This build was my "Plan B" option. Ryzen CPUs do not support integrated graphics. I wanted to start gaming and streaming, so I went with an Intel CPU. I planned to add a graphics card as funds became available. I ordered my "Plan B" parts and, literally, the next day, this GPU went on sale AND included a game I planned on buying anyway, so I ordered the GPU, and built what you see here. As always, the individual parts costs has changed, (increased as of this writing, 9/7/2017), since I built this PC.
This is my first PC build. I look forward to your comments and suggestions for improvement for my future builds.
I do not plan to do any overclocking at this point, so spending the additional money for an unlocked CPU, an aftermarket cooler, and a "Z" or "X" series motherboard seemed wasteful. I used the money saved to "upgrade" my storage options. More on that later.
This motherboard was chosen, as were most of the parts for this build, based on compatibility first, with low-cost and great performance second, with regards to my intended uses of this build. Plenty of expandability; four DIMM slots capable of supporting up to 64GB RAM; Six 6GB/s SATA ports; 1 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port; and on-board USB 3.0 ports. More than enough motherboard for my needs.
Adding another kit later will give me the 32GB recommended for live-streaming duties, and the current 16GB kit provides ample memory available for most current gaming duties. I know it is red, but as I stated previously, all parts were purchased based on compatibility first, (this kit is on the QVL), and low-cost second.
Boot times are measured in seconds. The OS, some applications, and a select list of games reside on this SSD. It is just barely over half-full.
I chose the Toshiba X300 4TB 3.5" 7200-rpm, again for its low-cost, low-noise, and high-capacity. Until I add additional storage drives, this is where everything else is stored. My continually growing Steam, GOG, and Origin game libraries, plus documents, spreadsheets, presentations, University assignments, (I graduated Summer 2017), etc., are all housed on this drive. I used slightly less than 0.7TB of its 3.63TB usable capacity.
120-watts TDP; Dual fans; 210mm (8.27-inches) in length; One DVI-D Dual Link, One HDMI, and three DisplayPort connections for 1080p gaming duties. With the games I currently play, "Cold Waters" and "League of Maidens" being two of them, I have yet to hear the fans on this card. Perhaps that will change as I become more proficient with the gameplay, but for now, this card runs very cool and extremely quiet.
I am quite impressed with this case, taking into account this is the first case with which I have any experience. I did encounter a "problem" during this build. After making all of the connections, the USB 2.0 ports on the top panel were not recognized by the system. Long story short, the USB 2.0 cable was pinched between the top cover and the top of the case chassis. I am unsure if this was an intentional placement of the cable for some reason, or if it was lack of quality control. Either way, "problem" resolved.
This case comes with five 120mm blue LED fans installed. The rear exhaust fan is controlled directly by the motherboard. The two top exhaust fans and the two front intake fans are controlled by their own separate three-position, (Low-Stop-High), fan-controllers on the top-panel. This case has room for one external 5.25-inch drive, four internal 3.5-inch drives, or five internal 2.5-inch drives. The case can accommodate motherboards up to ATX size. There are two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports on the top panel for easy access. Of course, there are connections for headphone, microphone, LEDs for power and HDD activity, a "Reset" button, and SD and TF (Micro-SD?) ports, too. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a $60 case. Maximum video card length is 15.43-inches.
I ordered an optical drive; don't judge me. I play a lot of old games that are disk-based with some even requiring the disk remain in the drive during gameplay.
This PSU more than handles my current power needs. Being semi-modular means I saved some money vs. fully-modular and I can add additional cables as I add additional internal components. The only drawback about this PSU that I can see, and it is a visual issue, is the ketchup-and-mustard cabling on the fixed 24-pin power cable.
Keyboard: This keyboard and optical mouse combination are black with blue backlighting. I chose the blue backlighting to match my case fans' lighting. I must say, I am somewhat disappointed with this keyboard color. The blue backlighting does not illuminate the keys as much as I would like, even in a dark room. Even the angle of the lifting legs do not position the keyboard in a favorable hand position for me.
Mouse: I like the feel, look, lighting, and amount of control surfaces on the included optical mouse. I am 6' 2" and have somewhat large hands. This is right-hand only mouse configuration. The mouse fits very well in my hand and my fingers fall naturally into place over the control surfaces.
One annoying thing I have noticed about this mouse already is a squeaky mouse wheel. That is really the only complaint I have regarding the mouse.