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Gunpowder & Lead

by Flynne



Date Published

April 14, 2016

Date Built

April 12, 2016

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

11.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C


I've wanted to build my own PC since my husband introduced me to custom-built PCs about 8 years ago. Now that we are married and no longer have to save a metric ton of money for the wedding, I did it! I watched numerous YouTube videos and spent tons of time researching parts.

I'm really happy with how my cable management turned out for my first try, but the case certainly helped. And thanks to my husband, who helped with the more handy aspects of the build like getting some pesky screws where they belonged.

All in all, I am one happy girl.

Ignore the mess of cables on the desk in the photos.. haven't finalized everything yet!

Part Reviews


I've always had AMD CPUs and haven't had any problems. The price-to-performance ratio on the FX-8350 made it a no-brainer for me. It's awesome.

CPU Cooler

I watched more videos on how to install this than anything else, and that STILL didn't prepare me for what a massive ***** this thing is to screw in. I thought I was doing it wrong, but it's working as intended, so there's that.


I've read really good reviews on this board, I really liked the colors, and I frequently see it paired with the FX-8350. I have zero complaints.


I saw this on sale on Newegg and bought it without thinking. It's blue, therefore pretty. It works.


I bought an 840 EVO to put into my laptop two years ago, so when the time came for this build I wasn't going for anything other than Samsung. It's worth every bit of $150. I am regretting not getting a 1TB because I think I'm going to buy another 500GB one.

Video Card

I was 100% sold on getting a GTX970... but then I found this card for the same price on Amazon. An 8GB card for the same price? Why not. Plus the backplate looks awesome. I did read that it's a hot card but I haven't had any issues with mine. I haven't had a chance to play anything more taxing than Skyrim yet, but it did that maxed out without going over 52C.


I knew this was the case I wanted since I first saw it two years ago. The fact is came in grey sealed the deal. The good airflow and build quality are definitely pluses. If I did another build I'd get another one (probably white).

Power Supply

You'll see in the pictures I've got an EVGA SuperNOVA 650GS box, but after testing it the fan was bad and I returned it. Since a 750w PSU was recommended for the R9 390 (despite many people having no issues with 600-650w PSUs) I went ahead and got one just in case. The P2 was only $6 more than the G2, so I went with that. I love it. The build quality is impeccable and it's silent.

Case Fan

I replaced the 3 white fans that came with the Phantom 410 with 4 of these. Two exhaust, two intake. I have them running at the lowest RPM setting using the fan controller built into the Phantom 410. The noise is noticeable, but not too bad for me. They're a dark color and don't have LEDs, exactly what I wanted.


I was going to go with an Asus monitor, though I had my eye on this one for a while. I ended up saving money on the keyboard I got so I spent the extra to get this. Holy crap! I'm glad I did. It scared me at first because when I received it I plugged it into my laptops to test the display and got... nothing. Tried multiple HDMI cables and nada. So I plugged it into my PS4 and boom. I will say it came out of the box on the RTS1 setting and that was awful. Putting it back to the Standard setting made everything pretty again.


I was really tempted to get a mechanical keyboard but I couldn't justify the cost. I really wanted a keyboard with fully customizable lighting and found this one for $50 factory refurbished. I was initially disappointed but it's definitely grown on me and it was definitely worth what I paid. The SteelSeries software is easy to use as well.


This I actually bought 2 years ago and it's served me faithfully, though it's quite a bit scratched now from falling onto the floor frequently.

Comments Sorted by:

Jäßßäwöçkëë 2 Builds 2 points 19 months ago

Well I'll say from one team red fanboy to a team red fangirl ... Great job on your first rig! +1 I also use a BenQ monitor and I love it thus far.

Flynne submitter 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

Thank you!

SeBreeze9000 2 points 19 months ago

This is LOVELY +1 Wow wow wow

I love solid builds on the first try, hence I'm about to begin building mine, you're making me contemplate my GPU yet again, I totally agree with the 4GB comment I'm honestly not 100% confident I will be happy with just 4GB!

Flynne submitter 1 Build 3 points 19 months ago

Thank you! Honestly I'm sure 4GB would've been enough for me since I don't do anything too crazy... but I'd rather have it than not have it ;)

Jäßßäwöçkëë 2 Builds 2 points 19 months ago

Honestly it depends on the resolution you intend to play at? I'm using a MSI R9 380 4GB and so far I haven't tried anything it doesn't kill at 1080p. I play GTA V on Very High/Ultra settings @ 60 fps all day.

SeBreeze9000 1 point 19 months ago

You sir are nice, I appreciate your feedback you and two others have just clarified I shouldn't have a huge issue with FPS on my current build. Of course if needed I will go head and alter the components later on down the road. If you care to check out my build and throw some suggestions my way feel free! http://pcpartpicker.com/user/SeBreeze9000/saved/FvHdnQ

dmk714 1 point 19 months ago

I have an R9 390 and quite honestly i have mixed feelings about this card. It's a beast in some games but not so much elsewhere. Driver support is not the best.

SeBreeze9000 1 point 19 months ago

Which one are you rolling with?

dmk714 1 point 19 months ago

Msi's R9 390

SeBreeze9000 1 point 19 months ago

Ah I'm going with Sapphire Radeon, I'll let you know how it performs once my build is complete!

dmk714 1 point 19 months ago

Alright. I look forward to it.

HoovyBird 1 point 19 months ago

+1 for da gunmetal.

Bamahut 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

I need to get me 'dat Hue. Looks great, congrats! +1

mb67 5 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

I like it- Very nicely done! :-)

MightyAlFred 3 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Very cool pc, I love the color matching between the motherboard, ram and the leds. I'm not really sold on a couple of choices here, or the reasons you made them, but that's just my opinion, so take it as it is.
I wouldn't have bought an FX processor + motherboard new, not right now. It's not that I dislike AMD (I actually like it a bit more than intel/nvidia for its general policies but I try to be neutral), but rather that it's a dead socket, and also an old one (we're talking about 2011 architecture here).
Maybe a used combo, as a placeholder until Zen comes out, or just go with intel. The only case in which I could reccomend an FX processor now is if somebody is on a strict budget and needs some kind of workstation, in that case the 8 cores make up a bit for the lower per-core performance.
As for the gpu, I do prefer it to the gtx 970, but you shouldn't just pick it up for the ram. It's a bit more powerful especially in 1440p (which would be a very playable resolution if you don't plan to play to the latest and more demanding titles) and the xfx version is just the second best variant of this card apparently (sapphire nitro being the first).
There's also the fact that new gpus are expected just short of 2 months now, but I agree not everybody wants to wait.
I'd say you made a nice choice with that 390.

Michelle.G 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

GIRL POWER! Good on you! I just built my first as well, I went from being a PC Dunce to not such a dunce! Love that soft colour bty.

Michelle.G 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

PS. Great title!

FastTempo 1 point 19 months ago

Thank you for not going with the GTX 970 +1

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