This build was a much needed upgrade after having a slow Compaq PC for 5 years. I wanted to keep to a budget of £350 and don't need to do gaming. This was my first build so everything was a very new experience for me. Whether it was applying thermal paste or tidying up my cable management, I hadn't done any of it. This meant that even the process of choosing my parts took a very long time. After a good couple of weeks of deciding whether my parts were what I wanted, I decided to go ahead with it. This is my first write-up so I'm sorry if I bore you a bit too much...
The build actually went smoothly, I had a bit of an issue getting the stock cooler onto the motherboard, but apart from that it all went very well. Overall it took about 5 hours as I was trying to be very careful and not damage any of the parts.
I've been very impressed with the case, as it was surprisingly easy to work with and has a lovely look with a soft touch finish. I would totally recommend it for those looking for a smaller build, but still packing a punch. It still means i can upgrade with a long video card, as the case allows up to 320mm. I can have a large CPU cooler if i ever feel the need to do that. I can't say too much about the fans that come with the case as I haven't had any issues with them so far. The back 120mm fan is a bit on the loud side, but I am not really complaining as it is hardly audible.
The CPU is great for my budget as it offers great performance at a very good price when compared to Intel rivals. Installing the stock cooler wasn't easy, but it's on and working which is good I guess.
One bottleneck in my build is that my motherboard only supports SATA 2, which means my SSD can't run at max speeds. There aren't many AM3+ micro ATX motherboards, and only a couple with SATA 3. After contemplating whether I needed SATA 3, i decided against it and to go with the ASUS mobo which supports USB 3, and fits my CPU and RAM.
RAM went down in price for about a week on Amazon and saved about £15, and it has been working just fine and looks pretty cool. 8 gigs has been enough, generally only maxing about 6 gigs at heavy load. I love having Windows 7 OS on the SSD. I can go from powered off to using applications in about 30 seconds. The 500GB is from my old PC and is pretty old, so will probably get a new one in the near future. It generates quite a loud whirring noise, but it works well for storage of my music, videos and applications.
The power supply is all I need for keeping to a budget. It is great having modular cables for a small case as it made the wiring a lot easier and neater. The fan isn't too loud which is good, and i haven't had any problems with it so far. Regarding my WiFi, i can't get an Ethernet cable to my PC so I have a CISCO dongle which is substantial for what i need and download.
So, that's my first build. I managed to keep to my budget of £350 as I took the disc drive and hard drive out of my old PC. I really enjoyed the whole experience and now I can enjoy using it. Any tips would be great for future upgrades, just leave a comment below, that would be great. I hope this wasn't too long and boring, so thanks for reading!