This is my first computer build, and I've been itching to do one for quite awhile. Thing is, I didn't want to drop >$500 (or more). So I went AMD and I waited for a good sale to base the rest of my build around. I feel that >anything past the $500 mark should be an Intel build (unless you need the multiple cores of AMD chips). This >build is infinitely better than the old pre-built computer I was playing on.
You ask why didn't I go with a Pentium G3258? Because, the Athlon 860k is a quad core. That's about the only >reason I took it over the G3258. My old pre-built had a AMD Phenom II x4 910 @ 2.6 Ghz. It held it's own in >games >like Minecraft and League of Legends.
I went solid black in terms of color, but then introduced a subtle blue hue throughout my setup. The blue fans >that came with the case aren't bright enough to keep me awake if I decide to update my games at night.
This computer will play primarily: Modded Minecraft, World of Tanks, League of Legends, and then some steam >games on the side. Also, I will be beginning to mod Minecraft once I am able to expand my Java programming >knowledge in the upcoming Fall 2015 semester.
-- Core Components --
CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor $70.00 Because of Fry's Electronics, I was able to get this processor and the motherboard listed below for $80 after MIR. >This processor is the perfect thing for a budget build, and handles a nice overclock.
CPU Cooler : Cooler Master Hyper TX3 54.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $17.00 This nice little CPU cooler that offers a push/pull configuration keeps the Athlon 860k at a reasonable >temperature under load. Even comes with some thermal grease.
Thermal Compound: Masscool G751 Shin-Etsu 0.5g Thermal Paste $6.00
This thermal grease is the stuff recommended by both Intel and AMD and wasn't too expensive. So I got it.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-DS2H Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard $10.00 For a new motherboard that costed $10, it is pretty devoid of features. This was combo'd with the Athlon >also. If you are thinking about building, you should probably get more than a $50 motherboard, even if it is >only >$10 due to a combo deal/sale.
Because of this cheap motherboard, I have actually refrained from overclocking anything.
Memory: Team Dark 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $43.00 This was the first part I purchased, and was simply going to be used as an upgrade in my rather potato-ish pre->built computer. 8 GBs of generic 1600 MHz RAM bought on Newegg while on sale. RAM is RAM.
Storage: PNY CS1111 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $51.00 I have a 300GB HDD from my mom's dead laptop, and this small SSD complements that nicely as a boot drive >with room to spare for core programs such as Steam, Google Chrome, etc.
Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 7950 3GB with Boost $105.00 Thanks to /r/Hardwareswap, I was able to grab a pretty cheap graphics card with 3GB of VRAM. It was used >lightly for 6 months. Now that I've put it in the build, I've post the obligatory bad build pictures. Since I bought >my graphics card last (and I really needed one since I was getting the occasional BSOD from my ancient ATI HD >4350) it turned out to be red. This 7950 is a reference design, so it does get a little warm during some >demanding >games.
Case: Zalman ZM-Z9 U3 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $24.00 As stated above, Fry's Electronics has some pretty nice deals, allowing me to buy this case for $34 before MIR. >This case normal runs for $70+ on Newegg and Amazon.
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply $45.00 A nice power supply from a good brand; it has power connectors needed for GPUs in thirst of more power.
Operating System: Windows 8.1 Pro (from Dreamspark) $0.00
Thanks to Microsoft's Dreamspark program, I was able to get Windows 8 Pro for free.
-- Peripherals --
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 2333HD HDTV Monitor A nice monitor that runs games in 1080p at 60 Hz. I bought this several years ago when I was just entering PC >gaming and when my family still had cable.
Keyboard: Logitech K360 Wireless Mini Keyboard Generic small keyboard with nice keys. I might look to grab a cheaper mechanical keyboard off of >/r/hardwareswap or /r/mechmarket.
Mouse: Anker AK-98ANDS2368-BA Wired Laser Mouse A quality gaming mouse bought for $30 off of Amazon during the holiday months. It can be made to glow in all >types of colors, not just blue.
Speakers: Arion Legacy AR302-BK AC Powered 2.0 Desktop PC Speakers - Black, 12 Watts Generic desktop speakers that have a convenient headphone jack.
I accomplished my goal of not going over $400, and left room for a motherboard upgrade, RAM upgrade, and >storage upgrades. Since my little brother doesn't have to worry about saving money for college yet, I'll be >helping him to build and Intel/Nvidia computer in the coming months.
Feel free to leave you comments/constructive criticisms below. Yes, I know the cable management is bad.
Edit: Thank you all for the nice comments, it means a lot. :D
-- UPDATE: 12 February 2016 --
A fan was making a bad noise in my case about two months ago, so I decided to clean out my case, which fixed the problem. About two weeks later, the fan started up again. I thought it had been my power supply fan the entire time, but it was actually my top case fan. I didn't learn this until I got the new power supply in the new case.
But whatever, my parents wanted a media server, and I had the old AM3 Phenom prebuilt I let my brother use sitting around, so after I persuaded my parents into getting a case, I built a media server.
In the middle of the summer last year, I was able to get a Logitech G710+, for $63 dollars and then I was able to sell my new-ish keyboard to my brother for $10. In November, I was able to pick up a set of JVC headphones which normally go for about $75 on Jet for $45. They have amazing sound quality and are probably comparable to most sub $100 headphones. For Christmas, my parents got my a joystick so that I could play space games and World of Tanks/War Thunder.
The perfect processor for a budget build.
The Cooler Master 212 Evo's younger sibling. This CPU cooler is capable of having two fans for a push/pull configuration, however. It was a little hard getting onto an FM2+ board though.
Intel and AMD's recommended thermal paste. Good stuff.
Good for what it offers, but it doesn't offer much. I was able to get this for essentially $10 due to a bundle deal with my processor, but for $50 (or whatever the standard price is) you can probably do better.
Really generic DDR3 RAM that's pure black.
A really nice budget SSD, allowing for boot times of about 5 seconds.
While it is definitely not worth its normal price of $70, I was able to pick up this case for $34 before MIR, which was a very nice price.
The temperature probe works well, and you can stick it next to your GPU/CPU. It allows for two controllable fans which is also nice. It has a front audio ports, 2 front USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. It offers some nice cable management, and supports all types of motherboards. On top of it all it has a nice window case.
Overall, this is a really nice case if you can get it cheap. If not, look elsewhere.
I got this keyboard as a refurb, and it is amazing. The keys do feel a bit different after you take the O-rings off of them.
These headphones are perfect for gaming, music, anything. I WAS coming from a pair of pretty bad $20 desktop speakers, so anything would probably sound better.
These headphones have an all around good sound, and they don't hurt my ears after wearing them for extended gaming sessions.