This build was made to see what kind of budget is required to make a proper 1080P gaming rig. Yes, I could have just read benchmarks and looked at builds, but wheres the fun in that? Ultimately it will be sold, but this is being done for...science? I spent a of couple days seeing what could be put together while getting the absolute most performance for the dollar. The original plan was to keep the budget under $1000 CAD, but $1000 meant too many performance cuts. No SSD, lesser CPU/GPU etc.
CPU: The new i3 8100 and Ryzen 3 1300X left much to be desired at 1080P, so It ended up being a toss up between the Ryzen 5 1600 or the i5 8400. After reading benchmark after benchmark, it became abundantly clear that the i5 carried a strong lead over the Ryzen 5 in gaming, even while overclocked. The i5 8400's gaming performance is actually a few points stronger than an i7 7700K. So for those looking for the best bang for buck gaming CPU, this is definitely it. (Feel bad for the late adopters of the 7700K, honestly)
CPU Cooler: Cheap and effective. I refuse to use the Intel stock cooler.
Motherboard: Not being able to overclock left me wanting as cheap of a motherboard as possible. If Intel would release their B series, this wouldn't be a difficult task. I found this guy as a refurb at the local store. Was DOA out of the box and replaced by MSI. Seeing as how the Z370 platform is so new, odds are it isn't actually refurbished, just a new one shipped from MSI. Has some LEDs so it does help see in the side window, otherwise it is fairly basic with just necessities.
RAM: Benchmarks indicated that 3200MHz memory had an effect on overall performance. For the small amount extra, it was a no brainier. Went with 8GB to keep cost down.
SSD: 120GB was planned to keep costs down, but ultimately 120GB is too small. NVME for the same price as a regular SSD. Free performance.
HDD: It's storage.
GPU: Choice was between a GTX 1050Ti and GTX 1060. GTX 1050Ti is barely capable (in my opinion) of running most games at 1080P, so it didn't end up making the cut. Purchased a ASUS GTX 1060 Dual 3GB. About an hour after I found this GTX 980 bouncing around Kijiji (classifieds) for cheaper. The GTX 980 is one of the only higher end Nvidia 900 series I've actually never used, so it intrigued me. Performance equal/better than a GTX 1060 6GB without the current mining price premium. GTX 1060 will be returned.
Case: Budget friendly, looks decent, 3x fans, easy to work with. Rubber grommets would have been nice and a little more room to hide some wires. Would definitely recommend a semi/full modular PSU for this case.
PSU: Basic, cheap, more than enough power. I would have preferred at least 80+ Bronze, but with all of the miners buying PSU's, the local store has a less than stellar selection.
With some basic BIOS adjustments I was able to get the CPU to 4.0Ghz across all 6 cores, and 2 cores boosting to 4.1GHz. RING (uncore) multiplier set to x40, BCLK set to 102.5MHz. Any higher and the PC would not boot. Easy 5% performance bump,
Said and done this cost me under $1200 CAD (after tax). Current value is approx. $1450 (after tax). So I'd say I did pretty good. Prices in the parts list do not indicate actual prices paid. I'll post some benchmarks once they're complete.
Let me know what you guys would have done differently