I decided to do this build after my previous Windows laptop died about a month ago. It has always been a dream for me to build a PC of my own. Yes, we all know that memory and graphics cards are overpriced and sometimes buying complete desktops from Cyberpower or other OEMs might be of better value (they sometimes go on crazy sells, whether for clearance of the 7th gen machines or not). But I get my own happiness out of making a build and waking up every day knowing that there's a new price drop list from pcpartpicker just give me something to look forward to.
Regardless of my determination to building a PC, I still want value out of my money. The core parts are easily picked. Ryzen 5 1600 which is sufficient for everyday work and mid-level entertainment, and which also comes with a nice stock cooler. GTX 1060 3GB (we call it 1063 sometimes), perfect 1080p gaming card for somewhere below ultra detail. It's probably the only card that does not overprice too much and offers good performance. 16 GB DDR4 ram, which still seems to be getting more and more expensive... SATA speed SSD because NVMe would be an overkill.
After doing some research, I reckon that you don't always get the best price for your parts on Black Fridays. Best prices happen throughout the year. And things like memories?... They get f**king more expensive and that's probably gonna last for another half year, so better sooner than later. And after I got some of the parts, it just makes no sense to wait for unguaranteed drops of single-digit to 20 or 30-ish dollars. The earlier you buy, the more you enjoy.
However, I did make some irrational decisions on the motherboard and consequently the power supply as well... I kind of believed that I'm in desperate need of a WiFi and Bluetooth adapter because I have some BT peripherals and WiFi adapter gets rid of one more cable. I also kind of believed that X370 boards preserve the potential for future upgrades if DX12 multi-GPU support got mature. So when the MSI X370 Gaming Pro was selling at around 120$ with an Intel 8265 pci-e WiFi/BT adapter included, I thought it was a really good deal. Now come to think of it, I don't think many game companies would bother to code things in DX12 or add SLI support, those techs are probably dying anyway. I also think a single xx80 or even xx80ti upgrade would be sufficient for my situation because I don't see myself moving onto 4K and high fps gaming (which would cost a great amount of money for a monitor alone (was a typo here XD)). And, I could definitely live without a WiFi/BT adapter... In short, the board was definitely an overkill. AND because of the board, I went with a 850W PSU just in case I need to do multiple cards... Similarly, about the optical drive, I do have Blu-ray discs but not many, and I'm not likely to watch them a lot.
If I'm able to do this again, I'll go with a B350 or B350M board and go with a 550~650W PSU, and leave out the WiFi/BT adapter and optical drive. That would save me around 100~120$ and I could get a better case like tempered glass side panel or Fractal Design's Define R5 which has dust filters all around.
Just one note though, I actually bought two pairs of the same memory, one is for my friend. While MSI's website said the MB supports this model at 3200MHz, I couldn't get mine to work at that frequency (under auto settings). One pair run 2933MHz at most and the other pair could only do 2800MHz. They're not defect pieces, and the difference doesn't really matter in everyday use, but... you know, you don't feel good about those flaws.
Anyways, I'm happy with my build. Everything was running on the first try. Wish everything runs as well in the future!
----------------------------------------A few details------------------------------------------------- I've uploaded a few images. Those aren't anything close to beauty shots, no part of this thing is attractive to look at in a black budget case with no side panels, and, no RGB! I might not be living in 2017 lol.
As I was doing cable management my remorse for buying the optical drive increased. SATA cables, both data and power cables, are a disaster for routing and undermine the final tidiness. I've tried to connect both the HDD and the optical drive with one SATA power cable which has four heads. It managed to work, but looks kind of ugly. I'll survive it, I'm not peeking into it all the time anyway.
Something cute though, I managed to stuff my Focusrite sound card for my guitar into the 5.25'' bay and cable route its USB 2.0 cable through the case so I can connect it to the MoBo I/O on the back. That's the red cable in one of the images. I took out a PCI-E slot so that the cable can go through. While it does raise worries about incoming dust, the slot itself isn't really dust-prove anyway, so I don't think it makes much difference. Speaking of dust, I so wish I have gone for Fractal Design R5... Corsair 200R is an okay case but it was kind of pointless to cheap out here since I've already wasted some money on MoBo, expansion cards, optical drives and PSU. But lol who knows, maybe someday that case went on a super sale and I'll just leave the 200R in the corner. Just maybe.
I think it's the best mid-range processor to buy that satisfies everyday needs and is of great value. Think of the stock cooler which also works good and runs quietly.
It was an overkill after all, so it kinda gave me a blow when I realized that it only had one M.2 slot, unlike the Gaming Pro Carbon which has two... Again, I could only blame myself. Anyways, the M.2 slot comes with a heat shield, which is always a good thing I think.
And, I have to say that after updating drivers and checking carefully, I think the gifted PCI-E WiFi adapter is Malfunctioning. Darn. I mean, it can't be that all my PCI-E x1 slots on this MoBo are malfunctioning, right? The adapter is a custom part so I can't review that, so I'll just do it here. Bluetooth is working, but WiFi is not. Assuming that it's not my PCI-E slot, the only thing I can think of is that the chip is working but the PCI-E part of the expansion card is malfunctioning. I'll try debugging a bit more before I send it back. If it turns to be my PCI-E slot that's the culprit here?... I'll probably ban MSI for a long period of time.
I have to say that this MoBo couldn't run my RAM at rated frequency. That's really upsetting. Although from a performance point of view that doesn't really matter cuz I can still go up to 2800 at least, it's just annoying. Come on, it's an X370 MoBo, man...
-------------------------------------Update 02.14.2018 ---------------------------
After the recent bios update, my RAM finally runs at 3200MHz. So far it's stable without a problem so that's nice.
Some minor flaws after the update that I've noticed: 1. Task Manager stopped reporting correct CPU clock speed. My multiplier is set to 37.00, and in the task manager the real time speed shows 4.2GHz which is BS. CPU-Z still works fine. I heard that the new Ryzen APUs had issues with Windows timer, so I guess my issue (with a old Ryzen) is more likely to be a software issue that's gonna be fixed in future updates (if any).
- My CPU temp still went higher... Guess it's because of RAM oc... might need to tweak a bit when I have the time to
I have a lot to say about these memories... I just don't know why one of them could run up to 2933 and the other one would go above 2800. One pair is for my friend, so I saved the 2933 pair for him. I guess it's a MoBo issue, I might need to do more research and tweak OC manually for a bit.
Nothing I could complain about. M.2 form saves all the hassle installing, and an average of extra 4 dollars give you 25GB more space compared to other first-class 250GB SATA SSDs. Well, it probably doesn't really matter but... I really have nothing I can say on this one.
Seagate doesn't have a good reputation on the last gen of BarraCudas, but I think that was because somebody tortured consumer level disks on purpose. I'll give some trust to the newer model for now.
Have tried to run Assassin's Creed Origins at almost ultra detail (limited by VRAM, I can't go ultra on one or two settings). Gameplay was smooth at 1080p, and from MSI Afterburner the temp topped at 66degrees. When the fans are running, there is definitely noise. But I use my headphone when gaming, and I have the room to myself, so nothing to worry about pissing off anybody.
This case... it is enough for me in most kind of ways. The lacking of a top dust filter is a minus, but you can't really expect to find all these stuff at below 50$. I'll try to look on Amazon or something for a PC dust filter. Or maybe I could just change to Fractal Design R5 if I overcome my remaining sense of rational shopping.
BTW, I put in the HDD in the wrong direction at first, I guess that damaged the snapping piece. After I fixed the orientation and tried to pull out and insert again several times when cable managing, the plastic snap point actually broke. I could still use the bracket by using screws to fix the HDDs, but it still gave me a bad feeling about my reckless handwork. I don't blame it on the case.
I think I actually got this one for 81$? IDK, forgot about the promo code cuz I bought a bunch of things in one order. JonnyGuru gave this model a very high praise and I know SeaSonic is not going to let me worry about this one. And it's also cheaper than many other 80+ Gold fully modular competitors. Highly recommend this series.
Now I know what "BD Burner" means... I can't play BD with this because I don't have a licensed player on my computer unless I buy one. Darn... didn't see that coming...
It reads everything well and silently. I'm not trying to burn any BD with this one, I just wanted to play some of my precious discs I bought. I'll look into solutions for playing encrypted m2ts on my computer... otherwise, I would be buying this for nothing :( (Okay at least it works as a CD player... I also have some precious CDs...)