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The Little Engine that Could - Final Update

by sgtSnyder



Date Published

Nov. 15, 2015

Date Built

Nov. 1, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4.4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

36.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

74.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.15 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

57.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

77.0° C


Here is a link to my previous update: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/PMQV3C

All prices are the price I payed out of pocket, not including any price payed using gift cards. The items marked as "not purchased" are the items I have gotten since the last update. My boss actually funded the SSD as I have been doing a lot of Android development on my PC, so he decided to give me an upgrade in storage. Great guy! I got 16 GB of RAM mainly just to fill the slots and make it looks sexy. I can hit 8GB of utilization when I have chrome, AS, an emulator up and maybe something running in the background, but I can't recall a time I hit over 8GB of RAM usage. The LED strips were some 12V right angle LEDs that I had laying around, that I just hooked up to a peripheral connector on the PSU (murdered a molex connector).


This computer was originally intended for gaming, but is now also used for Android development, mainly because it can load and run emulators much faster and smoother than my laptop can. It has a little studder when first launching the emulator, but it's very smooth after that. My current favorites as far as games are the Metro series, Tomb Raider, PayDay 2, and recently Rocket League.


This performs exactly how I want it to. Now I know what you're thinking, and let me confirm: The G3258 is a bottle neck. I see people who run the Tomb Raider benchmark on a R9 390 at 1080p and get well over 60 FPS, while mine maintains 60 FPS on the nose. But on my 60 Hz panel, I don't notice any studdering, screen tears or ghosting, so I am very happy with the performance, regardless of the bottleneck. When I finally get a few games that can't maintain 60 FPS on maxed out settings, then I'll probably upgrade to an i5, but I do not an upgrade I see happening in the near future. While it is a bottleneck, the build as a whole does what I want, and well outperforms any previous iteration of the build, so much so that I feel content leaving it as it is.

Well thanks for reading this far! I hope you like the build :) Also, please excuse the icons on my screen! They're messed up from when I was messing around with upscaling resolution, I just didn't think to reorganize before I took the picture! Also, the marks all over my desk are soldering burns. It's a plastic-y finish and getting the littlest drop of solder on it leaves gross marks.

EDIT: PCPartPicker isn't displaying items marked as purchased...New items are the RAM, graphics card, solid state, fans, monitor and keyboard. Total new expenses are $614, with $350 coming from the previous revision.

Part Reviews


This little thing is great! I got it up to 4.4GHz, granted it was a lot of work. But at $50 you cannot argue with the performance you can squeeze out of this little dual core. Very impressed and I love it.

CPU Cooler

I have reviewed this in a previous posting. It came in like crap, but after sanding and polishing the bottom and applying more pressure onto the CPU, it now works much better. Actually a few degrees cooler than an H60 I purchased at some point. Just disappointed with how I got it.


Great motherboard! Has not given me any issues, and does everything it's supposed to do. I like the boot screen, and using the BIOS is very easy, so there is not much more to it than that.


Super fast with everything it does, and large enough for everything I put on it. Right now, I'm using about 200 GB.

Video Card

I love this card! It overclocks extremely well and plays every game I want at 60Hz, all settings maxed out. Upscaling to 1440p in some games is actually a more efficient alternative to AA, which is interesting. the idle temps are relatively high because of the custom fan curve I have. It does not turn on the fans until at least 60C, so I can play minecraft in solitude. My only complaint is how loud it is when the fans spin up! Once it gets to about 60% speed it's obnoxious.


I like this case very much. The cable management is done very well, and I love the rubber around every hole. I just wish there were a few more points in the back for zip ties, and that there was an extra half inch of space under the back panel. Worth the money? Not sure. Still a good case? Definitely.

Power Supply

Everyone complains about the CX series...but this thing has been great. When I was sleeving the PCI cables, I accidentally mixed two pins up and shorted my card. Everything shut down. Luckily I just reset the switch on the back and it saved my computers life. Couldn't ask for more.

Case Fan

These fans are a great value! They move air well and are extremely silent. I fell in love with the Cougar Vortex, and I decided to get these to see how they compare. And I can say that if Cougar keeps this up, they have a customer for life. Cheap, push a lot of air, and are extremely quiet.


Not too shabby! I got it with the hopes to overclock it to get some higher frame rates, but I cannot get it over 70Hz. At which point I figure I should just gotten an IPS. (Heard that TN panels overclock better than IPS...). But I have also heard of people having difficulty overclocking over DVI so I will try HDMI soon.


I got this off of MassDrop and I love it. Has the perfect feel (Brown switches) and looks sharp.

Comments Sorted by:

syntaxerrur 22 Builds 6 points 39 months ago

While it is a bottleneck, the build as a whole does what I want, and well outperforms any previous iteration of the build, so much so that I feel content leaving it as it is.

This makes me smile. Too many people are concerned with "future proofing" their system that they actually overspend by a ton. I myself am guilty of this and I'm glad to see that you have your mind in the right place. This mentality would also save a lot of people from waiting till the next best thing comes out. Spend the cash and get what you need for right now, otherwise you will forever be waiting.

Great job. +1

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Thank you :) I just wanted it to be done, and I knew getting this card would finally make it complete. Even if it didn't match up with the processor, it provides just enough power for me.

Iceman320 1 Build 2 points 39 months ago

What's the reason for not having your Fan installed on your CPU heat sink? or am I just blind and cant see it?

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

For silence. The top two fans are intakes and do a fine job cooling off the T4. When I did have a CPU fan, the temps were only 1-2 degrees lower. I had the Cougar vortex on it, and a cheap fan in the rear, but the rear exhaust was so loud. So I got rid of it and my temps shot up 8C. Heat just built up between the graphics card and processor, and the panel fan was not enough to exhaust it, so I just moved the vortex to the rear!

Iceman320 1 Build 2 points 39 months ago

Makes sense, interesting fan configuration though.

I applaud your creativity, and your temperatures seem to back up your experimentation.

Makes me think whether or not there would be a better way to arrange my fans also :)

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

Thank you! I wonder that as well. I have experimented with intakes on the front and exhaust on top, but this configuration actually works better! The air from the front intakes gets blocked a lot by the side of the drive cages, but I still wonder about other possible fan configurations!

Iceman320 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

MY setup is pretty standard, but I will eventually get some nice fans and have a play around with a few different arrangements

dragoon20005 4 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

how are the temps when the CPU is being push in games?

The T4 is kinda like the 212 Evo/Plus

except it does not have any vapor chamber

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Games it will fluctuate anywhere from 50-60C, it'll only hit 70 in a stress test like Prime95

dragoon20005 4 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

ah good for you

any plans for a i7?

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

As soon as I run into a game I can't play, I plan to jump up to an i5 or i7! But I don't see it happening for a while

dragoon20005 4 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

good idea

hope to see the Tank engine becomes a Gordan

Thomas the Tank engine ref

rhali8 2 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

Interesting CPU + GPU combo. Just wondering, does the G3258 bottleneck the R9 380 at all? Other than that, all good!


sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Yeah if you read under performance, I talk about how it does bottle neck! But I'm still happy with the overall performance :)

rhali8 2 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

Ah, k. All good!

Gamerongames 1 point 39 months ago

Any more updates on how the cards sound and temp are?

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

My temperature tests are using FurMark. The default fan curve keeps it at around 68C under full load and it is very loud. My curve keeps it at 78C which is not nearly as loud, but still can't be ignored. However during real game play it stays around 70C and is almost inaudible. I do not think the problem is the cooler (except maybe 80mm fans would be better than 70mm fans), I think it's just how much heat the 390 pumps out. It heats up my room after a while!

Gamerongames 1 point 39 months ago

What do you mean my curve? How is the cpu cooler helping?

xDiiThy 3 Builds 3 points 39 months ago

His custom fan curve in his oc software

Jhobbster 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

Dang your gpu is hot at idle. Mine at 100 percent load never goes above 60 and I still can't hear it. Interesting mine at idle is 30 Celsius btw.

But besides that nice build! I'm considering the asus version of that gpu but my fx 6300 at 5 ghz might still bottleneck it!

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Are your idle temperatures with the cooler fans off? If so, I must have gotten a crap chip! It's definitely not the cooler because it gets incredibly hot, so the chip itself is just pumping out a lot of heat. But my idle temps are with the fans off. They don't kick on until 60C

Jhobbster 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

Oh I see. My gpu doesn't allow 0 fan speed. It's 25 percent minimum and that's usually what it runs at idle. The 60 degree is like 40fan speed

Firecheetah13 1 point 33 months ago

The fx 6300 won't bottleneck it much, if it does at all.

issac.mantle 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

What are the sleeved cables and LED light strip?

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

The cables are custom sleeved using 1/8" paracord I got off of amazon for a few bucks. The LED strip is a side emitting 12V LED strip I got for around $20 a few years back. I was debating between using these and some standard surface mount LED strips, but I thought these lit up the components better since they're pointing directly at them. I just soldered them to molex connector that I took apart and popped it into the PSU

issac.mantle 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

Alright thanks for the reply, very nice! Also do you think it would be possible to take off the backplate of the Graphics card and paint it white. I'm trying to do an all white with black accent build and have an RGB light strip to chose the color any time. But as I have quickly discovered there is no r9 390 to fit my wanted color scheme.

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

Yeah the backplate is removable. You have to remove the heatsink in order to access the screws, so make sure you have alcohol and thermal paste to deal with that. Just be careful. The heatsink has adhesive thermal pads all over the place and you may have to pull really hard to take the heatsink off. Just make sure you've taken out all the screws for it so nothing breaks! Once that's done you'll have access to the backplate screws

issac.mantle 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

Sounds scary, lol. Is that how it is with all cards? Is there are card I should get that would be easier to work with? I was also looking at the XFX version of the r9 390. But any version that could work I'm up for.

Firecheetah13 1 point 33 months ago

You should have balanced your CPU and GPU better. You just intentionally bottlenecked your system. I would have gone with a r9 380 and a i5 6500 instead, to avoid the bottleneck and get a large leap in performance likewise. Otherwise, good part picking.

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

If I had purchased everything in one shot I definitely would have! I previously had a 270X which did not give me the performance I wanted. After looking online at reviews and benchmarks, regardless of the CPU it would not give me the performance I was looking for. So I figured instead of upgrading my CPU which I know wouldn't help, why not upgrade my graphics card? Now I'm not quite getting the numbers that others are getting with the 390, but I'm still into the range I wanted to be in!

I am definitely considering getting a 4690K for it at the moment. I'm only hesitant because I don't know if I want to keep updating this rig or start fresh on a build that is right from the start.

Firecheetah13 1 point 33 months ago

Sell you pentium and upgrade to a i5 or even i3 skylake. The 4690k is still based on the 22nm architecture which is quite inefficient. The new skylake chips have a 14nm architecture which is much more efficient, and you can get an i5 6600k (or i3 6100/i3 6300/i3 6320, all great chips), which is much better than the 4690k, for only about $20 more expensive. Worth it in my opinion.

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Selling my pentium would not offset the cost of switching from Haswell to Skylake. I'll have to get a new motherboard and RAM which will be an additional $200 at an absolute minimum. Overclocking motherboards will be more expensive, bringing it into the $450+ range to switch to Skylake. Compared to $200 for the 4690K. And Skylake is typically 5-15% more efficient which isn't a jaw dropping improvement. And I would only care about energy efficiency in mobile devices. Justifies over a 100% price increase for a switch? Meh.

Especially considering that the primary purpose of this build is for gaming. I am 100% content with the gaming performance of my Pentium right now. So it doesn't even make sense to get a 4690K at the moment. Let alone a 6600K. So definitely not worth.

Firecheetah13 1 point 33 months ago

Ah I don't pay much attention to Pentiums. I forgot they are still based on the Haswell architecture.

DanThePCMan007 1 point 24 months ago

Love the fact that you built this in no other way than most people on this site would. Seems like everybody HAS to have the new skylakes or kabylakes or whatever! Hell, i'be been rocking an i5-2400 for awhile and only recently switched to an i7-2600 that I got off eBay for $125 (Works great so far!).

+1 for the CPU and mindset, well done.

Dave702 0 points 39 months ago

flip cpu cooler!!

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

It actually works better that way, it gets cooled by the intake fans on top, and then exhausted from the rear fan and the side panel fan. It only raises the temps 2C as opposed to having a fan on it directly.

xDiiThy 3 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Please! How did you get your PC to work without a cpu fan plugged into the cpu fan header, did it give off any warning or did you disable something in the bios please respond, I have been trying to figure this put for quite some time!

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

The rear fan is plugged in to the CPU header instead!

xDiiThy 3 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Wow you saved my life, but what happened when you never had anything plugged into it? Do you have to have something plugged into the header at all times, im very sure that you do unless your bios supports turning it off which mine does not.

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Yeah you do!

pwelch234 0 points 39 months ago

just buy a fan dude

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

2C on Prime95 just isn't worth the money for another half decent fan. I like the look of it, and during gaming there is virtually no temperature difference.

pwelch234 0 points 39 months ago

How would you know the difference if you don't have a fan to use?

sgtSnyder submitter 6 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

I had the Cougar Vortex on it before

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