Description

This is my first build, using it for gaming and school work. I'm very happy to finally get out of console gaming, as I was getting very sick of it.

Please excuse my terrible photography skills. I had photos of all the parts before building as well as photos of during the build process, but me being me, I waited to upload the build and ended up washing my phone (I'm a klutz). If you don't enjoy reading, thank you for viewing! If you do, please read on:

This build took so long to finally pull the trigger on. I started thinking of getting a PC around 2 years ago (2016), as I was getting sick of console gaming and using a controller that I didn't like using, paying for online services, and that most of my friends were gaming on a PC made me feel like it was time.

So I went about looking at pre-built PC's. And you know what? They are expensive! At the time, I didn't have any spare cash (broke student stereotype lol) so I would wait, as a PC wasn't something I absolutely needed, because I already had a laptop.

At the start of this year (2018), I had enough cash to buy a PC, except there was one problem: the GPU price hike. That absolutely screwed me over. The prices didn't seem to be dropping, so I lost interest.

A few months later, my brother said he would probably be replacing his GTX 980 when the next gen GPU's released (the Nvidia RTX series), and that if I wanted it, I could have it. Couldn't ask for a better brother. He could have easily sold the 980 for a couple hundred bucks, but instead he chose to give it to me. Love you bro! He and I waited until Black Friday to get his RTX 2080 and to buy my PC parts.

My friend who works at a place that refurbishes desktops, laptops, and PC components helped me build the entire thing, as well as install Windows (I honestly probably wouldn't have been able to do it without him, as I was incredibly nervous while building it, and he knew what to do throughout the process). Another friend wanted to see the build process, so he helped as well, since he wants to build a PC in the near future. To be completely honest, the entire process wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Glad I didn't buy a pre-built.

The one thing I messed up on, though, was the case fans. I forgot to check whether the motherboard has enough three pin fan ports for my extra fans. Turns out, it didn't. I installed 2 (out of five), and upon installing the third, we realized that the motherboard had 2 ports. Oops. I'm either going to have to just not install the rest (and uninstall the third fan) or just buy a fan hub.

And well, that's the end! Hope you enjoyed the story of my first build, and thanks for reading!

Part Information/Reviews:

Intel i3-8100: Doubt anyone now would care about my input on this CPU (due to the countless reviews made on it), but anyway, I love this thing. Its perfect for what I need it to do. I'm not looking for a high-end workstation CPU, just something that will get the job done when it comes to gaming and school work. Great pairing with my GTX 980.

Gigabyte B360M DS3H: Simple motherboard. Although some may think it looks plain, I personally like the look of it. BIOS is easy to use and haven't had any issues with it. Only problem is that I wish it had more case fan ports. But the issue was more my fault, I hadn't checked if it had enough case fan ports before building.

Team Vulcan 16GB (2x8 GB) DDR4-2666 RAM: What can I say about it? It's RAM. Gets the job done, fast, looks nice, and goes with my builds red aesthetic.

ADATA Ultimate SU800 128 GB 2.5" SSD: Fast. Cheap. Con? Goes against the red aesthetic of my build, as the SSD is blue. But this SSD is quick and great value. Great as a boot drive.

WD Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM: Big, but slow. But then again, what are you expecting for a $50 1 TB hard drive? Great for storing files that are not a necessity, like games, photos, etc.

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0: 4 years since it released, and its still a beast. Runs almost all my games 1080p on Ultra settings, 60 FPS. Only con: the white lights clash with the red lighting of my build. But I couldn't care less. After all, it was free!

Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 (Black/Red): Was originally going to get the SPEC-05 (since I liked its design better) but it went out of stock a day before I bought the parts, so I settled on this one (since it was cheaper and I still liked the looks). Its a great case for a first time builder like me. It looks nice and was easy to build in. Two problems, though. First, the lack of case fans. The case only comes with one pre-installed case fan, which lead to me buying more. The second: I wish the case came with a tempered glass side panel like the SPEC-05, but it honestly isn't a very big issue, as I find the aesthetics fine since, again, the case was cheap and the SPEC-05 went out of stock a day before I bought the parts.

EVGA BQ 650 W 80+ Bronze Semi-Modular ATX PSU: Great PSU for what I needed. It being modular let the build be a lot easier in terms of cable management. Haven't had any issues with it.

Corsair Air Series AF120 LED Red Quiet Edition 120mm 3 Pin Fan, Twin Pack: They're case fans. They're red. They're quiet. Perfect. Got 2 sets of 2, but was only able to use one, due to the problem I already described above.

Yes, I realize my desk is dusty, it hasn't seen use for a while. Also, if you didn't notice, the GPU also has some dust. My brother didn't clean his computer often, so some of that dust is from his PC. I will be cleaning it soon, don't worry.

If you have any inquires/questions, please let me know!

Part Reviews

CPU

Doubt anyone now would care about my input on this CPU (due to the countless reviews made on it), but anyway, I love this thing. Its perfect for what I need it to do. I'm not looking for a high-end workstation CPU, just something that will get the job done when it comes to gaming and school work. Great pairing with my GTX 980.

Motherboard

Simple motherboard. Although some may think it looks plain, I personally like the look of it. BIOS is easy to use and haven't had any issues with it. Only problem is that I wish it had more case fan ports.

Memory

What can I say about it? It's RAM. Gets the job done, fast, looks nice, and goes with my builds red aesthetic.

Storage

Fast. Cheap. Con? Goes against the red aesthetic of my build, as the SSD is blue. But this SSD is quick and great value. Great as a boot drive.

Storage

Big, but slow. But then again, what are you expecting for a $50 1 TB hard drive? Great for storing files that are not a necessity, like games, photos, etc.

Video Card

4 years since it released, and its still a beast. Runs almost all my games 1080p on Ultra settings, 60 FPS. Only con: the white lights clash with the red lighting of my build. But I couldn't care less. After all, it was free!

Case

Was originally going to get the SPEC-05 (since I liked its design better) but it went out of stock a day before I bought the parts, so I settled on this one (since it was cheaper and I still liked the looks). Its a great case for a first time builder like me. It looks nice and was easy to build in. Two problems, though. First, the lack of case fans. The case only comes with one pre-installed case fan, which lead to me buying more. The second: I wish the case came with a tempered glass side panel like the SPEC-05, but it honestly isn't a very big issue, as I find the aesthetics fine since, again, the case was cheap and the SPEC-05 went out of stock a day before I bought the parts.

Power Supply

Great PSU for what I needed. It being modular let the build be a lot easier in terms of cable management. Haven't had any issues with it.

Case Fan

They're case fans. They're red. They're quiet. Perfect.

Comments

  • 7 months ago
  • 3 points

Get two case fan cable splitters & your’e golden! Or redden (:

  • 7 months ago
  • 0 points

Lol, never actually thought of a splitter. You're absolutely right though. Probably a better idea than a fan hub anyway. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Nothing wrong w fan hub idea either especially if you want more than 4 fans - which you will when you catch the rgb bug !

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

When I was planning the build I was thinking about RGB, but decided not to as RGB is more expensive. It didn't matter what color I made the PC though, since my mouse and keyboard are RGB, so they could match whatever I made. Would definitely like RGB, though.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Well who says the build has to be done, I’m still at it after a year! Corsair’s ll 120’s & 140’s are stunning. Sync nice w my strafe & m65 thru icue software. Put a hurt on wallet but fun stuff! Still saving for more goodies.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

True enough! Probably still going to be changing stuff here and there for a while.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

the newer version of this case i really nice +1

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I really wish Canada Computers had it in stock at the time of buying. But either way, I still like this one.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

yeet

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

I mean you could have gotten a 3.6 GHz 6-core R5 2600 for the same price, but other then that, nice build.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Honestly I would have, if they were the same price. Canada went through a bit of a crisis when Canada Post workers went on strike, meaning that if I wanted the cheaper Black Friday prices, I would have to buy in store. Canada Computers had VERY limited stock in terms of, well, everything. The RAM was the last in stock when I went to buy it, for example.

I did check the price of both AMD and Intel side of things, and while the i3-8100 was $160 CAD with a B360 mobo for $70, the Ryzen 5 2600 was around $220 CAD. Add on the $130 B450 mobo and it was way more expensive than the i3.

Alas, I went with the i3. I do wish I could have gotten a 2600, but the prices were too high.

Thanks for the suggestion, though! Glad you enjoyed my build.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

The 8100 is still plenty capable, it is almost equivalent to the previous generation i5 7500. I recently upgraded from a 7500 to 8600k as the 7500 was bottlenecking my GTX 1080 ( this was at high settings 1440p on Ghost recon Wildlands). All other games the 7500 was able to hit 60 FPS at 1440p so you should be fine with the 8100 for a couple of years at least.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Exactly what I was thinking when I chose the 8100. I still have plenty upgrade potential with the mobo and PSU I'm using.

[comment deleted]
  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I checked that on every CPU I was considering. My brother had an i7 4790 and I needed to make sure that the CPU was at least near the performance of that.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

overall a good start 2 things could be upgraded that i see 1st get a better cpu cooler if you have the money get a 240mm liquid aio cooler for your cpu and put it on the top for way better cooling or if you wanna go the cheaper solution maybe a hyper 212 all black and maybe a better cpu too maybe a i5 or i7 if you got the money

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, the CPU cooler was definitely future upgrade, but that'll have to wait. The temps are fine right now, and if anything a new CPU upgrade would come along with a better cooler upgrade. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey was your Mobo open box? I got mine at Canada Computers locally and mine says open box

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope, mine was brand new. If you weren't planning on getting yours open box, return it. Make sure you get what you buy. Hope this helps!

  • 25 days ago
  • 2 points

I need a very fast USB transfer speed. For work I run windowd from an external SSD. So I need a fast usb connection for it to run smooth.

I saw this build has 3.0 ports. If needed can I later on replace those by 3.2 gen 2 ones? Does the motherboard allow this?

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for super late response! And I’m also sorry for a bad response too: I have no clue. I haven’t researched it as I have no need for very fast usb connection above 3.0. Very sorry!

  • 11 days ago
  • 1 point

I figured out only way is to place new USB ports connected via PCI-e slot. 3.1, 3.2 gen 2 are much faster but not widely used yet.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Congrats on the first build. Likely the first of many, once your in, your hooked :P

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! And you're absolutely right, it was fun planning and building this. Definitely never buying a pre-built.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Fantastic budget for a gaming pc. Looks great.

Thumbs up.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

oof. Should've looked at more spec series cases. Nice build nonetheless. Had to use a splitter for my motherboard since I too made that same mistake :p

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I would've opted for the SPEC-05 had it been available. Thanks!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

U gonna upgrade that CPU?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Not at the moment. Don’t have a need to as it serves its purpose just fine and anything more would be expensive and overkill considering I only have a 60hz monitor and already get 160fps on high settings on Rainbow Six: Siege. I plan to upgrade in about a year to a better CPU and GPU.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!