I got this PC nearly four years ago from a friend. He built it to sell and I bought it from him since my only computer, an HP laptop, had just crashed. Originally, it had 8GB of RAM from a no-name company and a 1GB Radeon HD6870 GPU, which had a hard time running photoshop and some of the most basic games. Right after I got it I replaced the RAM with 2 x 8 GB DDR3 (mobo compatibility) HyperX, I added a 500 GB SSD after filling up the 120, and just a few weeks ago I replaced the Radeon with a GTX1060 once the price landed around $250.
This build though, hence the title, is only an entry level build. I bought it originally for $800. After replacing a few of the parts I've been able to fix some hiccups that it came built with, but I'm still limited by a few.
This PC runs loud. It has 4 Sentey case fans (came with the case) and the Rosewill 120mm. I've got it set to the right of my monitors and it spits out a continuous hum which drowns out speaker sound.
The SSDs both have SATA 3 ports, while the motherboard only has SATA 2. It's not detrimental, but it limits their speed, therefore they don't boot as quickly as they could.
The processor is the biggest limiting factor. It performs on par with its $80 value and age, which is both a positive and a negative. Positive being it's a decent entry CPU, but negative being it puts a ceiling on gaming capabilities.
The only better processor supported by the motherboard I currently have is the FX8350, which is not a substantial upgrade. In order to replace the processor with something substantially better, I'd need a new mobo, a new CPU (given lol), and new RAM. I figured if I was going to be spending that much, I might as well just put it towards a PC that I can put together myself.
I've been doing research on PCPartPicker and looking through a ton of builds for a few months now in preparation for putting together my next PC, which simultaneously inspired me to document my current setup.
This little PC has gone above my expectations and enables me to do the work I need to, but, it's still an entry level.
(1) Here are a few of the builds I'm thinking of putting together if you'd care to check them out and leave comments. I've never built a PC on my own before so feedback is appreciated :)
- Ryzen 7 2700X: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/dcrddck/saved/#view=RHG7WZ
- Intel i7-9700K: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/dcrddck/saved/#view=NVDD23
- Ridiculous, no budget, i9-9900K: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/dcrddck/saved/#view=sqh4qs
(2) If anyone is wondering about my desk, it's a custom configuration from IKEA. It's made up of:
- Two of these tabletops https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70217973/#/90217972
- This drawer unit in the middle https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90409532/#/10192824
- And four legs, two for each table https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70217973/#/90217972
(3) The two desktop monitors I have are listed, but I also hook it up to a 55" Vizio TV occasionally when I'm going through photos or watching something.
This GPU is great. Upgrading from a 1GB Radeon, this 1060 enables me to run games that I didn't think my PC could handle. It can also run 1080p video on three screens (2560x1440, 1920x1080, 2715x1517) flawlessly. Idles around 38°C, runs about 66°C under load and its fans are going at 1800 RPM. This part has had by far the biggest impact on my PC out of all of the parts that I have replaced.
Originally I wasn't planning on rating this fan very highly but running CPU and GPU stress tests have changed my mind. It keeps the inside of the case cool. My GPU has yet to rise past 70°C while under 99% load. I gave it 4 stars despite its cooling capability though because this fan runs loud. It's on my desk to the right of me and it emits a continuous hum that drowns out sound from my speakers.
Using this keyboard can be frustrating sometimes. I edit on Photoshop and Lightroom, which is essentially 99% shortcut keys, and is difficult when the keyboard decides to impulsively stop sending signals to the computer and the keys don't work. Usually flicking the power switch in the top right corner fixes it in a few seconds, but other times I have to leave the keyboard alone for a little while before it works again. Replacing the batteries does nothing in regards to fixing the issue. The mouse works fine, however, for anything except gaming.
These speakers are great considering the price and that it's a two-speaker system. The clarity and instrumental mixture is nice and they have a substantial amount of bass output. The USB power cord is long enough to reach my computer (3 feet, give or take), the audio jack is around the same length, but the wire connecting the two is slightly less and doesn't reach from the end of one monitor to the other (35 inches). The wire length isn't even worth knocking it down to 4 stars though, especially given the size of these speakers and their sound. They also fit a minimalist theme for my desk.