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  • 【Guide to Build a PC】How to build a Gaming PC that can play all games for $1,000

    “If my budget is only___, can I get a PC that can actually play games?” There are too many factors to consider for such a question, but if you don’t mind spending time on it, assembling it yourself is definitely more cost-effective than buying a finished PC. Today, we’ll recommend you the most suitable and affordable PC build on the market, and explain in order how to assemble the computer by yourself. Just follow the steps and you can build your own gaming PC!   If you want to assemble your own gaming PC, first you have to know the list of parts you need to buy. The necessary parts include: 1. CPU, 2. Motherboard, 3. Memory, 4. Hard drive, 5. Graphics card, 6. Power supply 7. Case. In addition, you can get: 1. CPU Cooler, 2. Case fan, 3. Network card, etc. The main reason that CPU cooler is listed here is that the CPU comes with a fan, so it’s not a necessity. However, if it’s a large game load, it is recommended to buy a CPU cooler with a better cooling ability or a larger CPU cooler to control the CPU temperature to avoid overheating or crashing during the gameplay.   【All components for PC build】 A. CPU To make it affordable, the R5-3600X will be one of the best choices since AMD is a real bargain in the mid-range. The R5-3600X offers 6 cores and 12 threads. It has a basic clock of 3.8GHz and a boost clock of 4.4GHz, supports native 3200MHz memory, and is PCIe 4.0 SSD compatible. The expandability is excellent, and very few gamers will manually adjust the CPU or memory frequency. Learn more: https://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/amd-ryzen-5-3600x   B. Motherboard The new B550 series motherboard is definitely a blessing for gamers. In the past, the B series is quite different from the X series in terms of CPU overclocking, memory overclocking and I/O interface; The TUF Gaming B550 PLUS is highly compatible, close to the X570 level, and has a sleek military look, making it the best choice at this price range. Learn more: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/TUF-GAMING-B550-PLUS/ C. Memory To keep the budget in check, try to avoid getting components that have RGB lighting. However, since it’s a gaming PC, the memory must be gaming style as well. We pick T-FORCE VULCAN Z 8GBx2 3200MHz. It looks like a mecha with a strong sense of gaming design, and 8GBx2 3200MHz is also very sufficient to run all kinds of games. Learn more: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/vulcan-z-ddr4 D. Solid state drive There are some tips on how to choose an SSD. Since we want to have enough speed and capacity while keeping my budget under control, we choose a 512GB TEAMGROUP MP33 PRO M.2 PCIe and a 512GB T-FORCE VULCAN G SATA 2.5” SSD, so the read/write processing is done in PCIe and data storage is stored in SATA to avoid purchasing expensive SSD that has both high speed and large capacity. Learn more: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/mp33-pro https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/vulcan-g-ssd E. Graphics card As for graphics card, the ASUS TUF Gaming Geforce GTX1660 Super is a real bargain. Although the performance is not comparable to the ultra-high specification but over-budget RTX 3080, RTX 2080Ti, etc., but the 1660 Super is still the best choice in terms of Full HD quality. Learn more: https://www.asus.com/Graphics-Cards/TUF-GTX1660S-O6G-GAMING/ F. Remaining parts (Power supply, Case, CPU cooler) Among the remaining parts, you should pay attention that the use of a major manufacturer’s power supply with a better warranty, such as the durable CoolerMaster, will reduce the chance of burning out. The wattage should be sufficient to support PC’s normal operation. Generally speaking, it is recommended to choose a power supply of more than 650W for a PC build with a discrete graphics card. The case and the CPU cooler are basically the same as long as they are compatible. Anything that isn’t bad enough to become an oven can be considered. Learn more: https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/power-supplies/mwe-series/mwe-gold-650-full-modular/ 【Installation Process】 Next is the installation process. How to make a cool PC build out of the scattered parts? Even if you are a total beginner, just follow these steps and you will be all set! 1. Install the CPU cooler base onto the motherboard Nowadays, many CPU coolers are designed to be used by both AMD and Intel, so the screws need to be slightly adjusted to align with the motherboard holes. You can refer to the attached manual for the adjustment. The manual of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler is quite detailed, so don’t worry! 2. Install the CPU in the motherboard Start by lifting the lever beside the CPU socket. Next, you need to pay attention to align the CPU correctly when placing it into the socket, otherwise the pin may be broken or burned. The motherboard and CPU are now equipped with foolproof mechanism, so you can install it correctly by following the arrows shown below. 3. Lock the power supply into the case From the front of the case, there is not much space on the right side, but if you open the right side panel, you will see a space below, this is where we will place our power supply. In most cases, the sockets and switches should face outwards and the air vents should face downwards, then lock the power supply from the back of the case. Also, since this is a non-modular power supply, which means the power supply itself is connected to a large bundle of wires, so it can be installed directly, but the downside is that it can’t be removed when there are too many wires. If you choose a “fully modular” power supply, since the wires need to be connected by yourself, you must make sure which wires are needed and connect them first and then lock the case, otherwise it won’t be easy to plug them after the case is locked! 4. Lock the motherboard tightly to the case Usually, the case has 9 screw holes corresponding to the holes of the motherboard, but not every motherboard will have 9 holes. As for myself, I usually lock 7 or 8 of them. When locking the motherboard, make sure that the CPU socket is on the top, so that the heat from the fan can be discharged out of the PC, and the graphics card will also have a place to put in. 5. Connect the power supply cable to the motherboard The most troublesome part of the installation is organizing the messy cables. We usually pull out the CPU power cable and the mother power cable from the reserved holes of the case and plug them into the motherboard. This can avoid leaving no room to plug in cables after other components have been installed. 6. Connect the front panel connectors of the case to the motherboard Almost all cases nowadays have 2~4 USB ports, power on/off and reboot buttons, etc. on the front panel. They all need to be powered and controlled by the motherboard. Since the wiring method of each motherboard is different, it is recommended to follow the user manual of the motherboard to connect them to the corresponding positions. The following is a brief introduction to the corresponding connection method of the TUF B550 PLUS motherboard. 7. Install rest of the parts on the motherboard Before installing, it is recommended to lay the case flat so that it can be screwed in easily. It can be installed in the order we are used to: Install the M.2 PCIe SSD first, then the CPU cooler to the base as mentioned in the first step, followed by the graphics card, memory, and finally the 2.5” SATA SSD. Most of the cases on the market still have the position of the 2.5” SSD on the power supply side, so the 2.5” SSD cable is usually the last thing we consider. Please note here that most mid-range and above discrete graphics cards also need to be connected to the PCIe power cable of the power supply! 8. Cable management The installation is almost complete! The rest is the most painful part: cable management. After installation, there will be a lot of messy cables, so you will need to find some cable ties to tidy them up and hide them out of sight. This is the part that requires more experience. 9. Install OS & update drivers Please support the genuine software when installing the OS. How to install the OS is explained in the “Tutorial of SSD Unboxing – The 6 Things You Should Do After Buying a New SSD”: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/info/ins.php?index_id=83 If you are lazy to search for the drivers, you can download Driver Booster. It has the latest drivers from major manufacturers and you can install them by one click: https://www.iobit.com/en/driver-booster.php Conclusion Here we explain the whole installation process, and introduce how to buy a PC for only $1,000, so that you can refer to according to different needs. All the selected products can be found on Amazon. T-FORCE VULCAN Z 3200 2x8GB: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QMM6NY3/ref=twister_B08L6D9P16?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 T-FORCE VULCAN G SSD 500G: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F754NPR/ref=twister_B084H9RJ5S TEAMGROUP MP33 PRO 512GB: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GM9TQDB/ref=twister_B081CYW1B8 The installation process contains my own experience, and the order of the process is also based on convenience. Hope it will encourage new gamers to be more willing to try to build a PC by yourself!

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  • Which TEAMGROUP M.2 PCIe SSD Is Suitable for You

    As the price of M.2 PCIe becomes more affordable, there is now a variety of M.2 solid state drives on the market. The rise of AMD has also accelerated the popularity of the high-end Gen4x4. What are the differences between these various M.2 PCIe SSDs? How should we pick the most suitable SSD? Today, I will introduce the various M.2 PCIe SSDs released by TEAMGROUP, which currently has the largest variety of SSD heat sinks. 1. Without heat sink The most common M.2 SSDs are bare chips, which means they have no heat sinks. Without the cost of a heat sink, this type of product focuses on basic differences such as specifications and durability, which makes it a real bargain. Learn more about TEAMGROUP M.2 PCIe SSD Frankly, whoever uses better materials and cheaper prices will be the biggest winner. It is a very realistic market and the customer base is also more consumer oriented; the downside is that there is little choice in appearance and limited cooling capacity. If you are concerned about the look or using SSD frequently for a long time, it is recommended to choose a product with a heat sink. 2. With heat sink Now let’s talk about the ones with heat sinks. TEAMGROUP’s T-FORCE offers very comprehensive solutions for gamers to choose from, including graphene, ceramic, water cooling, and aluminum fins, which can be adapted to different usage environment and appearance requirements. Learn more about T-FORCE M.2 PCIe SSD The main function of the heat sink is to maintain the high-speed operation of the M.2 PCIe SSD and avoid activating the speed reduction protection mechanism due to high temperature. I personally also choose the product with a heat sink. TEAMGROUP’s T-FORCE M.2 PCIe SSDs have a rule of naming. A single word is used in the front to distinguish different types of heat sinks, and the number at the back to represent PCIe version and bandwidth. For example, 340 represents Gen3x4, so now you can follow this logic to get an SSD!     A. Graphene heat sinks: If you see Z at the beginning of a T-FORCE SSD model, it means the heat sink is built by graphene. For instance, Z330, Z340, Z440, etc. are all made of graphene as the base material, and different styles are designed at the top to make product differences. Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z330 M.2 PCIe SSD Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z340 M.2 PCIe SSD Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD According to the test result on the official website, the cooling effect is more than 9% higher than the SSD without the heat sink. It is because the laminated glue between graphene and copper foil is also heat dissipative. This cooling solution has also obtained a Taiwan invention patent. Another advantage is that the overall thickness of the heat sink is less than 1mm, so you don’t have to worry about the structural problems between different components. After installation, it is just like installing a product without a heat sink. It is so thin and still has a powerful cooling capability, and that’s what makes this patent so amazing! B. Ceramic heat sinks: The letter C at the beginning of a T-FORCE SSD model means the heat sink is built by ceramic. Currently, there is a C440, which is very unique and designed with white and gold, is now available. Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440 M.2 PCIe SSD  The ceramic material itself has the characteristics of high heat dissipation wattage and no heat storage. However, during TEAMGROUP’s test, we found that the cooling effect of the case with a fan was as high as 18% while the case without a fan, which is less common in the market, was only 2%. This difference is quite consistent with the characteristics of ceramic itself that its thermal conductivity is better than thermal dissipation. The two heat sinks above are generally heat stinks with a better thermal conductivity than heat dissipation. In other words, if there is a fan that brings air convection into the case, and with the heat conducted from these two materials, a powerful cooling effect can be archived. C. Water cooling heat sinks: T-FORCE CARDEA LIQUID is a product that has been widely discussed since its release. The main reason is that the liquid in this SSD is not flowing like the CPU water cooling, which has led many people to question the heat dissipation capacity of this water cooling. Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA LIQUID This type of water cooling is really not as good as CPU water cooling. After all, CPU water cooling not only convects water, but also dissipates heat with a fan. But in fact, Gen3x4 SSD does not generate heat as much as CPU. Relatively speaking, it does not require such a powerful cooling device to cool it down, but we just collectively call it “water cooling”. So what is the cooling capacity of this product: According to the test, there is no big difference between whether there is a fan or not, and they can both reach around 13% of cooling effect, which means the effect is not bad. By the way, this product has a big feature. Many gamers pay attention to the integration of the PC build, therefore T-FORCE offers a variety of different colors of water cooling liquid. The amazing thing is that this water cooling liquid can also be mixed with each other to create special colors, which is simply a gospel for PC DIY enthusiasts. Learn more about CK5 Coolant Kit Some gamers mentioned that if the water cooling liquid gets too hot, will it boil and burst? The boiling point of the water cooling liquid inside is 187℃, which is not that easy to make the water cooling liquid boil, so don’t worry about it. D. Aluminum fin heat sinks: CARDEA II has the most powerful cooling effect in the series. The design of this model can be said is the pioneer of various SDD heat sinks on the market. It is made of common aluminum with special structural design on top to enhance heat dissipation. This cooling solution has also obtained a Taiwan patent. Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA II M.2 PCIe SSD The current test can achieve a cooling effect of up to 21% in a case with a fan. The 15% indicated on the official website seems to be a conservative estimation, because it has a stronger cooling capacity than previous models. However, it should be noted that the height of this heat sink is relatively high. If it is installed in the PCIe slot closest to the CPU, due to the height, a larger graphics card may be stuck when it is plugged in. It is recommended to change the graphics card to an upright position, which is less likely to damage the pin. You can also install the SSD in the next slot to avoid the above problem. 3. Specification: Next is the specification. Now the market is generally divided into Gen3 and Gen4 specifications, which refers to the PCIe version. As for the Gen3x4 we often refer to, the x4 in the back represents the number of channels. The specific choice of which M.2 PCIe SSD to use depends on the compatibility of your motherboard and CPU, which we can find out from the SPEC of your motherboard. Source: https://rog.asus.com/motherboards/rog-crosshair/rog-crosshair-viii-dark-hero-model/spec/ Currently, AMD’s X570 and B550 two chipsets can support Gen4 M.2 PCIe SSD. INTEL is open on some of the Z490 chipset motherboards, and it is expected to be generally open after Z590. If the motherboard is not one of the above chipsets, just remember to buy the Gen3x4 at most. It is not worth it if you buy a Gen4x4 SSD in pursuit of maximum speed and end up with no support.

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