As the name suggests, this computer will be used primarily for gaming, with some web browsing and music production on the side. The GPU and memory were bought in early November, everything else was bought on Black Friday; however, due to the amount of time it takes to ship things to England from America, I only managed to put it together a few days ago. My budget for the build was $800, and I wanted to make sure I used that budget to the fullest - tell me if I haven't.
Part List Justifications and Reviews:
CPU: I was originally planning to get the FX-6300, because reviews online led me to believe that it was at a good price/performance ratio for gaming at $120 - however, when it actually came time to buying the parts, I noticed the FX-8320 was only $10 more, and I thought that the gaming or music production aspects might be at least noticeably benefited by the two extra cores. It may have been a bad move on my part, but probably not.
CPU Cooler: Well, it was the most popular cheap cooler when I bought it (or, rather, the EVO was; I didn't really see any real difference between the two aside from price) and I figured it would probably do a good job. However, what I failed to figure was the sheer amount of effort required in order to get the cooler set for an AM3+ motherboard. Took two stars off for that, but as far as I can tell it does exactly what it promises - just not with as neat a setup as I'd like.
Motherboard: When I was first planning this build, I was looking into the MSI-970A boards, because they were the cheapest for that chipset (I presumed that at least the 970 chipset was necessary for any kind of serious overclocking, which I intend to do). Once I looked at a few reviews, though, I decided to steer away from the ultra-cheap boards and go for something that would be more likely to last - I found this board hovering at $95 and thought it was a great deal, so I bought it.
Memory: Fairly standard. 1600MHz, 9-9-9-24, 8GB, $60. Unfortunately, this memory was unstable at 1600MHz, so I underclocked it to 1333 and it worked fine. If anyone else is having problems with this memory, try that.
Storage: I would have had an SSD if my budget allowed for it, but it didn't. So, I just went with a decent hard drive.
Video Card: Same story as the CPU, really: I was hoping for a 7870 or 7870 XT, but then that card dropped to $215 (plus shipping) and I jumped on it. It works reasonably well, though I'm a little irritated at the lack of a VGA port; on the other hand, it's really my problem more than Sapphire's that I don't have any new monitors, so I can't take a star off for that.
Case: It's cheap, it's well-reviewed, it comes with two fans and it's WHITE! What more could you want?
Power Supply: I wanted at least an 80+ Bronze semi-modular PSU, with enough wattage to power any future upgrades (such as an admittedly limited 7950 XFire), so I thought that this would be a good deal. I haven't had any problems yet.
Operating System: $5 cheaper than Windows 8. That's the reason.
Monitor: This actually belongs to my older brother, who is having some trouble shipping it over here; I'll put up a review once it arrives.
Unfortunately, I haven't managed to play any games or do any overclocking yet, for reasons detailed here. Place your thoughts, comments and suggestions about the build below, and if you have any idea what's wrong with the computer, go into the forum and tell me.
Sorry about the terrible picture quality - these were taken with a laptop webcam.
UPDATE: As it turns out, the problem with the computer was due to the memory, not the hard drive. Stars reapportioned as appropriate.