I built this computer from mostly spare or old parts for a good friend of mine. His old machine consisted of an AMD Athlon 3800+ paired with a Nvidia GeForce 210. This is a fairly big step up for him and will serve not only as a primary gaming machine, but also as a living room HTPC. I began building this around 1 am and between the Elder Scrolls Online Beta and a case of Mt. Dew, I had this finished by 5 am. I was able to spend some extra time with the machine to do some benchmarking and stress testing, but all of that will be at the end.
I went with the 760k because it is a quad-core, has a solid clock rate, and isn't going to break my friends bank. We did not get a cooler for this one because he is not interested in overclocking at this point and the budget got cut a hair short. A Hyper 212 EVO may be seen in the future, but for now the stock fan is fine. I always replace the pre-applied thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5 to help keep the temps just that much lower.
I showed him the Avexir Core Series and the lights and he was sold. Unfortunately we ended up with the pulsing version instead of the solid light. The two DIMMs pulse timing is just off enough to be annoying, but that's just being picky. Set the kit to the 1600 profile in BIOS and that was history.
I suggested that he get a FM2+ socket board so that he would have better future options when it came to CPU upgrades. He instantly grabbed on to this board from Gigabyte and I'm glad he did. Really cool heatsink design with the heatpipe halfway across the board. On board power/reset/CMOS buttons as well as LED diagnostic readout make this board easy to build with in a test bench. The PCB is true black and is just as heavy and robust as it's Intel counterparts
We pulled this from his existing system. It was the newest part of the old computer so it was in great shape for a clean install. I mounted the drive on the bottom of the case with strips of Velcro. A cover of some kind will be made to prevent dust build up on the circuitry.
This card had been collecting dust in my closet for quite a while. I'm happy knowing that it will be put to good use! The 7770 Ghz Edition isn't the most powerful card, but when you turn a few settings down to medium and high, this card really does the duty for around $100. Benchmarks will be posted at the bottom!
He had been collecting dust in my closet as well. I had done some modding to this case. The entire hard drive cage has been removed to allow for better front air intake. I also tried to make room for a Kraken X60, but it will not fit in this case in push nor pull. The case does have great cable management options though and makes for a quick and clean build. Two Cooler Master Sickle Flows will be added to the front panel in a few days. This was a later order after he realized that the case came with blue lights and that just wasn't going to happen. You may have also noticed the disc drive that isn't connected. We put it in there for looks, but also because I couldn't find the mesh covering on the front panel, so it will take its' place.
I have used Corsair a few times before and have not been let down by their quality. You may think that 750 watts is a bit much and it is, but this was a gift from a family member. We originally planned for a 500-550 watt, but this will work out well for future expandability.
I didn't have a single problem with this build. All of the parts worked properly and fit together exactly how they were supposed to. I tried to give him enough performance to play games while leaving plenty of available options for upgrades in the future and I feel that I did just that! I would be happy to hear your comments, concerns, and questions!
BENCHMARKS: ran everything at stock clocks to simulate a beginning user
- Unigine Valley (High setting, AA off)
1080p: 28.1 FPS - 1178
900p: 37.2 FPS - 1556
720p: 49 FPS - 2052
- Unigine Heaven (High setting, AA and Tessellation off)
1080p: 27 FPS - 673
900p: 39.4 FPS - 991
720p: 59.7 - 1505
- Catzilla (720p)