EDIT 10/16: Did more benchmark tests with Unigine Heaven 4.0 with different settings during each tests. Here are the following results: (score will be in format of [FPS, Score, Min FPS, Max FPS]
Quality: High | Tessellation: Disabled | Anti-Alias: Disabled = 55.8, 1405, 23.2, 119.4
Quality: Ultra| Tessellation: Disabled| Anti-Alias: x2 = 49.3, 1242, 21.5, 97.2
Quality: Ultra| Tessellation: Extreme | Anti-Alias: Disabled = 33.2, 836, 17.7, 78.1
Quality: Ultra | Tessellation: Extreme | Anti-Alias: x8 = 26.6, 671, 7.0, 61.1
EDIT 10/16: Maxed out my core to 1200MHz which resulted in a decent boost without increasing my temperatures of my GPU. ( http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7325575 ) My current memory clock is also maxed out at 6400MHz. I do not want to play with voltage so I believe this is the best it will get.
EDIT 10/16: My GPU is originally factory OC. I am now playing with it to find it's maximum potential, slowly raising the MHz (currently at 1085). New 3DMark 11 score http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7325443 .
EDIT 10/16: I just ran 3DMark 11 (http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7325317) using the Benchmark Test Only option. Very surprisingly during the test, my temperatures didn't fluctuate as much as I thought it would. CPU temp reached 48C as expected. My GPU temp MAX was 63C and is now 41C after the test. This is testing with default settings. During the 3DMark 11 benchmark tests, my CPU and GPU performed much better than I thought they would have. Cheers to that!
EDIT 10/15: So I ran PCMark 7 (http://www.3dmark.com/pcm7/727759) and it looks like my CPU didn't quite fluctuate too much in terms of temperature. I used three monitoring software's while running the test; MSI Control Center, GPU Monitor, and CPUID HWMonitor. Where I really noticed a peak in temperature difference was my GPU. Idle time is great or even while just using the computer for basic things (browsing, watching videos, etc) and fluctuates between 45-50. Now the interesting part was when it went under load while playing 3D Videos from the PCMark 7 software. The temperature spiked to 80 and as soon as the video is finished drops immediately back down to 60. Aside from that, saw no major red flags while doing the PCMark 7 benchmarks. Next to do is a 3DMark 11 benchmark, will update once finished.
I've always been wanting to build a computer for the longest time but never really saw a point to since a lot of my work comes from my laptop. I finally had a reason to when my nephew entered college and my brother entered high school. So instead of doing a really cheap budget build, I did put in a little more to have a decent upgradable computer. I shopped for most of these parts on Amazon since I have Amazon Prime which offers free 2 day shipping, then as for the other parts I got them from Newegg or local stores such as Fry's Electronics.
Even though clearly Intel is better than AMD, you get more bang for your buck with AMD. I could have got a four core processor but for $10 more, I saw no reason why I shouldn't have gotten a 6 core! More the merrier, right?
Instead of sticking with a stock fan cooler, I upgraded the cooler to a CM Hyper 212 EVO and used Artic Silver 5 instead of the stock thermal paste. I also attached an additional fan on the cooler (2 fans now) to improve the cooling rate. The two fans on my cooler are controlled through my MSI Bios and act as an exhaust blowing it out at the rear where there is also a fan.
Motherboard I couldn't really decide on what kind of brand to buy regarding motherboards so I spoke with multiple friends and coworkers who also do builds. MSI seemed to win their hearts so I went with the MSI 970A-G46 . It wasn't too bad for the money and can always be upgradable for the CPU as it has a AM3+ chipset. NOTE: The motherboard does not have integrated graphics so you must buy a graphics card.
Went with Ripjaws at 2133MHz for future cases when I would like to OC. I really should have gone with a single 8gb ram card instead of dual so I can utilize my 4 ram slots on my mobo. Well, when the time comes I can always sell the 2x4gb sticks are upgrade to single 8gb sticks. Ram runs great and smooth.
Ah, the good old video card. Where should I start? I was gonna go with a basic 1GB Radeon 7770 but for about 20-40 more, I was able to get a 7790 2GB without hurting my wallet. Dual screen capabilities and runs real cool (35-37C). I haven't had a chance to benchmark it but will definitely update the stats while it's under load once I do.
A case is a case, right? I'm looking for a budget friendly case and this Thermaltake case does it good. Plenty of room for multiple HDD's, 1 SSD, and a few 5.25" slots. PSU mounts on the bottom and helps with the cooling since I faced the fan downward. If you're a real "I NEED CABLE MANAGEMENT" kind of person, this isn't the case for you. But from the images I posted, you can see that the cables are decent and aren't too obvious or obstructed the air flow.
Bought three of these babies along with a NZXT Sentry 2 ($25) fan controller to help me regulate the speed since two of my mobo fan pins are being used for my CPU. Attached one in front, one on bottom, one used with the CPU. Installation of the fans went smooth, the installation of the fan controller went smoother. A lot of people complain about how messy the wires are. Realistically, if you think before you do anything with it, the cables aren't too bad. Fan controller works great and regulates the temperatures with 1C accuracy.
Thought of buying a non brand but I didn't want to give chance to anything being shorted out. Threw in $10 more and got a Corsair Semi - Modular. Worth the money since not all cables were needed for this installation.
The build went great, took about a week to get everything nice and tidy and installed. Runs real quiet and haven't really had a hiccup from it unless the internet lagged. I haven't even reached 50C on system temp or CPU temp. I really think the extra fans really do help with the proper air flow. Definitely worth looking into if you're worried about it running hot. I'll be benchmarking the system real soon and will post results.