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Photon 4.0 Gaming PC Build (2018)

February 13, 2020


– Hey guys, this is Austin. It’s been a while, but I’m officially back with a brand new gaming PC build. Meet the Photon 4.0. The last year has been a
really, really rough one for building a computer. Thanks to cryptomining, it
has been incredibly difficult to get your hands on graphics cards, especially the ones that
most people wanna put in game builds. When you can find them,
they’re incredibly expensive. More often than not,
they’re just going to be completely out of stock. Then, to make things even worse, other components have also
been driven up in price. So high-end power supplies are
really expensive right now, and memory is especially bad,
with a lot of prices going for about double the price
that they were last year. Put all of this together, and
it has been really difficult to recommend any kind of new build. Well, at least until now. Thankfully, that changes
today with the launch of AMD’s new Ryzen processors
with Vega graphics. No, this is not a sponsored video. However, AMD did send
out a little press kit including both Ryzen 3 as well as Ryzen 5. I mean, Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5. (laughs) The Ryzen 3 2200G is going to give you four Ryzen CPU cores that
can clock up to 3.7GHz, as well as eight Vega GPU cores. Very similar to the Ryzen mobile laptop that I recently reviewed. At only $100, this guy looks to be a pretty good performance bargain, especially considering that
with those kind of specs, some games are going to
be playable even at 1080p. However, for this build, we’re going to be going with the Ryzen 5 2400G. This adds hyperthreading
to the quad-core processor, bringing the thread count up to eight, and you’re also going to
be getting a clock speed of nearly 4GHz. Almost more importantly for gaming, the Vega GPU cores have been bumped up from 8 to 11 on this guy. This does come with a
heftier $170 price tag, which, in context, makes Ryzen 3 look like a pretty good deal. However, because this
build, we’re going to go a little bit higher-end, we decided to go with the Ryzen 5 2400G. For the rest of the build,
we’re using 16 gigabytes of G.SKILL Flare X DDR4 memory. With a super fast 3200MHz clock speed, this is specifically
meant to work with Ryzen, and that extra power is
going to be super helpful if you have a Ryzen APU. However, at a price on Amazon right now of over $260, this is
probably not the best idea to pair with your $170 processor. (laughs) Instead, I detuned this
memory to run at 2666MHz to simulate running a much more reasonable $100 HyperX FURY X kit,
which is going to have eight gigs of RAM. I will say, though, that if
you’re looking to pick up a Ryzen with Vega chip, make
sure that at the very least you get some reasonably
fast dual-channel memory. Those graphics definitely
need some memory to be fed. At this point, it’s hard not to notice our slightly unusual case pick. So this is the Thermaltake Core P1. It’s a little different than
what we usually do here, especially for budget builds. With a solid piece of
tempered glass up front, it looks really nice. Of course, it’s not going to
be the most practical system, with the entire sides being open. However, it does mean that you have a lot of different mounting options, including on the feet. You can even put this on a wall. Now, because we’re using a Ryzen APU, there’s actually plenty of space here because we’re not installing
the graphics card. However, if you do wanna do that, there is an included riser cable where you can just drop it in. So, for example, if
you wanna upgrade later down the road, you’re set. For the motherboard, we’re
using the MSI B350 Pro AC. This actually isn’t out
yet, so I don’t have the final price, but it is a
pretty loaded little board. So in addition to full
support for a Ryzen APU, including overclocking,
you’re also getting RGB, you have Intel Wi-Fi built in, and there’s also a full-size DisplayPort, which means that,
especially for a B350 board, you’re getting a lot of features. Storage is being handled
by a 500GB WD Blue SSD. Now I’ve used these in
a few previous builds, and I like the price to reliability. However, one of the nice
things about this guy is it is available in an M.2 form factor, which, especially for a
clean build like this, means that we can actually
stick it on the back of the motherboard to make
the cabling even nicer. Even though the power
supply, as you guys will see, leaves a little bit to be desired. For that power supply, we’re using a 500-watt EVGA Bronze unit. There’s nothing really wrong with it. I’ve used a lot of these in builds. They’re gonna last a while,
and they’re fairly quiet. However, it’s not a modular supply, which, even though it
is a little bit cheaper, means that your cabling is going to be a little bit challenged in this guy. Thankfully, though,
especially on the back side of this Thermaltake case,
there’s a fair bit of room to be able to run some stuff. Maybe not the cleanest thing in the world. It’ll work. With a system like this,
especially if you’re going with a Ryzen APU, a game
that a lot of people are probably going to
want to play is CS:GO. Now here, with high
settings at 1080p, as I die, we’re getting a pretty respectable 50 to 60 frames per second. One of the nice things
is, because we are using a FreeSync high refresh rate monitor, if we do wanna turn the
graphics settings down to something like medium,
we could, in theory, take advantage of that
full 120Hz refresh rate. This is a bad idea. How do I do this? Moving over to Rocket League,
another game that I think a lot of people would play
on a system like this, we’re getting high
quality settings at 1080p with a pretty solid framerate
of between 40 to 50. Just like CS:GO, if you do like that higher framerate over… Oh, come on. Get it, get it, get it, get it, get it. Yeah. If you do wanna get that higher framerate, all you need to do is just crank the graphics settings down a little bit, and you can easily get well over 60 in pretty much all of these games. Oh, that was not good. It’s funny, I’ve done a lot of videos on super budget systems lately. It’s nice to see what
Rocket League looks like when you actually crank
the graphics up. (laughs) I’m on low all the time,
trying to get it to run on $200 laptops. Moving on, we have Grand Theft Auto V. Now here, running on
normal settings at 1080p, we’re between 40 to 50 frames per second. Not the smoothest thing
in the world, but GTA V, even for an older game,
does run reasonably well. However, what I’m really curious about is how Ryzen, especially
with those Vega GPU cores, are going to handle a more modern game. When it comes to
Middle-earth: Shadow of War, we’re dealing with a
much more demanding game. So here, at 720p on medium settings, we’re getting between 35
to 40 frames per second. It’s totally playable, but
when you get into those newer AAA titles,
the graphics settings are definitely gonna have to come down. So, how does Ryzen with Vega stack up? For the most part, pretty well. You’re getting a solid CPU,
along with decent graphics. If you’re only doing lighter
titles, it’s totally fine, but if you wanna get into
more hardcore gaming, at some point, you probably do wanna add a graphics card to this guy. With the Photon 4.0 itself, there is a lot of room for expansion. So you already have the really cool case, but there’s lots of room in
here to add that liquid cooling, to overclock your processor,
add a graphics card, more drives. The sky’s pretty much the limit. Considering where the PC market is today, I’m pretty happy with how
the Photon 4.0 came out. It’s a unique-looking system
that won’t break the bank. So as always, links to check
out all the parts you guys need to build this will be in the description. Something else you might wanna check out is my 2018 gaming PC tutorial,
where I show how to build everything here, although in
a slightly different case. So, feel free to go
check that out over here, and I will catch you guys in the next one.

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