Description

This is my Ryzen 5 build for medium to high quality gaming in 1080P. I tried to stay under $800, but failed miserably. I could've been close to $700, but I elected to only order my parts from two places(Newegg, OutletPC) initially to keep the hassle of tracking and waiting on shipments to a minimum. I am very happy with my build's performance overall, especially now that I have a working M.2 NVME to boot from, but the price was disappointing. At this level of performance, I could've saved money by ordering a prebuilt around father's day, but I would've missed the experience and satisfaction of building my own PC. If I had it to do over, I would order from wherever the lowest price was and double triple check that my parts were compatible before ordering. I've learned a lot by doing this, and I hope my write up has some information in it that helps someone avoid my mistakes.

CPU: I went with Ryzen 5 for overclockability and performance at a decent price. Didn't get much of a deal, but I'm happy to have some new hardware.

Motherboard: I wanted to do a smaller build, so the motherboard I went with was a Micro ATX. I've got four RAM slots with support for 3200+ sticks (Ryzen chip only) and support for 2 M.2 drives, but one of the M.2's will only get to use a SATA 6 connection. :( Fit my all black build goal as well. I can't complain with my cheap Micro ATX from ASRock.

Case: I needed to have a small form factor case to fit in my office, so a MicroATX mini case was important. However the N200 from Cooler Master was larger than I expected and cable management was difficult with maybe a half an inch of clearance between the back plate and the motherboard tray. The side is sort of convex, which is the only reason my motherboard connector fit back there. I share my desk at home with my SO, and it definitely exceeds my half of the desk. The holes for the PSU didn't line up very well, but were serviceable. On a more positive note, the case provides excellent airflow with the two included fans, and there are dust filter kits from third parties available should that become an issue. All things considered(upgradability, drive bays, price, etc), I feel it was a good value. I will be looking to fill the fan grills in the coming months.

Memory/Video Card: Both the ram and GPU were on sale when ordered, and I think I received good hardware for what was paid. Neither is my first choice, and both will likely be replaced, but the price was right compared to the rest of the market when I ordered. I would love to get my hands on a more modern GPU and some higher clock rate RAM to utilize my motherboards support of DDR4-3200 sticks. I am looking for an RX580 but with miners snatching them up and driving the price through the roof, I'm almost compelled to buy a CyberPowerPC with a 580 that I can switch out then resell the prebuilt. :/

PSU: The PSU needed to be up to the task for overclocking availability to get the most from the CPU, and fully modular to cut down on cable management needed in a small case. So double the wattage of the system will come in handy right? I went with an 80+ gold that was fully modular for the lowest price at the time. The full modular was a nice feature given the lack of good cable management in the N200.

Storage: I wanted an M2 for the speed, but I came to find out the AB350M from ASRock was not compatible with the MX300 from Crucial. Ended up geting a Samsung Evo that would work, per ASRock's page for the MoBo, on a Warehouse deal, and returned the Crucial. Initially used an old Caviar Green from a DELL studio that died, and that poor thing was S.L.O.W. I'm now using the samsung 960 EVO as my boot drive and it is everything I wanted from an M.2. It boots quickly, and loads my games and apps FAST. I learned a valuable lesson from all that though: Always check the spec sheet from the manufacturer rather than going with an "It'll be fine I'm sure" approach.

HeadPhones: Kingston pro was an order from amazon, turns out the pro doesn't come with extra ear cups and the in line potentiometer was garbage that caused static when adjusted and also would cause one of the ears to cut in and out. It was returned for the more reviewed and approved Kingston HyperX (not Pro) headset that came with extra earcups, an inline adapter, a 40" extension cable, an airplane adapter, and a soft and hard case for the same price. I should have ordered that in the first place as I had 'hands on' time with it, but was suckered in by the 'Pro' name. It should've been a no brainer. :P

Thermal Compound: I ordered the thermal compound and waited on it to build my system, opened the included cooler from AMD and to my surprise and great sadness (I could've built the system a full week sooner if I had looked) there was already thermal paste spread on the cooler from the factory. I guess I'll be keeping the thermal compound for an upgraded cooling solution when I start overclocking.

Prices are without rebates.

the Crucial MX300 M.2 and Kingston Cloud Pro items were returned. The cost entered for these indicates how much was spent to initially purchase and then return them for refund.

The rebates were subtracted from the purchase price of the items I returned, making the price you see what each of those mistakes cost me. I haven't been using it long enough to put up temperatures, but they will be recorded and then reported. :)

  • Edit 06/29/2017: got the Sumsung 960 EVO and installed Windows 10 to it. updated the 'Storage' section accordingly.
  • Edit 06/30/2017: updated cost of MX300 M.2 after final rebate invoice was received.
  • Edit 01/02/2017: Finally uploaded all the pictures. :)

Part Reviews

CPU

I am loving this CPU. It came with a decent cooler with thermal grease already on it, and it runs my system super quickly. I didn't need the extra cores or cache from the 1600, so I saved a few bucks, but the 1600 is a better value for your dollar. I haven't overclocked mineyet, as I don't find myself wanting more speed because I don't edit large spreadsheets or do much video work. This was a good way for me to get some new hardware at a price I could afford.

Motherboard

Happy to find a Micro ATX AM4 board for a decent price. No issue with the BIOS or getting my parts installed except for my Crucial MX300 M.2 SSD not beig compatible. There is a list of compatible parts for RAM and M.2 drives, both the Ultra M.2 and M.2 SATA slots on the motherboard, on their website. Be sure to check for your parts on that list before you order them if you are going to use this motherboard. Colors were great for my build, as I was going for a monochrome sort of look.

Memory

I have no complaints with this RAM at all, and it does the job for a decent price. One star off for it coming in the Crucial standard plastic sleeve, which I feel makes shipping successfully without damage a bit of a gamble.

Storage

Super easy to install, and worked right out of the box with my motherboard (ASRock AB350M Pro4). My computer boots and loads my programs super fast now.

Storage

Make sure to check if it will be supported by your Motherboard. I'm giving this a three star because I took one off for the packaging, which was the crucial standard plastic sleeve which I feel makes shipping successfully without damage a bit of a gamble. I want to take another off for it being incompatible with my motherboard, which was disappointing, but that's probably more ASRock's fault. Price was very good, just make sure to check it will work with your system before purchasing.

Video Card

Quiet, cheapest way to 4GB of DDR5, and does the job I wanted. My 460 plays modern games on medium-high settings super smoothly. This is a good first video card for this build that handles 1080p gaming very well, but I will be looking to upgrade soon. I will hopefully find a 4GB RX 580 soon. :)

Case

For the price, a very good case. You get two fans and space for a bajillion drives. Cable management was tight to say the least. My motherboard connector couldn't be bundled with anything else or the back of the case wouldn't have closed. There is a good finish on the case, and I love the gloss on the front panel around the vents.

Power Supply

I love this thing. It felt super premium opening this, because the packaging was awesome. It comes with a velcro pouch that I used to hold my instruction manuals, extra cables, removed HDD bays, unused parts and screws, and driver CD's. Super quiet, and the cables are all wrapped in black sleeves which helps to hide them and keep the cables clean. I am Very Happy with this PSU.

Operating System

I love windows 10. It looks slick and they've added some features I wanted for navigating on the desktop. It runs faster than Windows 8 did on my machine, which is worth the extra 10 bucks or so in my opinion. My favorite Windows.

Headphones

Doesn't come with anywhere the accessories that the HyperX Cloud (non Pro) does. The inline controls are garbage and cause a lot of static and interference even cutting audio on one side if it was in between 'clicks'. Packaging was garbage comparably as well. I got the non Pro version with a hard case also included for the same price on Amazon Prime. Definitely avoid this one.

Headphones

Pros: I love this headset. The materials in every part of it, the extender, the braided cable, the metal earcup connectors, the padding on the headband, the extra velour earcups, the inline controls adapter, and the soft case are all super premium feeling. Works great and sounds great. I think these will last a very long time.

Cons: They don't isolate sound very well, but that's not much of an issue for me. I have a large (brain) skull and the headband could be a bit bigger, but I am not uncomfortable with them let all the way out.

I would reccommend these to anybody.

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Comments

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Great job. AMD stock coolers look great, and that 460 without extra wires is slick too. I especially like the surround sound setup right where your playing.

Thumbs up.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Congrats on your build. How do you like your graphics card and the setup as a whole?

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

I learned so much building it, but I am disappointed with the build overall. The card is good for 1080P medium gaming, but I'd like a bit more. The graphics card has enough memory but the graphics processing power isn't there to game on high for most recent titles or open world titles. For the same-ish price I'd point anyone asking to the 1050 Ti. The Ryzen 5 1400 has given me no trouble, but I would recommend anyone looking at them to get the Ryzen 5 1600. The RAM does its job, but I would've bought at least a 3000 MHz set for a bit more if I knew more when I was buying the parts since Ryzen loves faster memory. The case was alright, but I'd like something smaller since I have a Micro ATX motherboard. It has good airflow and the fans are quiet, the build quality is there, and I like the finish on the case overall, but the cable management was tough. I'm actually about to take it apart to improve the cable management. The motherboard is great! nice BIOS, and felt really solid when I was installing everything. Almost everything would change in the system if I had it to do over, but it was a blast to do!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

the crucial ssd worked in one of the m2 slots for me but not the other m2 slot.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

my MoBo has the one full speed M2 'Ultra' slot and the other one has less lanes or cuts off the graphics card or something (been a while, can't remember specifics). I wish I had kept the drive and done something with it, that restocking fee hit me pretty hard. :(

Glad you got yours working! Is it the main drive for your system?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

yes. it is my only drive right now. i think it is in the one that shares with sata. i plan on getting a real nvme for the other m2. that sucks about having to send it back i almost did the same.