CPU: Intel Core i5-12400 2.5 GHz 6-Core Processor ($160.00 at Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus PRIME B660M-A WIFI D4 Micro ATX LGA1700 Motherboard (Purchased For $140.00)
Memory: Team T-FORCE VULCAN Z 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($57.00 at Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN550 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($49.99 @ Western Digital)
Case: Corsair 4000D Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For $95.00)
Power Supply: Corsair CXM 650 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $60.00)
Total: $561.99 (or $512 without the SSD, see below)
Hello! This is my first time building a PC, and I need some feedback on the build above before I finish buying the rest of my parts. I don't need any extra peripherals, just the PC. I've bought the case, motherboard and the PSU already but I still have enough time to return them if I need to. I know the PSU is overkill but I got it on sale, and I figured it leaves me room to upgrade. I listed an SSD in the build, but I'd rather not buy it for now if possible, since I might already have a compatible one to get me started (see my questions below). Thanks so much in advance for any help!
Budget: Roughly aiming for the $500-750 range. Preferably trying to stay on the low end but I'm willing to go over this budget if recommended.
Use: 2 monitor setup (both only have HDMI ports) for school, Discord, Spotify, maybe some casual gaming and programming. I do need wi-fi and Bluetooth. Not interested at all in overclocking or competitive gaming performance--at most my PC gaming will likely be single-player stuff like Civ VI. Considering that I've been kinda managing the last couple years with a junky Pentium laptop with just 128 gb of storage and RAM I upgraded to 12 gb, even this PC build is probably overkill. Still, I'm hoping these parts will be plenty for the next few years and leave me room to upgrade or add a GPU if my needs ever change.
-On a laptop I don't use anymore, I have a 256 gb SSD with Windows pre-installed which says PCIe NVMe, and appears to be in the M.2 form factor. To save money on a new SSD and a copy of Windows, I could just physically move the SSD to the M.2 slot on this new build right? If I already have the Windows license linked to my Microsoft account and not to the laptop hardware, would I need to format the SSD or do anything special before moving it? I honestly don't know much about how that works, but I'm willing to figure it out as long as it's possible. I have the files already backed up to cloud storage, so I mainly just care about being able to reuse the SSD and activate Windows. 256 gb is fine for my current needs and I'm fine with adding storage later down the line as needed. I can buy a new SSD if I have to, though.
-Are the stock Intel CPU cooler and the 2 fans already included in my case going to be enough for my purposes at the moment? Since I'm not doing anything super intensive, I'd like to save money for now and buy extra coolers/fans later as needed. But if it's too risky from a cooling perspective, I can spend a bit more on a cooler and fans to keep my parts safe from the beginning.
The Corsair 4000D Airflow is an excellent choice and when they call it the "Airflow" they aren't kidding. While the Intel stock coolers get a bad rep for being cheap you can spend $10 on another case fan for the front and most likely be just fine because the air will really go through there.
The problem with the moving the m.2 Windows to the desktop is that the laptop becomes an expensive paperweight? If you can sell it for more than the cost of another Windows install then that's probably the better route.
For cooling with this processor, I'd say to try the stock cooler first under normal usage, monitor temps, and then determine if you need an upgrade. The stock cooler doesn't perform all that poorly in most tests I've seen, and good airflow from your case can help. You can replace it with something like a Hyper 212 that isn't too expensive and performs well if needed.
Those are good points! I don't use that old laptop (even though it has better specs than my current one) because it sometimes blue screens and overheats randomly, even after I sent it in for repairs and got the SSD replaced. But that's honestly all the more reason to just buy a bigger SSD and Windows (or finally try out Linux) so I don't have to make things overly complicated on my first build haha. I don't think the laptop is worth a ton now, but it should at least be enough to cover some of those costs at least--thanks for bringing that up! Appreciate the help.
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