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Lets get Kraken

by ajslave



Date Published

March 24, 2014

Date Built

Jan. 4, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

45.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

68.0° C


UPDATE- 9.March.2014: My Kraken has finally arrived- and does it bring a whole new level of usability to my PC! Now I can easily play rFactor 2 and even BF4 etc for hours on end without having to worry about a barbecued CPU. Also ordered a Hue to go with the illuminated block. I'm not a fan of overtly bling and non-functional stuff, but it's fun to have a colorful desktop, not to mention the brownie points you get from friends.

Attaching a few pics too...

Initial build and report: Jan 2014

Where: Bangalore, INDIA

Intended usage: Moderate to heavy gaming, Sim racing, general usage


This isn't exactly my first build, but it's the first I built after starting to work. So yeah, its great to not have to go all conservative while shopping...

So firstly, I've been asked why AMD- its something i find kinda hard to answer, cuz i really wanted to go with one of the K series Haswells this time round. But I've owned AMD proccys for the last 7 years, and for my usage, I thought this should do just fine, also saving me a bit of money to spend on other components. So the 8350 it was.

I wanted to go for a 990FX chipset mobo, but due to low availability and some ridiculous pricing (here in IN), and also last minute changes (see the GPU story below), I settled with the M5A97R2.0. Supports up to 140W FX-8 processors, so no problems encountered.

I came across these nice PNY XLR8 memory sticks while browsing online- they were also selling for the same as other entry level Corsair sticks. Because these are 2133Mhz and CAS10 latency, chose these over the 1600Mhz and CAS27 Corsair sticks. No. Regrets. Whatsoever.

The SSD and the PSU were part of my last year's "foundation" upgrades- that's why I'm stuck with the Agility 3 drive. The PSU does the job for me I guess, but this isn't modular- so that's an area for my next upgrade.

Now for the GPU: Since I was mostly planning on Sim racing, I had decided to keep my old GTX260 and use on this for a while, spending that money on a G27 instead. But a friend came up with a decent offer for my old rig- so gave the GPU off with it and spent the G27 cash on the R9270X. Why AMD you ask again? I've generally been an Nvidia fan mainly cuz of their better software support, but this time, I took the leap with the R9 cuz I'd heard good feedback. Plus I found this ASUS card lying around in a store going for a good deal cheaper than even a stock, reference GTX760- So sorry NVIDIA.

Now for the case: I dunno why, but I wanted a full tower case even though I knew it wouldn't fit into my budget. I was looking at the Carbide 400/500 cases when i stumbled upon an e-tailer selling this NZXT for lesser than the 500- and it was a full tower! OK, this isn't a full tower in the traditional sense of the word; this is more like an extended mid-tower. But it was still plenty big for me considering I'd probably go Crossfire sometime down the road (I mentioned Sim racing didn't I?), and I'd never really have several HDDs, so the modular HDD bays were really great to get at this budget. And having owned the NZXT gamma previously, I swear by NZXT's cable mgmt features and build quality. The biggest selling point to me being the price, I made no delays in clicking the ORDER button.

Cooling: OK, this is an AMD FX CPU after all, so I'm not really gonna stick with the stock cooler for long. But I'm in a bit of a fix about the cooler choice: Do I go with a closed loop LC (like the Kraken X60) or do it the old school way with a CM Hyper 212. Do drop in your suggestions down in the comments, they'd be of great help. As for the case cooling, currently only the 2 NZXT case fans are doing the job, but the next in the pipeline is a set of good Corsair/ Noctua (if i can find Noctua here in India that is) fans. And some good lighting in there, whaddya say? Updated

This build (like my previous ones) is gonna be eternally WIP- so look forward to you guys' suggestions to take me along down that road.

Some more images in an album: http://imgur.com/a/zcbpX

Comments Sorted by:

AustinTheTimelord 3 points 47 months ago

In the first picture, I thought you had a screwdriver in one of your USB ports...

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Haha...thanks to no front USB 3.0 header, those USB slots are dummies- nice place to keep the pen drives though else I'd lose them tiny little things! I'm planning a small DIY to turn those ports into USB 2.0 ones- or maybe I'll wait until i make up my mind to upgrade the mobo

BTW sorry for the deleted comments- I went ninja on the Save button while my stupid Internet conn broke.

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Electrospeed 2 points 47 months ago

Could have gotten an 8320 or 6300 and then spent more on the GPU.

Anyways, +1 from me.

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

The GPU upgrade was originally planned for a little later... and besides I got the 8350 for nearly the same dough as the 8320. And unlike in my previous builds, I wanted to avoid making those little compromises

LimpCurve 1 point 47 months ago

Isn't the 8320 usually $150? And doesn't the R9 270X usually cost $200?

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

R9s were going for the equivalent of $240 onwards... but this is in India, so we're paying at least a 25-30% mark-up on all computer items. Faster moving cards, like the 650s (yeah, you heard me right) and the 660s have more competitive pricing

LimpCurve 1 point 47 months ago

-_- I'm just going to ignore those 2 cards you put at the end of that statement. :3

Erikus 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I'd go for the air-cooling route, the 212 Evo is at a beautiful performance/price position. Or you could look into a more expensive air cooler, which would probably outperform close loop coolers in its price range. Since you have the full tower, you aren't going to be moving it much, so you always have the option to get a massive HSF.

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Thanks for that...but I'm somewhat put off by the size of the CM 212s. I'm looking around for other air coolers- too bad Noctuas are hard to come by here. How good do you reckon a single-rad closed loop LC will be? Like a Corsair H80i?

Erikus 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

A single CLC would do the job. I'd recommend the H75. I don't think that the H80i's performance is that much better to justify the expense. You can only get so much cooling out of a 120mm rad. But to answer your question, I'd guess maybe an overclock to at least 4.3-4.4. GHz with the H75.

LimpCurve 1 point 47 months ago

The Enermax ETS-T40 is said to beat the 212 but it is still pretty large. You can choose whether to place it vertical or horizontal though.

milkman2500 1 point 47 months ago

I love the 4th picture from the flash. The bling off the Asus DirectCUII looks badass.

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Yeah... all pics taken from my Galaxy Nexus though.

Anthony21 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

took me a while too, to build mine, 1st started lookn around Dec 2012, really into it by Jan 2013, 1st started to bye Feb 2013, didnt build it till last week of October 2013

ThatSweetGamer 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

What's with the 2133 ram?

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Haha I know it's a bit silly cuz it's still only running at 1833 Mhz stock- but when i OC Tune it, it bumps it up to ~2Ghz. SO i get RAM that's more stable than a 1600 Mhz stick OCed to 2Ghz. I'm not complainin, yeah.

18hockey 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Great build!

Personally I would've gone with Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0, because it has a 990X chipset, compared to the M5A97, which has a 970 chipset. Other than that I really like your parts choices, you're build is actually kind of similar to mine.

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I did look around for that and other 990FX boards- but all those were going for double the price of this! And i already ran out of budget due to the sudden GPU upgrade. I'll see how this board holds up for another couple weeks, then decide if i have to make the jump to a better board after all. So far, i don't see any issues cuz i don't really wanna OC that much

hitmaniac 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

for my fx 8320 (3.5 GHz), i went with CM hyper 212 plus (not evo, because they are basically same and wanted to save some for an additional fan) and at load I get around 35-40C. Before i would get 55C. I am not an expertise on water cooling but this CM cooler does a great job!!!

h4r15 1 point 47 months ago

Fun thing is i live in the country next to yours. Anyway how's the R9

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

The R9s are good but if a 270 is all you wanna get then it might be better to wait a bit longer until prices drop. If you can get the 280X, there's nothing like it.

gameboy1998 1 point 39 months ago

Hey! Im planning to buy the same case for my new Build. I'm from India too. Could you tell me where you found the case for 5K?

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

Hi there. You can find this and other nice cases in PrimeABGB.com

Sam008 0 points 47 months ago

Hey i'm from india too :) good build but could have been better.

i think you're not going to x-fire the 270x as you got an average mobo that's not good for 8350. you should have gone with the 6300 as it's a lot cheaper and is quite good as it suits the mobo very well because 6300 can be overclocked to around 4 ghz easily with it as M5A97 got 125w for the cpu.

Anyways what about the temps?

dhswanson1987 1 point 47 months ago

He said his M5A97 is rated for 140W CPU's. Perhaps that's a difference between the original M5A97 and M5A97 Rev 2?

I like your build. Challenging the status quo with AMD CPU and GPU is what I like to see. Like others said though, it might have been better for your sim racing games to spend less on the processor and get an R9 280X. The timing for you to buy that card was unfortunate, because when they first came out, they were only $300, but the lite coin miners have been buying those and the R9 290's like crazy. Anyways, the 270X is still a great card. Hopefully you'll be able to enjoy AMD's TrueAudio down the road when it's fully implemented in games. I personally am very curious to see how TrueAudio turns out.

Have fun! Carry on.

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Yeah crossfire is Plan B really- as I may go with a single large monitor/LED tv instead of the triple monitor setup that's lingering in my mind somewhere. And like I said in the desc., I'm not facing any significant bottlenecks because of the mobo. I've seen a friend's cheaper Gigabyte mobo for his 8320- THAT;s what bottlenecks, not the R2.0 ones.

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

As for the temps: I'm seeing lower 30s for both the CPU and GPU on idle; the GPU goes up to 60s after some heavy gaming. I still don't have any cooling on here- just the 2 stock fans that came in the cabinet.

Sam008 1 point 47 months ago

so i think it's working well play games have fun btw i asked you about your room temps and your builds idle & load cpu & gpu temps.

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Room temps don't cross 25 deg here- in the mornings and nights (when i game) they're closer to 18

Sam008 1 point 47 months ago

that's really cool. HAPPY GAMING

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Proluke 1 Build 0 points 47 months ago

why did you remove the heat dicipation thing on the side of the mobo?

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

What? I haven't removed anythin!

ajslave submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

What? I haven't removed anythin!

Proluke 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

theres supposed to be a heat dipsenser on the top right of the mobo between the io stuff and the cpu port on a m5a97 r2.0

Proluke 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

dicipation thingy*

18hockey 1 Build 2 points 47 months ago


Proluke 1 Build 2 points 47 months ago

i know computers not english

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