I've been wanting to build a desktop since college, but haven't had the opportunity till now. If you haven't built one yet, I'd highly recommend it even if you don't know how to. It's a learning experience that'll be worth your time and money. I'd recommend 1st researching/information gathering, 2nd planning, 3rd execution. I wanted to build a desktop with a small footprint, so I went with the Mini ITX build.
- Choose Desktop Tower Size --> Standard ATX/Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX
- Pick the CPU --> INTEL VS AMD RYZEN
- Pick the motherboard --> LGA 1151 (INTEL) vs PGA AM4 (RYZEN) MOBO Comparison
- Pick Random Access Memory (RAM)
- Pick Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
- Pick Power Supply Unit (PSU)
CASE: As I mentioned before, I wanted to build a desktop with a small footprint so I went with Thermaltake Core V1 Snow Edition Mini ITX. I really like the case, its modular design made the building process very enjoyable. It has interchangeable side panels, so you're able to customize the way the desktop looks. You can adjust the panels to make it more aesthetically pleasing or design it for better airflow to maximize performance.
CPU: My original plan was to get the Intel Core i5-6600K 3.50 GHz Quad Core Skylake Desktop Processor, Socket LGA 1151, 6MB Cache CPU, but decided against it due to the sudden inflation in pricing. There's been reports of high demand, CPU shortage, and production delays since Q4 of 2018 for Intel. So with that in mind I decided to purchase the much more attractive and cheaper AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.90Ghz Processor, Socket AM4 with Wraith Stealth .
NOTE - This CPU comes with the Wraith Stealth Cooler and will not fit in the MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC MOBO unless you trim the cooler, which isn't ideal. Trust me get either the Corsair H60 or DeepCool 120 EX and get rid of the Wraith Cooler. I'd recommend DeepCool 120 EX. It'll save you a lot of time and headache. For overclocking see below.
Motherboard (MOBO): Make sure the MOBO is compatible with your Case, CPU, and RAM. If you don't know the answer, research and visit their website MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC > Support > Compatibility. The motherboard I went with was the MSI B450I because it was Amazon's Choice, there's a reason for it. The other reasons I made this choice was because it has Intel Wi-FI/Bluetooth, PCI Express Steel Armor, and Core Boost Technology. Some MOBO's don't come with those features so make sure the features you're looking for are included.
RAM: The RAM I went with was the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB DDR4-3200Mhz. I've heard the G.Skill Trident is another good option to look into, but to be honest the Corsair Vengeance 3200Mhz is perfectly fine as well. The CV LPX 3200Mhz has a low-profile design so it's able to fit in smaller spaces which fits very well with the MSI B450I MOBO. If you're planning to get an RGB RAM make sure there's enough space between the CPU cooler and the RAM slot. If the cooler is too wide, it may obstruct your RAM. There's also a $5 price gap between the CV 3000Mhz vs CV 3200Mhz. Just get the 3200Mhz since the Ryzen 5 2600 scales well with RAM.
181219 EDIT: After using the Corsair I would not recommend it since it doesn't support overclocking with the MSI B450I. The G.Skill Trident is a much better option since it has full OC Support.
GPU: The GPU was probably the most expensive out of all the hardware. I made the decision to go wtih the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6gb SC due to its overall performance compared to the recommended Radeon RX 580. There are several trims in the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 going from SF, SC, and SSC. SF is single fan while SC is super clocked, and SSC is super-super clocked. SC means that the GPU is factory over clocked and it's supposed to guarantee the advertised speeds. GTX 1060 6GB VS RX 580 Benchmark
PSU: Please note the 6+2 pin connector from the EVGA SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold connects with the GPU. Looked forever for the GPU power connector, but it's apparently the VGA.
Overclocking (OC): Overclocking in the context of computing devices is essentially making the hardware run faster than originally intended. If you overclock any hardware in your desktop, it'll reduce its lifespan so I'd tread carefully.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Thanks.
Albeit the CPU doesn't perform as good as Intel's. The reasonable pricing and performance makes it a very attractive option. So far I haven't had any issues and can run most games at either high or ultra settings. I would highly recommend it for individuals who are looking for a budget friendly build.
I really like the simplicity of the Corsair H60, especially the AM4 mounting brackets. The mounting bracket design made the installation process very easy compared to installing it on a LGA 1151. The LED lit pump is also a plus, but the reason why I'm giving it a 4 star is because there are other pumps with better designs. I would go with the DeepCool Caption 120EX since it has a visual glass tube that shows liquid circulation and their 3 year warranty is much better that the limited warranty by Corsair.
MSI have outdone themselves again. The Mini-ITX mobo was everything that I was looking for such as the PCI Express Steel Armour Slot for a stronger hold on the Graphics Card. Core boost technology for higher performance and Turbo M.2 for faster transfer of data. The Turbo M.2 is almost 7X faster than SSD.
Can't go wrong with Samsung. Read/Write speeds are up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s respectively. Computer boots instantaneously and runs like a charm.
The graphics card was a great purchase at the time. During Cyper Monday it was going for $199. Where can you get a 6GB graphics card for sub $200 with super clocked performance. It can run most games on either high or ultra.
One of my favorite cases to work with. I really enjoyed working with the case from planning to execution. The process was a thrilling experience. You're able to interchange panels to make the computer perform better or make it more visually appealing. My only disappointment is that the case doesn't have handles. Shaped like a box so I guess you can carry it like a box.
Small size, but packs a punch. Better performance, quieter operation and a longer lifespan. 7 year warranty with 90% (115VAC)/92% (220VAC~220VAC) efficiency or even higher. Heavy duty protections including OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, and SCP. Fully Modular as well.