After years of playing on the crummy integrated graphics of some Intel on some laptop, I have finally ascended to a build that should last me years on the 1080p scene.
Call it the Supernova, the Budgeteer's Dream, the 14nm Machine, It's a damn fine piece of work.
This build was a bit tough. Here in Canada, prices are jacked, so getting a whole new setup while trying to stay below $1000 CAD after shipping and taxes is a bit tough. Thankfully though, I still managed to get a build that excels at 1080p at a lower price.
This was my first build, so I had a lot looking down on me, but at that point, I had been lurking around the PC building scene for a good bit, so I had a good idea of what to do. That doesn't mean I didn't have any problems building this thing, though.
1. The triangle on the CPU socket no being present
For whatever reason, this motherboard didn't have a triangle on the CPU socket (that I could see) indicating the direction the CPU was supposed to go in.
I figured it out relatively quickly, but damn that got me a bit worried for a second.
2. I couldn't remove the stock CPU cooler.
This one was a bit weird. I installed the cooler without realizing that the fan header cable was probably in the worst position that it could have been (for cable management purposes atleast), so when I tried to take it out, 2 of the plastic feet would not turn like the others, so I could not remove it without tearing it apart. I didn't want to use pliers either, so I guess it'll sit like that until I need to replace it.
3. Plugging In the 20+4 pin cable
My god this is probably the stupidest of them all. I spent well over 30 minutes trying to plug this thing into the motherboard. The only reason that took so long is that I was too damn scared of snapping the board in half. The day I have to take it out, and plug it back in again will be the day I prove my masculinity.
4. Taking off the back side panel
This one was also just stupid. For whatever reason, the back side panel would not slide off. And since this build had to have some cable management, I had to route some of the cables in some of the most awkward ways behind the panel while it still being on. It was not until a month later that I figured out that I had to push from the middle to get the panel to come off, where I was pulling from the edges (that technique worked with the windowed panel, though).
5. Thinking the PSU and/or the motherboard was dead
Phew, this one took the cake, but It has a good reason why I thought that.
So while I was putting together everything on the board, I plugged in some of the connectors from the PSU to test if everything was working correctly. Nothing happened. I checked that all the cables (especially that damn 20+4 pin) are all inserted correctly. I power on, nothing happens. The PSU's switch is on, I switch electrical sockets, I try a different CPU 4pin cable. Nothing happens. At this point I remember that I haven't been grounding myself properly, so a static shock killing the board could have been a possibility. I turn the board and PSU around to get a better look, I power on, and it boots.
Turns out that the cable going into the PSU can't be at too much of an angle, or else it won't deliver power. Everything turned out fine from there, but man was that a scary experience.
That's all the stories I have to tell, so now onto performance.
I bought, and built this PC before the BF1 beta would come out, and luckily I was able to play the open beta to test out all the hardware, and man did it not disappoint. I was getting well over 60 FPS at 1080p Ultra.
Same applied to BF3, BF4, and Star Wars Battlefront. This thing is a 1080p machine.
In the lower end games like Minecraft or G-Mod, you're going to get well over 300 FPS.
Now I guess onto the parts themselves.
For the price, this thing is a beast. It may be a dual core, but the 4 threads and hyperthreading really push this little CPU so much further than what you might think by seeing its specs on paper. It obviously isn't like an i7-6700k with things in Premiere or Photoshop, but it'll get you by pretty nicely in those instances as well.
You dun-did good, MSI. It's an H110 Motherboard. There really isn't much to say about it aside from it having the bare-minimum, and that's just what I needed. It only has 2 RAM slots, and only 1 PCI-E 16x slot, but like I said, the bare-minimum. The BIOS is also pretty nice. The M-Flash utility is a breeze when you want to update your BIOS.
It's RAM. Nothing much else I can say about it. It does its job, and has a nice little heat spreader on it aswell. It was heavier than I thought it would be, though. Probably because of the heat spreader.
People say this is the go-to 1TB 7200RPM drive, and for good reason. It's solid. It feels much faster than a 5400 RPM drive, obviously, but I thought it would be a bit slower. My complaint is that it is a bit loud on startup. Even in a case, I can still hear the read/write head moving around a bit. But that's a minor issue. It's a solid drive.
A nice RX 470 4GB from Asus. This thing is near silent, even when the fans are at 1800 - 2200 RPM, but when it reaches 2500 RPM, it gets LOUD. It also gets real hot. On idle, it sits at 50 C, and under load, it touches 80 C. But it does have a 0db fan option, so it explains for the 50 C on idle. It also has decent OC potential. I haven't tried anything extreme, though. It's good for what it is.
It's a case that has premium looking quality at a budget price. It also includes a case fan. That's probably all the good I can say about it. Cable management is near impossible with this case. You'll be able to get the front panel connectors and the smaller cables behind the back side panel, but good luck with the PSU cables. If you're getting this case, get a modular or semi-modular PSU if you can.
It's a 500 Watt PSU from EVGA. Nothing much else I can say. It's not modular, unfortunately, so you'll have to put those extra cables somewhere, but it does its job, while remaining dead-silent.
For what it is, it's pretty good. I haven't tried out any of the higher end keyboards or mice, but this one does its job, while looking pretty nice. It has some media buttons at the top, which is also a nice touch. It's impossible to see what key is which without the backlight, though. And I don't believe the light on the mouse can be turned off either.