Description

Built this for my younger brother-in-law as an affordable and capable gaming and streaming rig. His parents paid for the bulk of the components, I spent a bit to bump the video card up from a 1060 to a 1070 ti.

All in all, prices are back to a point where a decent system can be had for about $1000 USD if you can find the right deals. (Hence, last gen Ryzen and a less robust GPU cooler.)

Build went very smooth, the Focus G is an easy case to work in if you're on a budget and need to keep expansion options open. I chose it based on price and support for optical drives if he ends up needing them. If not, they can be adapted to support more storage for videos. It also comes with two fans but supports a ton more cooling if needed.

Overclocking was simple using the ASRock BIOS tools. It scores very well in benches with the CPU overclock, and while the GPU cooler isn't great it also allows for a sustained boost with a slightly more aggressive fan curve through MSI Afterburner.

Hopefully he'll be getting this thing hooked up with all his streaming gear in the coming weeks and he can put it to the real life test.

Part Reviews

CPU

A highly capable multitasking CPU at a great price at the time of this review. Overclocked to a seemingly stable 3.8Ghz on the stock cooler at 1.28v without any trouble. Several stress tests have shown no issues so far.

Motherboard

I have had nothing but good experiences with ASRock so I grabbed this as a low cost overclocking board. The OC options are a little lacking but it has all the essentials and just worked. Since it's a late model 370 it also didn't need any BIOS update which just saved me some time/hassle.

Memory

RAM is expensive. This was the cheapest 3200 RAM at the time and it works at rated speeds with Ryzen. Can't ask for much more if you're on a budget.

Storage

I'm no expert on NVMe or the nuances of chip/controller manufacture when it comes to selecting SSDs. This was a highly affordable PCIe NVMe drive with decent reviews so I rolled the dice. Boots fast and should provide snappy loading times for whatever gets installed to it.

Storage

Another inexpensive choice for storage. In the future I think an additional drive to back up content would be a good idea but this will get the job done for a while. Only real issue is it's loud when accessing data.

Video Card

Literally the cheapest 1070 ti available at the time. It shows, with the open air cooler barely able to support 1800MHz sustained boosts with a ramped up fan curve. But for the budget it'll allow for a great 1080p to 1440p gaming experience.

Case

For the price (around $50 USD), Fractal has done a really good job with this all-rounder case. Great support for cooling and a healthy mix of components, easy to work in, and good room for cable management behind the tray make this a surprisingly pleasant aspect of the build. Just note, it is built for air flow so noise could be an issue if you're looking for something quiet.

Power Supply

I'm conflicted on this PSU. It's fully modular and Seasonic branded, so that's cool. Seasonic has a good reputation for quality. But, it was dirt cheap and I never like cheaping out on power supplies even if it's a quality brand. Hopefully this thing lives up to the Seasonic reputation.

Comments

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Which M.2 slot did you install the NVMe drive in? The top slot or the bottom slot?

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

Top slot. I believe that slot only supports PCIe drives. (Not SATA)

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

that ram isn't on the qvl list. any problems so far?

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

None, other than some dead sticks I had to RMA. XMP is fine and system has been stable.

  • 16 months ago
  • 0 points

You would've saved getting 3 1TB drives. Really nice build though, well matched components, in terms of performance and color scheme!

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

You might be right, I'm just gonna advise him to back up his important/irreplaceable stuff to an external drive when he starts doing content creation.

[comment deleted]
  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

I think he'll really enjoy it, he's a huge gamer and has been playing on an alienware laptop from like 2012-2013.

The GPU cooler has all the right parts for a good aftermarket; heat pipes and fins, it's just not enough of either. I can see why it was much cheaper but still held up in benchmarks so it should be fine.

The hard drive and PSU are my two biggest concerns for the life of this PC. The drive is a little noisy accessing data, my advice to him is gonna be to back up all his original content and videos to an additional external drive. It's just the smartest thing to do even if the drive wasn't sketchy.