ALL PRICES IN CAD
Hey all! I'm planning on a high-end Skylake/Pascal build next year, but haven't built a computer since 2011 so I wanted some practice!
My goal with this build was to practice building a gaming PC, overclock it, manage cables, update the BIOS, install an OS, all that good stuff.
I didn't want to spend too much money because I have a capable "main build", but I still wanted a PC that's usable for current-gen 1080p gaming and portable enough for LAN parties. I decided on my parts with this in mind, and have been slowly buying parts since August as they come on sale.
I mostly play DotA, MechWarrior Online, and whatever my flavor of the month game is (Fallout 4, Diablo 3, Dead Space series, Crysis series, etc.).
So far, it's been pretty easy for me to find/tweak visual settings that:
- Run 1080p @ ~60fps (or 80+ fps in competitive games)
- Look almost as good as the settings on my main build
- Have CPU and GPU utilization both hovering around 70% - 100% (so neither component is bottlenecking the other)
Based off that, I'm super happy with this build and consider it a big success!
Didn't get an i3 because I don't need the extra power and because I wanted to practice overclocking. I'd also heard amazing things about this little Pentium.
Super stable overclocked to 4.4GHz@1.250V core, 4.1GHz@1.100V ring using the stock fan.
Well-built, cheap, and can overclock the G3258. Point-and-click BIOS is a big step up from the ancient P55 board in my current build.
I bought this in August so I had to update the BIOS to overclock the G3258.
4/5 because a USB 3.0 header would've been nice, but at this price I can't complain.
Overclocked and monitored using MSI Afterburner:
+85 core clock offset. Base clock 1288MHz in GPU-Z, boosts to 1540MHz in-game.
+692 memory clock offset. 2102MHz in GPU-Z, 4207MHz in Afterburner.
Overall very happy with this card. Got a 7803 graphics score in 3DMark Fire Strike, which is quite a bit higher than most scores I've seen in review benchmarks.
Zotac seems to have solid entry-level cards - I also have a Zotac GTX 960 that overclocks well. I'd probably look for another manufacturer for GTX 980 and above, though.
Pretty spacious interior for a MATX tower. For budget PCs with small/few components, this is very easy to build in.
4/5 because there's very little clearance between the back panel and a sideways-mounted 3.5" drive, which made it tricky to manage fan and front panel cables.
I just got Windows 8 with the intention of using the free upgrade to 10 once all the G3258 overclocking issues were sorted out.
As of November 12th, Windows 10 Build 10586.3 finally restored G3258 overclocking, so I did a clean install of 10 and everything's been great ever since.
This is listed as $0.00 in my build because I got this with credit card rewards points.
Basic, super cheap, good enough for LAN parties or tinkering with a new build.