This is technically my third iteration. I generally buy used parts, but I inspect them well to make sure they'll work beforehand.
I started with an HD 7970, an FX-6300, and 8GB of RAM in 2015 when I decided to sell off all my consoles and jump into the PC world. See my other Build for reference
I had bought the 7970 for $150, used it for a few months, then I flipped it for $190 and grabbed an r9 290.
After I bought the r9 290, I decided I needed a better CPU so I bought a computer from some guy on Craigslist that needed the money, and I took the motherboard and CPU from that (i5 4670)... then swapped my FX into it and sold it for what I had paid for it because I had gotten a super good deal and it still wasn't anywhere near market price.
Sometime in late 2016- early 2017 when the mining craze took off, I sold my R9 290 for $325, and just by luck I found someone in the area that had 2 hybrid 980tis for $250/each because he had bought a prebuilt and it was "outdated" so he was buying 1080ti's. So I bought one with my profits and still had money left over for a nice dinner. Looking back now I should have grabbed both, but hindsight is always clearer.
Fast forward to December 2017, I was browsing Craigslist and there was a guy selling an R7 1700x, 16GB of RAM, an MSI Tomahawk Mobo, and a NH-D15S noctua cooler ALL TOGETHER for $275. Thought it was crap, but I contacted him and he was just in a tight spot. The local pawn shop had offered him half of that and he said if I didn't buy it he was going to have to take the pawn shop deal...
So I bought it, and I was skeptical... but everything works great.
I had to buy a new full ATX case and that's where the Apex comes in. AWESOME case for the money. It has everything the more expensive cases offer at a budget price and sooooo much room to build in.
I had been saving for a new build anyway, so I took my savings and bought a mechanical keyboard (I still have the G105 but the membrane feels weird now), and I found ANOTHER deal on craigslist where a dude that works for the JMU IT dept was selling 1080p 22" panels for $20/each so I bought three of his panels so they'd all match and gave my mom my old panel because she had been using a 24hz tv to play WOW and every time I'd go to her house it would bother me because it moved so sluggish. I also grabbed a cheap Chroma kit and a boom arm so that I could make videos or stream if I ever want to.
In the end, I probably have $650 or so in this build. I only left the prices the way they are on the left because I wanted to be able to directly compare it to my savings.
I didn't keep up with the build super well in the process of actually building it, but here's my finished product.
I'll respond to any questions or comments that you might have.
You guys have an awesome day! Hopefully this mining BS slows down a bit soon so everyone that hasn't built yet can get in on the PCMR.
Awesome for multitasking. If you're only gaming, I'd recommend going for something with a little better IPC, though. Usually a 4 core Intel chip is cheaper and will perform better in games that don't scale well across the threads. If I take the voltage up on this and put it in the 4GHz plus range it matches the single core of some of Intels best options, but I don't want to kill my CPU so I'm fine at a solid 3.800
Great cooler. Took a bit to get used to the colors but I have actually grown fond of the eye sore.
Super silent and it keeps everything incredibly cool under load even when I pump up my OC's.
I did add a second fan for kicks and giggles though.
Great board AFTER a few BIOS updates. Before that it was super wonky and I was actually kind of scared I had gotten a broken MoBo.
It does what it's supposed to. I just wish RAM was cheaper.
LOUD AF. Probably the loudest part in my build.... Does what it's supposed to, but I'd probably shoot for an SSD.
Great card. Stays incredibly cool no matter what kind of stress it's under.
Best case I've ever built in. So much room for management, a shroud to hide your PSU, and an acrylic window that emulates the far more expensive cases.
This in my mind is THE BEST budget case.
I got it for $30 on NewEgg with $2 shipping though, so be mindful of that.
Not flimsy at all.
If I did have any gripes it would be that the front doesn't allow as much air flow as I'd like and that there aren't mesh dust shields, but honestly.... that would just be me looking for peeves with as huge of a value this is.
Great for a membrane keyboard. Never had any problems.
My favorite mouse of all time, but I'm looking at upgrading to a G900 or G903, because they have more tactile buttons.
For the price, these are great. Absolutely recommend.