Description

After running an ancient 2011 XPS 8300 with an i3 2100, I was in need of an upgrade big time. Anything was a major upgrade over my i3 2100. Total my build came out to approximately $250. I did not have to pay sales tax for parts from Newegg, which was pretty much everything. And thanks to deal hunting, July sales and since I already had 3 of the components (hard drive, optical drive, graphics card) I had purchased last year for my XPS. I also took advantage of using a retail windows 10 pro key my college provided for me when I graduated.

CPU: The Pentium Gold G5400 was the perfect choice for my 2018 budget build and I ended up paying only $55. It was low cost and offered excellent performance over my i3 2100. After seeing what Kaby Lake's Pentium G4560 could do for basic gaming, the G5400 has been improved and is much better.

MOTHERBOARD: First time using ASRock for a motherboard and they delivered with the B360M-HDV. No fancy graphics or LED on the motherboard, but it does look professional. I was close to buying the GIGABYTE H310M-A for $55, but I'm glad I went with the ASRock B360M-HDV for only an extra $5. In many ways it is a glorified H310 chipset based motherboard, it still has only 2 DIMM slots and no Type C port, but it offers 4 USB 3.1 G2 ports, 2 extra USB 2.0 ports, 2 fan headers, VGA/HDMI/DVI, and an M.2 SSD slot! Audio from the motherboard is crispl, that seems to be a common issue with other cheaper motherboards, but not in the one I got from ASRock. Their UEFI utility is also very nice and easy to use.

PSU: The new BR series 450w PSU I'm using from EVGA is very sleek with its all black sleeved cables, (no ketchup & mustard color wires) super quiet, and handles my system's load easily. Everything powered on worked perfectly on the first boot, I had zero issues with components getting power. Well worth the $20 promo price I paid for it.

CASE: The Bradley M case from Rosewill is an excellent case and I picked it up for $30 new. My first choice was the Corsair Carbide 100R silent since my PC is going to be on a pc caddy under my desk and I wasn't really looking for a windowed side panel, but saving the $30 to go with the Rosewill Bradley M instead was worth it. It's cheap yet sturdy and not flimsy at all. It came with 3 pre-installed 120MM fans. Top and bottom dust filters but not one in the front. I just installed 2 magnetic dust filters for fans in the front though. There's also plenty of room for airflow. Cable management was super easy with this case despite my PSU being non modular. CPU power had to be run across the motherboard and be tucked slightly behind the motherboard since the small feed hole in the upper corner was blocked by the motherboard and I did not want to force the cable and bend the motherboard.

RAM: The most expensive part in my build was the Ballistix Sport LT 8GB DDR4-2400 RAM (2x4gb) kit from crucial at a cost of $70.

HDD, ODD, GRAPHICS CARD: The Barracuda 1TB and Lite-On DVD drive were pulled from my XPS 8300. I still rely on a DVD drive for using emulators, burning, evaluating Linux distros, and occasionally making new copies of old photos/videos stored on DVDs. The GTX 1050 SSC is from last year, bought way before the crypto mining craze. I remember I got it straight from EVGA for $100 then, now it's $180.

The experience of building my very own computer was amazing! I am planning to get an SSD soon to use as my boot drive and an i5 8400 by the end of the year. Playing games like BF4, WW2, rocket league, DOOM, the long dark and killing floor 2 run an easy 60+ fps @1080p high/ultra settings. Aside from some occasional gaming, I also do graphic designing and photo editing as a hobby. This build will be put to great use for years to come!

Part Reviews

CPU

Pretty beefy entry level CPU. Beats my ancient i3 2100 by miles. I'm surprised a $65 chip can pack a punch for a budget. Allows me to play even most modern games like Battlefield 1 on high settings easily @ 60+ fps, 1080p with no stuttering.

CPU Cooler

Pretty good, cheap CPU cooler. Improvement over stock Intel cooler, provides at least a 5 degrees Celsius difference with included thermal compound.

Motherboard

In many ways a glorified H310 motherboard. You still only get 2 DIMM slots with the B360M-HDV. One extra fan header, 4 USB 3.1 G2 slots, and a M.2 slot! Pretty solid motherboard though, UEFI utility is easy to use. Zero issues out of the box.

Case

Excellent case from Rosewill. Not my first choice when initially choosing a case, but for $35 on a sale, I did not hesitate to go with the Rosewill Bradley M over the Carbide 100R. It's cheap yet sturdy and not flimsy at all. It came with 3 pre-installed 120MM fans (not PWM). Top and bottom dust filters but not one in the front. I just installed 2 magnetic dust filters for fans in the front though. There's also plenty of room for airflow. Cable management was super easy with this case despite my PSU being non modular. CPU power had to be run across the motherboard and be tucked slightly behind the motherboard since the small feed hole in the upper corner was blocked by the motherboard and I did not want to force the cable and bend the motherboard. Side acylic panel scratches easily, but that's to be expected. Overall a very nice case!

Power Supply

Reliable 450W power supply from EVGA. All black sleeved cables are a plus, and despite not being modular, cable management inside my specific case was not an issue. Operates nice and quiet, no issues whatsoever supplying power to my components!

Comments

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

Daam you really nailed it ! As far as i saw best budget dollar per performance build. The most interesting part is that it cost you 240$ and to buy it atm is 800$. +1 from me!

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

nice, this is kind of what i wanna get for myself

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Thumbs up for the motherboard speaker, lol. Solid little build you've got right there.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Great price for descent parts... Man, i wish my country's used part market is this good. May it serve you well.

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  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes. As I mentioned, I had the hard drive, optical drive, and the gtx 1050 ssc already from my xps. I also had an extra retail windows 10 pro key I got free from my college. The CPU was $55, t2 cooler $5, mobo was $60, PSU was $20, RAM $70, and case $30. Which totalled $240. I did not have to pay sales tax at all for these parts.

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