Another day, another budget build. I apologize, my picture quality and forgetfulness while building to take the "good" shots both contributed to the few photos before you. That being said, I always enjoy building and what little my customers allow me to show off I appreciate sharing with this community. Now, onto the fun part...
This build is intended, and is appreciably overkill, for a combination of personal entertainment and the Total War series. TW: Attila being foremost of the concern. I think we constrained well within our intended budget ($400 CAD without OS) and achieved a functioning yet pleasing sleeper taste. Despite budget constraints, this machine scored very well for it's weight class. A locked Sandy Bridge 4 Core Hyperthreaded coupled with a neat and beautiful Dual BIOS MSI GTX 680 Lightning scored slightly higher than I even anticipated. Firestrike was with no Overclocks.
The case itself, was not truly a disappointment for the price point. For $30, I feel you get more than what you pay for. You just can't reasonably compare this to a $90 Phanteks or NZXT and be fair. Cable management was acceptable, Airflow is not commendable but manageable. Front panel looks very sleek and modern with the brushed finish. All in all for the $ inside this case, it is holding it's own very well. The other delightful part of this build was seeing that gorgeous Lightning powered up with it's onboard PCB LED's and Logo LED Inside this black cave enclosure. I used to own one before so to reminisce was lovely.
Also, sidenote. Ignore the 2.5" drive in the photo's. That's my bench/builder drive. A little precaution I use to make sure the system is operating before a fresh slate for the customer.
Hope you all enjoy the build and now onto reviews!
Snappy Ole Sandy. 8 Threads for real cheap. Honestly only about a 12-15% loss in performance to an i7-6700 for a little more TDP... will take the trade. Pulled from a Dell Workstation that was dead like doornail
Quiet...ish. Bit of a whine at high RPM but for a purple note, won't complain. Only ramps up at power up due to UEFI test before boot. Bought from a buddy open box
Had to buy new. Actually the VG4 model. Luckily this was at NCIX with a nice rebate and free shipping. Lack of fan control and no USB 2-3 adapter (granted not expected) 3.5 stars
Same Dell Workstation... lucky they didn't fry. MemTest reported all good, no errors during burn in either. Originally had a new 8GB HyperX 1600 but it WAS faulty out of the box... yarrr
Old HDD with OS from his HP Pavillion. Was slightly hesitant to use due to a break on the SATA side connector, but holds firm and is the only true hold back to this system. Client will eventually update to SSD. For now, he's good with the Storage over speed.
Rarer Dual BIOS model. What I love about the 680 is in reality, short of DX 12 it's a R9 380/GTX 960 2GB with SO MUCH MORE aesthetically. Plus... you know... $80. Thank you Kijiji
For $30... really... no complaints for THIS price point. Complaints in general? yes. Only rear 80mm fan included, no front airflow, tight mounting the HDD and PSU for space. The good? Surprising cable management. Lightweight yet not really "cheap" lightweight. Great size and form factor, nearly EHTPC sized. Would I buy for $50? Probably not. but for $30? Heck yeah. New from Newegg
Refurb from Newegg. Cheap, warranty. Non Modular. But EVGA... so not too worried. Plus Total draw of this system never even hits 400W. Plenty of room to feel comfy.
OS... the thing you need for AAA titles... 7 cause no need for DX 12