Description

Budget was $750. Objectives: 1) a very good video card for gaming on a budget build, 2) excellent cooling from case and cpu cooler to allow for Overclock potential. FX 6300 benchmarks showed performance comparable to better Intel I-3 and slower Intel I-5. Haven't overclocked yet, but it does seem pretty speedy. MSI 660 gtx had great deal on Newegg. Positive reviews from majority. And Twin Frozer design for excellent cooling.
Asus MB M5a97 R2.0 -- probably should have gone with Asus 990 chipset board for another $20 or so. Research led me to Asus boards and I do like the layout and manual. I did check their "approved" memory list when purchasing the Sniper 1866 memory (another good deal from Newegg). Azza Toledo 301 case was a pleasant surprise and I think it's funny that I don't see any builds here using this case. Sturdy, pretty well laid out. Added one fan(exhaust blowing out of top rear of case) to the included three (120 mm low front intake, oversized 220 MM? side intake, 120 mm exhaust top of rear panel). Azza Case features one usb 2 and one usb 3 front panel plus audio ports (mike and speaker). Biggest hassle with case is screws (2) that hold top panel to case. Near impossible to screw in one when MB and other parts installed. Plan ahead for any fan, liquid cooler, and led lighting before getting to involved in build. I also planned ahead routing 24 pin PS cable and PCI power cable before mounting MB, but I had been warned about this while researching Computer building. Also, side fan on case prevented using those taller CPU Coolers. But I think I prefer this solution with fan blowing downward on CPU, Memory and MB. Install sequence went like this: Install cpu, install memory, install cpu cooler, then put MB in case. XFX power supply was probably best deal we had. Semi-modular, great deal and a Seasonic design. Again -- Newegg. CM GeminII S524 was easy to install (followed recommendations from reviewers on web sights like newegg and amazon). CPU temps (stock) run at 29C idle, 41C with prime 95. Very happy with temps. And actually all temps MB, CPU, Video card, Hard drive are excellent. Credit GeminII S524 for MB and CPU temps. Cable management worked out pretty well I think. Had no experience with Molex connections and now I have the proper loathing that other people have detailed.

Comments

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100354oc2l. Why that but not this???? Oh and is that 750W for a future expansion? Anyway +1 for sexy case.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Power supply was one of first items purchased. Original thinking was for that very Sapphire 7870 2 GB with possibility in future to add another one. But reviews led me to believe that Radeon drivers were problematic. Of course the Asus M5a97 R2.0 only supports Crossfire, another reason to have perhaps stepped up to an Asus M5a99fx that supports SLI. But the price was certainly right, I figured I would have paid the same for a 600W quality PS.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

very nice!

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, pcpartpicker is a great sight to work with, learning something new every day about this site. Also liked mysuperpc.com for tutorial on building a computer -- it was very informative. Avid reader of anandtech.com also.

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm getting the same CPU and motherboard. Are they good? And does the motherboard come with sound and do you recommend it for first time builders like myself?

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I personally like the motherboard. Yes on board sound, no onboard video. Will crossfire but will NOT allow two nvidia based graphics card to work in sli. Board is laid out well and plenty of 4pin fan connections on MB. Consult Asus support page to make sure you get approved RAM from vendor list. If you get RAM that is faster 1333, then you will probably have to go into bios and change speed for the ram (I did -- this is common with amd motherboards as I understand it) but process was easy. Good luck. Next step up is 990 chipset board, the ASUS M5A99X Evo R2.0 (about $120) and ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0 ($140), will work w/ both Crossfire and SLI.

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

My ram that i'm gonna get is 1600 mhz. I actually have to go into bios and change it? How do you so so? :s

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

The ASUS bios made it very simple. All I had to do was boot to bios, check RAM specs and then just change the RAM speed to actual speed. This article on Basic Overclocking has a section about Memory that is good reading and explains why you might need to change your bios: http://www.enthusiastpc.net/articles/00004/

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

Also, if you live near a Micro Center Store, they offer a bundle deal with the FX6300 and that particular MB (M5a97 R2.0) that will save you about $40 -- but you have to go into the store -- not available online.

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

Unfortuantly no... I live in the UK :/