Description

ALL PRICES IN CAD

Hey all! I'm planning on a high-end Skylake/Pascal build next year, but haven't built a computer since 2011 so I wanted some practice!

My goal with this build was to practice building a gaming PC, overclock it, manage cables, update the BIOS, install an OS, all that good stuff.

I didn't want to spend too much money because I have a capable "main build", but I still wanted a PC that's usable for current-gen 1080p gaming and portable enough for LAN parties. I decided on my parts with this in mind, and have been slowly buying parts since August as they come on sale.

I mostly play DotA, MechWarrior Online, and whatever my flavor of the month game is (Fallout 4, Diablo 3, Dead Space series, Crysis series, etc.).

So far, it's been pretty easy for me to find/tweak visual settings that:

  • Run 1080p @ ~60fps (or 80+ fps in competitive games)
  • Look almost as good as the settings on my main build
  • Have CPU and GPU utilization both hovering around 70% - 100% (so neither component is bottlenecking the other)

Based off that, I'm super happy with this build and consider it a big success!

Part Reviews

CPU

Didn't get an i3 because I don't need the extra power and because I wanted to practice overclocking. I'd also heard amazing things about this little Pentium.

Super stable overclocked to 4.4GHz@1.250V core, 4.1GHz@1.100V ring using the stock fan.

Motherboard

Well-built, cheap, and can overclock the G3258. Point-and-click BIOS is a big step up from the ancient P55 board in my current build.

I bought this in August so I had to update the BIOS to overclock the G3258.

4/5 because a USB 3.0 header would've been nice, but at this price I can't complain.

Video Card

Overclocked and monitored using MSI Afterburner:

  • +85 core clock offset. Base clock 1288MHz in GPU-Z, boosts to 1540MHz in-game.

  • +692 memory clock offset. 2102MHz in GPU-Z, 4207MHz in Afterburner.

Overall very happy with this card. Got a 7803 graphics score in 3DMark Fire Strike, which is quite a bit higher than most scores I've seen in review benchmarks.

Zotac seems to have solid entry-level cards - I also have a Zotac GTX 960 that overclocks well. I'd probably look for another manufacturer for GTX 980 and above, though.

Case

Pretty spacious interior for a MATX tower. For budget PCs with small/few components, this is very easy to build in.

4/5 because there's very little clearance between the back panel and a sideways-mounted 3.5" drive, which made it tricky to manage fan and front panel cables.

Operating System

I just got Windows 8 with the intention of using the free upgrade to 10 once all the G3258 overclocking issues were sorted out.

As of November 12th, Windows 10 Build 10586.3 finally restored G3258 overclocking, so I did a clean install of 10 and everything's been great ever since.

This is listed as $0.00 in my build because I got this with credit card rewards points.

Keyboard

Basic, super cheap, good enough for LAN parties or tinkering with a new build.

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Comments

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Ive always loved this case just haven't tempted myself to buy it yet.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I can definitely recommend it for a low-end MATX build!

Just gotta watch out for the back plate clearance - the spacing might be too tight if you plan on adding anything that'd run cables near the drive bays (optical drive, extra front case fans, etc.).

My build has none of those things and there's still a bit of a bulge on that side of the case... if you know what I mean

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol yea I built in a spec 01. Cable management is absolutely miserable but I managed to do it and it looks amazing. Surprised I did not break the side panel off.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Same here. I'm planning on selling it soon along with a second Low-End Gaming LAN PC for a High-End Skylake with duel 980Ti in a MATX build. But the Spec 01 isn't a bad case just horrible cable management. The side has an interesting slight curve that worries me but like Jhobbster it hasn't broke off....yet.

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Damn, I knew the g3258 overclocks amazingly well, and have seen people get 4Ghz easy with the stock cooler, but 4.4 is MIGHTY impressive.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! Temps are a bit high but safe - I think I definitely lucked out on the silicon lottery. Plus, I'm in Canada, so I can just... open my room window.

I gotta be honest, I was initially disappointed with 4.4GHz because I was only looking at overclocking forums where everyone was like "4.8 ez lol".

BUT, I then checked out a bunch of completed builds with the stock fan on PCPP and most were in the low 4s, high 3s so I'm actually really happy with my OC. I guess people on OC forums are either lying or using aftermarket CPU coolers?

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

aftermarket coolers and mostly luck with the g3258 lottery. My first one was able to OC 4.7ghz on a hyper 212. next two couldn't do 4.4ghz. this one i'm on is doing 4.5ghz at 1.25v. so it's really the lottery more than anything lol.

i don't believe folks would like about their clock speeds. some really hit lucky with their chips, others don't bother OC much or don't put much effort into it

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, good points. 4.7GHz is nuts, that's almost 50% higher than stock.

I've been keeping an eye out for Hyper 212 EVO sales - if they go on sale for $20 or $25 CAD I'll definitely buy one. Even if I don't push the OC a little higher, the lower idle temps will be nice.

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

sounds good! hyper 212 is definitely a very cheap way of keeping those overall temps cool on a locked or unlocked chip :) it's much better than the stock without costing much more.

oh btw, good build! sorry I got sucked into the g3258 overclocking and haven't looked at your build overall lol. g3258s are so fun to play around with it's hard not to talk about them hehe.

good build and definitely see how much more you can push on the chip. i would also make sure it can fit the case too. some microatx cases are kinda small for the hyper 212. like a tx4 or any of the other aftermarket cooler in general would be able to keep the chip cool as it's a little cool chip to begin with ;)

+1

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! Yeah overclocking the G3258 is really fun lol, BIOSes have come a long way since my first attempts at overclocking a few years ago.

Is the T4 basically just a smaller profile 212 EVO? I'm also looking at the T2 and TX3 but the contact pipes on all of them seem a little rough, seems like I'd need to compensate with thermal paste, and at that point I might as well just wait out for a sale on the 212 EVO.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Most people If they get a g3258 are using cheap after market coolers, like the hyper 212 evo for sure.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

it's mostly the g3258 lottery. most of the time, 4.5ghz is really easy to hit with an aftermarket cooler and a good MB. 4.3ghz is doable on the stock cooler. in my experiences with the g3258, anything over 4.5ghz would be "mighty impressive" ;)

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Pretty good build. Might use some of the same parts cus I need a new computer

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I can recommend pretty much every part I used, even though I'm sure some of the parts have just as good alternatives (case, PSU, and storage mainly). Good luck with your build.

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

I did this with an r7 260x instead of gtx 950 and it plays well on medium high settings...

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks awesome, great little mAtx build. Not to mention its a great budget! Just wondering what your plan would be to do with a machine like this, once you build the skylake/Pascal Build?

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha, good question, haven't thought about that. Probably keep it for LAN get-togethers, maybe make a frankenstein build salvaging upgrades from my current PC that I'd be replacing (aftermarket cooler, GPU, and SSD mainly).

Pascal is still over half a year away so I'm not too worried about it yet :)

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool, not a bad idea! Reason I asked was because I am sort of in a similar situation, because I debating whether or not making a budget beast, or waiting out till pascal. Thanks for your response!

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, no problem. Pascal is roughly Q3 2016 so just ask yourself whether you'll get your budget's worth of entertainment between now and then :)

If your current computer will be able to handle gaming for a bit less than a year, then probably just save your money.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, thanks :) That's probably what I will do, just hang tight with my current PC for a bit longer, and just start buying parts on sale.

All the best!

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for this build. It opened my eyes to the G3258 CPU and gave me more ideas on how to tackle my first build. I never built a PC and it's one of my old dreams. I am Canadian as well but I am not sure yet how to plan my first build. The low CAD is affecting electronics prices, and I'm thinking to wait a bit longer for my serious build, until Pascal arrives. I also want to get the best system for a game I am anticipating so much: Elder Scrolls 6. I am taking all these factors into consideration while I enjoy browsing this site and build my theoretical experience!

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah man USD to CAD is brutal now. I'm glad that I didn't NEED this PC so I had the luxury of only buying parts that were on sale lol

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

I guess overclocking really improves 3d mark scores. Great build!

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Yeah, I was really impressed by my graphics score. Physics score was in the dumpster though, the Pentium really struggled lol

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Did you need to update the bios? I plan on building this

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I had to update the BIOS before I could overclock.

I bought the motherboard in August though, I read somewhere that it ships with the updated BIOS since around November.

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the fast response, I'll order one now :)

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool, good luck with your build!

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

"I really love the PCPP community but ******* if I see that tier list blindly linked one more time my eyes will roll so hard the earth's orbit will shift."

slowclap

Also, stellar build brother! Love the highs price/performance and sick overclocks!

+1 from me!

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, much appreciated :)

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey How much fps do u get on dota please I am getting a new pc

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

80-120 with all graphics settings maxed in borderless windowed mode, but dips to around 50-60 during teamfights.

DotA is all about CPU though, my CPU utilization is 80%-100% while GPU is like 30%-60%. If you changed the G3258 in my build to an i3 I think you'd never dip below 90 fps.

Also nice user name, lol

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

xD was hyped to make a account and start choosing parts so this was the only username that could come in my mind that time ROFL

[comment deleted]
  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for your build I successfully managed to build my own budget PC as well yesterday. Your build is the main reason why I decided to go for the Pentium G3258 and start learning about overclocking too.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Hah that's awesome to hear - I just saw your build in Completed Builds, thanks for the shoutout :)

Good luck with your overclocking! Did the motherboard ship with the up-to-date BIOS or are you gonna have to manually update?

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

The BIOS version I got is E7817IMS v1.9 and the build date is 30/03/2015, which seems to be the latest downloadable version on the motherboard website. Not sure if there is a newer update I need to install to enable overclocking.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you have to update the BIOS to use the G3258?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol dang, didn't expect people to comment on my build 8 months after I posted it!

I did NOT have to update the BIOS for the CPU to work, but I DID have to update the BIOS to overclock it.

However, that was more than half a year ago - I'd imagine that any motherboard manufactured since then would include a more recent BIOS which would support overclocking out of the box.

Don't 100% quote me on that, but it's a pretty safe bet.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :) I like to check out older builds because some of the newer builds are pretty lame...