situations. Also has a subdued all-black aesthetic that I really like as it doesn't make my setup scream "gamer".