Note: I built this early September, I am only posting it now
I was sick and tired of trying to play games on my craptop (Compaq CQ45). It has a Celeron B830 1.8 GHz dual core inside with no DGPU and quite frankly it is just terrible for anything other than word processing and web browsing. Booting up doesn't take that long even with the mechanical 5400 RPM hard drive... At least to get to the home screen. The problem is it just takes AGES before it gets all my processes up and running and be running at full speed. Other than that it's also just REALLY slow. It's not even good for school work at that. In Digital Technology it was stuttering and crashing on SketchUp and my face was basically painted green from looking at my friends' laptops with an i5's and i7's (including some with DGPU's) inside.
I do have an XBox 360 but I didn't really want to just buy another console. All my friends are into PC gaming so I figured I should build a desktop. It had been my aspiration to build a PC since early 2014 but my dad/parents was/were like:
"Oh no, you don't know what you're doing. You could hurt yourself. Blah blah blah."
So I just waited a while before asking him again and when I did I assured him there was nothing to be worried about and how easy it really was and to my surprise he didn't take much persuading this time and seemed completely cool with it. So I counted up how much money I had (about $450 AUD) and decided I could go half and half with my parents on the money. Well, not exactly half and half. When I made a PCPartPicker account I started to find parts and I made a first plan. The original build I wanted to be about $600. It was for a while there. Then I got slowly more and more educated on PCs and started to realise my build was going to be a complete piece of crap for gaming with an $80 AMD APU. Before that I was like:
"4.0 GHz?! WOAAAAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! My laptop is only 1.8 GHz!"
I quickly started to to learn about things such as multiple cores, IPC, and manufacturing processes and also started to realise that the GPU was more important than the CPU for a gaming machine and found out what a GPU was. So then I selected an R7 260X thinking "Oh, this looks like a nice GPU, 2GB GDDR5 and it's exactly in my price range.". After a while I realised that even that was a pretty weak GPU. So eventually I got an idea of where each current GPU came in and decided I wanted an R9 280 or a GTX 960. Then I was like:
"I need more money. ;-;"
So I sold my Wii U for $150 on Gum Tree (they're about 400 new here) and EB Games was only gonna buy it for like 90 and then sell it for some ridiculous price like $300). Saved up pocket money for a month or two and then realised I had an extra $75 hanging around in my wallet and about 100 more than I thought I had in the bank. All up I had about $820. The whole setup cost about $1150 (OUCH), including a second hand 1080p monitor which I purchased on Gum Tree for $70, shipping, and Windows 8 (which I immediately upgraded to W10).
I also purchased the GPU (Sapphire Radeon HD 7950/R9 280 Dual X second hand off Ebay
Overall I am just very happy to have something that can finally play AAA titles.
Update - 24/10/15: For the past two weeks I was having trouble with the system not functioning well until I restarted my computer 1-2 times (games and videos running at about 3 FPS). I was puzzled as to why this was happening so today I went onto Tom's Hardware. A guy told me that it sounded like a PSU related issue and to take out my graphics card to see if the problem still persisted. So I did. Well guess what? He was right. It worked. There was no more taking about 30 seconds to boot up, in fact it took about 5! As well as all my games were working fine (of course not as well as with DGPU when it was working well)! I shall be getting a new PSU ASAP. As for the mean time, I cannot do much gaming.
Update - 28/10/15: I got a new PSU for my computer, the problem I had before (read above) was fixed. I upgraded from the Corsair CX500M to a Cooler Master V650, Semi Modular, 80+ Gold PSU.
Gets everything I need it do done well. I don't really do much CPU intensive stuff anyway. Noisy stock cooler though.
It has an ethernet and USB 3.0's and hasn't died. No M.2 port though,
I was originally going to get an SSD. I decided against it because it would blow my budget out. I am actually surprised at how thing this gets to the log on screen (about 10-15 seconds).
This was the cheapest case I could find. I'm starting to wish I'd bought something slightly more expensive. It gets the job done, but there is very little room for cable management behind the cutout and I just hand to spaghetti route a lot of my cables throughout the case. It's just a bit bland in looks too. I guess you get what you pay for though. I'd still recommend it if you're on a tight budget.
I have too many positive things to say about this PSU.
-The sleeved cables are very thin which makes it easy to route behind the cable routing wall if you have a case with little space behind it like me.
-The yellow and black theme for the cables looks very nice.
-The PSU looks nice.
-The PSU is very short and leaves you with plenty of room between the PSU and optical drive.
-The PSU made a weird noise the first time I installed it and booted the computer up. Although I think that one of the cables might have been brushing against the CPU fan.
I'd really recommend this PSU if you are working in an enclosure with very limited space.
It's an optical drive.