The plan was to get the fastest system possible for between 400 and 500 euros. If you build your own system with parts on special offer you can save a couple of hundred pounds on a build compared to buying in a retail computer shop. I came up with an incredible system for 440 pounds sterling which I configured using the website https://uk.pcpartpicker.com. I spent a lot of time researching and reading reviews of all the different parts available before making my decision on which parts would go into my build.
Processor = Ryzen 1300x
I made this build featuring the new Amd Ryzen processor which are every bit as good as the Intel equivalent but much cheaper. Originally I opted for a Ryzen 1200 chip which runs at 3.1Ghz but the Ryzen 1300x chip was on special offer for just 10 pounds more than the 1200 chip at the time of purchase. The Ryzen 1300x runs at 3.5Ghz and scores just over 10% faster on computer benchmarking scores from https://www.cpubenchmark.net so for only 10 pounds more the 1300x was a bargain. The new AMD Ryzen™ 3 processor features AMD SenseMI technology that learns and adapts to provide the best possible experience. Armed with a new, intelligent architecture, the four physical cores in the AMD Ryzen™ 3 processor provide superior multitasking performance at a great price. The new AM4 platform takes advantage of the leading-edge features of today, and tomorrow with a future proof platform.
CPU Cooler = Arctic – Alpine 64 Plus Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler
I did research on all available CPU Coolers compatible with the AM4 platform priced between 5 and 20 pounds as I was on a budget. All of the coolers at the lower end of the price range for 5 or 6 pounds did not get great reviews but many of them said you get what you pay for. I found the ARCTIC – Alpine 64 PLUS Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler on special offer for just £9.34 which was a bargain as it got rave reviews everywhere for being very good at cooling the processor and it was not too loud either, way better than any of the cheaper ones available and was also said to be better than some £20+ coolers. I checked out a few review websites and also on this web page https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/product/gdLypg/arctic-cooling-cpu-cooler-ucacoap60301bua01 toward the bottom of the page to the right you will find 3 reviews all 5 stars out of 5.
Motherboard = Gigabyte GA-A320M-DS2
In my opinion Gigabyte make the best motherboards and this is the only board they make based on the AMD-A320 chipset which is the entry level chipset for the new Ryzen processors. It was on special offer at 45 pounds down from 75 pounds at the time of our build. That may sound cheap but the board is packed full of excellent features. It has USB 3.1 capability which makes it future proof, most devices these days still use USB 3.0. It won a benchmark award on the benchmarking website here = http://www.benchmark.pl/testy_i_recenzje/gigabyte-a320m-ds2-am4-po-taniosci/strona/28054.html
To list the key features =
- Supports AMD Ryzen™ & 7th Generation A-series / Athlon™ Processors
- Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 2 DIMMs
- Fast USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-A
- High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
- Realtek® Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
- Smart Fan 5 features 5 Temperature Sensors and 2 Hybrid Fan Headers
- GIGABYTE™ UEFI DualBIOS™
- All New GIGABYTE™™ APP Center, Simple and Easy Use
You can read all about all the other features on the board here = http://uk.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-A320M-DS2-rev-10#kf and all about the specification here = http://uk.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-A320M-DS2-rev-10#sp
RAM = Corsair Vengeance 8Gb (2x4Gb) DDR4 3200mhz
The fastest compatible memory with the Ryzen processor and A320 chipset motherboards is 3200mhz DDR4 memory. I picked the 3200mhz Corsair Vengeance chips as they were on special offer for 75 pounds which at the time of the build was only 10 pounds more then generic system ram which was priced at 65 pounds with a speed of only 2133mhz, 10 pounds extra for 50% higher clock speed and the addition of the heat spreader, corsair quality and lifetime warranty was a no brainer. The price of those same Corsair chips is now back up to 107 pounds, 75 pounds at the time of our build was an absolute bargain.
More reasons why I chose Corsair = The heatspreader is made of pure aluminum for faster heat dissipation, and the eight-layer PCB helps manage heat and provides superior system stability. Each IC is individually screened for performance potential. Each Vengeance LPX module is built from an eight-layer PCB and highly-screened memory ICs. The efficient heat spreader provides effective cooling. World-famous reliability and performance = There’s a reason why high-end system builders all trust Corsair for high-performance memory that they can install with confidence and pride. You can count on Corsair memory. Your performance investment is protected. All corsair memory products are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. With a long history of building enthusiast-grade memory and components, Corsair has earned a reputation for quality, compatibility, and performance.
Hard Drive = 256Gb Samsung 850 EVO Solid State Drive
When It came to choosing a hard drive I had a chat with my tutor Martine first to find out exactly what this computer will be used for and I asked Martine which would she prefer in relation to storage space or speed. We quickly came to the conclusion that speed would be better than capacity in relation to the hard drive. I told her that a 2TB hard disk drive was about the same price as a 256Gb Solid State Drive but she confirmed 256Gb would be plenty as they will be used primarily for Microsoft Office applications, video editing and researching on the internet. There are many reasons why I chose the Samsung 850 EVO solid state drive over any other solid state drive. I have read on various websites that the Samsung 850 EVO SSD is the second fastest sata ssd drive in the world and the only one that is faster is the Samsung 850 PRO which is only 15% faster but double the price. An example of its speed is displayed on this benchmark website = http://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Samsung-850-Evo-250GB-vs-Kingston-SSDNow-UV400-240GB/2977vsm137815 as you can see the Samsung 850 EVO SSD is 60% faster than the Kingston UV400 SSD but only 7 euros more to buy. Money well spent. Here are some of its fantastic features =
- Samsung’s unique and innovative 3D V-NAND flash memory architecture is a breakthrough in overcoming the density limitations, performance and endurance of today’s conventional planar NAND architecture. 3D V-NAND is fabricated by stacking 32 cell layers vertically over one another rather than decreasing the cells dimensions and trying to fit itself onto a fixed horizontal space resulting in higher density and better performance utilizing a smaller footprint.
- Secure valuable data through advanced AES 256 encryption
The 850 EVO comes fortified with the latest hardware-based full disk encryption engine. The AES 256 encryption-bit security technology secures data without any performance degradation and complies with TCG Opal 2.0.
- Protect against overheating with a highly responsive Dynamic Thermal Guard
The 850 EVO’s Dynamic Thermal Guard constantly monitors and maintains ideal temperatures for the drive to operate in optimal conditions for the integrity of your data. When temperatures rise above an optimal threshold, the Thermal Guard automatically throttles temperatures down protecting your data while maintaining responsiveness to ensure your computer is always safe from overheating.
- Level up to the 850 EVO simply without any hassle
In three simple steps the Samsung’s One-stop Install Navigator software easily allows you to migrate all the data and applications from the existing primary storage to the 850 EVO. The Samsung Magician software also allows you to optimize and manage your system best suited for your SSD.
- Acquire an integrated in-house solution consisting of top-quality components
Samsung is the only SSD brand to design and manufacture all its components in-house allowing complete optimized integration. The result – enhanced performance, lower power consumption with an up to 1 GB LPDDR2 DRAM cache memory and improved energy-efficiency with the MEX/MGX controller.
- The Samsung SSD 850 EVO elevates the everyday computing experience to a higher level of performance and endurance than was ever imagined. Powered by Samsung’s unmatched V-NAND technology, no wonder the 850 EVO is the best-selling SSD for everyday computing. Designed for mainstream desktop PCs and laptops, the 850 EVO comes in a wide range of capacities and form factors.
Graphics Card = Asus GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
At first I considered that I could use the integrated graphics supplied with the Gigabyte motherboard as I was on a budget but I found out that Ryzen processors are not compatible with the integrated graphics and my tutor Martine told me she would prefer a dedicated graphics card as sometimes the system would be used for video editing. So using the website https://uk.pcpartpicker.com I quickly found out that the 3 cheapest graphics cards were based on the Radeon HD 5450, Radeon R5 235 and Geforce GT 710 chipsets. Using the benchmarking section on the website www.passmark.com I found out that the Geforce GT 710 was almost 3 times faster than the Radeon HD 5450 and almost twice as fast as the Radeon R5 235 which you can see on this benchmark comparison page = https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp%5B%5D=7&cmp%5B%5D=2826&cmp%5B%5D=2910 so the next step was to check the prices, The Radeon HD 5450 1Gb was £28 , The Radeon R5 235 1GB was £32 and the Geforce GT 710 1GB was £32 but there was the Geforce GT 710 2Gb I chose as it was on special offer for £33 with double the memory the Geforce GT 710 2Gb was the one to go for.
To list a few of the cards features
- Silent passive cooling means true 0dB – perfect for quiet home theater PCs and multimedia centers.
- Industry only AUTO-EXTREME Technology, 100% full automation for best reliability.
- Super Alloy Power II uses premium alloy components to reinforce overall graphics card reliability.
- GPU Tweak II makes overclocking easier and more visual than ever with an intuitive, all-new UI.
Optical Drive = LG – GH24NSD1 DVD/CD Writer
When choosing an optical drive I went to the https://uk.pcpartpicker.com where I built the system and went to the list of optical drives formatted by lowest price which you can see here = https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/products/optical-drive/#sort=price&page=1 I chose the LG – GH24NSD1 DVD/CD Writer for 15 pounds as it had the same speed characteristics as other optical drives that were twice the price and more. There were cheaper options for 10 pounds and 12 pounds but the LG – GH24NSD1 for 15 pounds was the best value in relation to its performance.
Power Supply = EVGA 400Watt Power Supply
I have read great reviews about EVGA power supplies and they range in power from 400 watts to 1600 watts. My budget build has a very low power required overall of only 171 watts so the 400 watt power supply is more than enough and it was on offer for only 30 pounds at the time of my build. When building on a budget, the EVGA 400W power supply is a great choice at a low cost. Supporting 30A on a single +12V rail provides more options without having to reduce your component requirements. The EVGA 400W offers the connections and protections needed for basic system builds. With a standard two-year warranty and ultra-quiet fan design the EVGA 400W power supply is a bargain.
A Couple of features =
- Quiet and Intelligent Auto Fan for near-silent operation
- Heavy-duty protections including UVP (Under Voltage Protection), OPP (Over Power Protection), and SCP (Short Circuit Protection)
Case = Aerocool – V3X Advance Black ATX Mid Tower Case
When choosing the case I did the same thing as when I picked the optical drive and used the website https://uk.pcpartpicker.com where I built the system and went to the list of cases formatted by lowest price which you can see here = https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/products/case/#sort=price&t=3 = The Aerocool case I picked does not show up on the list anymore but you can see it on amazon here = https://www.amazon.co.uk/aero-cool-EN57394-Aerocool-Midi-Tower/dp/B00BZNAMJU/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1516964836&sr=1-1&keywords=AeroCool+V3X+Advance The price of only 27 pounds is a real bargain. The cheap cases vary in price from 25 pounds to 35 pounds and the Aerocool is definitely the best value for money, It comes with 2 case fans already installed, 1 at the bottom front and 1 at the top back of the case to keep it cool at all times. It has loads of space inside and has USB2.0 port, USB3.0 port, Audio, Mic, Power and Restart buttons on the front. It also looks gorgeous and you can view all the pictures on the manufacturers website https://www.aerocool.com.tw/en/chssis/pgs-v/v3x