This isn't necessarily my first build, but it is my first mid-range build that introduced me to a few concepts that a 1050 Ti and a budget AM3 mATX board won't bother with.
If you look closely, yes, this is a "Best Buy" build, as I've been told. I honestly was too excited to upgrade, so I price matched everything I needed at my local Best Buy and proceeded to go home and excitedly put my upgrade together.
So, down to the utility. I don't have any displays above 1080p and neither do any of my roommates/friends, so 4k and 1440p are of no use to me. However, I do have a 21:9 monitor that has a resolution of 2560x1080 and a 75hz refresh rate, so it does require a slight bit more horsepower to meet those requirements. Whenever I want to game from my bed or have some couch co-op, I have a 25 foot HDMI cable connected from my TV to my PC. Steam Big Picture mode really helps out here.
Let's talk about what worked. I've always prefered AMD for the CPU side, so the Ryzen 2600 was a no-brainer for me. I only needed it for gaming, typing large documents, and occasionally editing video, so I probably won't need eight cores. The motherboard and CPU were literally plug-and-play.
One thing that surprised me was that the B450 (the tomahawk, at least) had RGB headers that are compatible with most RGB strips. This was a game changer for me! Cable management got so much better since I didn't need the power brick for the RGB strips. That, combined with the four fan headers (note: my last motherboard had one (1) fan header and a CPU header, so this is big news to me.), freed up a lot of space and made my PC a little bit cooler.
RAM is RAM to me, but I honestly didn't know Ryzen really prefers RAM that is DDR4-3000 or higher. I'll keep that in mind for the next upgrade.
Benchmarks were looking pretty good, too. All my games ran at least at 60fps, max settings. Gears 4 got a bit excited and automatically switched from my old settings to max settings and it didn't break a sweat; hitting an average of 83fps.
All of my storage is efficient, as to be expected, but I have serious gripes with the Seagate Constellation. See my review on that. But, you're probably wondering why I have two SSDs of the same capacity. It's called: "not knowing what is happening to your PC so you end up spending money unnecessarily". In any case, now I use that extra SSD for apps and game launchers like Steam.
The case. THE CASE! Do not get this case. I don't know if I was being stupid or what, but the mounting rails for the fans took a disproportionate amount of strength to screw the fans in securely.
I went with an emergency\police motif. Also, I'm a huge Transformers fan, so I had to name my rig aptly. Probably going to get a roll of carbon fiber wrap for the front of the case, since you can't see the fans.
Now, I mainly wanted to mark down my thoughts on my PC for my non-PC literate friends and family so they can: a) See my thoughts and understand what I find important in a PC at this time. b) Be introduced to pcpartpicker.com so they can learn how to build a PC too.
I think learning how to build, diagnose, and repair a PC is invaluable in the professional and personal world. If you think it's hard, you haven't done it before. It's basically LEGOs and K'nex.
But enough talk, get to building! You've got a whole community if you need help along the way!
If clean, efficient energy was a CPU, the Ryzen platform would be it. Such a great cost-to-performance ratio. And the stock cooler is pretty neat too.
This thing feels so sturdy, I love it. It's a sweet little surprise to find out that you can plug two RGB strips directly into the motherboard and sync them to the motherboard RGB and (presumably; I don't have an MSI card) the GPU LEDs.
I like how understated and conforming it looks. Blends right in and remains functional.
Great for OS installations, but don't try to put any AAA games on here. You'll run out of space after 2 installs.
Again, only want to use this for OS installs or, as I personally do, use it for game launchers and apps. Makes it way easier when you reinstall Windows so you don't have to redownload everything.
Nice and quiet hard drive with a decent amount of storage for the price.
This thing is LOUD. It clicks and hums so loudly whenever I download a game to it. I feel like it's going to explode whenever I access it. I only got it because it was cheap and had a lot of space. And that's enough to shut me up about any minor annoyances.
It's a nice bang-for-your-buck card. Now that the crypto-mining nonsense is over, these cards are super cheap (comparatively speaking). It's a nice grab since the 1060 6gb haven't quite come down yet.
I'm knocking it a star because XFX deliberately didn't put any LEDs in this card so they can sell you those LED fans for an extra premium.
Feels kinda cheap. I read that this is the budget version, but I've bought cheaper cases with better quality than this. And good God, I don't know why, but screwing in the fans was an absolute chore on this case.
Looks nice, though.
My PC is not fried after the year and a half I have been overclocking my FX-8320 to 4.4 GHz so I think we're good.