Note: The first image is before the new PSU and second RAM stick.
This was my first time building a PC from the bottom up. I've changed GPUs before but never took the whole thing apart and built it back up. It was pretty exciting actually, made me realize how much I like to research and tinker. So the case is actually an old stock case from ASUS, basically took everything but the hard drive from the stock case and added new. The old build was
MOBO: ?? Asus of some sort. CPU: Intel e5700? dual core 2.8 ghz GPU: Geforce GT 520 RAM: 6 gb stock HDD: same PSU: stock 300 watt I think. Same writer/reader
And I had used that for about 6 or 7 years and it did what I wanted for the most part, played Team Fortress 2 on med everything, played CoD: MW2. It was a toaster but it was my toaster and it worked alright until I finally looked at it about 8 months ago (when I made the upgrades) and realized I was waiting 7 to 8 minutes for startup and 3 or so for shutdown. The wife wanted to play Skyrim, I wanted to play a few things and just had an itch to mess with it, ya know? By the way, I've kept my software and hardware pretty clean for many years so I'm pretty sure the problem was old stock parts starting to show wear and tear.
So the first things were the SSD, RAM, MOBO, CPU and GPU I bought at the same time. Noticed a HUGE difference immediately which I can attribute mostly to the SSD. I actually started off with the one stick of 8 gb but then later decided to utilize the dual channel memory and install a second one, which is overkill I know, but it went on sale so I figured why not? At first though, the whole thing was much faster and was able to run games at a higher frame rate and higher quality but still seemed a bit laggy, read up a little and figured the PSU might be the culprit considering it was stock and probably of questionable fortitude. Again, the wattage is waaaay overkill but figured if it works and will last I can use it down the road, and it was on sale.
The fans were probably not necessary but they were cheap, quiet and give the box a little flare. All in all no big problems, it's awesome for games, play almost everything on high/ultra at 1080p 60hz (which impresses and pleases my wife, always a plus when convincing her that it was a sound investment), faster browsing, 25-30 second start up/shut down (less if I disable a few startup progs.). Looks cool, works at good temps, especially the GPU, I overclock to 1.2 ghz and the temp stays under or around 60 C under load.
The only trouble I had was with the wiring, obviously. I've got it stuffed in the extra drive space for the most part and nothing is wobbly enough to slip and contact a fan but I know it needs to be managed more properly. Also some trouble with the OS and changing MOBOs that I had not realized would be a problem but I just had to authenticate it, forgot the process but it wasn't so hard.
Sorry for the lengthy description, I don't know many people who care about this stuff at all so my blabberings have gotten pent up. Looking forward to the next build!
Fast and reliable for a good price. No problems. All frag, no lag!
Good mobo for the price, upgradability; well designed.
Sweet spot for price and efficiency!
Went from 6-8 minutes on start up to 25 seconds or less! Will buy again!
Unbelievable! Plays almost everything at 1080p 60hz and 40+ fps at high/ultra. Unless you are a pro gamer, this is everything you'll need an then some.