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The Lightning(First computer build)

by fenris244



Date Published

March 8, 2015

Date Built

Feb. 13, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4.6 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

28.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

46.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.102 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

63.0° C


First build ever. Started with the CPU as most people I talked to raved about the price to performance and it kind of spiraled out of control from there. The GTX 970 memory thing knocked the MSI R9 290X lightning down to an easy buy at 299$ when I grabbed it and the MOBO has great support for overclocking. Currently the system is running great. I have not overclocked it yet but am planning on trying to get the CPU up to 4.6ghz in the next couple of weeks. It was a fun build and is handing all the games I throw at it with ease. Might not be the coolest thing ever but I'm happy with it and hope to get 4-5 years out of it

Part Reviews


This processor in the year since I've built my computer has been great for what I'm doing. It's plays games just fine and other than being pretty hot doesnt cause too much of a fuss. 8 cores sounds great but realistically you're only using like 2 at a time so this gets wrecked by the i5 in most workloads but if you actually get to use all 8 it really goes. Minor complaint mine only OCs to about 4.4 GHz without going a little unstable. A bit of a bummer but whatever. All in all, great price performance and I would give it 4 stars for my experience with it

UNFORTUNATELY I cannot recommend it with Skylake out and Zen around the corner. Looks like we're moving to DDR4 and this platform is a little long in the tooth but if you need a build right now and dont mind some of the shortcomings this is great chip that wont let you down

CPU Cooler

The NZXT Kraken X61. Great cooler, keeps the temps down and isnt actually that loud. You still have pump noise and I'm sure if I swapped out the fans it would get a little quieter but the stock fans actually arent bad and I like the white and black theme going on there. The LED is just OK but not why I bought it and the control software is similarly just ok but that doesnt change the fact that the assembly was easy and after install I've had rock solid performance and not a single issue with this AIO water cooler. The only thing I might knock it for is the price but I'm not going to. I wanted a premium AIO water cooler going in and was not disappointed in my choice


After competing my build I thought I had wasted my money. My CPU isnt a heavy overclocker and what was I going to with all those SATA ports anyway? I have say though overtime this has really proven itself to be good purchase. The intel gigabit port performs like a champ and the numerous expansion slots have come in handy already having added a network card for a home server and I had to go wireless for a minute. I've also added 4 more drives since I built my PC so those SATA ports got used after all. Great board over all


This RAM for the money is pretty good. Not spectacular or anything but good. I had this in my system for a while before upgrading to 16GB and it never let me down but I found its performance to be pretty unremarkable over all. It WILL do the job but its not going to be super fast or sexy looking while it does it. Decent RAM at a decent price


So I have some mixed feelings about this. Like it works fine I guess despite getting out performed by my 500GB Samsung SSD and is fine for having an OS and not much more but I've had some issues with not being recognized once or twice and just being slow a couple times. Ultimately I'd recommend saving your money and going with a larger size on different brand. This might work for you but as prices have fallen it might be wiser to look elsewhere

Video Card

Love this card. Runs most games max setting at 1080p at upwards of 60FPS which is exactly what I bought it for. Overclocks like a champ. The GPU I'm getting about 20% on the VRAM just goes. It's a triple slot card so it is huge, it moves a lot of air but it still runs kinda hot and is hard to recommend with new chips right around the corner but, if you find one at a decent price it's a great card and offers a ton of performance.


If this was the build I started in this would be a 4 to 5 star product but the fact of the matter is I like to tinker with stuff and this is just not the case for me. Not enough drive mounts and cable routing is tight. The bracket that hides all your cables as you route them to back is great idea but it takes like 6 screws to get it out and for installing the water cooler was almost needed. It's a great case for the money but couple the above issues with an easily scratchable plexi side panel window and I'm a little frustrated. It looks great and wasnt hard to build in it was the upgrading after the fact that really soured my view.


Typing on mine right now. MX Blues are my favorite and the red lighting is nice. I prefer red because it doesnt sting my eyes in the dark. Lighting settings are great with a custom profile built in and 4 levels of light from the keys. Included keycap puller works great. Best of all this keyboard has super solid construction. Metal plate holding all the surface. Thick braided cable and the USB pass through is super nice. Corsair has my business for life on the keyboard side of things if they can maintain this level of function and quality. Highly recommend

Comments Sorted by:

Vexzarium 1 Build 7 points 45 months ago

Mine's the real "Lightning"! You impostor!

Nice build! Even better choice of GPU. ;)

I chose the 290x Lightning for the very same reasons... I was Nvidia all the way until I found out the 970 was gimped... then I noticed the shoddy way Nvidia approached the whole thing... made me switch to the side where we "Never Settle".


Vexzarium 1 Build 5 points 45 months ago

I'd love to see some benchmarks like FireStrike. Since our builds are similar, I want to see the 8350 vs. 4690k.

dsargent7 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

I'd be interested in that as well, OP.

fenris244 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 45 months ago


So Valley 1080p 4x MSAA was able to get 2904 low of 28.6 FPS and high of 128.3 with an average of 69.7 fps. As for Firestrike, which looks crazy cool, i was able to pull a 9100.

Vexzarium 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Just re-ran Valley.

Results: http://i.imgur.com/0hWQRFn.png

kingawesome7 1 point 38 months ago

Hey dude i like your build it looks clean and i like the theme of it also!!! But i do have a question for you though.

  1. I just wanted to know how to overclock my cpu becuase i just know how to turn off all of the power saving features etc. I want to know how to overclock using the BCLK or Mulitiplier and turning on load line calibration to make the overclock stable. But i get confused when it say loadline calibration "percentages in the bios from 10 percent to 100 percent" and i dont know which percentage to choose.
[comment deleted]
LeMMingSlayeR 22 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i5-4690K-vs-AMD-FX-8350/2432vs1489 In single and even dual-core thread benchmarks, the 4690k annihilates the 8350. This is sad because I have the 8350... But in any test utilizing 4 or more cores, the 8350 pulls ahead by over 15%. I guess if you are rendering video while playing a game and browsing the internet on multiple monitors, the 8350 is a better multi-tasker. But for straight gaming, in CPU-intensive games you may see a higher framerate with the 4690k. Reading the article though, I'm thinking the tests were all done at stock speeds. I can't speak for the Intel, but the AMD CPU is a monster overclocker as long as you keep the heat down. I've had mine stable at 4.7Ghz and I was only limited by my h55 closed loop cooler, which just couldn't keep up. Hope this helps.

Vexzarium 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

My 4690k is at 4.4ghz with air cooling and a mediocre motherboard. So I'd have to assume that the 8350 and 4690k have similar OC ability when placed under the same conditions... water cooling and a decent OC mobo.

My 4690k will boot at 4.7ghz but with air cooling the temps are too high, for my liking, past 4.4ghz.

bigg_critter 1 Build 3 points 45 months ago

I'd say its plenty cool enough. nice job man

LeMMingSlayeR 22 Builds 3 points 45 months ago

Awesome build! ....My OCD is going nuts about that CPU pump...

fenris244 submitter 2 Builds 3 points 45 months ago

I realized it was messed after everything was finished and just left it. I'll fix it at some point haha

Smk54 3 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

Really nice build. Any chance of more photos?

fenris244 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

I'll try and snag some more.

fenris244 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

More should be up now

Smk54 3 Builds 1 point 45 months ago