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by crabiorc
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January 1 2013: Its been 6 years since I built my last machine (Intel based). The old Mammoth faded with my home as a memory.

3 months of research and planning (Oct 2012 to Dec 2012) - and this week I complete the build. I am an ex-Dell employee and have an extensive experience on building PCs. The parts were picked purely analyzing my needs and no cost factor or fan-boy blindness is involved.

Usage: Multiple virtual machines for my hobby-app development (multiple platforms), FPS gaming, Video rendering, High-Res picture drawing and editing.

I am not sure if I can OC the build more. The CPU is at 4.7 ghz now against the default 4.0. The stock cpu cooler (cooler master make) from AMD serves it purpose and am sure that I wont need a better cooling setup. The case is massive enough to have the perfect airflow.

Game Test: MOH: Warfighter on ULTRA settings - pure cinematic experience with no issues and no complaints Noise level: As expected on high graphics usage the machine roars but not too high that I have to be annoyed about.

Photoshop RAW image rendering:Found no glitch when working on a 26 layer 2560x1400 hi-res image. I am yet to push a test with Adobe After Effects.

Final cost of all the parts listed here: $2856 CAD incl. tax - January-March 2013

Update: October 1 2013:

1: The machine is a bit loud when playing games and previewing renders in After Effects. Isolated the loud noise to be from all the fans. Normal usage: The HAF X case came with 4 mammoth fans. These fans are running in a very normal speed. The 2 fans on the secondary 7870 are turned off The CPU fan spins in normal speed. Intense usage: The case fans starts to spin on their highest speed. There is a little increase in the fan noise level. The CPU fan is still running in normal speed. The Sapphire 7870 OC edition secondary card fans kicks on and produce is very audible noise.

I am going to buy a fan speed control (touch screen) panel and will play around the fan speeds monitoring the temperature at the same time. Will keep this test updated. If all fails - I might have to consider a liquid cooling unit. My eyes are on the Corsair Hydro cooling series H50 for the CPU. And need to research on the video card fan speed.

2: Added a 22" Samsung LED TV as a secondary monitor. The 40 inch LED i use is perfect but too big for continuous reading.

3. The 2 TB Seagate internal drives are acting weird on continuous usage. The OS takes a few seconds to read the contents. De-fragmentation every month addresses this issue. This is happening only on one drive that I use often to temporarily store and move files.

4. Metro 2033 and Last Light are like made for this setup. They were butter smooth with 58 fps on 1080p.

Minor upgrades planned: A touch screen fan controller, Multiple memory card reader, Bluetooth USB Dongle

Part List
AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate4.7GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle40.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load60.0° C
Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.05Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate1.25Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle30.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load35.0° C
3DMark 11 Benchmark Results
Extreme Preset ScoreX4271
Performance Preset ScoreP10911
Entry Preset ScoreE18996
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
IamApropos [3 Builds] 2 points 23 months ago

Great looking build. Always a pleasure seeing the handy work of an experienced builder. What did you use to stress test your overclock to make sure its stable? Temp monitoring during 100% load? and how long did you run your stress test for? Curious minds want to know :) thank you for sharing I really enjoyed viewing your photos. ~IamApropos

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 23 months ago

Used Prime95 primarily for the stress test. The overclocking was done with the new AMD vision center beta version - no hassles - just sliders and then monitor the performance. I ran the Prime95 for around 20 mins until I felt pity for the new guy :)

Temperature check using http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

Apach3 [2 Builds] 2 points 23 months ago

normally, one would be criticized for having such an expensive AMD build, but for your intents and purposes, it makes perfect sense. all of it looks fantastic; i hope it lasts you a good while!

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 23 months ago

I hope I wont need any upgrade for the next few years :)

Jimmy 2 points 23 months ago

Lower your HT link down to 2000 Running it at 2600 actually lessens performance and makes things slower.

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks for the advice - will test this weekend

Jimmy 1 point 23 months ago

No problem, I didn't know that a first either lol.

tehfreeeman 2 points 23 months ago

Nice build! I'm an AMD fan (intel is overrated). for $5 more, a 7950 would run much better than a 7870. also, how is your psu holding up? it looks like it can barely handle your computer.

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 23 months ago

PSU is only 750w - On a heavy load the utilization never crossed 680. I did my homework and hope its correct :)

Hydro 1 point 23 months ago

This is pretty sexy, and crazy.. WOW THAT'S REALLY COOL WIRING TOO!

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks. I was not able to hide a few cables (the fan and the led cables)

flamemonkey7 [1 Build] 1 point 23 months ago

Hey man! Nice build!

I am looking to overclock as well (and I happen to have the same board and processor)..

Could you tell me what all your settings are at? (I am satisfied with 4.7 :))



crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 23 months ago

To be on the safer side - do not manually OC from the motherboard settings-leave them on default - let the AMD Vision Center do the work for you. It runs its own stress test and will let you know the max you can push the cpu to. It was 5.2 for me. I saved it to 4.7 just to be easy on the new guy :)

how_j 1 point 23 months ago

Wow dude you don't really need above 4.5 with what you said you run! Awesome build though! Also why AMD of Intel?

Apach3 [2 Builds] 3 points 23 months ago

i'm not OP (obviously), but i think a clue would point to his usage. AMD's Piledriver cores do best in heavily-threaded productivity applications such as rendering, video/photo editing, and general development if the right software is used. in most cases, the FX-8350 does better than an i5-3570K and, sometimes, an i7-3770K.

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 23 months ago

Exactly. Cost was not a factor. I also own an Alienware M14x running on i7-3740QM. So thought I should get an AMD to play with its better options to OC. I find it much better performing than the best Intel Xeons I have at work. My primary usage was on Adobe after effects video rendering and running multiple VMs at the same time - achieved.

Dollarchip7 [1 Build] 1 point 22 months ago

Ya with that it should only run for a couple weeks if you're lucky a month or two but the nitrogen will short your chip or whatever you like to call it... Just saying but great build going with the same motherboard and processor but 1 7870 for video editing and gaming hope your build lasts for a long time still stuck on an AMD Sempron SI-42 and AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800+ @ 2.1Gbps Dual Core. Got it to overclock to 3.0 with stock cooler and only reached a max temp of 55-60C I think undid the overclock after a week didn't want my only good computer to die lol

Overall Great Build

PS how do you have Dolby Surround? Didn't see it in your parts is it onboard the Mobo?

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 22 months ago

Thanks. Dolby Surround - that was onboard the motherboard

FrankV01 [1 Build] 1 point 20 months ago

Trying to understanding overclocking my FX-8350; when you overclocked yours did you only increase the multiplier or did you also increase the voltage?

Also, is it normal to have system instability during the process of over-clocking? Like an occasional fail to boot (where it boot cycles)?

Any info you could provide on your overclocking experience would be great! Thanks.

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

9 Months since the build and no issues found till date. Games running this month: Saints Row 1V, PlanetSide 2

crabiorc [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Applying the AMD Catalyst 131 Beta 2 package released lately. I Had some issues with Crysis 3 not supporting Crossfire. But the recent Beta drivers includes a new updated profile for all the games - CF support.