Description

Let's get this out of the way: this is my first build and my entry into PC gaming.

Having spent the last 8 or so months researching, I decided that it was time and things were only going to get worse the longer I waited. I had saved up the money I needed for the build finally and went to the closest Micro Center, about half an hour drive away, and picked up all of the parts. The main way I justified the trip, outside of Micro Center being fun, was the open box 1400 and 1060. After that apparently the motherboard was on sale from 90 to 80, then the usual combining discount. I let myself be convinced that I needed to buy a retail copy of Windows, so that wasn't a cheap mistake. At least it still works and I get support(which is really just replaceable by Google). I didn't get a mass storage drive because I was planning on using a 500GB hard drive from a trash pc (Pentium 4, socket 775, 1.5GB ram, unactivated win XP).

I got home and hastily put a small table in the garage to build on. I found that the pre-applied thermal paste was still on the CPU cooler even though it was open box, which I hadn't thought about before.

Motherboard is prepped with the graphics card as well and I fumble with my screwdriver to find the power pins, eventually fans spin and it posts, so no major doa's. First step with the case for me was to move the fan mounted as top exhaust to the lower front intake position to cool the graphics card as the primary purpose of this is gaming.

My main issue During the build process was figuring out which screws hold the motherboard, but after I first tried with the course threaded screws and they wouldn't go that question was answered. Motherboard is in the case and I put in the graphics card next, not the best decision, but it wasn't too much of an issue later on. SSD goes in without a problem into the display slot because S340 Elite. Next came all the connectors, no need to talk much about them, though the rear exhaust fan almost didn't have enough length on its cable, leaving a somewhat taught fan header.

After windows was installed and I started getting drivers installed, the usb wifi card I had wasn't performing as well as I would have liked, giving me just under 2Mbps, not 2MBps. I reinstalled the drivers from Asus's website and it seems to have fixed it, though before I was using my laptop as a wireless adapter. I had a mac powered PC for a few days...never heard that one before.

I'm surprised how lucky I was to get a deal on a 1060 6GB before they started to be taken by the Ethereum bubble as well, though I had originally planned to get a 580 8GB. I'm happy with it because I get 1080p 60fps, which is all I was looking for, though a 144hz monitor is tempting...

The most intensive game I've tested with was Battlefield 1. Using the trial at 1080p Ultra settings I was getting high 70's. Going down to High yielded low 100's, and Medium and Low gave me just over 120. All of that testing was on Monte Grappa conquest, not the most intensive map, but fairly representative of average gameplay I hope.

Superposition scores: 1080P Extreme-2337 1080P High-6372 1440P High-4013 1440P Medium-5870

My final thought on the system is whether I should upgrade my monitor to 144hz. I already have an Acer G246HL(which I thought was a heavily discounted GN246HL), so the gn model would give me the opportunity to use them in a dual setup that wouldn't look bad, hopefully.

Part Reviews

CPU

We know Ryzen by now, only went with the 1400 over the 1600 because of the insane open box deal. 3.7Ghz at 1.275v doesn't get past 70C with the stock cooler, which I wasn't expecting out of something that looked like a slightly heavier Intel stock heatsink.

Motherboard

Some of the best VRMs on a B350 board and under $100. Mostly a black board with some silver accents and the big white part is mostly covered up by the GPU. Bios overclocking was simple enough; I've had my 1400 at 3.7ghz 1.275v two weeks now and seen no signs of instability.

Memory

It's compatible memory, nothing crazy to say here, but the PCB itself is white if you're looking for that

Case

When I first saw this case I fell in love with it. I had already planned to use original S340, and I debated if the thirty dollar price difference was enough to justify going with the cheaper one for months. Well I wanted shiny so I got shiny...and it was worth it. I'm taking one star off for cheap and kinda loud 3-pin fans, but i suppose the expectation with this case is that if you're paying $100, then you're probably also buying aftermarket fans. Of course I didn't meet that expectation.

Power Supply

Enough wattage? Check! Modularity? Semi-Check! (Idk just put a slash i guess) 80+ rating? Bronze-Check! Quiet fan? Check! Good price? Good enough...

Regrets? Wish I had gotten the Cx650M for the same price, but it'll still work.

Operating System

Don't pay full price kiddos, learned that one the hard way.

Monitor

I bought this thinking it was the gn version...another expensive mistake. It has served well enough despite that though. I got over its limited stand traverse fast and if it really bothered me I can always get a monitor arm for it.

Mouse

If you're looking for a $20 mouse that has an extra button on each side, not a bad choice. Two and a half years of service have treated it well, with only a minor cut forming from my pinky finger on the right side.

Also it's ambidextrous for the lefties, so a budget mouse is still available to you.

Custom

Great mid range mechanical keyboard, you can go cheaper I'm sure. I think Aukey has some variations on it with browns, white LEDs, no LEDs, anything to fit your budget I hope. At the time of writing they have a tenkeyless version without backlighting that is down to $35.

Comments

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Who spends full price on win 10, not me

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I only recently found out about cheap/free windows. An expensive lesson, but I suppose learning it the hard way is more effective, and it didn't do anything to the build.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice choice on motherboard. For the b350 chipset the ATX version asrock ab350 pro 4 has the 2nd best VRMs in the market and the MATX version ab350m pro4 has the best VRMs in that form factor.

If it were myself I would have gone with at least the r5 1500x for the higher cache in the CPU but I am sure the 1400 should game just fine still. Great build overall and great job on cable management, very clean build.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly I mainly chose it because it was a B350 under 100 and would fit the build aesthetic. I didn't even realize the VRMs changed on B350 boards, thought manufacturers would mainly do that on X370 boards because those were already more expensive.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Definitely gonna be relevant for a long time here. The only suggestion I have is a secondary mass storage drive, like a WD Blue/Black HDD. Great job!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh yeah I had a 500GB Seagate drive I pulled out of a dumpster PC, which I don't expect to last long, so a 1-2TB hard drive is on the list of upgrades, but not a pressing matter for the system now.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Good job on the bargain hunting. That's the lowest price for an r5 1400 I've seen yet.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm curious. How did you get a 1060 6gb video card for around $200 at Micro Center? That model retails new for around $320 by me. The average price for a 1060 6gb in general was also around $250-300 before the crypto mining craze started again.

Overall, great job on the bargain hunting. :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh it was open box, as well as the 1400. I had also considered getting an open box 980 for $214(I think), but it was an Asus Strix model and wouldn't really fit the aesthetic of the build as well. There had been a 1600 open box for $170 before, but I saw it sell within a week which kinda sucked. When I saw the 1400 I knew I would be plenty satisfied with it at that price.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice. :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet build! I have the same case, GPU, and little homie in my computer. Haha +1

I may switch to ITX though, there is no need for me to have a big ol ATX case.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Maybe go MATX as a smaller step, but I'm not sure how many cases are made for MATX these days...

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

How is your RAM configured? I have the same Mobo, gonna be buying the last parts for my build during the upcoming week. Afaik there is A1, A2, B1, B2 slots for RAM, which two are you using?

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

It's in A2 and B2, running at its 2400mhz stock config, haven't messed with the speed and timings yet though, not sure if i will for a while tbh, runs well enough for me as is.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

how's the mobo? would you recommend it? nice build btw :-)

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

Seems fine to me, I would have liked the usb 3 header to be parallel to the board to make cable management just a little easier. One issue of note is I will need to get a fan splitter if I populate all the fan slots because the board has three case fan headers, not a big deal, just something to be aware of. For the VRMs, don't be fooled by their looks. Found a video recently that almost gave me a little buyer's remorse: https://youtu.be/KzRG_LjUl8Q

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

what kind of frames do you get

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

The only real testing I did was BF1 while trying to get it to 120fps. Ultra was 70's-80's. For now I've been playing Dirty Bomb, not specifically for testing, but I've never seen it go below 60fps with vsync. I did a few superposition runs at different settings and the scores are the second to last section of the build.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Dpes the bios allow you to manually input the cpu voltage or does it do the whole offset thing?

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

You can do manual voltage control through bios, but I found Ryzen Master was great for testing then I set my oc in the bios so I wouldn't have to load a profile each time I boot.