"She'll make point five past lightspeed. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've added some special modifications myself"
This thing wasn't made to look pretty, no RGB, no windows to the internals, no "spinning rims" so to speak. This was made to replace an old PC and laptop and become the family workhorse. My kids make projects and videos for school on this, my wife cuts and edits music for her studio on this, and of course it is amazing for 1080p gaming and streaming on the side (we don't have room for massive 4k screens and whatnot in the office).
I got the CPU and motherboard on crazy sale from local Microcenter. With the sale price on the CPU and bundle offers I basically came away with the MB for free. I thought about the 2600 but the price drop on the 1600 made the the small boost in power not even worth thinking about. AM4 still has room to grow if I get a beefier CPU in a few years.
Went for an AMD card because they came way down in price after the mining craze started bottoming out and I plan on getting a gaming monitor in the future and Freesync runs way cheaper than G-Sync.
I had a * of a time finding RAM in the QVLs for the Mobo + CPU combo, probably could have rolled the dice with any RAM but this being my first build I didnt want to take chances.
Like I said we have space constraint issues so mATX was the form factor we needed and my wife still makes a TON of music CDs for her job so an optical drive was a must (yes external was an option but its just something else that could get broken or lost around the house). The N200 case was a great deal with good support for cooling an a external 5.25 bay for the DVD-RW, plus it had room to grow with plenty of drive bays and support for 240mm radiator if I go that route in the future.
Found that I had to buy some more SATA cables when everything started showing up because the optical drive had none with it and then I figured I wanted the cables to all match. The case has no window but my OCD is happy that some of my cables match my RAM sticks.
I scavenged some drives from the old computers and put in a M2 SSD to leave space for one more SATA SDD or bigger HDD down the line.
All the peripherals and monitors were things I had already though god help me if I ever have to replace that G13 pad.
Build Notes: So this is my first ever build from scratch. I was going to have someone else work with me to assist but I got too excited and did it solo. It was stressful but damned if it posting the first time on power up the most satisfying thing ever. Massive, huge, big honking shout out to Paul's Hardware YouTube channel. He put out a three part build series recently that gave me the confidence to try this on myself.
So cable management is a bit of a hassle with this case. I got things semi-clean but it took a lot of work. For example there is no space to snake the 4+4 CPU power cable up the back of the motherboard like I've seen in other cases and builds, I had to bring it up the middle and run it along the top. Also note to self for the future, putting the giant 5.25" DVD drive in early was not the best idea in the world, had to un-mount it twice to get the mobo in and and the 4+4 cable in place.
I moved the front fan up from where it was factory installed because it was going to be blasting right into the hard drive cage and wanted to have better air flow through the case. The fans are both 3 pin fans and even through they are running 100% all the time they are fairly quiet.
Everything else was pretty easy, the drives mounted great, I like the placement and I have room for one more. Probably a 500gb SSD to put games on in the future.
Oh and I managed NOT to cut myself on the I/O shield, which is a plus.....
Did some tinkering under the hood and have a moderate OC at 3.7GHz at 1.2375 V on the CPU and 1.450GHz on the GPU. I could probably push the CPU more but I'm happy where I'm at for now.
*Update So the two stock fans wasn't really cutting it, and once the CPU starting going under load the things were loud as hell. Found a 5 pack of Deepcool PWN fans for a song and yes, I admit they are RGB. The kids like the colors, go figure. So now have enough air flowing through it to keep it chilly in there and the fans are whisper quiet, can't even tell they are running.
Awesome CPU value here. Able to multi-task like a boss. Easy to get decent overclocks as well. Stock cooler better quality than Intel. Able to get a moderate OC of 3.7GHz easy on stock cooler, seen people pushing as high as 4.0 on higher quality fans or AIOs. Can't go wrong.
Great board. I/O shield is a bit flimsy and cheap looking. List of RAM supported when using Summit Ridge CPU is pretty sparse. Had a hard time finding a 16gb kit at a decent speed in the midrange price that was listed in QVLs. MSI UEFI/Bios is SUPER easy to work with.
Great speed for the money.
Faster than a mechanical drive, not nearly as fast as even a SATA SSD.
Decent card at a good price. No bells and whistles, no RGB. Has a nice plain backplate. Doesn't have included software.
More drive mounting options than you can shake a stick at. Place for tons of fans but I can see adding a top fan would make cable management even more of a hassle. No place for the 4+4 CPU power cable to come from over the top of the motherboard. Learn from my mistake, install the 5.25 drive last if you have one. Space for 240mm radiator but needs a bunch of modifications to get it in there.
All the cables are all black and slick looking.