Description

This is the first pc I've built, and I put it together for day to day tasks and maybe the occasional foray into 15fps crysis3 gaming. I am thrifty by nature so I wanted to get the best system for the money, and starting this build from scratch meant that the total price tag had to contain a full pc (minus headphones, a keyboard and mouse). I already have those peripherals but will replace them ASAP as they are low quality (<$50 all together). I have always had an interest in computer building, but I never had the opportunity to build one myself (until now) and usually just use my laptop or a school computer for work. After lurking on pc building forums for a while, I wanted to get some hands on experience. Plus my laptop (toshiba satellite...bleurgh) just couldn't handle the load I was putting on it. I acquired the parts over a period of several weeks and prayed that nothing came DOA. I will just round that off by saying that I will never use that strategy again in the future, it was nerve wracking.

Case: The first thing I bought. Luckily, I did not have to plan the build around this case much, its roomy and comes equipped with 5 fans (4x120mm, 1x200mm). I like the color and look of this case a lot. I have only seen one other build with this case, and I hope to see more in the future. I was a little disappointed that it didn't fit the Cooler Master 212 Evo or the Noctua NH-D14, though.

CPU: The beast with six cores (sort of). A little old but has solid reviews. Plus it has a relatively low TDP for an AMD FX chip at 95W. Aside from single-core performance I am pretty content with it. I hope to follow this up with an i5 build for more serious use.

CPU Cooler: No regrets, even after I was elbow deep in thermal paste, praying for a third arm to help me screw the block to the cpu. Directions are awful though, I have received grocery store coupons that went more into depth than these installation instructions did. Now the warranty info, on the other hand...

Motherboard: I originally looked at the 990FX version from Gigabyte, but ended up saving money and opting for a 970 board instead. I read that the UD3P has a larger heatsink than the D3P and something about 8+2 power phase but right around then my eyes rolled back into my head and I just bought the damn thing. I think at 50 dollars I got an okay deal :)

Memory & Graphics: RAM was really expensive at the time of purchase and this was the best deal I could find for 2x4GB of 1600MHz sticks was bundled with the R7 260X. A friend had originally recommended the GTX750 Ti to me, but unfortunately it jumped up in price several days before I planned on purchasing it. As a sidenote, in my opinion many graphics cards out there right now are extremely overpriced. Well, actually it's not just my opinion just compare the list and sale prices of the R9 xxx line. Thanks, cryptocurrency.

Also, anybody got an opinion on spraypainting RAM heatspreaders? You can probably guess what color I will be going for here...

Okay, so I probably should have done a little more research before diving in headfirst, but hindsight is 20/20. That being said, I really went for the best bang-for-the-buck deals I could find with my limited knowledge, and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. Theory is great, but at the end of the day I really wanted to get my hands on real parts and put this thing together. I am looking forward to pushing this system to its limits, and I am totally open to replacing individual components if it would benefit the system. This site helped a lot, and I can't wait to try this again with an Intel processor. Feel free to rip apart my choices or just kindly let me know what I could have done better.

After overclocking to 4 GHz I have never seen this thing go over 40 degrees C on any measureable part of the system, except maybe the GPU. Is this normal? I have very good external cooling this thing is right next to the window, sucking in winter air 24/7. I had heard these chips were hot and I was expecting it to idle around that temp.

Oh, and sorry about the quality of the pictures. They were taken on my girlfriend's iPhone since I can't find my digital camera.

Comments

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice budget build. The FX-6300 paired with the R7 260x gives you a lot of bang for your buck. My only suggestion is to upgrade your GPU in the future. If you need a little more power, the R9 270x would be a good budget card.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I definitely plan on upgrading the gpu in the future.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

You're welcome! I have a similar build with the Sapphire Radeon 7850 2GB card, and I'm already thinking I'll need to upgrade soon!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I just checked that out actually :)

270X or gtx 760? the R9 may be slightly cheaper...

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Well, I like to stick with Radeon (no reason, I just always have). However, I do believe the R9 270x is running on newer architecture than the GTX 760. So, I'd go with the 270x, but its personal preference really.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

How is that R7 260X working for you?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

the 270x is basicly a two year old 7870 ghz with the clocks upped a bit. so no They're equally old. the 760 is basicly a 670 aswell.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

GTX 760 is slightly more powerful, but also slightly more expensive.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you think it's worth the upgrade?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Go for a 270 and overclock it. The 270x is a waste of money as it is just a factory overclocked 270. The way I see this price range is just the 270 and the 760. I would buy a 760 if you're planning on recording games because of shadowplay, and the 270 if not because it can play everything on high settings without any issues. I have a 7870ghz and I pushed 1250mhz out of it and it's a beast.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Not true. the 270 only has 1 6pin power connector so the overclocking headroom is greatly reduced. The 7870 and 270x both have 2 6pin's and are very overclockable. So if overclocking is what you want/need, get a 7870 or the x version.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

If you are looking for more gaming power out of your GPU... don't get rid of the one you have, get another one and CrossFire it. That's how I'm running my 260X's and they make all new games very playable... maybe not all at ultra high settings, but it gets the job done for budget cards. The best thing that is coming for these cards is the AMD TrueAudio and Mantle. Keep your 260X and enjoy the benefits those new technologies will bring. I'm building my son another little gaming rig, and he gets the 260X also... it is a good little card if you set it up right.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

You could have done way better, but still, this isn't too bad. +1

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Decent budget build, seems well thought out. Only complaint I have is the Sata 3gb/s RE3 drive, which is lower than today's standards, but whatever.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

I dont think any 7200rpm drive is gonna be saturating sata 2 m8...

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay thanks for the suggestion! What would you recommend instead?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

An SSD, or a WD Caviar Blue or Seagate Barracuda drive.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay after reading your suggestion I did some research: Here take a look at this

I will definitely be picking up an SSD in the near future, the RE3's boot times are admittedly quite bad. However, I would by no means replace it with a Blue or a Barracuda, though...oh and regarding the SATA II interface: what single hard drive out there even comes close to saturating the 3 Gb/s cap, let alone SATA III?

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Well an SSD would definitely be the most noticeable performance increase. I would recommend a caching SSD for your situation

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

For spraypainting the ram green, i'm guessing, cause of the case, or any color, i like going with plasti-dip. dissasemble the ram heatsinks and spray them, and leave the ram sticks alone, i don't think you can spray paint those... for more info go here or here

[comment deleted]
  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

Hmm...you have a point. Here's my reasoning: I had originally been thinking cheap air, but couldn't fit too many in my case, which I had already purchased. So I took a risk and went for the 120M because it was fairly priced for what it is and I wanted to try overclocking and an AIO as an experiment. Also, I plan on upgrading the GPU way past the 750 Ti in the near future anyway, more into the realm of mid-to-high range graphics.

Note: Technically speaking, it's not water cooling. I believe AIO coolers use some kind of liquid formula.

Edit: I must admit though, those are pretty great framerates considering how much power the 750 Ti is probably drawing...

[comment deleted]
  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Not straight water, no, but I was under the impression that some custom loops use distilled water with biocide in it. Can you confirm or deny this? I'm asking because I might set up a system like this when I upgrade my gpu.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Welp, Custom loops is water though. Only CLC uses the "formula" But i guess there's a lot more people using the AIO coolers anyway.

Custom water loops mostly use Destilled water. Some use Biocide too.

[comment deleted]
  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

you don't need to add crap to it. Only thing you need is the Anti Algea. Algaecide.