Description

I've finally completed my personal computer for gaming!

So this was my previous computer. It... it was old. I work in a thrift store, and this was built with whatever I could find at the time. I traded/donated a 2007 MacBook (that I repaired/built from parts and broken MacBooks that I also found and bought at said thrift store) for it.

  • AMD Phenom 9600 2.3 Ghz Black Edition
  • K9A2 Platinum motherboard
  • 4 GB DDR2 RAM
  • Nvidia GTX 9800+
  • 250 GB HDD

It's no longer with me, as I have donated/traded it to the thrift store for a 1 TB drive and an optical drive.

Everything was bought on sale from NewEgg, save for the GPU (which I got off of eBay), the case (which I got off of Amazon), and the HDD (which I traded for) on 11/13/2014.

I originally wanted to go completely all out, and that build was really shaping up to be over $1000 USD. Not cool, and WAY out of my range. So, time for cost cutting and loads of deal searching. Once I started hacking away at the build until I got something I called acceptable (what you see here). I set a price goal of $600 USD and started monitoring prices like CRAZY. In the end, I went a little over my goal and in total spent about $615 USD. Considering that going by MSRP and at time prices (11/13/2014) without sales/coupons it would have cost me around $780 USD, I think I did pretty well.

The questionable parts are as follows. So why:

  • The Pentium G3258? Easy! It's cheap and can overclock pretty darn well. Sure it bottlenecks high-tier cards, but for the most part not enough to bring the frame rate below 60 fps. It fits my needs - currently.

  • The "expensive" H97 mobo? I could have easily gone with a MUCH cheaper mobo, but I decided that while the processor might be good for now, I would definitely want to upgrade to a much better CPU later down the road. However I didn't want hinder my upgrade path with high-end Broadwell down the road. I do plan to upgrade within the next year, so I went with this mobo and CPU combo. It also looks pretty darn nice, and has some nice heat sinks on the VRM's and northbridge(?). I used this (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-budget-microatx-gaming-pc,3920-3.html) as a guide to help with overclocking.

  • The R9 280X? Sure, it makes the build a little lopsided, but considering my price range, I could either get something like a 750ti or R7 265. I didn't like either option, so I opted to go on eBay and get a used card. Lucky for me, Bitcoin miners have been flooding the market with these cards, so I get a nice high peformance card for very little. I also won't have to upgrade the GPU for a while AND it will play nice with a better CPU later down the road, which is nice.

  • The heat sink? - It was an extra expense, but something I was willing to shell out extra for. I don't like the sound of loud fans, and I don't like the idea of my computer becoming a small space heater. Also considering I'm overclocking the CPU, I want to keep it as cool as possible.

I'm no stranger to computers. While I've never actually built a NEW computer, I HAVE built/rebuilt/repaired many older computers, so this was as easy as 1-2-3. What WAS hard was the damn heatsink. I spent about an hour reading the manual on how to properly mount it and making sure all the pegs were in the right place.

For more info and pictures, check out this imgur gallery:

http://imgur.com/a/IBNRp

Comments

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Not bad cable management for that case +1

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Intel boards do not have a separate northbridge and haven't for a long time.

I don't think you can overclock on that board. AFAIK Asus is the only manufacturer that has extended overclocking capabilities to its lower end boards.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

You sure can! HOWEVER, it varies widely between mobo manufacturers. This MSI mobo supports it IIRC only for the Pentium Anniversary, which is what I'm using. I really don't intend to overclock any other chips in the future, so this board was right for me. Here's the guide I followed: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-budget-microatx-gaming-pc,3920-3.html

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I just got my 280X twin frozr in the mail from Ebay. Paid $170 for it and came with all accessories.

How is it working for you so far?

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Not bad! The coil whine is noticeable, but not enough to drive me insane. It performs like a champ! It's maintained a nice FPS at everything I've thrown at it!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome! I'm just waiting for my PSU to arrive and for Newegg to restock their MSI 970 GAMING mobo.

Coil whine won't really be a problem with me since I'll have my headset on 90% of the time anyways lol.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

More details on putting the heatsink in? Any tips you could give me? I've been hearing a lot about how difficult it is to put on certain mobos.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

The only advice I can give is RTM. I usually don't read them, but after taking a good half hour to read it over twice, I understood what you have to do. If you're working on a LGA1150 board, I HIGHLY recommend ignoring the instructions and putting those standoffs one by one with the board perpendicular to the table. It's SOO much easier that way. Also, the insulating foam are not stickers and ARE NOT to be removed. I almost did that thinking they were some sort of tape to stick it onto the mobo.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

This pc won't even be able to play farcry 4 or dragon age inquisition, it sux cause the 3258 is such a great budget cpu.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point
  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

how is the RAM

  • 60 months ago
  • 0 points

That dell keyboard in the background.... -_- I happen to be typing this comment on the exact same **** keyboard

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Hahaha! It's an OK keyboard; I really can't complain. My biggest qualm is that it doesn't have n-key rollover.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't understand what the purpose of roll over is :/

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

If you press too many keys at the same time, most USB keyboards don't register past the first 6 keys IIRC. The rollover allows you to press as many keys as humanly possible and have all of them be registered.

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  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

did not realize this at start. Thats too bad for the guy. Such a good oveclocking chip going to waste

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't know about you, but you sure can! HOWEVER, it varies widely between mobo manufacturers. This MSI mobo supports it IIRC only for the Pentium Anniversary. Here's the guide I followed: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-budget-microatx-gaming-pc,3920-3.html