This build was completed in August 2013 to replace my aging (but reliable) AMD XP 2400+ machine that was over 9 years old. While it still ran Windows 7 Pro remarkably well, I started to run into problems I simply could not fix with clever optimizations due to the aging hardware and lack of support for that hardware.
My primary goal with the new build was work first and play second. I am in my senior year for my computer science program and I needed something that would be able to handle anything I could throw at it, with a special emphasis on virtualization and compilation of larger programs. I am a PC gamer at heart and still wanted to have a platform where I could play today's games at respectable levels and have a little bit of room for upgrades later (which is why I choose a somewhat beefy power supply).
My budget was 500 dollars or less and I decided to ultimately go with the FX6300 for the CPU because I know I could tax the extra cores (or the extra module if you will) with my multitasking and virtualization. The 4300 did not seem like a good value considering the 6300 was not much more, but I was not convinced I could tax all of the cores of an 8320. Not to mention the MOBO I bought has been known to have some issues with 125W chips so I decided the 95W 6300 might sidestep some of those concerns and even leave some room for a light overclock (also not recommended on that MOBO).
For the RAM I bought the 1866 set mainly because at the time it was priced exactly the same as the 1600 set so I figured why not. I realized the benefits would be minimal but I figured maybe some application someday might be able to take advantage of it.
The MOBO seems fine, the BIOS one click overclock setting worked and set my CPU to 3.76 GHz and 1766 MHz for the RAM. I decided to just set the RAM to 1866 MHz and use AMD's overdrive utility for changing my clock speeds on the fly depending on what I am doing. Overdrive is a bit buggy sometimes though and will not remember previous settings most of the time. The highest I have overclocked the CPU on the stock cooler was 3.8 GHz by raising the multiplier only. Everything seemed stable and temps were fine. I see turbo core shoot the clock rates up to 4.1 GHz on certain tasks and only have it enabled for certain time consuming items. I do not game with turbo core on and usually settle with 3.5 - 3.8 GHz for the clock rate.
The video card is everything I had hoped it would be and more. I got two free games with it (Far Cry 3 and FC3: Blood Dragon) and they look stunning. The game defaults to 1080P with high settings, but I think that is a bit high for my setup. I tend to get 23 to 32 FPS in FC3 but I'm surprised how playable it still is. I think it averages about 27 or 28FPS overall. Skyrim runs great and at 1080P I get 50+ FPS on ultra high settings. For 80 bucks and 2 games I could not be happier, especially since gaming was my second priority.
The case is loaded with features for the price and I would have gladly paid the full 60. Make no mistake, this is a budget case and may feel a little flimsy in some areas, but nothing really feels cheap. A couple small complaints: The top drive bay is not really usable because the fan switch cables take up the space, and the HD audio cable is too short so I could not take advantage of the cable management with that particular cable. I intend to resolve this with an extension cable later. This case is known for its cooling / noise capabilities for the price which is why I chose it.
The PSU and HD are great and I have no problems with either of them.
Final thoughts: Extremely pleased with this build for the money. I got the OS for free through my school and salvaged the optical drive from another computer. Even if I had to pay for the OS it still would have been a good value for what I need it for. When I get the chance I will do some detailed testing and some benchmarks.