Description

INTRODUCTION

Hello everyone, I have returned with a second build that nobody saw.. Over a month since my first build and it has been going very well so far and has exceeded my expectations. Check here: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/vTM8TW

I would've posted this much earlier, but I didn't have enough time because school is always in the way.

My older brother (yes, older) wanted to get a new PC as his old desktop isn't performing up to his standards, it was very loud and it's pretty much outdated considering it has Windows XP. From what I've observed inside, it had some sort of really old Intel CPU, a Foxconn motherboard, an ISO-400PP PSU and a case that did not offer any cable management at the back. Instead, my dad will use the old desktop since he's old fashioned that way, and that it has the majority of his files on it. My brother knew it was time for an upgrade, so I agreed to build him a desktop for less than £500 including EVERYTHING, nothing to salvage from.

The main purpose of this build is for general use, such as internet browsing and of course, listening to music. My brother always blast his rock/metal music (which I also like!) so I wanted to find some rather inexpensive but excellent quality speakers. Really you shouldn't be spending much on a general use PC, so I didn't get many high-quality components although I want this to last him a while. The tower itself only costed around £250, but the peripherals and OS decided to kill the money so it went up to around £450. All of the parts came from CCL Computers since we live nearby there.


PART CHOICES

Type Component Justification Other comments
CPU Intel Pentium G3220 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor As this is a general use computer, there really isn't a need to spend much on the CPU, so I went with a Pentium Processor. I could've probably went with the G3258 but I don't know how to update the BIOS to support it in the first place. ._. I could've probably checked with CCL to see whether the BIOS for the motherboard has been updated. Oh well. Honestly, I am a noob when it comes to attempting to update the BIOS prior to Haswell Refresh CPUs. I didn't wanted to make the setup a hassle so I went with a Haswell chipset just to save time from not updating the BIOS. Since he's not doing any gaming, there was no need for a GPU so the integrated graphics will do him justice.
CPU Cooler Intel Stock Cooler Not much to say here, since there's no intention of overclocking, the stock cooler would be more than sufficient for web browsing. I cannot imagine web browsing and watching YouTube videos being that intensive haha. I might add an inexpensive cooler like the CM Hyper 212 EVO just to increase the life span of the CPU and lower then temperatures a little, although it might be a little unnecessary.
Motherboard Asus H81M-PLUS Micro ATX LGA1150 Because my brother isn't going to do any gaming on this computer (he has the PS3, which is fine for him) he only needs to minimum features needed. I wanted to pick up something that had SATA 6GB/s ports as well as USB3.0 headers, and luckily, this ASUS H81 motherboard had what I required. Not to mention being a reputable company, so I guessed, why not? I highly doubt that my brother would want to access the BIOS. He ain't tech savvy like me of course. xD Now here's where I screwed up really badly. When I was attempting cable management, I accidentally pulled the front USB3.0 header a bit too hard that the pins on the header were BENT. I wanted to try and fix it by making it straight but I didn't want to risk it because it will do more damage than it meets the eye. I don't feel like replacing the motherboard either because I already have the OS installed (the OS is an OEM so it's stuck to the motherboard) and it's only two USB3.0 ports at the front that don't work. Any thoughts? Should I just leave it as it is or should I get it replaced?
RAM Corsair Vengeance 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory Does he really need more than 4GB RAM just for general use? I highly doubt it, so I went with a typical 1x4GB RAM kit. Clocked at 1600MHz with a CL 9. Not much to say here. I went with a 1x4GB RAM kit instead of 2x2GB incase if his demands start to go all over the place (which I highly doubt it would) then I would get another RAM stick.
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive Just a standard 1TB HDD that will store everything that I could imagine. It should be large enough to store all the music files and documents that my brother would need. I've noticed it boots slower compared to my PC. I've set it to fast boot in the motherboard BIOS but it seemed to do little. I guess it doesn't matter too much although I don't think my brother needs an SSD yet.
Case Cooler Master Silencio 352 MicroATX Mini Tower Case Since the old desktop was loud as hell, I decided to try and find a case designed for silence. And luckily, I stumbled upon this Silencio 352 for just £40. It had to be a microATX tower since there's a useful space to which the desktop can be placed on my brother's desk, not to mention being a lot smaller. I also decided on this case because it had the same interior as the CM N200, the case that I have. It was pretty much a deja vu moment since I'm working with a similar case. I aimed to try and improve my cable management so it looks a little cleaner, but there isn't a windowed side panel, so nobody is going to look at it, right? My jealously strucked really hard here, the case from where it's located is almost silent, you can barely hear it and it had a more minimalistic look compared to the N200. I just wished I had that case beforehand! xD Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of room at the back to work for cable management, so I couldn't close the back panel fully so it looks bowed on the outside. =/
PSU: be quiet! Pure Power L8 350W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply This was quite a difficult choice in my opinion. As a general use PC does not consume a lot of power, there wasn't much point in getting a large PSU. Instead of the Corsair CX430M, I went with this be quiet! PSU that was also 80+ Bronze Certified. I researched this PSU and found out it was a Tier 3 PSU and that it was recommeded for general use systems without a GPU. One major problem was the non-modular cables. As I'm a noob with cables, this was a hassle to work with so I had to deal with the cables one at a time and then just find a place to shove all the unneeded cables. So really, not a clean system. If you see the pictures, that's how bad I handled a non-modular PSU. It does the job and I haven't heard any noise from the PSU, so it does be quiet! most of the time.
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ODDs aren't widely used nowadays but since my brother has a lot of music albums, he would want to put the music files into the system just to add to his collection. =P I still don't know how to install Win8.1 using a USB flash drive. Where would I get the product key from?
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) My brother and I tried out Windows 8 before and we got used to its interface and its features so we didn't mind going with it. I would've probably reused my OS disc but it's an OEM and from what I know, I can't reuse it again since once installed, it's tied to the motherboard. Am I right or am I wrong?
Monitor Acer S220HQLBrbd 21.5" Full HD LED Monitor If I have a weird desk setup, you can check out my brothers. It's pretty much similar, with a headroom that can nicely fit a monitor. And surprisingly, it's the same bloody width as mine! (52.2cm) I actually wanted to go a little cheaper with the monitor. The one I have (Asus VS228HR 60Hz 21.5" Monitor) works really great, but I found this Acer monitor that was ultra slim, full HD and it was 50.5cm wide, all that for £80. I must admit, it does look and feel a bit weird using a widescreen monitor after coming from a square-ish monitor. It does take time to get used to, but at least the monitor is full HD, which is more than satisfying.
Wi-Fi Adapter TP-Link TL-WN881ND 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter I have this Wi-Fi adapter and so far it's working fine, so I thought I might as well get the same one for my brother. The computer will be upstairs in his bedroom, just like mine as the router is downstairs, so the Wi-Fi adapter was needed. It keeps the 5 bars full surprisingly, my brother and I have not complained yet. It does the job very well, especially for web browsing.
Speakers Logitech Z323 30W 2.1ch Speakers I have the Logitech Z130 speakers, and clearly they don't sound too great for music listening so I had to mess with the equaliser settings. Based on common sense, I knew my brother had to find better quality speakers for music. We was planning on getting the Creative Labs T10 but CCL didn't have any in stock until around December time so clearly we had to find different speakers. When my brother and I found the Logitech Z323 speakers in the showroom, it had the sound quality he wanted so we went for these speakers. The sound quality of these speakers are amazing. It has plenty of bass for the heavy music, very well fitting. My brother could easily headbang to his music now aha xD Because his desk setup is weird, there wasn't a way to place the subwoofer up there so it had to be placed on the floor. Can't hear the bass too well but it's loud enough, not to mention, you can even hear the music from downstairs!
Keyboard Logitech K120 - UK Layout Wired Standard Keyboard My brother is not going to be doing any gaming, so a cheap keyboard was sought. I have no idea why but I'm more familiar with Logitech stuff, so I went with this basic K120 that will perfectly do for my brother's needs. Not much to say really, it's quite comfortable for a general use PC and it does the job, lovely. My brother said it felt a bit weird but he will have to get used to it.
Mouse Gigabyte GM-M6800 Wired Optical Mouse My brother tried out the mouse I have (which is basically the laser mouse version of this) and he said that he really likes the ergonomic feel of the mouse, so I thought why not get the optical version instead? It's a little awkward for a general use PC in my opinion because the mouse is more ideal for some casual gaming, but the side buttons will be handy for him when he uses the internet so he can go back and forth through webpages easily. Works just as fine as the laser mouse that I have. Not much to say really.

CONCLUSION

  • If you've noticed my cable management, it still hasn't improved compared to my first build. It's probably even worse as it is because of how I used a non-modular PSU in a mATX case.
  • I highly suspect he is not going to be doing any gaming, but if he wants to game so desperately in the future, I will just throw in a GTX 750 Ti. He has his PS3 so it will do for now =P
  • The case is literally a lot more silent compared to the old desktop, even when not doing anything, you can barely hear the case fans spinning. Jealousy struck hard here.
  • I was also quite pleased with how the build process went, besides the hiccup with the USB3.0 header! (oops!) It turned on the first time I tested it, and so far, nothing has exploded.
  • I took these photos with the Samsung MV100 camera and my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, not the highest quality cameras but it gets the job done.
  • The main thing that matters the most is that my brother said he's really happy with his new general use PC and he couldn't thank me enough. The greatest feeling ever when you built a PC for someone else other than yourself and that they're happy because it suits their needs. The very first thing he said when he first saw his new PC after coming back from work, "Where do I even start?!"

Thanks for checking out my second build. Again, a very fun but time consuming thing to do, but my brother is very pleased with it so far. _^

-ACV

Comments

  • 61 months ago
  • 6 points

I love the layout of the description :) The cables really aren't that bad.

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks =D

  • 61 months ago
  • 5 points

Most organized and detailed description ever! +1 for pc and that description dedication

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

I'm pretty sure there are a few others who've written their build description in more detail than mine. Thanks though. :p

  • 61 months ago
  • 4 points

Hey I'd give anyone a +1 who took that much time to break down their part choices and experiences in that much detail. Pretty great little build too!

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

It's nice to share experiences for others to see so they know what to expect, minus the USB3.0 ******. Thanks. =)

  • 61 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice work!

To your OS and ODD questions: Yes, OEM operating systems are tied to the motherboard first installed on. To install OS via USB drive, just purchase a "Download only" OS, download the ISO file and then use a program like WinUSBMaker to create the bootable thumb drive. Not too hard!

  • 61 months ago
  • 2 points

Ah, makes perfect sense. I currently do not have a large enough USB drive (mine's only 2GB unfortunately) but it will be useful in the near future. Thanks. =)

  • 61 months ago
  • 2 points

What kind of desk is that? I need a new one. Anyway good build, +1

  • 61 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! =D

About the desk, I actually cannot remember because it's pretty old. :/

  • 61 months ago
  • 2 points

Also, I wouldn't recommend getting a desk with a headroom like mine and my brothers, just because it limit's your monitor choice based on physical width.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Good point.. Thanks anyway.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Loving the screensaver \m/

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

I saw them last year, and I'm seeing them again at Jan 2015!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

easily best live band ever maybe except rammstein. The energy of 9 crazy guys smashing up stuff with giant moshpits is brilliant

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Dude awesome build :) I'm thinking of getting this motherboard for my own build how did you connect your fans to the mobo did you have to use a fan splitter or were their enough fan headers?

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

From what I remember, the only fan I header I saw was the CPU fan, so I had to connect the case fans to the PSU molex > 3 pin cables.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

ACVoong, I'm curious, are the side panels for the Silencio and the N200 interchangeable?

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

The thought immediately crossed my mind, I have not tried that out so I don't know to be honest, although I think they can be swapped.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

If you could test it, that'd be a life saver because I have been scouring the internet for that answer. lol, I've been thinking about getting the Silencio with a N200 windowed panel for my mATX build.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build