This is a build I did for my friend Ben. I've been trying to get him to get a PC for a while now, and one day his PS4 died, so he decided to pull the trigger on a PC. I had a budget of $500 to work with, and knowing the games he plays (Minecraft, Age of Empires, a few demanding RPG's), I knew that wouldn't be an issue. However, after I ordered the parts, he told me he wanted to play Sea of Thieves so I told him I'd let him borrow my backup GPU until he could purchase one of his own. I had a bunch of extra parts laying around that I used (case, fans, gpu, 1TBHDD) so the build actually costed more than $422.85. Also, he already has a monitor + kb&m.
OS: Windows. Duh.
CPU: So the obvious choice was the new line of Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APU's. I went with the Ryzen 3 2200G versus the Ryzen 5 2400G just because if he ever did want to upgrade his graphics, he could just buy a dedicated GPU. Integrated graphics would work just fine for what he plays daily.
MB: I went with the ASRock A320M-DGS since I knew he wouldn't be using SLI or 32GB of RAM. I was pleasantly surprised with this board, everything was layed out perfectly. He wasn't concerned with making it look nice, so I didn't stress about cable management at all. 2 fan headers, 2 usb, 4 sata, it's minimal, but for $50, it was a no-brainer. All the reviews spoke wonderfully of it and they were right. BIOS is easy to navigate, everything is labeled clearly, no problems whatsoever.
RAM: All the reviews I've read about the APU's say that a set of high frequency RAM is a must. Being on a budget, I went for the cheapest 2800mhz set I could find (all the 3000+mhz were too expensive). The board puts it at 2133mhz by default, but the BIOS is pretty straightforward in boosting it.
STORAGE: I used my 1TB HDD from my old laptop as a primary storage drive so I could spend that money on a SSD. I was only using it for the OS so I only got 128GB. I was hesitant to purchase this SSD at first because I'd never heard of the brand, but upon reading the reviews, it seemed that the general consensus was positive. So far so good, boots up under 10 seconds.
PSU: I was excited to use this product as I've never tried a Cougar product and have heard nothing but good things. IF ANYONE IS BUILDING A BUDGET PC, GET THIS POWER SUPPLY. I know you can get a cheap 20 or 30 dollar PSU from a no name brand that might last you a while if you're lucky, but this is the way to go as far as cheap and reliable goes (and I'm a Corsair junkie). It's not modular, but who cares if you're on a budget? Very sturdy frame and cables, and it just looks slick. Under $50. 600W, Bronze certified.
GPU: Before I met my girlfriend, I was using an MSI RX 550 4GB I picked up at Fry's for $159.99 + tax. Not bad considering 1050ti's were hovering around $250 not too long ago. I looked up the minimum specs for Sea of Thieves and found that you need a minimum of 4gb of VRAM to run it, so this barely hit the mark.
CASE: I bought some guy's old WoW machine off CL for $20 and it came in this old NZXT case (circa 2006ish?). I'm pretty stoked that I actually got to use it since I already have plans for the Athlon that was in it. Pretty easy to work with since I went mATX. Lots of room, drive bays, and you mount the PSU up top! member those?
So far everything is running great, the fans are a little loud (some extra 120mm fans that I didn't use with my h100i v2), but he's not going to be laying right next to it or anything. I haven't downloaded Sea of Thieves yet to see how it performs, but I will update this when I do.
Thx for reading, my nerds :)