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: