This build started when I saw this processor on sale for $34.99 and from there, it inspired me and promptly spiraled out of control. As a disclaimer, I did this for fun. I enjoy doing this as a hobby and learn more with each build. That being said, I have already taken notes on things that need replacing and will be doing so. This was my first AMD build and I was looking forward to seeing the other side. I will either be selling this to a friend who desperately needs to replace their Macbook (can barely play League of Legends on LOW settings...) or I will sell it by other means. Onward then lads!
Before we go into detail on the parts I chose, I want to point out the things I plan to change. For starters, I WILL be replacing the stock cooler with a Geminii M4 I have lying around. I will be replacing the 5400K with an 860K and recycle the 5400K for an even budget-ier future build. I will also be adding a hard drive, likely 1TB considering the 500GB hard drives cost virtually the same. I'm a bit concerned about having enough wattage, especially with the inevitable CPU upgrade, but I sincerely doubt it will be an issue.
I hit the jackpot with savings on this build. I received $10 off the processor, $20 off of the GPU, $6 off of the optical drive, and $20~ off of the OS (depending where you buy it from). I had originally purchased a wifi card on sale for $13.99 for a pci-express slot, but the GPU ended up covering it, so I went with a standard pci model.
The motherboard I ended up choosing was released in February of 2016, so it is still very new. I bought it for $59.99 originally, but when I saw that it had gone on sale 2 days later for $39.99, I contacted Newegg and received a refund of $20.00. Huzzah! It's a great little board and you really see the quality. This was the first build I've ever done with BioStar and I wasn't disappointed. Has some great features for the price point. I just wish the orientation of the pci slots was a bit different.
I wasn't originally planning to add an LED fan to this case, but it was an extra I had from a previous build and figured I might as well utilize it as an intake fan.
Tomb Raider Benchmark Results:
High Preset/Motion Blur off Min FPS: 62 Max FPS: 96 Avg FPS: 80
Normal Settings w/ Some Fiddling Min FPS: 80 Max FPS: 138 Avg FPS: 113
I also did some gameplay. I don't doubt that the GPU can easily handle more, but I don't think the CPU is quite up to it. There were times I went from 60FPS and tanked to 20FPS.
League of Legends Tests:
I played 5v5 matches using Low, Medium, and High settings with the unnecessary extras turned off (i.e. shadows, AA) and capped it at 60fps.
While the GPU had zero issues running this game at any of those settings, the CPU occasionally had some hiccups. However, they were brief drops lasting no more than 1-3 seconds in heated fights. Though in a game like League, every second counts.
*Side note: This is my first build showcased using my new camera. No more crappy iPhone pictures!
This processor is pretty good considering its limitations. It is still a capable gaming chip, but I would highly recommend replacing the stock cooler regardless of whether or not you plan to overclock. Firstly, it's extremely loud. I turned all other fans off in this system to be sure. It's louder than 3 other fans combined. This thing runs HOT. I dared not to OC it beyond 4ghz with the stock cooler. I've seen it reach over 80 degrees Celsius and that makes me very uncomfortable (lol). At its lowest it hasn't gone below 42 degrees. That being said, it will run League of Legends, even Tomb Raider. While the performance isn't perfect, it is still capable of achieving 60fps in 1080p (though it will vary greatly based on what type of games you play).
Fast and so far reliable. I've now used this SSD in two builds and have had no problems.
I underestimated the power of this card. It can easily achieve 60+FPS in 1080p. I've tested it in League of Legends and Tomb Raider (2012). I haven't been able to really push it due to CPU limitations, however it can run both of those games on High, potentially even Ultra settings with a quad core CPU. It will definitely struggle with some newer AAA titles, but for the average joe or gamer on a budget, this is a fantastic card.
Under load, the hottest I've seen it get so far is 57C and that's with the fan operating at 47%! This card is very efficient. I do have an intake fan however that brings cool air directly onto the GPU. I will have to test the temps with that fan off.
Fun to work in. I definitely prefer this case over the last micro ATX case I worked in. For the price it's hard to complain, but there are a few things that would've been nice if they had been done differently.
The front fan is mounted via clips. While it's not a huge deal, I find it odd and would rather it be screw mounted. On that note, there are no fan screws included with the hardware. Luckily I had some extra lying around. There is no opening behind where the motherboard sits, so keep that in mind when installing the backplate to your CPU cooler. Do that before securing your motherboard in the case!
Cable management was surprisingly good in this case. There is a removable tray in the lower 5.25" bay that will open up cable routing options, provided that you are leaving the HDD/SSD mount in place. I found the mounting option to be strange, but it works and it's convenient for hiding the cables.
I've used two of these now and I have no qualms with this budget PSU. My only issue in this instance was the bad power cable that came with it. The female side could not be inserted all the way and would sag (and make a squeaking sound). After using a different cable and successfully being able to turn the computer on, I confirmed it was not my power supply, just that cable. Luckily it was an easy fix and I ordered a new one for about $5.
Basically a jet engine, but it gets the job done and I got it on sale.
Wireless Network Adapter
It gives me the internets.
Cheap and pretty dang quiet.
Love it, however the beep when you touch the screen makes me want to strangle something.