UPDATE- 9.March.2014: My Kraken has finally arrived- and does it bring a whole new level of usability to my PC! Now I can easily play rFactor 2 and even BF4 etc for hours on end without having to worry about a barbecued CPU. Also ordered a Hue to go with the illuminated block. I'm not a fan of overtly bling and non-functional stuff, but it's fun to have a colorful desktop, not to mention the brownie points you get from friends.
Attaching a few pics too...
Initial build and report: Jan 2014
Where: Bangalore, INDIA
Intended usage: Moderate to heavy gaming, Sim racing, general usage
This isn't exactly my first build, but it's the first I built after starting to work. So yeah, its great to not have to go all conservative while shopping...
So firstly, I've been asked why AMD- its something i find kinda hard to answer, cuz i really wanted to go with one of the K series Haswells this time round. But I've owned AMD proccys for the last 7 years, and for my usage, I thought this should do just fine, also saving me a bit of money to spend on other components. So the 8350 it was.
I wanted to go for a 990FX chipset mobo, but due to low availability and some ridiculous pricing (here in IN), and also last minute changes (see the GPU story below), I settled with the M5A97R2.0. Supports up to 140W FX-8 processors, so no problems encountered.
I came across these nice PNY XLR8 memory sticks while browsing online- they were also selling for the same as other entry level Corsair sticks. Because these are 2133Mhz and CAS10 latency, chose these over the 1600Mhz and CAS27 Corsair sticks. No. Regrets. Whatsoever.
The SSD and the PSU were part of my last year's "foundation" upgrades- that's why I'm stuck with the Agility 3 drive. The PSU does the job for me I guess, but this isn't modular- so that's an area for my next upgrade.
Now for the GPU: Since I was mostly planning on Sim racing, I had decided to keep my old GTX260 and use on this for a while, spending that money on a G27 instead. But a friend came up with a decent offer for my old rig- so gave the GPU off with it and spent the G27 cash on the R9270X. Why AMD you ask again? I've generally been an Nvidia fan mainly cuz of their better software support, but this time, I took the leap with the R9 cuz I'd heard good feedback. Plus I found this ASUS card lying around in a store going for a good deal cheaper than even a stock, reference GTX760- So sorry NVIDIA.
Now for the case: I dunno why, but I wanted a full tower case even though I knew it wouldn't fit into my budget. I was looking at the Carbide 400/500 cases when i stumbled upon an e-tailer selling this NZXT for lesser than the 500- and it was a full tower! OK, this isn't a full tower in the traditional sense of the word; this is more like an extended mid-tower. But it was still plenty big for me considering I'd probably go Crossfire sometime down the road (I mentioned Sim racing didn't I?), and I'd never really have several HDDs, so the modular HDD bays were really great to get at this budget. And having owned the NZXT gamma previously, I swear by NZXT's cable mgmt features and build quality. The biggest selling point to me being the price, I made no delays in clicking the ORDER button.
OK, this is an AMD FX CPU after all, so I'm not really gonna stick with the stock cooler for long. But I'm in a bit of a fix about the cooler choice: Do I go with a closed loop LC (like the Kraken X60) or do it the old school way with a CM Hyper 212. Do drop in your suggestions down in the comments, they'd be of great help.
As for the case cooling, currently only the 2 NZXT case fans are doing the job, but the next in the pipeline is a set of good Corsair/ Noctua (if i can find Noctua here in India that is) fans. And some good lighting in there, whaddya say? Updated
This build (like my previous ones) is gonna be eternally WIP- so look forward to you guys' suggestions to take me along down that road.
Some more images in an album: http://imgur.com/a/zcbpX
|CPU||AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core||$200.00|
|CPU Cooler||NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid|
|Motherboard||Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 BOM ATX AM3+|
|Memory||PNY 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133||$100.00|
|Storage||OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5" SSD||$70.00|
|Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM||$70.00|
|Video Card||Asus Radeon R9 270X 2GB DirectCU II||$275.00|
|Case||NZXT Source 530 ATX Full Tower||$95.00|
|Power Supply||Corsair 600W ATX12V||$70.00|
|Optical Drive||Asus DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS DVD/CD Writer||$20.00|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - 64-bit (OEM) (64-bit)||$100.00|
|Monitor||BenQ GW2450HM 24.0"||$200.00|
|Date Published||March 23, 2014|
|Date Built||Jan. 4, 2014|