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Build

Heliotrope

by stax

9
4 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

June 24, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.072 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6.008 GHz

Description

This was my first build! I remember learning to install RAM and such back in school but that was way too many years ago now.

This computer is used mainly for games so I don't have to bootcamp them on my MacBookPro. The bf lives far far away and "date night" is games, so we needed more options, and a Windows machine would give those. As a bonus, building it gave me something to do on long winter nights other than be cold. Black Friday helped with the prices.

Part selections were based heavily on other pcpp builds and trying to keep a budget under $1000.

CPU: AMD were much cheaper than Intel for what looked like comparable performance. I had no idea how big any of this stuff was, so going with a CPU that worked in big ATX boards that were well reviewed was fine for me.

CPU Cooler: Cheap and recommended by most builds out there. I found it a pain in the neck to install, with many nail-biting moments where I'd already placed it down on the thermal compound and didn't want to pick it up again, but some of the screws simply did not want to thread. Required lots of pressure and an extra set of hands would have been helpful. Not friendly to a newb installer. I got it in though, and it's running fine and quiet.

Mobo: Gigabyte just makes me happy thinking of ReBoot, and this board was well reviewed everywhere. It's been solid for me, worked great from the start. Easy-to-use BIOS picked up on my 1866 RAM right away and had it set to the correct frequency.

RAM: It's Ram. Kingston works, I've trusted it in other computer parts before. Love the white, it'll go with any colour scheme. Not too high-profile either.

SSD: Read a bunch of tests on these, and the Samsung was among the most reliable. If I get another it'll probably be the HyperX both for looks and testing results.

HDD: Didn't want the blue of a WD drive influencing colour scheme, Seagate and WD are both well reviewed, and barracuda is a cool name. Oh yeah, and it was on sale. Done.

GPU: I was set on a R9 270X or 280 for the longest time, the Windforce cards look awesome. After considering how much airflow my case has though, super fan coverage wasn't necessary, and I'm not overclocking either. A friend recommended some of the Nvidia cards and then this one went on sale. Got it on sale AND price matched, then picked up the backplate with the savings. Works great, running all my games on max settings (Path of Exile, Aion, Risk of Rain). Sad they're not being sold anymore though, I'd like to get SLI in the future for CAD stuff.

Case: There are waaaaay too many cases out there. Being new to all of this, and living far from a computer store in the frozen north, I just had the internet to rely on. The internet showed me this and I was suddenly hooked on this case. It lights up, it's industrial badassery, win! It came with standoffs installed, nice and solid if a little heavy. There's a handle spot on the top, and lots of big fan mounts. I added a magnetic fan cover for the side intakes. The cables for the front panels/lights were confusing, and the documentation had no guides at all, so I guessed. The front case fans can either run and light up but not hook up to my fan controller, or run to the fan controller but not light up. They're quite quiet though and move a lot of air. All in all a solid case, I just wasn't expecting a "mid tower" to be gigantic. Oh well.

PSU: Corsair, same as the case. Modular but ended up using all the bits anyway. Don't reallylike the chained molex-molex-molex-SATA cables, they ended up being bulky in the back of the case. Corsair, y u no make short cable kits?

Optical Drive: Sale bin at Memory Express. It works.

Fan Controller: Looks aaaaawesome in the Corsair 400R. White LEDs match up with the fans and power button, works well, slid into the case fine. Just wish it had a temp gauge. As others have mentioned, it doesn't spin the fans up right away, you have to move the sliders a little bit first before they'll go. I mostly use it for the side case fans (BitFenix) since they're loud when allowed to run at normal speed.

Fans:
AF140 purple, I love this fan. Will be getting more in future builds. Silent, and sexy. BitFenix 120mm pro, these move a lot of air, a LOT, but they're loud when they spin up. I leave them on the side intake and only turn them on when running graphics intensive things.

Peripherals: Mouse is ancient and hasn't died yet. It's nice and light. Deathstalker Keyboard was on super sale at Staples. After using it for a while, it's not my favourite. I find the chiclets take a lot of force to type on, and are noisy. Keyboard upgrade coming in future, I'll try them out first next time. HyperX Cloud Headphones have great sound, very comfortable too. I have a smallish head and they fit great. The mic doesn't feed through your own headphones though, so you can't hear yourself talk. It's a bit strange. Steelseries mouse pad is my favourite peripheral of all. Smooth and perfect response, and I've used it for almost 6 years now and you can barely tell.

Edit: That green box in the first picture is a wifi adapter I didn't end up using. Got a nice new CAT6 and ran that instead.

Now that I've been bitten by the build bug, I've been plotting a move to mATX. Next winter's project :D

Part Reviews

Case

Pros: Good quality, LED fans are quiet, lots of fan mounts. Handy handle built into the top.

Cons: Strange wiring of included fans. Installation instructions almost non-existent. Heavy.

Comments Sorted by:

Aqulex84 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

It you are looking for good fans that move a lot of air through the hdd cages I can recommend you the Corsair SP series. They work very quiet and have a high amount of static pressure that moves a lot of air through hdd cages.

If you just need high airflow keep going for the Corsair AF series as you already did. I'm using them in my build right now on a pwm fan controller with 11connectors and if my system is running in idle you can't even tell if the are running or not.

The noiseblocker pk series fans are great too, but no led one's in there product lines. I use them on my radiator and they are pwm controlled as well and even stop spinning if temp is " to low"

MightyAlFred 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

First thing: this one seems really "complete" for a first build. Nice attention to details and nothing forgotten. For the future I'd only get another 760 to sli if you can get reeeally cheap, otherwise might be better to just upgrade to what the sweet power-for-money spot will be.

That mobo is one of my favourite, definitely my first pick if I'll ever go AM3+. Also the cpu is very nice for the cost, allows for quite a lot of multitasking. The only thing that bugs me a bit is the psu, I didn't really hear many people reccomend the CX series from corsair, but should be fine unless you overclock or push the system power requirement.

Edit: I forgot to ask, what's that Gigabyte green box in the first picture?

stax submitter 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Thanks for the comments!

I'm way under the limits of that PSU (~450W) so not too worried about it. If my next iteration is mATX I'll probably be getting a Silverstone SFX anyway.

The FX CPU has been great for multitasking, I've always got about a dozen browser windows open, with Steam, Evernote, and Dropbox running, and whatever else programs I'm working with at the time. It's been fast and clean the whole time. Only problems come from my newb-ness at installing and configuring things.

The green Gigabyte box is a WiFi card that I didn't end up using in the build. Got a new CAT6 and ran it to the router instead.

Jtridin 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

How much fan headers that mobo got ? Planning on buying the same one as u

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