After many years of not really gaming and a year or two with a reconditioned original Xbox One, I found myself wanting to get a wheel and build some kind of a sim set up and not really wanting to commit further to consoles. The old laptop I’d been using at home from 2011 was way past its prime, so I’d been slowly figuring out the gaming build I wanted to put together. My hangup the last six months has been the price of gpu’s (f-you, miners!). Despite my strong aversion to buying a prebuilt machine, I thought I should at least look around locally as due diligence before I started ordering parts (I was thinking an I3-8350k/Z370 mini ITX-build with a 1060). I’m cheap, so my target was 1080p on modern titles with an upgrade path down the line. Because I’ve not had a desktop since 2006ish, I’m starting from scratch with the whole system.

What I found, and unexpectedly came home with, is a prebuilt Dell “gaming” Ryzen 7 1700x, 16gb, 1tb 7200 hdd, usb 3.1 machine with an RX580 8gb and open pcie 16 slot and crossfire capability down the road for less than $800 after the sale price and 10% veteran discount. I also picked up a 27" 1080p, 75hz freesync monitor to go with it for $150. With our current insanity meaning that the gpu sells for $500+ alone, I couldn’t build a comparable machine from parts for $800. It should do fine for 1080p gaming now.

Before biting, I had to really dig around to decide if the machine was something with an upgrade path. While the board is a proprietary thing, it does have standard atx connectors, pinouts and PSU form factor, so there should be an upgrade path from the oem 460 watt one. With the 16gb of 2400mhz DDR4 on a singe dimm, there is no dual channel for now, but there can be at 32gb someday down the road. The RX580 seems to do what I want now, and freesync seems sweet coming from 720p/1gb vram laptop graphics of 2011. It does have two open M2 slots, and it supports NVME as a boot drive. There are also plenty of open SATA3 ports for anything I’ve got planned.

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What I don’t like:

The psu is not even bronze rated. The cpu cooling solution could be better, and the one system fan it has is a cheapo. I don’t know if the case would really support a crossfire set-up in terms of cooling, even if the board can run it.

Plans:

Enjoy it. Also, this morning I ordered a 240gb M.2 NVME drive to put windows on as a boot drive. I’ll have to decide if I want to do a clean install or just image the existing drive. I can get a windows 10 enterprise license from work, but I’m struggling to think of a planed use case for me where this would be an advantage over the windows 10 home OS on it now. It actually didn’t come with nearly as much bloatwear as I feared it might, and I took most of it off last night. I might keep one or two of the Dell utility programs. The 1 tb hdd will work fine for storage, and I’ll probably pick up another SSD to put programs and more frequently used files on down the road. If and/or when RAM prices drop, I’d be tempted to pick up a matching 16gb stick for dual channel even though that would probably be for vanity as much as anything else. I’ll likely pickup a better case fan and add an additional one, although nothing so far seems to run all that warm. I need to do some better cable management than they did.

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Car Content:

This is money that really should’ve gone towards the racecar, but I decided a decent computer is something that I actually use everyday.

Final Thoughts:

I’ll also have to stop by the storage unit on the way home and pull out my desk that had been put away for placing the house on the market and showing it. I’ve been told the dining table is not an acceptable computer desk, and those are the kind of household decisions I never argue with. I feels like a did okay for around $1000 all in, but we’ll see over the long run. As for that 1700x, I can certainly browse will all the tabs open. Excuse me while I go extinguish my wallet. It seems to have burst into flames.