Hello everyone! I’m back again. This time around I have a $650 gaming system for you. The new owner was in need of something semi-portable to take to school and back, as well as something to handle school work dealing with micro-biology. He requested an i5, so I built this system around that.
Goals for this build:
Play some games: WoW, War Thunder, Racing Sims
Semi-small footprint with room for extras.
Stick to the $650 budget.
Keep a plain visual style.
I originally had an i3 in this build to save a little money. The new user liked the idea of spending a little more to have a nicer processor now, so that he could upgrade the GPU later on. So I went with the cheapest i5 I could find and happened to get a bit of a deal on it. Performance is as you would expect from the different iterations of the i5.
I wanted a solid board that had a few features, wasn’t too pricey, and was reputable. I had used the ATX version of this board once already and figured the mATX would be a good fit here. Overall it is a nice board with a proper layout. There is crossfire support, but he’d have to lose the Wi-Fi card and I can’t say I’d suggest dual 270s. I do wish these boards were full width. Quite a bit of the right half is free hanging and it makes me a little nervous.
Simple, cheap, standard speed and latency, and reputable. I didn’t need anything flashy or high profile here. The Patriot memory gets the job done nicely.
I would have liked to make a SSD work here, but there just wasn’t enough budget for it. The 1TB drive was what the user needed. He will be storing plenty of music and other media as well as games and school work. This drive is a bit thinner than your standard 1TB from WD or the old Barracuda. Not by a lot, but it’s definitely noticeable.
- GRAPHICS CARD:
I went with the most powerful card I could get with the money left. The 960/280 were slightly out of reach and the 750 Ti can’t compete with the 270. I’ve used these cards several times now and haven’t had any issues with them. I didn’t include as many benchmarks with this, mostly because I didn’t have a ton of time, but also because I have benched the card before. I will provide links to the other builds so you can see the benchmarks.
The user wanted a tower style that was on the smaller side. The N200 is really solid for the price. Coming with two fans, plenty of tie downs, and fair amounts of space behind the tray for $50, there isn’t much that beats it. My only gripes are the drive cage being backwards and the tiny hole for the CPU power. The drive cage is flipped because CM designed the cage so that the drive ports would face the left side. I wasn’t about to let that happen. The CPU power cable hole is super tiny. No way an 8-pin or even a 4-pin could fit through without modding. So I routed the cable behind the board through the CPU cooler cutout. I think I was able to make it look nice.
It’s Seasonic. Which means it’s all good right? False alarm it’s really all good. I actually didn’t expect this to be fully modular so that was a nice surprise when I opened the box. Plus the all black cables are pretty slick. I was able to get a deal on this unit making it cheaper than the 520, which I originally had in the list. The flat cables made cable management a breeze. Overall this is an excellent Bronze rated power supply.
The wireless card was requested by the owner. LAN parties may become a thing in college.
This build turned out amazing! I didn’t have a single problem that I couldn’t fix with a little bit of ingenuity. The machine is actually very quiet. Even under full load in Valley the video card was a gentle hum and never got too hot. I didn’t run as many benchmarks and did no overclocking, as I was short on time, but I will include links to other builds with 270s so you can see a rough comparison.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Post them below, in a PM, or on my Facebook page. I’m never far away from a computer and always respond!
BENCHMARKS: using latest drivers
Other R9 270 Builds for Benchmark Comparison:
Hope you enjoy!