Description

Updated gaming computer using some parts from previous 2008 build (PSU, HDDs, peripherals)

CPU: I originally had a FX-8120 but Microcenter had the 8350 for 149.99 and I couldn't pass it up (and since AMD isn't releasing any new Bulldozer CPUs). I haven't had a chance to overclock it yet.

CPU Cooler: Just replaced my Hyper 212+ with a Corsair H100i. It is a tight fit with the top of the motherboard but works well and I am loving the CorsairLink.

The Hyper 212+ works great but I don't think the Excaliburs are the best fans for it (but they look cool). The push fan hits the ram but I have it offset for clearance. Arctic Silver is left over from previous build (3 CPUs and 1 GPU and still some left over).

Motherboard: I've been a fan of Asus motherboards since my first build. My friends have had some issues with theirs but I have never had a problem. I use the Asus SATA chipset for my SSD for AHCI and TRIM.

Memory: I used G.Skill on my last build and other than being a bit picky about which stick went in which slot, they ran great. I went with the Sniper because they look good with the black/red and they are 1866 which is what is native for Bulldozer.

Storage: System drive is 128 GB Vertex 4. It is great but less so over 50% and not much space for more than 1 game and OS. Storage drives are from previous build. They are RAID 0 running on the southbridge.

Video Card: I selected the 7950 because a 7970 wasn't in the budget at the time. It runs great. I replaced the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5. GPU is overclocked to match the Sapphire R9 280X vapor-x I plan to add in Crossfire.

Case: I love the CM HAF XM, plenty of space to route everything in the back panel and only as big as it needs to be. My previous build was a solid steel Thermaltake Armor+ full tower so I didn't want anything bigger than mid tower.

Case Fan: Along with installing the H100i I removed the fans I had and installed 3 Corsair AF140 Quiet editions (2 on the side and 1 at the back) They aren't too loud and I love the red/black look.

BitFenix fan doesn't quite fit (should have got the 230mm I think). I moved the front fan above the processor as exhaust. Replaced the rear fan with the Xigmatek. It works well but I forgot how annoying always on LEDs can be. Moved the rear fan to the side panel as an intake. I tried to make it a point to get PWM fans. All the fans are driven by the Motherboard so it runs silent at idle and scales with the CPU temperature.

Power Supply: I'm not entirely happy with the Corsair HX1000. I hate the 2 rail design. I originally had the 8 pin CPU power coming from rail 2 (24 pin and additional 4 pin from 1) and I think I had the GPU powered from both rails. The computer wouldn't POST half the time until it finally killed the PSU. Corsair's warranty is great though so I got it replaced and reconfigured it so the motherboard is on rail 1 and the video card is on 2 (how I should have done it in the first place) and it seems to be working fine. I am if about adding another video card with this psu so I am going to swap it out for a 1000W single rail before I get a second card.

Optical Drives: DVD drive is to replace a Samsung drive that the tray had a mind of its own. I added a Blu-ray to watch movies. The drawer in between is from my old case. I think it is about the most useful thing you can put in a 5.25 drive. I keep all my screws adapters and flash drives in there.

Operating System: Windows 7 was free through my college Microsoft Dreamspark.

Monitors: The main monitor is the Asus PA248Q. I insisted on having a 1920x1200 monitor. It replaced my Samsung T240HD that has become my TV. I got the Gateway monitor from my sister. I use it to watch temps and chats etc.

Keyboard: The G15 is the second revision orange one (I HATE blue LEDs) that I got for my old build. I used to love the LCD screen although I don't use it as much now that I have the second screen.

Mouse: I got the G500 to replace my old G5 from my previous build that I handed down to my sister. I love the shape of the G5 so getting the G500 was a no brainer with the additional buttons and the toggle scroll wheel.

Speakers: The Z-5500s were actually one of the first things I bought when building my last computer. The 5.1 and THX certification were what drew me to it. I am really happy with the it. The 3 inputs are handy for my PC, 360, and cable box. The control pod has the typical LED failure but still functions.

Headphones: The Ear Force Charlie is a refurbished model. It broke where the ear cups attach to the band just like a lot of reviewers said theirs did. It still works and it a lot easier to move with my computer than my speakers.

More upgrades are planned listed in my "upgrade" parts list.

Temperatures are approximate, my ambient temperature varies greatly.

(INITIAL BUILD COMPLETED SPRING 2012)

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7703817? x2427

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7703838? P7538

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7703863? E10243

http://www.3dmark.com/fs/1374482 Fire Strike 4750

Scores are worse than previous results with 8120. I think it is the video card drivers.

UPDATE: switched to 13.12 non beta drivers

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7704906? x3137

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7704925? P7931

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7704985? E10299

http://www.3dmark.com/fs/1376482 Fire Strike 6299

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Comments

  • 75 months ago
  • 2 points

Finally a build using the Haf XM Best Case EVER. I use this case in my own rig. :DDD

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I know, I was looking at the HAF X but there is no way I'm going with a full tower again unless it is a fully watercooled immobile powerhouse. The new stacker looks interesting though.

  • 75 months ago
  • 2 points

I got scared when I saw the prices for the HDDs, until I read they were inherited from a previous build in 2008. Why did you buy the 7950 at the peak of digital currency related price inflation?

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't, that was purchased 4/30/2012. same with most of the components. Case, heatsink, mobo, ram, and the dvd drive. Old fx-8120 too, but I just replaced that.

[comment deleted]
  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I'll stick with AMD until money is no object then I'll maybe make an Intel build.