Description

Hey folks. This is my first build being posted to PCPP, but probably by 10th or so desktop build. This is the first one I've built for myself; realized that about half way through assembly. I'd also like to note that the red/black theme was more of an accident than anything.

First of all, I went with the AMD FX-8350 because: 1) 8 physical cores 2) $150 3) Team Red 4) I've had good luck with the FX family in the past. I'll just go ahead and say my laptop rocks an i7, but I'll also say this desktop blows it out of the water.

Yes, I do play games, but I'm not a 'hard core' gamer. This PC is first and foremost a software development workstation; the core count helps a lot when compiling tons of code. I have a 1080p monitor and don't really plan to move to 4k for a more immersive gaming experience, at least not in the immediate future. Hell, I'm still in awe of a solid 50fps on 1080p, if it's the right game.

The pictures were taken from my cell phone, but they didn't come out as bad as I expected. I know what I like to see as far as pictures when I'm looking through other builds so I tried to emulate. If you want to see more, drop a comment.

Now is when I tell you about my experience with each of these components.

AMD FX-8350: Currently overclocked to 4.5ghz and super solid. Wouldn't expect any less. This processor is an incredible value, with a seriously impressive performance per dollar figure. I know the per-core performance isn't as good as most things Intel, but this Vishera doesn't mess around. For what I will be doing with this machine, it's more than plenty. AMD felt the need to reward my purchase with a free copy of TW: Warhammer, so there is that.

MSI 970 Gaming MoBo: Love this motherboard. I've used it several times for friend and client builds, and it never lets me down. The click BIOS is a little touchy but nice for what it is. The fan pins are in reasonable places. Good build quality. If I had a complaint, it would be the USB 3.0 connector placement, but that may be in part to the S340. The cable management holes straddle the USB 3.0 connector so I had to work a little harder than I'd like to get it connected properly, and without too much pressure on the connector from cable tension.

Corsair Vengance Pro 2x 4GB: Good RAM. I need 2 more 4GB sticks.

Transcend SSD: OK... so this was the only part of the build that had me second guessing. I wanted a Kingston. Then I wanted a Samsung. Then I wanted a SanDisk (still not sure why), but Amazon had a killer deal on this SSD when I got it (too lazy to change price). Figured if I didn't like it, I could use it as a coaster and buy a good one. So far, so good... impressively fast. Probably going to take it out and paint it, the silver sticks out in this build. Then again, maybe it's what gives the inside of the case character. Planning to get a more reputable 1TB SSD for mass storage in a month or two-- still testing the Transcend waters.

MSI Radeon R9 380 4GB: Of everything on this parts list, the GPU changed the most (not atypical I'm sure). I eventually settled on a GTX 960, then recalled a comparison video of the 960 vs. the R9 380. I went back and watched it again, turns out the 380 performs better, and was even a little cheaper. Figured "what the hell, it's an AMD build" and went for it. Really impressed with the performance, does everything I want it to exceedingly well. The twin frozr MSI junk on it looks pretty cool, and its quiet since the fans don't kick on unless it's being kicked. The "MSI Gaming App" is a little funky. I'm a software developer so I may just be picky.

Corsair RM650x 80+ Gold: Great PSU, and it's plenty for this build and anything I want to do with it in the future. This is the first fully-modular PSU I've worked with and I'm impressed. Great packaging, great quality. Super quiet too, again, since the fan isn't always running.

Some Chinese Wireless Card: I had a wireless card picked out (on the existing parts list, too lazy to add) but I couldn't find it the day I was ordering. Went for a "fenvi" model instead, with wireless/bluetooth. I'm satisfied with it, even though it glows green inside my black/red case <sigh>.

NZXT Kraken X61: I can't say enough about this cooler. The fans that come with it are surprisingly good quality (I was expecting mediocre/trash) and my monstrous/power-hungry/notoriously hot CPU hangs out in the 17-21 range at idle, and creeps up to 33-36 when I'm pushing it. I think it runs on magic. This is my first use of water cooling in any PC, and I think I'm spoiled now. The hoses kinda annoy me... something about how they sit in the case that makes something feel... off. Maybe I just need to learn to fix it/get over it. The CAM software isn't as bad as everyone says it is, but it's not perfect either. Better than MSI's attempt at making a tool. I like the fact that I can change up the LED color/patterns, but wish it could fade color transitions instead of just switching colors every n seconds. I have it on static red, because why wouldn't I have it on static red?

NZXT S340: I kept telling myself it wouldn't be as good as I kept hearing. I knew that if it was really that good, it wouldn't cost $60. I knew that the cable management would be "OK", but not the bees-knees like I kept hearing. I'd be wrong on every account. This case is a unicorn among sheep. That's the only way I can think to put it. The cable management is a {wet} dream, it's built to be super-clean, the fans it comes with are pre-cable-managed, the ATX pins are just waiting for you to mount {your motherboard}. Plenty of space behind the board for cables, or maybe a nice cup of tea. You could put 100 zip-ties in this case and not use the same cable-management feature twice. The cable management "bar" (I think they call it) is a super nifty idea and will hopefully become mainstream. I'm cutting myself off because I could type for another twenty minutes about this case.

"So", you ask, "what do you plan to upgrade in the future?"

Good question. I'm going to answer it whether you actually asked it or not. These aren't necessarily in chronological order, but I numbered them because it makes it feel more... official.

1) Hue+. I spent too much time making the inside of this machine impeccable to not be able to see it. I also like the idea of being able to program the lights to do cool stuff, like pulse to the sound of my music.

2) Custom cables. For real, the cable management in this case is so good I really don't even need them. BUT... in combination with the Hue+, and the fact that the GPU is all-up-in the front window, couldn't do anything but help the aesthetic.

3) More Cowbell... umm.. more SSD. 240GB is cute and all, but come on. Daddy needs some space.

4) That extra RAM I was talking about earlier.

5) I can't think of anything else, but I've already typed the "5)" so it felt like a waste to get rid of it. Let me know what you'd do, if this was your build.

Thanks for reading down this far, you are a trooper.

Comments

  • 37 months ago
  • 4 points

CPU only 36 degrees under load??? You should definetly try to of it to 5ghz lol

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I thought that was pretty impressive but I'd probably need to jack with the voltage and stuff to get that stable. It's plenty of @$$ for what I need right now, but may consider it in the future.

Thanks for the comment.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Everything looks amazing! I'm planning on doing a pretty much identical build (the only difference would be an r9 390 & fx 8320) and I'm wondering about case cooling. Do you feel the stock case fans are sufficient? I'd rather not replace them if necessary. Once again the build looks amazing, good lord I'm jealous :D

  • 37 months ago
  • 3 points

For what I do, they are sufficient but I do plan to upgrade them. Like BaronKDA already mentioned, I want to put in a bigger top fan and just up the quality altogether.

Don't be jealous, be determined. I drooled over builds for months before I did this one, just takes some planning and patience.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi I have a similar build. And the first thing I did was replace the stock fans after a few weeks. They are "ok" but 390(x) runs very hot so additional exhaust is good.

At the very least you should replace the top one with a 140mm fan.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

I know im a total noob xP but how do you get a windows os on a case without bays?

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

You can either install it from a disk or from a USB

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

How would you do that with a usb?

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

This presented an interesting task all around-- like, the drivers for the wireless card, mobo, gpu were all on disks (I don't have internet at home, live in the trees and hotspotting my phone is my lifeblood).

I ended up ripping the wireless driver on another PC to a flashdrive, then once the wireless was up I could download the other drivers and such that I needed.

Re: installing windows, I had the .iso file and used Rufus to create a bootable USB (on another PC too). From there the install is just like a disc, except faster because USB is waaayy faster than optical.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

It's easy, search Windows media creationisme tool and it'll be explained there

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build. My most recent build is very similar. So feel free to check mine out too :).

AM3+ is just great value.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

I'll have to go check it out. Thanks for the comment

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

gr8 nuild but why do u have only one 256 gb ssd

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

I wasn't sure about the brand (Transcend) so I just got the one for the OS. I'm currently "test driving" it, and if I'm happy with it I'll pick up another 1TB Transcend. If I'm not, I'll pick up a Kingston or Samsung 1TB SSD. Either way, more space is coming.

Thanks for the comment.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

This build makes me happy. I like the overclock, but with the Wraith Cooler, you probably didn't need the Water Cooler. The Wraith one is AMD's top of the line cooler now. I think the only other thing I'd, depending on when this build was done, was wait for AMD's new release, which is AM4, with DDR4 RAM. Other than that, I love it. 1+!!

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I couldn't help myself-- wanted to dabble in water cooling, even if it isn't a custom loop (which I foresee myself doing).

AM4 is exciting. My wife has already claimed this build as "her PC", and I'm willing to go along with it so I can build "my PC" with AMD's new Zen architecture.

Thanks for the comment.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm just getting Impatient waiting until the 1st of June for them to drop it. I wish they would hurry up.

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

So here we are... still... waiting for the FX line of CPU's to hit on AM4. I'm just not attracted to an APU in a desktop.

I'm getting in some extra planning/saving time-- and good thing too because custom loops are expensive(!).

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

LMAO, I know right?

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 Very well done! :)

  • 37 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks!

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

You should write build descriptions for everyone. Great build and a great read as well. It is nice to see that someone cares about grammar as much as I do. I was searching for a reasonably priced AMD build and yours hit the mark as far as what I was looking for. Thank you for taking the time to put it out there and writing it up so elegantly.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the feedback! I did a ton of research before pulling the trigger on this build, and a significant portion of that research happened right here on PCPP. Thoughtful, meaningful descriptions is worth a thousand times more than pictures alone. I wanted to be able to give back to the community that I sourced so much from.

Sorry for the delayed response-- it's been a crazy few months.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

This is great. Did you leave it at 4.5 or go higher?

Thumbs up.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I left it at 4.5, though with some tinkering I've seen (read about) these 8350's going up to 5.15Mhz. I don't know how much stock I put in that but I know it'll go above 4.5 with the cooling and PSU I've got in place.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

They are overclocking beasts. Shoot AMDs generally were. I wasn't impressed with the 9000 series but those 8300s were great. I hope AMD makes a comeback with something new this next year that will slap the big bear Intel. I'm an Intel user, but I remember when AMD made their cpu's.

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  • 37 months ago
  • 4 points

I think I love you.

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  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

We all love you.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol that second video still works. That's awesome.

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