Description

I have been using a Macbook Pro for programming, music production, digital painting and gaming for the past 7 years. It ran music software with no problem but it struggled with everything else. I was getting sick of the loading/compiling times in Visual Studio, I was unable to run Unreal Engine properly and was stuck with playing old games on low/medium settings. CS:S ran ok on my 1080 Samsung monitor but I had to play Dota 2 on low settings.

I could only afford a modest build and went a little over budget, my family and I will just have to survive on ramen noodles for the rest of the month. At least now I can play CSGO & Dota 2 on full settings! Joking aside, this machine is a dream to use, even without an SSD it boots into windows really fast.

During the build process I had a small panic when I couldn't get it to POST outisde of the case. It turns out that I needed to connect both the power switch and the power LED jumpers for it to power up. No idea why, maybe it is just me but I didn't think I would need to jump the LED as well.

Also, it was only after I finished all my cable management and fastened all the screws that I realised I hadn't placed the motherboard against the IO shield properly, so one USB connection was blocked by a little piece of metal from the shield. It was a pain to unscrew the motherboard and reposition it again.

CPU

The AMD Ryzen 5 1400 processor scored very high on Cinebench tests. I will post the scores later. It has 4 cores and 8 threads and is unlocked for overclocking. It runs at 3.2GHz and sits around 40o C when idle. I've not needed to overclock it yet but read that some people are getting near 4.0GHz when they do. What more can I say, this is an awesome CPU and really great value for money. I also received Quake Champions for free with this CPU when I bought it from Ebuyer.

Motherboard

I picked the MSI B350 PC Mate because of the recommendation of Logical Increments and high ratings on this site. It has plenty of space to work on, 4 x RAM slots, LED strip connection, 4 x SATA connectors and plenty of USB 3.0 connections. It has a few fan control points as well, even though I don't need them for this case, see write up on the case later.

RAM

The Patriot Viper 4 was not my first choice of RAM. I wanted something more discrete looking and cheaper for my budget (hence why I went for 8GB kit and not 16GB) but could I find anything cheaper that was also on supported list by MSI? No. RAM is so expensive at the moment. Ideally I need 16GB but settled with 8GB for now and to be honest this kit doesn't look as bad as the stock image looks. The red colour is metalic and not matt finish. Why 3200? I've heard Ryzen CPU's are hungry for fast RAM so I didn't want to disappoint her.

Storage

No SSD for now but it's the first thing I will buy as an upgrade. After being restricted to a 360GB HDD, partitioned for Bootcamp and OSX, 1TB is plenty of space for the moment. I'm surprised how quiet the BarraCuda is for a mechanical drive. 10/10.

Graphics

For a modest build the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB is a fine choice. I've had no problem with frame rates on and game I've tried so far. Dota 2 looks like a different game now I can play it on full settings in 1080. No need for me to stick to CSS either, CSGO looks amazing and runs so smooth. I'm probably cutting myself short with only a 60hz monitor. Quake Champions also runs at 60 fps on ultra settings, although with 3GB of VRAM it can only handle medium sized textures.

Case

I could have saved some money on a cheaper case but come on, look at it! How could I resist buying this beauty. The NZXT S340 has a clean minimalist look on the outside and a very sturdy, steel construction. The inside has plenty of room to work in and great design for cable management. All I need now is an LED strip inside to light it up. It came with 2 x 120mm fans, one for the rear and one for the top. They are powered directly by the PSU so there is no motherboard fan control. There is room for two more fans at the front. The magnetic dust covers for the front and the bottom of the case are a nice touch.

PSU

With so much choice of PSU's I went for the Seasonic S12II because it was listed on Logical Increments for my budget. It's a shame it's not modular but I was able to tuck all the extra wires away inside the case. I'm confident with the reputation of Seasonic and it's 80+ Bronze rating.

Benchmark ratings to follow.

Part Reviews

CPU

Excellent value for money. Great potential for overclocking. Decent stock cooler

Motherboard

Clean looking and has everything you need for a motherboard. No complaints!

Memory

Fast RAM! The metalic red looks better IRL than in the stock image.

Storage

Super quiet for a HDD. 7200RPM 6Gb/s is ideal for a cheap boot drive or mass storage.

Video Card

Ideal GPU for a modest build, when you want to save the extra £££ you might need for other parts. Expect high frame rates in 1920 x 1080 but don't expect large texture sizes. I can run Quake Champions with everything set to ultra except textures must be set to medium.

Case

For that minimalist yet stylish look, with strong steel construction. Excellent cable management options, features a steel bar rather than gromits to hid your cables. Looks amazing and a pleasure to work with. Just note that the included fans connect directly to the PSU so you are unable to control them via the motherboard.

Power Supply

Reliable PSU with good power rating. The only downside is that it's not modular.

Comments

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

nzxt s240

I think you mean s340

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, yes S340

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

i would have taken a 1050 ti

(no offense, otherwise good)

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you mind telling the reason why? it's 1060 3gb is 40% better than 1050 ti and it's only 50$+ more.

I'm planing to go with the ryzen 1200 and 1060 3gb,if i go with the 1050 ti i'll take a better cpu, is 1500x worth it? it's 60€ more than 1200.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks good, might even consider buying this build if I don't have enough for the build I plan to get. And out of curiosity how many frames do you get playing csgo on high-low settings?

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

100-120 fps in CSGO with everthing turned to max but I lock it at 60fps with v-sync because I only have a 60hz monitor.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I appreciate the feed back :)

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

You should be getting like 300+ frames on max lol.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

300+ ??? Maybe 200, but it does fluctuate a lot. https://imgur.com/a/FreTY

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I get 300 with an i5 6500 and a gtx 760. I think it's cuz you have v-sync on.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

That screen shot was taken with V-sync turned off. V-sync limits the fps to 60. I have no idea how you 300. Maybe it's the Intel CPU?

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

I know this is a pretty old build, but I was wondering how's your motherboard holding up for you?

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

It is holding up well. No issues with it at all. I haven't tried overclocking though.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the feedback.

[comment deleted by staff]