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Question Help me build a PC - $1000-$1500

Jan 28, 2020
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Hi all.

It's been a while since I've built my own PC and I think it's best If I leave the fun part for your bright minds.

I have a few requirements:

> AMD or Intel CPU

> AMD or Nvidia Graphics
> mATX Case and Mobo
> 16GB RAM

> Power supply up to 550w
> No overclocking or watercooling

Please build the rig on PC Case Gear as I live in Australia.


Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I have $950 left in the budget. I have bought the CPU, RAM and Mobo which I have listed further down in the thread.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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If you can give me some more information to go on, I would be happy to help!
  • What kinds of games do you like to play? Fast-paced esports titles or slower adventure games?
  • What resolution is your monitor? 1080p or 1440p? Are you buying new or keeping what you have?
  • What other peripherals does the budget have to accomodate?
Let me know and I will update this post with some suggestions later!
 
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Jan 28, 2020
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Hey @Rensje.

This machine will mostly be used for playing a bit of all genres at 1080p on a single 27" monitor. I'll be keeping my mouse and keyboard and the monitor for now.

This build's budget will include the cost of the:

Case, CPU, GPU, RAM, Storage, PSU, Fans, Coolers and a Mobo.

The case Is my lowest prioity in the budget.

Hopefully I didn't miss anything important.

Thank you for your time.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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For some reason, I'm not allowed access to that site you mentioned, so I will link to the individual parts on PCPartPicker instead. Unfortunately I can't check if all this stuff is actually available on PC Case Gear too, so I'll just have to hope for the best.


Alright. I left some room in the budget because these are US prices and if I'm not mistaken, Australia is a lot more expensive. Anyway, we ticked all the boxes. It's a Micro-ATX case with good airflow, a quality motherboard that fits and works out of the box with Ryzen 3000. Fast RAM at 16GB, a potent CPU cooler, NVMe storage for your operating system and a second SSD drive for storage. The RTX 2060 Super is plenty fast for 1080p gaming at 144Hz and will do 1440p60+ if you want it. All of it goes together in terms of aesthetics, too. Maybe add another fan or two to the case if you think you need it, but the case being a mesh design you won't be wanting for airflow.

All of these are suggestions, of course, but I'd be very happy with a setup like this myself!
 
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Jan 28, 2020
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Thanks a ton @Rensje

I did some conversion. Everything was available on PCCG but the 1TB SSD, So I chose a price off a competior's site.

3453erqe123.jpg

Yeap. Sucks to buy parts in Australia. Except if you're buying the motherboard.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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Good Lord.. that's a big difference. You could have a look at prices for the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super or the AMD Radeon 5600 XT to see if you can land in a more reasonable price range. The 1660 Super offers great bang for the buck and is very efficient. The 5600 XT is a lot faster still, but a bit harder to recommend at this time because it's so new and communication around which one you should buy is confused at best.

I guess you could also bump the primary storage device up to 1TB and shave the secondary one off entirely for now. That, or go with a more modest mechanical storage drive, which are likely a LOT cheaper. You could also easily get away with a slightly cheaper cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, or just skip buying a cooler entirely for now because the Ryzen 5 3600 comes with one in the box.

I hope you can make it work, my friend! Good luck with your purchase and your build! Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with.
 
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Jan 28, 2020
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I really do like the look of the Dark Rock cooler though. Are the coolers that come bundled with the Ryzen CPUs quiet?

I'll do the conversion tomorrow as It's time for me to rest.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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I really do like the look of the Dark Rock cooler though. Are the coolers that come bundled with the Ryzen CPUs quiet?
The boxed cooler that comes with the processor isn't the quietest, no. It will probably be audible if you push your system, but when you are gaming that noise will likely be drowned out by the noises from the GPU anyway.

If you fancy the Dark Rock 4 but want to shave off a few bucks, there's always the Dark Rock Slim. Same aesthetic, slightly smaller and about two-thirds of the price.
 
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logainofhades

Moderator
Jan 2, 2020
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PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor ($199.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Deepcool GAMMAXX GT 29.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($45.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: Gigabyte B450 AORUS M Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($135.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Storage: Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($99.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($85.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB OC Video Card ($539.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Fractal Design Focus G Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($89.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($135.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case Fan: CRYORIG QF120 LED Balance 59 CFM 120 mm Fan ($19.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $1484.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-01-29 01:57 AEDT+1100
 
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Zoid

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Hey @Trestkon I went through PC Part Picker Australia and came up with similar ideas to the lists that Rensje and Logain have given you. I'm not sure if you have all the access to all the vendors that I pulled from, so I modified the list with alternate suggestions to consider if prices fluctuate.

PartSuggestionPrice
CPUChoice: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor
Alternative: Like Logain listed, the last generation Ryzen 5 2600. I'm seeing it for as much as $90 cheaper, and it is still a strong performer. I would especially consider this if you're already planning on upgrading to a Ryzen 7 sometime down the line.
$198-$289
CPU CoolerChoice: The stock cooler.
Alternative: The Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition 57.3 CFM CPU Cooler is consistently one of the best coolers for the price. This fancied-up version is a little more visually appealing than the basic one and is only a few bucks more.
$0-$64
MotherboardChoice: MSI B450M MORTAR MAX Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard
Alternative: ASRock B450M PRO4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard
$124-$148
MemoryChoice: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory
Alternative: Any cheaper DDR4-3600 memory you find.
?-$135
StorageChoice: Intel 660p Series 1.02 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
Alternative: I think the faster transfer speeds of an M.2 NVME SSD are worth it, but if they don't matter to you at all then you could save a little bit of money with a 2.5" form factor drive like the Crucial BX500 960 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive. You could also go with a smaller storage size for now if you don't need a full 1TB.
$129-$174
Video CardChoice: Asus Radeon RX 5700 8 GB TUF Gaming X3 OC Video Card
Alternative: You could get a Asus GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB DUAL OC Video Card if you want to squeeze under the $400 mark.
$399-$459
CaseChoice: Fractal Design Focus G Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case
Alternative: Any case you want. A cardboard box would do!
$0-$89
Power SupplyChoice: Corsair TXM Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply
Alternative: There aren't many cheaper power supplies that are also of high quality.
?-$118
Case FanChoice: be quiet! SilentWings 3 PWM 50.5 CFM 120 mm Fan
Alternative: Any fan you like.
?-$29

The recommendations there will come out to roughly $1,500, or less if you take some of the alternatives. I feel so sorry for Aussies having to pay such inflated prices! CPUs and GPUs especially are through the roof.
 
Jan 28, 2020
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@Rensje I could play around with this as I have a fair few options.
The 212 Cooler you mentioned was $49 and I don't mind shaving $75 of the case and power supply (-$150) so I can add a 5600 XT (+100). The dark rock slim was $89!
fwe5trt7iu.jpg

@Zoid @logainofhades

Hi!

Is the difference between the R5 2600 and R5 3600 that noticable? I was recommended a Core i3 9350K (4 cores, 4 threads, 8MB Cache, 4.00GHz - 4.60GHz, 8GT/s) by a friend at the office. I've heard most people are leaving the blue camp and moving over to team red. Should I be avoiding Intel even though I've not had a single problem with them in 20 years?
 
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logainofhades

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Jan 2, 2020
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An i3 9350k is a horrible idea, actually. Quad core gaming, for modern AAA titles, is dead. The six core i5's suffer from frametime variance/stuttering in such titles, as they lack hyperthreading, and the games are wanting more resources, than those chips can provide. If you want Intel, I would start with an 8700k, at minimum. Problem, other than horrible price/performance, with Intel, is 0 upgrade path, beyond the 9900k. The current platform is a dead end. Price/performance, AMD is where it is at, especially for more budget oriented systems. The 3600 is a nice boost, over the 2600, but not worth it, if your budget forces you to go with a weaker graphics card, to get it.
 
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Zoid

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Jan 13, 2020
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Is the difference between the R5 2600 and R5 3600 that noticable? I was recommended a Core i3 9350K (4 cores, 4 threads, 8MB Cache, 4.00GHz - 4.60GHz, 8GT/s) by a friend at the office. I've heard most people are leaving the blue camp and moving over to team red. Should I be avoiding Intel even though I've not had a single problem with them in 20 years?
I will second what Logain said. The Ryzen 5 is a clear winner in a build of your budget. The only time I'd recommend that i3 is if your uses focused only on very high loads on 4 cores or less. In 2020, those uses are becoming fewer and fewer, and with the R5 having triple the number of threads as the i3 the choice is clear. As mentioned, it also gives you an upgrade path to future Ryzen processors if you ever need something beefier.

It's not that Intel's current processors are bad, they've just fallen behind. AMD's Zen micro architecture is simply better tech at the moment and Intel is still working on coming up with an answer. Intel's high-end i7s and i9s can still win out at the top end of gaming performance, but the i3 and i5 product lines have been made completely obsolete unless you can get them at a deep discount.
The 3600 is a nice boost, over the 2600, but not worth it, if your budget forces you to go with a weaker graphics card, to get it.
I second this. Since the price difference in Australia is so large, I would only pick the 3600 if you can do so without downgrading any other part of your system.
 
Jan 28, 2020
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Ok, I just ordered an R5 3600, one of the RAM options and one of the B450M Mobo's listed. I'm still undecided on the graphics card.
I'll work out what case I like the most or see if I could pick up a second hand one off a mate in exchange for a 6-pack.

I was going to make a new thread for this, but I think it's best if I keep these questions all together on the one thread.

Do "In Win" make reliable power supplies? I came acoss a 400w 80+ Gold on ebay for $80 which sounds very tempting. Not for this build however, maybe as a recommendation piece of advice that I could pass onto a friend, who wants a custom non-gaming rig, with a low cost and reliable PSU.
What power supply brands would you recommend and which would you stay clear of?
 
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Inspireless Llama

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Dec 20, 2019
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I think that even per brand the PSU can differ in reliability. I have a be quiet pure power 11 currently which seems good. However I read (in Dutch) that previous PSUs were not always that good.

I think the same goes for Cooler Master. In general I think Corsair makes reliable Power supplies and I'd advice sticking with one from a known brand. As far as I know a bad psu can be pretty bad for your entire pc.


It's in Dutch so you can translate it if it's needed, I found the topic really helpful. On my phone right now so can't translate the important parts.
 
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Zoid

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Ok, I just ordered an R5 3600, one of the RAM options and one of the B450M Mobo's listed. I'm still undecided on the graphics card.
I'll work out what case I like the most or see if I could pick up a second hand one off a mate in exchange for a 6-pack.
Keep us posted on the build! Feel free to keep this thread going during your progress, and then show us your final results over in Show Us Your Setup! You can always shoot me a message if you run into any issues along the way.
Do "In Win" make reliable power supplies? I came acoss a 400w 80+ Gold on ebay for $80 which sounds very tempting. Not for this build however, maybe as a recommendation piece of advice that I could pass onto a friend, who wants a custom non-gaming rig, with a low cost and reliable PSU.
What power supply brands would you recommend and which would you stay clear of?
TLDR: If this is better than other deals you're finding, this would probably be a perfectly fine choice for a non-gaming budget rig. Long-winded version below:

@Inspireless Llama is right that even within one brand power supplies can differ in quality. Sometimes power supplies that have the same brand name can even be made by completely different companies. It can be very confusing and hard to wade through all the different models out there.

InWin has their own PSU production line, and they do make high-quality PSUs for their super high-end cases, but I'm not familiar with their cheaper units. An 80+ Gold certification tells you that it is pretty efficient, so the internals are most likely at least decent, but the 80+ certification by itself is not a guarantee of quality.

The ideal solution is to buy a PSU that has an established reputation for using high-quality internals and delivering safe, stable power. This PSU Tier list is a good resource for familiarizing yourself with some of the better models on the market, though it is just an educated consensus and not an absolute authority.

That said... having a high quality power supply is especially important for systems that draw a lot of power (like gaming PCs). If you were just putting together a home office PC for a friend on a budget, then that InWin model might very well be a great choice. The less you are going to be demanding of your PSU, the less likely you are to find the limits of a low-grade unit.
 
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Inspireless Llama

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Just feel like I should add somewhat of a disclaimer:

These are parts from the topic I posted in the previous post of mine in this topic. I threw them in google translate and rewrote them a bit so there might be odd translations. Also, this is not an opinion of mine, just what was written in the said topic. Actual text is in the spoilers, felt like it might become too much of a wall of text otherwise.

With PSU advices I only posted the mainstream one, since I think I got from the question that it wasn't do to do about high-end PSU's or a PSU for enthousiasts.

Bad power supplies

Now you can choose the right power supply. When choosing a PSU you have to pay particular attention to quality. For example, poor quality power supplies often do not deliver their promised power. So a so-called 750W power supply can already have trouble supplying 250W stable. Such power supplies may seem cheap, but they are certainly not cheap. For example, if you pay 40 euros for such a PSU, it is cheap for a 750W power supply, but if it turns out that such a power supply can only deliver 250W in a stable way, 40 euros for a miserable 250W is a lot of money.

So always go for a PSU of decent quality! Brands such as MS-TECH, Spire, Inter-Tech, Eminent, Ewent, HKC, Linkworld, Rasurbo Ultron and Techsolo should be avoided. You pay a lot there for very little. There are still a few of these manufacturers who would rather sell a bad product with a lot of margin than a good product.

Another problem of a bad PSU or a broken PSU can be that it can destroy certain pc components. A PSU should be able to deliver a stable voltage. If it can't do that, it can destroy your pc. And of course nobody is waiting for a broken pc because of a faulty PSU.


Not interesting power supplies

Below are a number of non-interesting power supplies which are often popular. These power supplies are usually not as bad like the ones above, but are just too expensive for what you get. The largest profit is in the budget and mainstream segment and not in the high-end segment. If you have good high-end products and focus on marketing, a non-interesting budget power supply also sells much better. This is because the average consumer would rather buy an over-priced, poor-quality power supply from a well-known manufacturer than a power supply with an excellent price, performance and quality ratio from a less-known manufacturer.

Take for example a manufacturer like EVGA who currently has power supplies that cost less than 100 euros, but these power supplies are not very interesting. Quality and performance are only moderate and the price is much too high. However, these power supplies do sell well due to the name recognition of EVGA and the good SuperNOVA G2, P2 and T2 power supplies. Corsair has also had non-interesting power supplies below 100 euros for few years, but that has come to an end with the Vengeance and new CXM series. Still the old CXM series, CX series, CSM series and RM series sold very good due to the good name that Corsair had.

You should not use low-end power supplies such as the Corsair VS series and Cooler Master B v2 series for a new PC. The quality and performance of these power supplies are very poor, so that the expected lifespan is short. These are power supplies intended for repairing an old PC, so that it can last for two years and will get replaced after. The price / quality ratio is often hard to find with such power supplies. They may be cheap, but for a few more euros you can get something much better, so you can better ignore power supplies such as these.

Review: product review: Cooler Master B600 ver.2 review by -The_Mask- (In Dutch)



The old Corsair CX Bronze and CX Modular are two popular series. But these power supplies actually have nothing special. They do not have a DC-DC or other form of individual voltage regulation (at least up to 600W), but group regulation does not have a good voltage stability and also no high efficiency. The quality of this series does not go much further than moderate. Such a power supply therefore requires a low price. However, the price of these series is relatively high, which means there are better options. The 750W version also has DC-DC, but is also not good, the price is therefore too high. The price is comparable to a number of high-end 750W power supplies. The successors of these power supplies are a lot more interesting, which are therefore mentioned below.

The two cheapest EVGA series, the 80PLUS and 80PLUS Bronze series (both of which are fairly nameless), are also not really products that you should consider. Just like the Corsair CX (M) series up to 600W, they are based on a double forward design with group regulation. This is an outdated design without individual voltage regulation and therefore no support for the C6 and C7 power states. But the overall performance is also just poor. In addition, the quality of the power supplies is not too high and the price is high.

The be quiet! System Power 7 450 to 700W is based on the FSP Raider platform and have an 80PLUS Silver certificate. FSP Raider is known for its poor performance, even though the efficiency is higher than an 80PLUS Bronze power supply at a comparable price. That does not make these power supplies a better choice. The problem with this series is that they have group regulation and that the voltage stability is very poor, this also applies to the ripple suppression and the quality is nothing special either. All this makes that you can look better power supplies with less high efficiency and therefore an 80PLUS Bronze certificate than this. In addition, if you have a PC that needs 450W or more, you probably have a high-end game PC and you shouldn't look for a low-end power supply anyway.

The be quiet! System Power 8 series is the successor of the System Power 7 series. The System Power 8 series currently consists of three power supplies, but none of them are really special or really worth considering. The quality and performance have not improved compared to the previous generation, the only advantage could be the black cables. But PCs that require a 500W or 600W power supply and are therefore a high-end game PC simply deserve a much better power supply than this budget series. You might want to consider the 400W version, but it is smarter to simply spend a few euros more. These power supplies also do not have individual voltage regulation and are therefore not C6 and C7 compatible.

Power supplies with average power (400W-550W)

Below are a number of power supplies with an average power of 400W to about 550W. These are power supplies suitable for game PCs with a single video card which require two PEG connectors, these are mainstream to high-end video cards. Video cards with a consumption of around 150W to around 275W So. Where a 550W power supply is often only needed with an overclock of an already consuming video card, without overclocking a good 450W power supply is usually sufficient.

Mainstream power supplies

Cooler Master GM G450M
and Cooler Master GM G550M are good options for a game PC with a nice video card, where the 550W version is only needed for the most consuming video cards of around 250W or more and if you also want to overclock. The 550W version does have a better fan, the 450W version has a sleeve bearing and the 550W version has a ball bearing. The power supplies are semi-modular and have colored cables with sleeving. The performance and quality are in order for the price you paid for it. The power supplies come with a 5-year warranty and a realistic service life is around 7 years and are relatively quiet.

(Note: I looked this up and they don't seem to be available anymore, in the Netherlands at least).

With the Pure Power 10 and Pure Power 10 CM from 400W, be quiet! very quickly introduced a successor for the rather poorly performing Pure Power 9 and Pure Power 9 CM power supplies. This new 10 series from 400W now uses a platform that is comparable to the Straight Power 10. The difference with Straight Power 10 is the slightly lower return on especially full load, the qualitatively less fan and the shorter guarantee. But with that the pricewatch in particular is: be quiet! Pure Power 10 400W is a very interesting power supply for a very quiet mainstream game PC with for example an RX 470, 480 or GTX 1060. The 500W version is normally only needed for a very inefficient video card with overclocked CPU.


Antec VPF Series 450W
and Antec VPF Series 550W are just that little bit better than the power supplies above, but don't expect much difference. Warranty is also 3 years with these power supplies and I would also assume a 7 year use with these power supplies. However, these two power supplies are less quiet than the be quiet! and Cooler Master from above, but then again they are not noisy. The power supplies are not modular and sleeving is only around the 24 pin ATX cable, cables are also not black, so it won't look as nice in a windowed case. However, both power supplies have two 6 + 2 pin PEG connectors, so a high-end video card is no problem for either.

(Note: I looked these up as well and don't appear to be avaiable in NL anymore. I don't know about other regions).

Corsair CX450M
and pricewatch: Corsair CX550M have been Corsair's power supplies for a long time, allowing them to compete with other manufacturers in this segment. Corsair has had nothing interesting in this price segment for a number of years, CX400, VX450, VX550 and HX450 were the last really good feeds. Now with this series they finally have something interesting again, but especially the 450W version, the 550W version is 20 euros more expensive and that is quite a big, inexplicable difference. Anyway, these power supplies have a semi-modular design and all cables are black, so they wouldn't look out of place in a windowed case. Quality and performance are great for the price and the power supplies come with a 5-year warranty, a realistic service life is again around 7 years.


Corsair Vengeance 400W; . They also have Over Current Protections on the 12V, for better protection against short-circuits and overloads. However, these power supplies are meant for the German market and therefore not very well available and also a bit more expensive than in Germany. The 400W and 500W versions are not modular, the 550W version is. Because the Vengeance 550W has a comparable price to the CX550M, this power supply is also a better choice due to the higher quality.
 
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Zoid

Community Contributor
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Inwin does not produce their own PSU's. They have other OEM's do it for them. The vast majority of their PSU's I would consider low quality.

My information may be a bit outdated. I know that PowerMan is owned by InWin and produces their own power supplies, but I know they also contract FSP to do some, not sure which ones. They have actually made decent quality units in the past but I don't know enough about their current lineup to know if that's still true.

@Trestkon we can speculate on InWin's PSU quality and offer our opinions on more tried and trusted units, but in the end if this is for a budget build then just find a PSU that's on a good sale and that has at least one good credible tech review out there examining its quality.
 
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Jan 27, 2020
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I've seen people on youtube and facebook build some of the fastest systems money can buy and then just have the rubbish and garbage 800w generic power supply that was 1/3 the cost of a quality 450w. If that power supply goes, it can take out your CPU and other components aswell. Coil whine or a noisy PSU fan might be a sign of a dying or crap power unit.

When buying a PSU, take into consideration the three rails: 3.3v, 5v and 12v. 16 amps on the 3.3v / 5v and 30 amps on the 12v is very good and very safe. Anything below that I wouldn't recommend for gaming.
 
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Jan 28, 2020
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Thank you for your replies guys!

I'll put the air cooler's budget aside as I want to spend most of my remaining $920 on the SSD, power supply and graphics card. I picked up a near-new cooler master 5 rgb case for $30 on Gumtree which hold a $109 price tag if new.

Seasonic is very expensive where in Australia. You'd be lucky to find one for $100 or less.

Coolermaster and Corsair are the best deals from what I've read on the forums.

@Overclocking Crocodile clever name, I like it. I'll use Outervision's Power Supply Calculator and see what I really need.
 

Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
Dec 20, 2019
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Have you considered the Be Quiet Pure Power 11? On the one australian site I was able to find it sells for about 110$

 

Zoid

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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I picked up a near-new cooler master 5 rgb case for $30 on Gumtree which hold a $109 price tag if new.
That's awesome! Great find.
Seasonic is very expensive where in Australia. You'd be lucky to find one for $100 or less.

Coolermaster and Corsair are the best deals from what I've read on the forums.
$100 or more is actually not crazy for a good power supply, even in the US. That said, Corsair and Coolermaster both have solid PSUs on the <$100 budget market. Something like the Corsair CX or the Cooler Master Masterwatt are solid power supplies and would most likely serve you well.
 
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