+ Total (Canada):
My first gaming/ video editing desktop. Got most of my components on a good discount. I was able to build a great desktop under CAD 900 (Update: I have added parts since I initially built it). It was great fun building this and I've learned so much about computer parts going into the future.
Other useful links for building: http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/ (this site can give you tests run on RAM, SSD/HDD, CPU, GPU) It's mostly good for comparing products to eachother, which provides good insight into information on parts you don't see from retailers.
My benchmark: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/3513081
Benchmark valley score: 2657 / FPS: 63.5 (Overclocked GPU to Core 1125 MHZ and Memory to 1310 MHZ) Min FPS: 20.7 Max FPS: 106.1
Render: Direct3D11 Mode: 1680x1050 8xAA full screen Quality: Ultra (I haven't tested with my new 1080p monitor yet)
Overclocked my CPU, using OverDrive, to 4.31 GHz stable on 1.375V
AMD FX(tm)-8350 Eight-Core Processor (4314MHz) x4
While it is marketed as an 8-core processor, this does not mean octacore, it has 8 logical processors and 8 threads but only 4 cores. a real octacore, like the Ryzen, would have 8 cores. That said, the performance to price ratio for the 8350 is a steal and is more or less a quadcore. Have this overclocked to 4.3GHz with the stock cooler no problems. I do wish that I bought a ryzen instead though, but overall build price would have been more expensive. I built a PC at a bad time. This build is now $200 cheaper and I can now build Ryzen what I paid for this.
I did find the installation a bit finicky, but again because I didn't take the motherboard out of the case- the instructions suggest you take the motherboard out. The fan for the heatsink isn't easy to remove, but I guess that's actually a good thing. The heatsink comes with rubber strips (2) installed for both sound and vibration. this thing is SILENT. compared to the stock cooler it's practically inaudible. It cools well and sits 15 degrees idle minimum. The fan even has a good quality black braided chassis cord. cheaper than the EVO, and comparable performance. It also isn't anywhere near as big, doesn't cover my RAM and with these factors (plus the fact it's very aesthetically pleasing) it gets my 5 stars. The fan comes with brackets and rubber strips if you wish to install another fan, thought that was a plus too.
It's clear that I should have went with a 990 series motherboard, but the budget value for the 970 series was too appealing. That said, the board is actually very user friendly, has a great BIOS, and can run with minimal problems, apart from the RAM, which I'll get to. I wish there were more fan and USB 3.0 connectors. Overall, I'm pleased with the motherboard's performance for the price, it looks great- matches my blue theme, and the heat sinks are very effective. There is a lot of on board text that will help first time builders, like myself. Even though I would prefer a 990 series mobo, this does its job just fine and is still a value for money. Edit: the screws that came attached to the AMD bracket are horrible. I advise people looking to buy an aftermarket cooler to be cautious before trying to unscrew them, or you'll strip them like I did.
My 8GB stick of RAM, while set to run at 1866 MHZ can only run at a maximum of 1732 MHZ on my motherboard. While the RAM definitely looks cool, it doesn't test well on benchmarks and is bottle-necking my system. I did get this stick of RAM for about 46 dollars on amazon- was claimed to be used, but the details said cosmetic damage, which is that one of the heat fins is slightly bent, but isn't noticeable. For the price, I can't complain and still unsure whether the RAM is under performing or if it's the motherboard. Edit: running it at 1600 MHZ since 1732 is only accessible through the OC tuner function on the motherboard BIOS, and because of the additional 4GBx2 RAM I added.
Got 2 of these sticks for free from my friend and they were compatible. this isn't the exact same model. I have the KVR13LE9S8/4. it has the same Cas latency of 9. it's running at 1600 MHZ. free 8GB RAM. nuff said really.
Never heard of PNY until seeing this SSD. This thing is great and performs well for almost every task. the only area where it falls short- which you can check at user benchmark, is it's 4k random and mixed IO speeds. it can handle 4K read and writes well otherwise, and as my boot drive, is amazing. I salvaged a 1TB Toshiba HDD from a laptop to fit into another 2.5" SATA bay and it works just fine. probably going to get a 3.5" HDD at some point for improvement in speeds, but actually tested out the laptop HDD and it performs just as well. Great price to performance for an SSD and would recommend people to look into their CS2211 series. very competitive prices with performance that rivals samsung and kingston. If I had more money, I'd have gone for the 240GB version.
Amazing SSD. The cheapest I've found, even cheaper than my first one. Also performs better than the first one I bought, probably because it's newer. I was disappointed with the lack of screws and SATA cable in the package, but those were easy and cheap to get. No instructions on how to partition the drive to use it, but I know how to- just had to refresh myself.
The R9 290x is an actual monster. 4 stars because of noise and power consumption. Nvidia is generally more efficient and quieter. It's aged well and can still run recently released games on high - ultra. This baby pushes The Witcher 3 on max settings to 75fps overclocked core: 1120MHz, overclocked memory: 1320MHz
Good quality case, decent cable management and good LED lights and design. Pretty lightweight and sturdy. easy to clean. not premium quality, but good for its price.
700W is all you need if you have a build like mine. I had read a lot of bad reviews on this particular model on newegg so was a bit reluctant to purchase it, but on sale at $94.99 for a 700W Gold efficiency PSU is a competitive price and went ahead and purchased it. The cables, for the most part are good, but some are a bit too short and the power connector is pretty rigid. But it does its job and while cable management wasn't the best, despite it being semi-modular, I have very reliant and efficient power feeding my beast GPU and the fan actually does a decent job.
Thought that this fan would be the same colour of blue LED seeing as it's a similar model (the 2 pre installed case fans have a transparent body, while this one is black-translucent), the blue light is a slightly different colour, but isn't too much of an issue. the worst part of this case fan is the screws that came with it. so difficult to screw them into the case fan screw slots as they aren't threaded. It was the most difficult screwing job I've done and damaged the screw heads because they are a cheap material. Not only that, but they aren't black screws, and being on top of my case, it's noticeable. Overall, it has improved airflow, but you get what you pay for.
While it's not full HD, and has an older aspect ratio of 16:10, instead of 16:9, you know what? got it for $50, it has one of the best bases for swivel and adjustment I've ever seen and has a mic and webcam. solid purchase I'd say. Besides, it's only 3 lines of text off a 1080p, 1680x1050 is very very close. 75hz is a surprise for this monitor and it does its job for me in 2019.
There is no other monitor that is frameless IPS, has freesync at 75hz and with such a slim design. I actually don't mind the gloss because I have a black glass desk, so it literally just blends in and it feels like all I have is the screen. The screen itself is beautiful although 8-bit colour is the only downside. Could be at least 10-bit in 2019. Other than that, I was worried it being so slim and cheap would affect its build quality, but no it's surprisingly sturdy and the monitor doesn't move off its axis at all. Bought this to replace the main monitor in my 2-screen set-up. It was a good choice.
Hands down the best mouse I have ever and will ever use. Literally made for my hand. Intuitive design, great customizable software, and solid build. The scroll wheel could be better, but it's a beautiful product so I can overlook that.
Good set of headphones for gaming and general use. Sound quality is actually very good and it is well built, but it feels too plastic and could use better materials. For a first set of gaming headphones they are amazing and the surround sound works well although I had to download drivers as they were reversed at first. Works well with the logitech software, but my issue is the controller - it is placed awkwardly on the cable and I wish they would have placed it better.
These are amazing for the price. Quality is well worth it - good sound, good bass. Loud enough for me at my computer. Sound is clear and the controller, while it could be a better design and better feel, does the job.
My USB 3.0 hub is the best part. works amazingly, but to boost its performance you'll need a DC adapter. Comes with SD and Micro SD readers, this really completes my build as I do video editing and photography.
Decent keyboard. Outema switches are slightly clickier because of the mechanisms springs. Stilla good keyboard, well built, decent software for lighting, although not complete. Wrist pad is nothing to write home about, it's plastic. Stands are good rubber and the keys actually feel nice to type on. Lighting options are not tacky and it feels almost premium.