Description

My gaming and CAD capable laptop broke (Lenovo Y510P) after only 3 years because of a faulty power supply/short that fried the motherboard, and that marked the end of me trying to buy expensive gaming laptops to fulfill my needs.

That is why I decided to build my first gaming/CAD Desktop PC, trying to squeeze everything around the 700-800$ (Canadian Dollars) mark, including monitor and all peripherals. My needs were to be able to play all modern games in 1080P on High settings and to be able to do some CAD on CATIA v5 and Solidworks, but also other engineering tasks like topology optimization (solidThinking Inspire) and light FEA (Ansys + Solidworks). I say light FEA because I am quite aware that the CPU I chose for this build and the amount of RAM I got is not enough to push a heavy FEA on a complex assembly.

That being said, my budget and my needs equalled some compromises, especially on the CPU/GPU in my opinion. The reason I chose the Pentium G4560UPDATE is because, after some Internet reading, I found that it was a very capable CPU, close to the i3-6100 performances, for about half the price. That seemed like a no brainer to me. Then, for the motherboard, I opted for a fully compatible/already flashed for Intel 7th Gen MOBO, but still on a budget, and so I got the Gigabyte B250M-D3H in MicroATX form. Why MicroATX? Because I didn't want a full tower, and I wasn't quite sure which Mini/Mid case I wanted yet when I bought the MOBO. Then, for the RAM, any DDR4 8GB seemed plenty enough for me right now, and the MOBO being compatible with 2133 and 2400, I went with the cheapest I found, and highest ratings, Kingston HyperX Fury BlackUPDATE. As for the GPU, I am a strong fan of nVidia and familiar with the Intel CPU/nVidia GPU safe-combos, so I chose a GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GPU that looked more than enough for the next couple of years.

On to storage, I went with a 120GB SSD only because of 1. Budget, and 2. Because I came from an HDD laptop and I figured that if I could only boot Windows on an SSD, it would be a brand new day to me anyway. I still managed to install a couple of slow-booting programs, like CATIA v5. Everything else I installed on my good-old Lenovo 1TB HDD (which is a Seagate HDD by the way) that I managed to salvage from my now-dead y510p.

As for the case, I wanted a quality case because a good friend of mine advised me on the wisdom to keep the case for many years, and simply upgrade the internal parts in it. He recommended me Fractal Design for their sleek design, build quality, and low noise, and I got this nice Define Mini MicroATX Tower on sale on NCIX. Now the less interesting parts: for power supply, I simply opted for a 500W that seemed to give me some margin for part upgrades in the future, but from a reliable company, so I went with EVGA and didn't bother with semi ou fully modular because I knew the case would have plenty of internal space for cable management. Then, I purchased a nice Asus VS248H used on Kijiji for 60$ CAD, bought one of the cheapest keyboards I found, the Azio L70UPDATE (it's really cheap though...), and I already had the mouse, the excellent Logitech G502 Spectrum. Also, because the monitor I bought had blown speakers (only flaw in it), I grabbed a pair of Logitech Z200 on Amazon.

And that's about it, my first Desktop PC build that came out very nice even if I was on a budget, and I am quite pleased with the result, being able to run all the CAD softwares I use, and also getting most modern games (like Shadow of Mordor for example) on High/Ultra settings in 1080P.

UPDATES:

2017/05 - Grabbed a 16GB DDR4-2400 RAM kit

2017/05 - Purchased a second monitor: Dell SE2717HX

2017/06 - New keyboard: Logitech G710+

2017/08 - New CPU: Intel i5-7500

Comments

  • 26 months ago
  • 4 points

nice build man +1 from me tho i would of looked for some used 970s instead of the 1050ti as they are more powerful for the same price or lower but overall good build enjoy that hyper threaded pentium

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the reply, I looked for refurbished 970s on various websites, but they were always more expensive than the GTX1050Ti at the time I was looking, and after reading some awful reviews on refurbished products, I decided to go the safe way and buy 100% new. Although, I must admit I didn't look for used 970s on eBay or Kijiji let's say, so I will keep your advice in mind in case I want to upgrade some day or build another PC.

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

1050ti is a solid card, you will love it, anything used is always a risk and in the long run you might spend more.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

although the rx 470 is better.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

It may be, but you do what you do and you live with it at this point.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

lol, just for later reference.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Its good. The one thing I would improve on to cut down the price and raise the efficiency of the build is to get rid of both of the storage drives and get a 240gb ssd instead. It is faster than the 1tb and can store more files than the 120gb. If you really want, you can get the 240 SSD and a 320gb HDD for about $80 total.

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for the input, and I considered the 240GB SSD + adding my old 1TB HDD, but here in Canada 240GB SSDs go for around 100$ Canadian dollars while 120GB SSDs are 60-65$, so I decided to cut on that price... I definitely will buy another SSD in the future, but for now I'm satisfied with a 120GB.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

How's Solidworks?

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Pretty fluid so far, but haven't tried a large assembly or doing FEA yet.

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  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

It's the first time in a while a pentium has been a solid choice for gaming.

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  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes I did, but while 4GB 1050 Ti's sell for around 200$ here in Canada, RX 470 are usually 240$+, so again being on a budget I chose the cheapest one. And i have a small preference for nVidia GPUs, but that's just me.

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  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

I will certainly keep an eye out there if I come across a too-good-to-be-true deal.