Description

The objective here was a reliable desktop computer with enough oomph for 1080p gaming that I won't have to replace half the parts within six months.

I'm coming from a MacOS/Xbox 360 experience so any sort of solid games performance with modern titles was going to be a substantial improvement. For this reason (and because budget) I've stuck with the stock CPU cooler on the 2600 for the time being - 3.4GHz is a huge step up from the 2.5(I think?) in my 2012 MacBook Pro and along with the discrete graphics card I'm already feeling spoiled. Once I've settled into Windows 10 I'll upgrade the cooler to OC the chip.

Anyway, this plays all of my horrid outdated games without blinking, and runs The Division 2 (which came free with the processor) at well above 80fps on Ultra settings, even without the OC I've put on the GPU using Afterburner.

Unigine Heaven benchmark score is a smidge over 2500 with the GPU overclocked IIRC.

EDIT: final price for the build was £832, excluding perifs

Part Reviews

CPU

Because Ryzen. With Core Performance Boost this runs up to 3.9GHz without being fiddled with. Such a huge difference from life on a laptop. The CPU fan that comes with the stock cooler is the loudest in my rig, though, so I'm hoping for something a bit quieter when I upgrade the cooling.

Motherboard

Good-looking board which had everything I needed for a single-GPU setup. Slightly annoying placement of the USB 3.0 front panel header, which means the fat cable connector sticks out of the bottom of the board and I had to do some cable acrobatics to get it looking neat-ish. I hadn't wanted any RGB at all but the LEDs on this are subtle enough that I've kept them. Fairly beefy heat sinks on the VRMs and an M.2 heat sink were nice additions. I love the Click BIOS and it was easy to get up and running.

Memory

I'd initially planned a white case and got this to match. Still looks good (I think) and it does the job. No problems getting it to run at 3000 though it's not one of the BIOS XMP profiles. Also this specific kit doesn't appear in the MSi QVL for the mobo but it does play nicely.

Storage

I'll need to add more storage at some stage but as a boot drive with room for a few games this is great. Much quicker than SATA SSD.

Video Card

Am I upset that Nvidia teased 'Super' the same damn day I put this into my build? You bet I am. But it's a lot better than the Intel HD4000 integrated graphics I had to make do with before, runs cool and looks good. Using Afterburner it runs a stable overclock of +160/900 without complaining, and it ran Quake II RTX, currently my only RT-enabled title, at 60fps. Assuming RT graphics get optimised and Nvidia sorts DLSS I'm sure it'll be a solid performer for a fair while.

Case

Brilliant case for a first-time builder. I much prefer the cable bar to standard case grommets for cable management, and it was easy to get everything neat and lovely. Obviously without any cable-connected drives as yet, there'll be more cables to come but there is plenty of room and thermals aren't an issue even with only 2 exhaust fans. I'd planned to go with a white one, but this came up on Aria at a heavy discount and in the end I'm glad I went with black. Can't have my gaming rig looking like a mini-fridge on my desk.

Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I was looking for a reasonable priced gaming PC and this thing looks beautiful.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I’m not over-keen on the spacey look for PCs so I wanted something a bit more subtle. Obviously assuming the rumours about Nvidia RTX super are true, if I were building now I’d hold out for them to be released. I guess time will tell whether RTX gaming is practical with this setup but it’s been great for regular 1080p stuff.