Description

Ok, things sure have changed since I built my first PC in the 90's. I don't know if this site was around back then, but it would have made my life a helluva lot easier if I knew about it! Back then I think I used Pricegrabber for all components and a local "Cheap Guys" store. My 11 year old son wants to try his hand at gaming on PC instead of his PS4. He's always watching these guys on youtube and twitch and wants to maybe stream as well. I'm all for it. I figure it will help him learn technology easier by looking up how to optimize settings, what makes the hardware work with the software, etc, etc... If he can have fun learning, all the better. So, this will be his BIG xmas gift this year. This is going to be our little project but he's going to have to do the heavy lifting. I'm just going to sit back and help only if/when he just can't find the answers for the life of him.

The purchases took place over a few weeks. I would check prices daily. I would see the CPU and GPU prices fluctuate $10-$20 here and there. So, when I made the purchases, these prices have not been lower (SCORE)! All in all, this was a fun little project. He now knows, somewhat, how to make an iso bootable usb for windows 10 (free with my student account), update OS, update drivers, and so far how to change the RAM in the bios to allow the 3200. I know the GPU is bottlenecking, but this is his first so I wanted to keep it a little more affordable. May need to overclock the CPU soon, just a little. But, I'll need to do some research before doing so. The total cost is lower than what this price list shows. I was able to get this for $696 total.

CPU - thought about the Ryzen 5 2600 for the value. However, since he mentioned maybe streaming, if he can ever figure that out, I decided to go with the Ryzen 7 2700 and purchased it for $140 black friday.

Mobo - went with the ASRock b450m/ac micro atx am4 simply because it has built-in wifi. We'll run a CAT when he's ready to seriously play. However, he will need to connect via wifi for 90% of his connection time. Purchased for $75 on 11/23. It was higher on black friday.

RAM - OLOy Warhawk RGB 16GB 2x8gb DDR4-3200 purchased for $58 on 11/23. We aren't doing much in the way of RGB for this build so I figured it was a good price to add a little flair and the reviews were good.

Storage - purchased the A80 512GB M.2 NVME SSD from Silicon Power from a recommendation on the forum for $60. I don't know if the time is now to try to teach him why the OS and often used software/games should go on this drive, but maybe I will to see if it sticks in his mind for the future. just went with a 7200rpm WD Caviar Blue for extra storage. The WD was $38 so why not?

GPU - Again, from a recommendation from the Forum, I decided to go with a GTX 1660 Super. I researched and saw that it played the same as Ti for the most part minus just a couple FPS on most games. However, the price was $40-$50 less than the Ti. The value hunter in me couldn't resist. On 11/30, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER DirectX 12 GTX 1660 SUPER VENTUS XS OC 6GB 192-Bit GDDR6 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card was on sale for $219 ($229 minus an instant $10 off). It was normally $250, so I jumped. The geek in me is excited for my son because I only played on integrated graphics!

Case - Found the Cougar MX 330-G ATX Mid Tower on 11/23 for $42. It seemed like a good price point and saw it on a few builds where the owners really liked it.

PSU - Rosewill LEPTON 500 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular got it for $45. It looked like a great deal so, again, I pounced. Many reviews out there saying the GPU and CPU combination can be confidently run on 450W so I went a little above that with the 80+ Gold.

Fans - purchased a couple Artic p12 PWM PST 120MM fans for $9 each ($18). Again, nothing fancy but hopefully they work well.

I don't have any temps yet as I haven't played with it. It's too busy downloading Fartnite and Team Fortress 2.

Part Reviews

CPU

So far, so good. This thing has barely begun to sweat running Fortnite and Team Fortress 2 on highest settings. We've only been running for a couple of days but it seems super stable and tackles everything we throw at it.

Motherboard

It's a budget MOBO with built in wifi. We had to update both the Realtek and intel drivers for the lan and wifi connection to work best. The bios seems straight forward.

Memory

This is the only piece of RGB in our build. They seem to do the trick and for $59 you can't beat the 3200 price value.

Storage

This is the first time buying, installing, and using NVME technology and I have to admit that I'm pretty stoked about it. It's crazy how things have change, but not really. I love having a small footprint in the case for such a fast drive. The OS and frequently used programs open and run super fast.

Storage

So far, it's great to have 1tb for less than $40. The system detected right away and we were able to easily create a data volume.

Video Card

We haven't played around too much with this to know how it stacks up. However, it runs Fortnite at 144fps and TF2 at 230+fps with their best settings.

Case

This is a budget case, but it looks great once you install everything and take care of the cable management system. For our first build, it was pretty easy. The back panel has an outward indentation that allows more space for the cables. It comes with one exhaust fan that's pretty quiet. There's room for at least 4 more fans. We installed two more fans easily.

Power Supply

This was a great find. An 80+ gold 500w power supply that is semi-modular for less than $50! Fan is super quiet.

Case Fan

Bought and installed two of these. They are no-frill, but they seem to work great so far. A good amount of cool air is being pushed by these two.

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Mid Level Build at Budget Prices. Nice!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

its kind of nuts to think that this is what is considered a "mid level" pc with this kind of horsepower. You did a nice job building it and it will be a great pc!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It was fun getting back into it. Makes me want to bite the bullet and build ME one, lol.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

building computers is fun and i still do my share of them. Just make sure you buy what you need and nothing more. To be clear what you need might include headroom, but if all you do is play league of legends maybe consider an rx 570 instead of a rtx 2070

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build!

Nice to see more builds using the MX-330 - IMO best value case under $50, hand down.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yeah, at first I got a little frustrated but that's because I have big hands and long forearms, lol. Then, I remembered that this was for my 11 year old so he finished the build. It's tight, but the airflow seems to be very good and the cable management was super easy.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

That was my exact experience.

Fitting everything in was a little tight, but once everything is where it goes it looks great, airflow is fantastic, no issues.