Description

The kids, 8 and 10 years old, and I decided our 6 year old Gateway wasn't cutting it anymore and that we would make a project of building a new computer. I had never done anything like this before and so had to do a lot of reading! The kids did most of he assembly and I did most of the cabling and Windows installation, dirvers, etc. We used the monitor, keyboard and mouse from the old machine to cut costs.

It is used for gaming, nothing too hardcore, Minecraft modding, various Steam games. I wanted it to be as future-proofed as much as possible, since I'm sure their gaming is just going to expand. It is SO much faster and responsive than the old machine which locked and lagged. The graphics are a huge improvement. We are very happy so far!

Any feedback or suggestions are welcome. I'm sure I made mistakes.... We had a strict budget and I plugged in the components here and waited for the price to hit our magic number. PCpartpicker is awesome.

UPDATE 2: As summer heated up this year, our new computer started shutting down, and after installing Speedfan, I realized it was overheating. We installed a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, and it completely solved the problem. CPU temps went from 80-82 (!!) to 67-70. AND it runs more quietly now, the fan going at half the RPMs but dropping the temp by 10-15 degrees. I highly recommend adding this cooler to the original build as the original cooler just didn't do the job.

Also, hubby has been playing Skyrim lately---fantastic graphics, excellent response, no lag. Couldn't be more pleased.

UPDATED: Wow, thanks everyone so much for the comments!!!! !
Some quick replies: I don't think we're going to be overclocking, but I did have my eye on the coolers mentioned, mostly for the quiet. However, the fans on this case are super quiet already. I'm sitting right beside it and can't hear it.

Hair-tie: good idea!!

I will check the mobo/RAM settings, thanks for the tip.

Cable management: that big cord was super stiff. I tried to route it behind but I couldn't get it to bend easily and decided to leave it out front. I agree that it looks messy that way!

Our old monitor is decent, 2048x1152, a close-out we got a couple of years ago when the Gateway monitor died.

And as for Windows, I had purchased the upgrade disk a couple of years ago when we went from XP to 7 on the old machine.

Again, thanks so much! I'm relieved to hear we did all right with our selection.

Comments

  • 73 months ago
  • 112 points

What a mom!

  • 33 months ago
  • 10 points

My mom wanted me to take a computer class to upgrade our imac's ram...

  • 32 months ago
  • -1 points

prolly not a good idea X'D those things are preeeety damn complicated and compact

  • 31 months ago
  • 3 points

Not really. I have two 2011 iMacs, and the ram slot is right under the monitor, where the speakers are.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

My mom wants me to actually VOLUNTEER at a computer place before I can install a new graphics card in our pc...

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

3 months ago

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  • 73 months ago
  • 54 points

My mom could never do this. Great value you got there.

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  • 73 months ago
  • 30 points

Excellent build for the price. Great parts selection. no gripes here.

If you want tips or ideas. 1) Grab a Cooler Master Evo and overclock the fx-6300. However this will take a little reading to do so safely. By doing so you'll get an extra boost in performance. 2) You can try to put cables behind the mobo or behind the HDD trays (between HDD trays and rear wall) on the bottom.

  • 73 months ago
  • 11 points

Great Job!!! This system should run anything that an 8 and 10 year old should want (or you'll allow).
It will run games better then the system I just built with my kids (10 & 12) by probably 20% or more (if we just compare the GPUs)

Over-clocking the CPU is not necessary ... I wouldn't bother if your just trying to make your games run faster ... but if your want to dive into learning how a computer works and how timing effects performance and heat ... it's is a great adventure. Although I think your kids are still a bit young to really have the background and patients to get into that. My experience so far is that my 10 year old doesn't care about how things work only playing games (which may just be his interest right now rather then his age). My 12 year old is more interested but does not seem to have the patients (or maybe it's just Dad's lecturing). I think I jumped the gun on trying to teach them how computers work (even though they were excited to learn it as we picked out parts and built the machine) ... hopefully that will change over the next year or two.

Over-clocking the GPU will make your frame rates faster but with a HD7870 I don't think your will need to for a while. The downside is that it does generate a lot of heat. BTW the HD7870 is a great card for OC if you decide to do it.

In any case, I think you chose well and I'm sure everyone is going to have a blast with it. +1 (as everyone here seems to say ... )

  • 73 months ago
  • 9 points

Hmmm, 7870 for minecraft? :D jk +1 great build!

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  • 73 months ago
  • 8 points

You could add a thin client to one of the monitors so that both kids can play minecraft at the same time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client

  • 66 months ago
  • 3 points

oh! That would be an interesting idea...

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  • 73 months ago
  • 7 points

Very educational for the kids and a very nice way to spend time together! The part choices are very sound, and definitely good patience with the prices.

One suggestion I have for any future builds, is to tie back your hair! XD I've had the unfortunate experience of a single hair falling under the heatsink, so hahaha.

I read some reviews about the mobo where the ram doesn't run at 1866, so it might be a good idea to check your RAM speed if you haven't already. It might run at a default 1333 or 1600, which is no problem, but just thought I'd mention it.

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  • 73 months ago
  • 5 points

very nice +1

  • 73 months ago
  • 3 points

Looks like she's ready to stream minecraft. +1

  • 73 months ago
  • 3 points

Very sweet. I wish my mom had done that growing up. +1 because I can't give anymore than that like I'd like to. Goodjob

  • 64 months ago
  • 3 points

Good to know you had enough detotated wam. +1

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

pls be my mom :(

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

automatic +1 for being the best mom -besides mine xD- out there

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Good build. I'd just put the big fat 24 pin connector and the 4 or 8 pin CPU power connector (depends on the board) behind the motherboard tray. It would look SO much cleaner that way and airflow would be a bit better, I suppose. It only takes a minute and that's what those holes are for right next to the power supply :-)

Great parts though.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build! Should suite your kids' intended uses fine.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Good gaming machine for $600! If you get tired of your old mouse, I highly recommend Gigabyte's M8000X USB laser mouse. Also, you're visual experience could look a lot better with a purdy new monitor. Now is the time to get one while Black Friday deals are going on. I've seen an Asus 23.6" 1080P LED-LCD go for $109.99 w/free shipping! The only problem with that is that the 7870 will struggle @ 1080P in some games whereas graphics with more memory bandwitdh will shine. That's really only with today's more graphically intense games, though. Again, nice build!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

where did you find that deal on the monitor?

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Newegg.com via their e-mail promos.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

ah .com vs .ca....so much worse deals here :(

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

So true! I plan my builds for $600 then realize I was on American money and switch it to Canadian. It jumps up about $200!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

This is amazing, wonderful job Mom. Not only did you give them a physical object but you also gave them a memory that they will always remember and hopefully pass onto their kids.

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Ha! I wish my mom was like this!

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Great Job for a starter! By great I mean AWESOME! You did a very good job at cable managing, budgeting and researching on parts.

p.s That is not a moderate gaming machine, its an EXTREME build able to run next-gen games at ultra!

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

that's a bit too emphasized. It may run on Ultra but with lower resolution and/or FPS depending how graphically intense games are.

  • 69 months ago
  • 4 points

Lol

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  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build +1

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Gonna be building something EXTREMELY similar to this very soon for myself... personally I think this part list is the best for the budget.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

For that price everything is perfect. +1

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice. For what you intend on using the PC for your parts look fine. I love it when a parent takes the time and initiative to involve their children. If I could give +2 I would.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice. Better stats then the xbone. Also +1 for family projects, please route that 24 pin behind the mobo though.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. +1 for the head lamp!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Outstanding build for the money. Big ++++++ for the family effort!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

first off, if the system is gonna be on a desk, flip the power supply so that the fan is on the bottom, therefore allowing it to draw fresh air from outside. second, i would spend an hour or so tucking the cables behind the motherboard if at all possible; with the power supply flipped, your cables would be that much closer to the rest of the components that need it.

other than that, it's an incredible system for only $600.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome!!!!!!!!!!! Mom of the Year Award!

( Alex from the Unschooling_Gamers Group!)

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Gonna need some serious upgrades if you wanna play minesweeper on their. Wooh... this couldn't even run it on bear minimum settings. Jk good build.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

From just the last picture of MineCraft, I understood what RP your son is using. It's a very good one, too.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Kudos :)

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

i always find myself being the 100th like lol. Nice build!

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

I am actually thinking of making a build similar to this but with more processing power instead of graphics, the parts list is great, and is pretty future proofed for what they will be playing in the future.

good job!

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

Well my experience with the computer I have now is that if you spend more on your graphics card than your processor you will get better performance than getting a better processor than graphics card.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Mom of the year award goes too mayalass

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh Minecraft, it is a MUST!

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

better than my pc :(

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Same :(

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Well done super mum +1

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

That is so cool! I wish my mom would have done that with me. Nice choice of parts for a budget build +1.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

What a great project. It looks awesome! Who cares about that cable. Just enjoy your masterpiece and the satisfaction that you did it together. Great Mom!

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't know where I went wrong. Most of my prices were the same for my computer, but I had a 7770... :(

Just checked... It was windows... Where did you guys get the windows from? Was it free?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm building something very similar, actually(http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3fEUA). looking at your build, your GPU was probably a little too powerful, and the processor might bottleneck a little, just judging by the price and brand. otherwise looks to be a pretty solid build, especially for a first-timer.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome Mom!

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

My mom not that cool

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for an awesome mom and a nice build, good luck and enjoy!

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I want you for my mum! My mum tells me off for looking at PCPartPicker...She says it's not a 'normal' thing for teenagers to do. I say she hasn't been a teenager for 40 years!

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Same here... I don't get told off but I sort of isolate myself in my bedroom

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Same here also

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

so tell me what she think 'normal' kids do

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm impressed ! I would have gone with a GTX 660 which would have been able to play more games at high quality , but ... I'm really impressed ! What a mom ! Hope you and your kids will enjoy this build !

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

this will be nice when the kids start getting into more advanced games like battlefeild and cod

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

couldve went with a quad core and you got wayyy to expensive of a video card, but the pc will last like 10 yrs and will play all games made today and within 5yrs i think

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

My mom couldn't do this even if her life depended on it. You are one awesome mom!

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

(bats eye and mutters) gaming machine, minecraft, psh

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Best mom ever. Doing similar with my son. Not sure who's having more fun him or me.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

that 7870 is an awesome card!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

AWESOME mon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Could you put an SSD drive into this rig?

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Didn't include the OS into the price. This bugs me.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! I applaud you! How're the mobo?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi Folks, New guy here and was admiring this build. Looking to build something similar, but hopefully around the 500.00 mark. Can't see a date for this build so was wondering if there would be update suggestions/improvements based on current pricing drops and/or increases ? Objectives: Fast, cool, quiet, upgradable, easy cable management. Cheers and Thanks To All ! Great site ....

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor $69.99 @ Newegg
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $24.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard Asus H81M-D PLUS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $44.99 @ Newegg
Memory Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory $44.99 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $55.98 @ OutletPC
Video Card Asus Radeon R9 280 3GB DirectCU II Video Card $208.99 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $49.99 @ Newegg
Optical Drive LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer $13.99 @ Newegg
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $510.91
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-15 14:11 EDT-0400
  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

You can save a bit by geting a r9 270/270x :D

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

And still need a case. Since it will be my first build, I would like something with lots of space. Don't wish to fight with cabling etc. Thanks for the input...hadn't really looked at the G series CPU's, so food for thought there :)

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Ouch. You could have bought a Gigabyte Radeon R9 270 2GB WINDFORCE Graphics Card for a little less. It has a little bit more power I think, not %100 sure.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I think i might assign my mother to do the part selection for my next build... she could find all the major deals...

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

You need a better CPU cooler the ones that come with the case usually are not that good. You are looking at around 30 to 40 bucks for a better CPU cooler I personally prefer the master hyper 212 evo CPU cooler.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks like it will work very well! One thing I would suggest is get a psu a little over what you are using; ae: my computer is 300W, got a 430W. If you want a cpu that doesn't get as hot, go with intel. Mine runs at about 45 degrees Celsius under load. Nice job! -BT

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you find that 6 cores is helpful for games? I am struggling as to what CPU to get for my $700 budget gaming build.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Go with an fx 8320, its a beast for overclocking and 8 cores can handle games very well.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Smart choice for motherboard in my opinion because you can throw 2 more sticks of the 4gb in there for 8gb I highly recommend upgraded to 8gb then to 16gb crossfire would be good if you need more gpu power (Insert Arnold Swaggerer saying power here) But pretty good build upgradablilty is awesome with your rig good job.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

can this run days mod some what

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I bet your kids were all like "I LOVE YOU MOM!!!!!"

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

My mom can barely figure out how to open chrome . . .

Nice build though! I wish I had a mom that knew about computers, I just tell her what to buy and that is all she knows lol.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

That cable management XD

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

You could've saved more money by not buy the Optical Drive, unless you plan on watching movies or playing games that require a disk.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Then how will they download an os?

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

I got scared at second pic rubbing hair on a motherboard... Scary! Wish my mom was that cool! She's threatening me of taking me out of my 200$ build!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

You're a real cool mom!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

decent monitor? thats above 1080p!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 good build for he price +1 case fractal design if you want to play sky rim try upgrading to like a 660 ti they are very nice or a

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

if only you got a case with a side panel window, im pretty sure the 210 windowed version was only $30 at around that time

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha i wish you were my mum. Very good choice of parts and very organised from the looks of things. Keep up the good work!

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Best mom in the world? Very likely

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I love builds like this, where people (family or friends) come together on a joint project. It may be aggravating at times (especially if it's family!) but in the end the group has a machine that everyone has a part in. Collaborative projects always make for fond memories.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

YOU DID GREAT! I think you should get a MSI 970 if u upgrade the Motherboard , But the Rest is Great hope you had fun building it!

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

If he have a gtx 970 and a fx 6300 i supose is a bottleneck but i am not sure

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

how hot is the cpu

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

GET A SSD! Your kids would LOVE it! :)

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

remember wear a shock bracelet so you dont damage your parts +1 cool build

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, I want to know what CPU cooler you used, if you could please disclose that information, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks you.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

He use the CPU cooler in the CPU, the box it comes processor have a cooler

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

UPDATE 2: As summer heated up this year, our new computer started shutting down, and after installing Speedfan, I realized it was overheating. We installed a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo , and it completely solved the problem. CPU temps went from 80-82 (!!) to 67-70. AND it runs more quietly now, the fan going at half the RPMs but dropping the temp by 10-15 degrees. I highly recommend adding this cooler to the original build as the original cooler just didn't do the job.

Now using a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

very good for the price ! i am currently building mine and all i would say is upgrade the video card now so in the future you dont have to. i have got a EVGA GeForce GTX 960 and the benchmark is high for only $30.00 more

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I recomend to add a CPU cooler to prevent problems and you can move tha optical drive now is only for instal windows and you can use a USB to instal and with the price of the optical drive a cooler but is a good built for that price

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build!

CPU temps went from 80-82 (!!) to 67-70.

Something I have noticed about AMD, they normally run hot and their fans just don't cut it. Always have to buy a separate fan for AMD lol. Nice build will be building one with the FX-6300 soon for my 9 and 12 year old cousins

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice!

But I'd like to say that technology will never be "future proof" as it will advance further every day

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build! I'm amazed that the kids were able to do all the construction i know grown men who can't do that kind of stuff XD

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

What a mom.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

pretty useless to play minecraft considering that you pretty much got a PS4

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

But PS4'S are 400 this is 600

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Good work with everything in the build! I like it

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build! I just have one question: does this case have a side panel window? I don't see one in the pictures but I have seen some instances where there was one. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Almost exactly like my first build! I cut down on an optical drive and the power supply for a better GPU, due to a tight budget, but this is higher quality than mine, and i'm still using it after 3 years with little degrade in performance. I would recommend overclocking the CPU.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

very cool, computers are not difficult to build your teaching your kid a valuable skill. Most people think it's too difficult out of ignorance because they've never even taken the side panel off or cared to learn anything about it, consumers just want to buy it prebuilt, plug it in and turn it on. Not realizing they're being charged more than they need to be.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

But why didn't you route the 20+4 pin ATX cable behind the motherboard. Still great build though!+1

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Can your optical disk drive run blu-ray disks?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Mayalass is your husband Niel?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Being present and buying presents! Great job

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Do some cable manegement dohw :3

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

The kids are very lucky to have you!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

What is your boot time? I am wondering this because I am considering not getting an ssd

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Um if you don't get an SSD your PC will boot up a lot slower

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool, if you get enough CPUs and hook them up right you can get two kids on one computer pretty complicated though.

Nice job!

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

I was planning using similar components for my first build, but i will be using a gtx 960 4gb. will this build compare with a console? i want to use my pc primarily for gaming, so will this processor do the job?

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Would this case be good for a $950 PC build? I don't want to go super cheap on the case, but at the same time I don't want the case to take a good chunk of my budget

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

kek

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks like you put your PC parts in a blender and and dumped them in a toaster oven and plugged your monitor in it. Terrible part choices.):

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazing mom but it's funny: Makes a $600+ Gaming Rig. Plays Minecraft on it.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

wow that looks impressive!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Jeez, my mom tells me that spending my summer and mowing to save up money for a $850 PC is a waste and oh lord look at you. Your kids must be very grateful.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Remember to occasionally unplug the pc and with an air can + microfibrecloth/cloth clean out dust. Dust can clog up the fans and cpu cooler causing temperatures to rise

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I’ve just got to throw this out there and I know im late to the party. But you are one Awesome parent. It took me 4-5 months to get my mom to let me build my own PC. I’m happy now cause it’s the best desicion I ever made. I just think it’s so cool how you just decided to. Anyway like I said I know i’m late but I just want to say Thanks

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Maybe consider adding a solid-state drive

It will make the PC a whole lot speedier

  • 58 months ago
  • 0 points

If you ever decide to upgrade this, I would suggest this.The reason why there's no case,PSU,OpticalDrive,and CPU Cooler is because you can use the other parts from this PC to the new one. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor $159.99 @ Micro Center
Motherboard Asus B85-PLUS ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $84.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $63.99 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.98 @ OutletPC
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 270X 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card $169.99 @ Newegg
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $528.94
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-02-04 21:15 EST-0500
  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I recomend to add the PSU, optical drive, etc. because if i send the link to a friend he/she need to take the time to decide the rest of the parts

  • 27 months ago
  • 0 points

Only problem with that build is the i5 4590 is now discontinued

  • 27 months ago
  • 0 points

So if your processor dies no offense but you're screwed

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