Description

First real build after 7 years gaming on a laptop. I have torn down and rebuilt prebuilts for 20+ years, but this was my first build from the ground up.

Managed to snag the R5 2600 and B450 Tomahawk from Microcenter in a bundle for $200 total. Had to drive 2+ hours each way to get it, but it was worth it for the experience.

Picked up the case and RAM on Newegg for under $100 total. Grabbed the PSU from Amazon for under $40 thanks to a gift card.

Video card was $80 from a friend, and will be adequate for 1080p. Currently only gaming at 1440x900 as that is the monitor I have right now, so no real rush to upgrade.

All other parts (SSD, HDD, ODD, PCIe WiFi card, case fans, peripherals) were either in use with my previous laptop, or salvaged from old prebuilts.

Pictures show the original PSU I had in this build, a Rosewill 600W unit. It was replaced shortly after completing the build due to my wife's fear that I would burn down the house.

Part Reviews

Storage

Fast, high capacity, reliable. I have used this as my system drive for nearly 3 years, and am migrating it to the new build to continue doing so.

Case

Amazing value. PSU shroud, decent cable routing, USB 3.0 on the front panel, and a tempered glass window, for under $50 shipped. I wish it had standard PCI slot covers rather than punch outs, but that's understandable at this price point, as is the lack of cable grommets. Cable cut outs are functional, but not ideally placed for the 24 pin cable. HD audio cable was difficult to route to the board as it is all the way in the back of the case. Front panel connectors for Power/Reset/LEDs were almost flush with the shroud. Plug these in before mounting the board if you can.

Keyboard

Has held up well for many years. Romer-G switches feel great, per-key RGB looks fantastic, board is high quality without much "gamer" aesthetic.

Mouse

Best mouse I have ever owned. Incredibly comfortable in the hand, responsive, button layout is perfect. If Logitech released a new one today I would buy it immediately.

Speakers

Adequate, but the bass is overpowering compared to mids and highs. Probably more of an EQ issue on my end than anything else.

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Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

A monstrosity of a build. Frankenstein. But still adequate for 1080p gaming.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Even though you are short on cash, you should rip that PSU out of your system immediately if you plan to be able to enjoy it for more then a couple of months. It might fry your entire rig and/or set in on fire, seriously. NEVER EVER cheap out on a PSU.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree here with the power supply, get it updgraded asap! Other than though solid budget build for your buck.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Definitely upgrade that PSU and light that on fire before it destroys your computer. Like the guy said below, above all else never cheap out on the PSU just because it's responsible for powering your entire system. Everything connected to it has a chance to fry. Regardless of the tech inside, it's your pride and joy and I would hate to see something happen to it. Even seasonic a 500w is like $62 on Amazon, or the evga 550w bronze, corsair 450-550w. Believe it or not, it's all you would need. Take it in consideration, otherwise great little build.

Edit - I see the PSU was a gift. I get it, had to save money everywhere for the budget, but run to a BB and get one.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Update: Replaced the original Rosewill 600W PSU with an EVGA BQ 600W Semi-Modular PSU.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I like the Cougar case, for the glass panel it's priced very competitively & doesn't make anything difficult (I'll post my results soon). Overall this looks like a very capable computer for the cost. I would expect the 970 can push your monitor to its limits on ultra quality settings. Is the monitor what you would upgrade next?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, next upgrade is going to be a monitor, maybe monitor and GPU together depending on how much I want to push.

I am maxing out my monitor at 75Hz 900p with all settings capped, so i expect I could do 1080p without much difficulty, even at 75Hz.

I'd like to move to 1440p at 75Hz or better at some point, but that would definitely require a GPU upgrade.

  • 24 days ago
  • 1 point

Late reply on this, but I did just upgrade the monitor to an Acer CB272 27" 1080p 75Hz IPS.

The 970 can still push 1080p 75Hz without a problem in the games I play, though GPU will likely be my next upgrade, probably to a 2060 Super or 5600XT.

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