So for years I have been using the laptop I bought for school for gaming. And for a few of those years it was actually okay. Until I pre-ordered Dragon Age Inquisition and tried to run it. I didn't have the time or the money for a PC at the time (but damnit I was going to play that game!) so I bought I PS4. But my heart was always with PC, and I finally did it! It took a lot of research because before today, I knew nearly nothing about what was required. I even thought I was going to have to hire someone to do it for me. But enough about me =P
Here is the laptop specs that I am upgrading from:
CPU: AMD A8-4500M APU >1.9 GHz [4 Cores 4 Threads]
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7640G 512 MB
RAM: 8 GB DDR3-1600
Storage: 640 GB 5400rpm HDD
Display: 14" 1366x768 60 Hz
This laptop would play at about 20 FPS during minor combat on lower settings. So you can imagine what larger scale scenes would be like.
The New PC
I built the new PC with the a few things in mind.
2.) Overall Visual Experience over FPS
3.) Form AND Function
4.) Semi Quiet (at least compared to the turbo jets in the laptop)
5.) For under $1000 CAD
So I bought almost everything when it was on sale, so it took several weeks for everything to come together. But in the end (minus the peripherals I need to get) the build came to $940.19 CAD with GST.
What's Next / Peripherals
So my boyfriend just bought the monitor for me for my Birthday, which was amazing. I will be getting the Logitech G513 keyboard. I want to order some custom sleeved cables, so the cable management you see is temporary.
And I haven't picked a mouse yet. I have quite small hands, and finding mice is not easy. I like having a thumb button and being able to adjust the sensitivity a little bit. Other than that I'm not too picky. So any suggestions are welcome.
So that's that! I will keep updating here as we go! Thanks! Comments/Suggestions welcome =)
UPDATE I DID try to overclock it and it did not go well for me. I don't really know what I am doing however. But even small amounts got be lower scores in the tests I was running. Its stock boost works better for me. I am sure if I had more experience I could get it balanced, but for me it is not worth it.
So far so good! I haven't tried to overclock yet, so I will let you know!
UPDATE Obviously quite happy with my choice now with the new chips that are coming out. I won't be needing an upgrade any time soon, but there are great options for the future.
I definitely over-bought my motherboard. I felt that this would last me longer, plus I wanted Wi-Fi. Things were labelled really nicely, so I would say it was pretty beginner friendly. Aura is easy to use, and the board looks nice.
My only thing is I don't know if this board comes with jumpers. I also don't really know what I am looking for because this was my first build, but I could only find the two open pins.
No complaints! Looks great without being too flashy.
Seeing as I came from an HDD and now everything I have so far is on this SSD..
It. Is. Amazing. Super quick. I looooooove it. Never ever ever ever going back lol.
I bought my card used from Ebay for just under $190 CAD. It was used for mining for four months prior, and overclocked to 1430. This is my first PC, so I don't have much to compare to, but so far the experience has been lovely.
This case is not a shiny white, so at first I was a little put off. But after staring at it I am really happy that it is not. Feels more durable, and easier to clean.
The struggle with this case was the included fans (partially because I am a noob lol). I wanted to move the fans to the top as exhaust, and order 140mm fans for the front as intake. But the screws that currently mount the fans are specific to the bracket that is included in the case. You cannot move the fans without buying new screws, and you cannot screw new fans in with the screws they come with (the easy solution was buy two more fans, use the screws they come with for the included fans, and mount the new fans with the bracket and screws that came with the case). Which sounds simple.. but .. noob lol. The included fans are quiet, however on lower RPMs the lights dim and flicker just slightly.
The case really needs the 140's in the front if aesthetics is important to you. They fit beautifully, and I am really happy with it.
Cable management went well. I would have liked a few more spots to tie zip ties to, but I still made out fine, and it looks clean.
The window is clear. The HDD tray is removable. And there is a spot behind the mobo for another SSD.
All things considered I love it. It looks great, is affordable, and semi-beginner friendly. Super friendly if you just add a 120mm fan at the back for exhaust. I just had to make things difficult for myself.
Got this for $30 CAD.
All black cables and sleeves. Shorter cables, which I prefer and appreciate. Quiet.
Nice, bright white LED with no flicker. Easy install. Quiet at moderate speeds. Nice airflow. Great fans!
UPDATE2 I've had it for a few months now. And I love it even more now. That is all lol.
UPDATE I looooooove it. I was worried about the curve bothering me. But now flat screens bother me and I've only had it a week or so. Everything looks great, feels great.. I'll never be able to go back now.
Defaulted at 60Hz but an easy fix. I haven't been able to play many games yet, but just overall use so far is so enjoyable. Granted, I am biased because I came from a 14" glossy laptop screen. I'll update after more use =)
I am not sure I can come up with any constructive criticism for this keyboard. Granted, it is my first mechanical keyboard, but I truly enjoy every feature. I love the feel. I hate going to work now to work all day on a crappy keyboard (so much so that I actually brought an old one of mine to work that is at least a little better). It has some features that I was not even aware of that make it so much better. It has pre-determined settings for some of the newer games. For example: Mass Effect Andromeda. When in loading screens the keyboard lights up in an "AI". During non combat it lights up the keys you would need in different colors, and changes again for combat. If you're near death the keyboard flashes orange.
It is pretty neat. I also really like that there is no light bleed through the keys - only the letter/numbers light up.
The wrist rest is quite the bonus. Super comfy. Not much else to say! I love it.