I am an IT engineer/consultant for a managed services provider and I find myself working from home quite often on my laptop. I do quite a bit of multi-tasking with remote desktop sessions and virtual machines. Needless to say, even a decently built laptop is going to be slower than a well built desktop for multi-tasking of this nature.

I've been tinkering with computers since I was 6 years old.. I'm 28 now. My dad was an IT analyst and we built my computers together as a kid. I interned with him at his job when I was 16 and for the last 3 years, he had been working with me at my current job. Unfortunately he passed away on March 2 2015.

I had the need for a well built desktop for me to be able to work at home comfortably on occasion and I wanted to build my own machine for the first time in over 15 years. I knew that you get a lot more bang for your buck when you built your own as well. I'm a network engineer, not an expert on building computers, but the whole process of looking for parts and comparing, buying them, and putting it all together just brought back fond memories of my dad and I as a kid and was enjoyable for me.

I didn't purchase the best of the best out there.. I'm not a hardcore gamer but I wanted to have the option to play games if I wanted to on decent settings. I was going for the best bang of the buck in terms of parts, so below are my choices and the reason I went with them. All in all, this build cost me a little over $600.. I think I got plenty of performance for what I paid.

And just as a note, the computer isn't sitting on carpet for good... I just took pictures as I was testing everything after the initial build.

Part Reviews


I went AMD because of the bang for the buck. I was between the 8 core 8320 (overclocking it to match the 8350) and the 6 core 6300. I'm not a hardcore gamer and this CPU was priced right at under $100 while the 8350 was priced at $170. 6 cores at 3.5Ghz that can be easily overclocked to 4Ghz? Just sounded like a good choice to me and it had a ton of positive reviews. I also know that the AM3 chipset is just about dead, and I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a motherboard and CPU, because in the future I plan on upgrading the board and CPU when the next gen processors are released.

CPU Cooler

This thing is awesome and was priced great. It keeps my CPU at around 30C idled... As I said, I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I have confidence that this cooler will keep my CPU cooled nicely under load. I also did some reading ahead of time and heard that the stock fan from the 6300 was garbage, so this was a great replacement for that.


Nice little motherboard. As I mentioned in my CPU blurb above, I wasn't trying to spend a ton of money on a motherboard and CPU as I plan to upgrade when the next gen processors arrive and this was a great buy at $68. Supports hardware RAID, SATA 6Gbps, USB 3.0, supports overclocking, and supports up to 32GB of memory.


I know a lot of you will probably say this is overkill, and it probably is.. however, I do alot of multi-tasking and working with virtual machines for work so I went ahead and went with 16GB instead of 8. The price was right at $95 and I have no complaints. I had to change the memory voltage in my BIOS to reach the 1866 speed.


I pulled these from a couple of dead computers from a client of ours, so these were free :) I know they aren't the fastest out there, but for the price.. well.. ya know. They're in RAID 0 and running pretty fast! No complaints.


Standard data drive... not much to say about that.

Video Card

I honestly don't know a whole lot about GPU's.. but a friend of mine suggested this GPU to me. After mail in rebate and an instant discount, the cost was $168 compared to $200. Seems like a pretty good deal to me and it has 4GB of RAM. I was told this can run most games these days on high settings, but I could be wrong.


This is the only part of this build that I regret. It's a nice looking case, a little flimsy. This thing is completely terrible for cable management, but I did the best I could with it. There was only one fan included which was kind of lame, so I installed 2 additional Corsair 120MM fans in the case for extra cooling. After instant discount and mail in rebate it was only $29.99... so for what I paid, I'm happy with it for now.

Power Supply

Really nice PSU... 600 watts which is plenty for what I have in my machine. Semi modular with all black cables, so it made the cable management a little easier to handle if it weren't for the case.

Optical Drive

Nothing to say here... it's a DVDRW drive.

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  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice setup for the money. Remember that Socket 1150 is EOL as well so the Intel fan-boys should realize they're doing the same thing. +1 for going old school and including an OOD! I don't feel so bad now. As for cable management in a case that doesn't have any, see here for ideas. Interesting that you had to change the RAM voltage to get it to work; I take it that there wasn't anywhere in the BIOS to enable XMP profiles for the RAM? (I had to update the BIOS on mine to get the option.) You should be able to run multiple VMs very nicely with this box; I plan to do the same with mine once I get my new box going on Win 10.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I've always been an AMD fan.. for the price point, it just can't be beat. Then again, I'm not the kind of person to go drop $2500 on a gaming computer, because, well... I'm not a hardcore gamer.. I can get plenty of power for what I need through AMD and at a good price point. I read the reviews for the RAM before I bought it, many people had to change their memory voltage in their BIOS to hit the 1866 speed.. I will have to check and see if there is an enable XMP profiles in my BIOS. I think this machine will get me done for a while... I will eventually replace the case, followed by the board and CPU in a couple of years.. All in all, I'm happy with how it turned out. Thanks for your comments!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm going to school here in the fall for IT (network specifically) I'm pretty stoked about it.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

awesome and well built rig, how is that gpu to u underload? im thinking about switching it from a twin fr0z 2g g card.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

nice build for the price

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  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Hah I was! Thank you!