Description

This build is almost a year old, first firing up around Christmas 2017, but I just recently re-organized the cables enough that I am willing to post it up.

Background: After years of using whatever laptop I had for basic, potato-quality gaming (last Pic), I finally sprung for a full desktop PC. I'm a petrol head through and through, and had always wanted to play AAA racing games, but never had the rig for it. My brother has built and rebuilt his PC several times, so I leaned on him for a lot of advice.

Requirements: I had a budget of $1500 CAD including the necessary racing wheel. I wanted to get the Logitech G27, which was going on craigslist for $200-$300. This left only $1200-$1250 for the rig itself. When speccing this out, I used the recommended specs of Forza Horizon 3, Assetto Corsa, Project Cars, Dirt Rally.

Most parts were purchased as the mining craze was starting, but I got a lot of components on sale through Black Friday and Christmas sales. The prices listed are what I paid. And yes, you can get Windows 10 keys for $10 - less sometimes - on ebay.

Recent mods were removal of the drive bays in the bottom right of the case, and adding a second 140mm intake fan at the front, to allow better airflow for long digital driving sessions.

Edit: I just finished a two hour digital drive, and GPU temps were down to an average 61°C from an average 67°C before the new fan and removal of the drive bays. Very impressed!

Part Reviews

CPU

Absolutely solid performance for the dollar. Still haven't overclocked it to realize the full potential, but I am very impressed with it, even after a year.

CPU Cooler

For such a small cooler, it gives solid cooling with supplied thermal paste. Seeing low to mid 60°C's during long gaming sessions. The mounting hardware game me the only heart attack of the build, with the push plugs not securing at first. After several attempts, they seemed to stick, and I haven't touched them since.
Thinking of upgrading to a AIO cooler to allow for overclocking. I will be looking very seriously at mounting hardware before purchasing my next cooler after this experience though.

Motherboard

Solid Mobo, easy to work with. everything works, and has a great, easy to use BIOS.

Memory

Ram is Ram, right? No issues, solid performance with the CPU, and got them on sale.

Storage

Great SSD. Boot times are under 10 seconds (with starting Dropbox, Google Drive, and all other background apps) Just wish I had got a bigger capacity.

Storage

Great HDD, highest rated HDD for speed when I bought it. Should have got more space, as it's half full in a year.

Video Card

Love this GPU. The 8GB is great for high res textures. I can run 1080p 60 fps on max or near max settings in all the racing games I own. That's as fast as my current monitor, so I can't ask for much more.

Case

I love the exterior of this case, but I wish for a few things inside. The space above the processor isn't enough to mount larger radiators, so when I go for an AIO liquid cooler, I'm severely space-limited. It was also very difficult to install the top fans with the CPU cooler in place.
Otherwise, it's pretty versatile. I recently removed the bottom drive bays to clean up the airflow on the intakes, hopefully to help with overall cooling.

Power Supply

PSU works, fits in the case. What else is there to say?

Operating System

Once you turn off all the crap like pre-installed games and odd settings, it's a pretty good OS. Reliable and sort of just works. There are some weird choices for hiding settings that were easily available in Windows 7, but once you get familiar with googling the problems, it's as good as any other. All readers note - The Pro version allows you to defer updates!

Case Fan

They're purple! Far cheaper than RGB fans, but oh so pretty! Flow is good, and they are quiet compared to the GPU under load. DC modulation in my BIOS works well for setting fan curves.

Case Fan

They're purple! Far cheaper than RGB fans, but oh so pretty! Flow is good, and they are quiet compared to the GPU under load. These 140's are quieter than the 120's I have. DC modulation in my BIOS works well for setting fan curves.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

This build looks so 2013, that brown Mobo, colorful cables, non-modular and no GPU backplate :D But its mostly made from your Motherboard Still nice build!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Where as I don't disagree with you on the ketchup and mustard cables and brown mobo making it look old, what gets me is that SSD just chillin on top of the PSU like that. Whatever works I suppose. Is still a nice build. +1

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, this case is cheap, and doesn't have any SSD mounts on the back, so I was left with this after removing the drive bays.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey man, when you're on a budget, you only get to do so much. And with time, things will get upgraded with aesthetics and more performance. Let's wait and see what AMD can do with 7nm and where that takes their GPUs. I'm watching closely.