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First Build 100% done by myself. (Project Stealth) "The Patriot"

by 5murphy7



Date Published

May 21, 2014

Date Built

May 17, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



Hey all! This is my 1st build and I had a $1,000 budget to work with and it started as a blue/black them but I ended up with some red/white too! :)


Having a functioning office computer that can rock out most games. In a sleek/stealth looking case.

Upgrade ready to SLI

No more than $1,000

Sleek good looking PC


CPU: I went with the FX-8320 and not the 8350 due to being relatively the same. I found a really good combo deal for Mobo/CPU that I couldn't pass up. No benchmarks at this time. But I will probably overclock to 4.0GHz

COOLER: I chose this cooler mainly for the color, but also due to similarities with the Hyper 212 EVO. I haven't strained it yet. I've been told the fan can get loud at full load. But that shouldn't be an issue with this stellar case.

MOTHERBOARD: I wanted a solid mobo for now and later. One suitable with heatsinks good for overclocking, the color theme helped too. This board has everything. I also love the Asus BIOs. Solid board and looks great.

MEMORY: Corsair Vengeance Blue. bam! 8GBs is about all you need.

STORAGES: I originally had the 120GB SSD for boot but decided 120GB was too small and opted for the 250GB. Go big or go home...right? The 1TB Storage drive is a typical budget PC HD. So far it works great for a 7200 RPM drive.

GPU: The 760 is actually a bit more than I planned to spend on a GPU. But figured if it was still under budget it is all good. I have not overclocked it or anything...yet. I did not want to spend over $250 on a card. So it worked out. I did not get the 4GB card because I don't think this card can actually utilize it. More of a gimmick if you as me. I do plan to SLI this with another in the future.

CASE: I love this case. I wanted stealth so I opted for no window. This thing is heavy! Well made and I am very impressed. The foam insulation is nice too. Very quiet. It has removable HDD bays, slide out back panel, filtered intakes, black/white finish is clean. No issues with fitment. Define R4 is sick.

PSU: I probably spent the most time on choosing a solid PSU. I kept going back and forth with Corsair. In the end I choose this EVGA 750W power supply for future proofing. The warranty was rock solid. Plus it looked pretty sweet.

WINDOWS EXPERIENCE: I don't have a screen shot now but it was 7.7. The RAM and CPU dropped it to 7.7 everything else was 7.9. Thing flys.

EXTRAS: The optical drive is just the usual CD/DVD burner from Asus. I'm running Windows 7 Home 64 bit.

SUMMARY: I was a bit nervous to do all this by myself. I have been talking about it for years and years. The first custom PC I had was in College. I had a friend order and build it for me. It was literally the fastest PC I had ever used and stayed that way for years. At a sub $1,000 budget. I am hoping for the same with this one. At the time I played CS, Planetside, WoW, Everquest, etc. I was in College over 10 years ago so obviously this PC is insane when compared to anything I've ever owned. All and all it was much easier than I thought and I look forward to many more builds. I expect my new rig will be able to handle most game that I plan to play at High or Ultra. I will keep you posted.

Questions, comments? Post them below, or in a PM.

Comments Sorted by:

Trinity596 3 Builds 2 points 16 months ago

put your gpu in the top slot. it will get better performance

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 2 points 16 months ago

I would but the USB 3.0 plug blocks the GPU. So I had to move it down. They are the same, though.

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 3 points 16 months ago

I actually just messed with the cable management a bit and was able to squeeze the GPU in the top slot. I realized it wasn't the usb 3.0 plug that was blocking the GPU it was the usb 3.0 plug wiring which was blocking. So I just re routed it through the top. Barely enough room. But it wored.

MrMOABy 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

They're actually both the same so he should be fine.

hjj174 -4 points 16 months ago

They actually aren't. They may have the same link width but the top slot is directly connected to the CPU while the rest have to be directed through the chipset first, which is significantly slower, then to the CPU.

manirelli staff 3 Builds 3 points 16 months ago

Mind sharing a source on this one? I don't see anything about a PLX chip on this board and the slot is electrically x16. It should have the exact same bandwidth/speed as the top slot.

hjj174 2 points 16 months ago

You are the last person I expected to reply Marinelli, kind of surprised me. Anyways with what I said, I'm taking a 2 year course, Electronic and Computer Technology. The first year is pretty much just electronics with some computer stuff at the end and the second year is purely computers with us being able to get CompTIA A+ certification for free since my high school pays for it. Well we were on the motherboard part of textbook. We were learning about the memory controller hub and platform controller hub, all of that good stuff. Well my teacher mentioned real quick, this is where my mistake up above comes from, to always place the GPU in the top most PCIe x16 slot since it is the primary video slot. What she failed to mentioned, and what the textbook doesn't say, is that all of the PCIe x16 slots are controlled by the memory controller hub, not just the primary slot. I apologize for misinformation I might have spread. Everybody feel free to -1 one me. My bad.

manirelli staff 3 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Hey man, no worries. I honestly wasn't sure if there was something I did not know. I'm learning new things every day too!

Keralis 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

It is the same, but on older cheaper kind of boards the main x16 was directed through the chipset when the other 16x or 8x was not and was pretty much .1% slower.. So nothing to worry about!

Source, Somewhere on Tom's Hardware

And please tell me if this is incorrect, I am still learning :p

ExoTecher 1 Build 2 points 16 months ago

I really like this build, it is very similar to mine :)

larsG35 1 Build 2 points 16 months ago

I have a similar EVGA modular PSU, kind of a PITA that the VGA power cables are red and to buy EVGA sleeved cables of a different color is like $90. I'm going to eventually buy colored cable extenders that fit my build theme.

It'll probably only cost $20 and really tidy up the color coordination.

You don't have a window, so it probably doesn't matter to you. Great build!

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Yea I might do that. But as you said. I have no window so it really doesn't bother me. I will literally be the only person that will ever see it. Well besides all you folks..haha...

If it did bother me I would have never bought the EVGA PSU. :)

Thanks! I think it turned out pretty good. Relieved.

ExoTecher 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Hope you don't mind but I have some questions:

  • How did you find cable management on the Define R4 Case? I used a Corsair RM PSU with the wierd sleeving so I found cable management a bit tricky.

  • I have exactly the same Windows Experience Score as you, is this considered a good score?

  • I get 35-38 Degrees C at idle and 39-41 Degrees C under load. Do you get the same temperatures?

  • Is your fan controller on the case working? Mine isn't.

  • How is the motherboard? I almost bought that one but I got a Gigabyte one purely because it was all black.

I am truly sorry for the excessive amount of questions, but this build is so similar to mine, and has such similar circumstances that I couldn't help it :)

Rawr 1 point 16 months ago

I think 7.9 is the max score

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Indeed it is.

larsG35 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

I'm not the submitter, but I can probably answer most of your questions pretty well.

  • Cable management in the Define R4 is excellent, especially if you have a modular PSU. Squeezing the thicker sleeved cables through the rubber grommets can be tricky, but with a little work, it should look good.
  • Windows Experience isn't exactly the best tool to determine system performance. That said, 7.9 is the max, and 7.7 is very good.
  • Those are excellent temperatures. Not to doubt you, but it's unlikely that you have those max temperatures under an extended 100% CPU load especially with an air cooler. Typically anything less than 60 degrees C under load is very acceptable. Of course, the lower the better.
  • The fan controller in my Define R4 works fine (although it isn't the greatest in the world of fan controllers). Did you plug a molex power connector into it?

Hope that helps

ExoTecher 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Thanks! This really puts my temperature worries to ease, as I know that AMD temperatures are notoriously inaccurate. As for the windows experience, I am chuffed-to-bits that 7.9 is the highest score available :)

P.S. You know... I don't think I plugged that molex in... ;)

gregkolodny 1 point 16 months ago

Hes talking about temps with stock cooling; you have the best cooler for under $60 really. The 212 EVO is a budget beast compared to stock cooling. 60 is with stock. Yours make sense with a 212.

ExoTecher 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

ok, thanks :)

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

larsG35 addressed all the points well.

I love the mobo. I've had Gigabyte in the past. The build in college was with a gigabyte. I just heard lots of good things about this board and I like Asus. Plus blue theme was nice.

RandomPinto 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Those red wires though.... they really stand out

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 3 points 16 months ago

True. But I have no window. So does it really matter? :)

Look at it like a red/white/blue theme! haha..

Be patriotic =P

Lightheart3596 4 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Really nice build. Are you gonna re-sleeve that red cable though? It ruins the whole blue white black color scheme you have going.

Keralis 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Quote 5murphy7

5murphy7 [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 1 day ago True. But I have no window. So does it really matter? :) Look at it like a red/white/blue theme! haha.. Be patriotic =P

Deano_Awesome 1 point 16 months ago

Great build great parts plus one from me

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Thanks Deano!

GilChris95 1 point 16 months ago

America themed!

RazvanD 1 point 16 months ago

Im looking at the same cpu and gpu combo, how does your performance do in game? (Fps wise :P)

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Well the only game I have and play right now is Planetside 2. I played the original Planetside game on the lowest graphics and still lagged like crazy during big fights.

I'm happy to say I put all the settings to ultra. Pretty Much just maxed all the graphics to see if it could handle it. It did. With flying colors. I had 60 fps most of the time. During huge fights it never lagged but the fps would drop to around 35-45fps some. This is at ultra. I've literally never played any game at ultra...lol. Love this thing. Smooth.

Erolian 1 point 16 months ago

This almost was my own original design, before getting excited over the NZXT cases and throwing my $1200 budget out of the window...

I'm almost done with my build, just wait for some cabling & ODD to arrive.

Cheers on the nice build mate. :)

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

$1200+ build. Should be a nice build! :) I'll check it out when you are done.


shoe59 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

well done

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Thanks shoe

seraj89 1 point 16 months ago

I would've turned the CPU cooler around 180. It pevents dust buildup in the near future

5murphy7 submitter 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

I wanted the airflow from the front of the case to the rear. That's why I placed it where I did.

phoenixblue 1 point 14 months ago

This is pretty close to the build I'm finishing up right now; I don't have an SSD and am going with the R9 270X and a cheaper HAF tower by Cooler Master, so looks good! How do you like the 8320/Asus Mobo combination so far? Heard the overclocking management on it is great. Also, where did you get your combo from? I haven't seen any on the two so it's probably over. Great build, thanks!