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Build

My First Build (2015) Updated 3/13/17

by zestychille

7
28 Comments

Details

Date Published

Dec. 9, 2016

Date Built

Oct. 15, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.01GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

50.0° C

Description

Edit: Monitor update! :D Switched from my ancient Westinghouse television to a 2560x1080p ultrawide.

Edit: 1.22.2017 Update: SSD added, and OS migrated. Parts list updated to reflect current build. Loving the load times. The old HDDs I had before were starting to slow down. Now I have about 3TB of backup space, and 480GB of program space. Going to be adding one of the 1TB drives as a dedicated backup soon.

I've been a PC person for quite some time, but it wasn't until about 2014 that I really even got into the basics of building a PC. And in 2015 when I built it, this one was a challenge for me. As someone who had never built a PC before, I could not recognize any of the cords, plugs, parts, or anything. I knew the theory, but had never held or mounted any of the parts. I should have started by disassembling and re-assembling old or broken PCs from thrift stores and categorizing the parts. Because once I started taking old PCs apart, building new ones became so much easier.

One thing I have found for first time builders. Look up benchmarks for your specific tasks, and budget accordingly. I failed to do that with this build, and ended up using a stock CPU cooler on a furnace of a CPU.(yes it works to keep the parts from melting or anything, but it's loud and it heats up hotter than I'm comfortable with)

Terrible cable management. Funky setup. Odd part choices. All slapped together and abused for a year or so. Not the nicest PC, but it works for anything that isn't overclocking.(Never OC this parts list, it's not pretty)

PS: First timers.. Use a fan monitoring system like MSI Afterburner to adjust fan speeds, especially on your GPU. The reason I get good temperatures is that I re-mapped the graph of fan speeds to raise the RPM of the fans. Without good cooling, parts just don't last as long or work as efficiently.

Part Reviews

CPU

it wasn't until long after I purchased this part that I understood that it's 8 cores acted as 4 cores due to being hardwired to be like a primitive/crippled form of hyperthreading. A processor that actually had hyperthreading would have been a better choice for me personally, and could have been purchased for only slightly more upfront. Choosing a processor that would meet my needs would have saved me the need to build a new PC in 2017. But as I said, this PC has done me well for a little while and it served as a decent entry level/starting point. It allowed me to become acquainted with the PC building process, and helped ensure that my future builds would turn out the way I wanted them to.

The 8350 does what I need it to. It runs what I need it to. But it does not have the endurance I need it to. While it's using 25-50% of it's assets, it can run all day. But bump it up to 75-100% and it's not a happy camper after a few minutes. The higher the load goes, the less effective the processor is. And the older it gets, the less happy it gets, due to heat related issues.

If you must use a stock cooler on this part, do yourself a favor and order a tiny bit of thermal paste to replace the old stuff. But I definitely recommend an aftermarket cooler.

Edit: With the new cooler installed this part is much more efficient. It had some heating issues with stock, even with good thermal paste. Do yourself a favor and use an aftermarket cooler for this part. I'm usually a big fan of stock coolers, but they just don't meet this CPU's needs. You might be able to get it to work with stock, but it will be hotter than it should and it won't run as well because of it. With the right CPU cooler the 8350 works just fine.

CPU Cooler

I'm sure the part is known to all for it's cost efficiency, so I'll focus on the specific application. This cools my FX 8350 with ease, and cools it well even when the room's ambient temperature is hot. If the ambient temperature is cold, I don't even notice it under load because it doesn't need to spin the fan very quickly to keep the CPU cool. For a case with acceptable airflow this will do you well. The only good reasons to get a more expensive CPU cooler are if this either doesn't fit in your case, your case doesn't have airflow, or if it just doesn't look cool enough for your taste. Personally I love it. It gives my PC a more finished look. Upgraded from stock cooler to this, and it's so much better.

Thermal Compound

Got this in person at Best Buy on an impulse because my old thermal paste dried up and the PC was overheating. Best 8 dollars I've spent in a long time. Significantly increased the efficiency dropping the temperatures and fan speeds beyond what I had expected. If you live near a Best Buy, and you want to pick something up for cheap, and you don't want to wait for shipping... This stuff will work. If you want to wait for shipping, there are many other great brands to choose from.

Motherboard

The coming 2017 switch in AMD motherboard sockets causes me to mourn the purchase of an AM3+ motherboard so near to the crossover, but it served it's purpose.

As a motherboard this actually does everything I need it to. It's not fancy, but it works well with the parts I chose. If I had to build with the same CPU again, I most likely would have chosen a similar motherboard if not the same exact model.

Memory

Cheap, and it works. I don't have to say much about it. While playing even the most intense games I don't ever go over 9GB, but my common max is under 7GB. 8GB of a better choice would have done just as well, and would have been cheaper. But I'm not dwelling on it. Although the best range for my needs would have been a 10-12GB setup, it wasn't highly available or cost effective when I was ordering the parts.

Mushkin RAM works. But I'd order even Crucial with no heat sink instead if I absolutely had to cut the budget for whatever reason.

Edit:(got it on sale for under $80, but it's overpriced at 109.88 at the time of this review)

Storage

Snappy, speedy, and cool looking. All I needed was an upgrade from my old thing, and this did it's job like a king. I went PNY because they're cheap, and fast. I've used them in the past. I read more than I write, so I think they'll really last. It's got the speed I need. The lower fee for TLC was worth it to me, and it's longevity should be alright. No tea no shade no pink lemonade just alright.

Storage

Salvaged this from an old PC. This thing sucks, but it was free. There is no reason to buy one of these. Contemplating what to do with it. Might add it to my parents' PC as a dedicated backup drive.

Storage

I forget where I got this. It was one of many drives that I added over time. Can't remember if it was a salvage or a sale, but if you have to go HDD this one is alright.

Storage

This HDD is cost effective and runs well. If you're looking for a backup or expansion drive, this will work.

While HDDs met my needs, I had other options that I should have chosen. One of my broken down old PCs had a HDD that matched this one for specs, all it needed was to be wiped clean. With the saved money I could have bought a small SSD and saved money and time. The startup and load times can get bothersome from time to time, but they are far superior to all my old PCs. So regardless of the mistake, this was a step up for me.

Learn from my mistakes. HDDs are cheap and easy to order/install after a build is complete. But switching your operating system to a new drive because you want to upgrade to SSD is a bit of a pain. It's more effective to start with a smaller SSD and upgrade storage space later. You can even use external hard drives if you're lazy and don't want to plug a HDD into your motherboard/PSU.(it's easy when you get the hang of it, trust me)

Storage

Like the Hitachi Deskstar, I forget where I got this. It was one of a few drives that I added over the past year or so. I can't remember if it was a salvage or a sale, but if you have to go HDD this one will do you fine.

Video Card

A beautiful card, that works. But I could have spent a little more for a better one. The GPU is solid, yes, but it's frame rate just isn't as consistent as newer cards. The maximum frame rate is competitive, but he standard deviation is much higher than that of a similarly priced nvidia, or even a more expensive radeon card. And I didn't understand that standard deviation is more important than maximum frame rate at the time of building. If a GPU has a max frame rate of 150 but consistently or even occasionally bottoms out below 24FPS, it's not powerful enough. Putting a limit on the frame rate can help narrow the standard deviation slightly, but only slightly.

More importantly, I learned that clock rate is much more important than memory size. A low clock rate means that while doing anything that isn't rendering or editing you won't even be able to utilize the card's GB potential. Think of the memory size as the teeth, and the clock rate as the rest of the digestive system.(I know it's not 100% accurate, but the concept is helpful to understanding how the parts can be made to look better for gaming than they really are) If you have a big old mouth and bite of more than you can digest, you get backed up and can't take full bites for a while. If you have a tiny mouth and a huge stomach, you can't bite off food fast enough to fill it before it's ready for more. What you want in a GPU is something that has good synergy. If it bites too fast, it's wasteful. This GPU can bite WAY faster than it can digest, and so it usually hovers in the 2GB-4gb range when it's clock rate is using it's full potential.(I've seen it peak around 6GB when running multiple programs with on screen displays, and a heavy game with intense mods simultaneously) Does that mean it can't use it's full potential? No, it obviously can. It's just it usually doesn't need it with almost every game I've played. Yes, it is good that the card's memory isn't stressed, but the fact that it's not using it's memory capacity while it's core clock and memory clock are straining to the point of frame rate drops is slightly annoying. Yes, I understand that chipset has everything to do with it. You need architecture that matches your card's potential to better use it's assets. WHich is why an old architecture 8GB card and a new 8GB card can differ greatly even if they have similar specs. (and is why the 390X beats the 390)

For my uses, a higher clock rate 4GB-6GB card with a better chip set would have done much better.

Case

Ugly. But the most functional part of the PC. In retrospect, a cheaper case would have been a good idea. But now that I have the case I'm contemplating scrapping this build and putting a whole new PC in the case. The case cools well. It never has any issues, and it's relatively quiet compared to the sound of the television in the room or the games I play. It is definitely not silent, but it beats the sound quality of an old HP case any day.(not that it's hard to beat the sound quality of an old HP)

Cost effective? Not quite. Fun and cool? Yes. LED fans? So fun for the first few weeks. Highly recommend.

Power Supply

For a first time build, the fully modular aspect was slightly bewildering. But the end result was so much nicer than a semi or non-modular build.

I read reviews, and made a decision. Many people don't like Rosewill, but the PSU worked for me. Maybe I won the PSU lottery getting a Rosewill without defects or shipping damage. But the point is it works. yes it's rated much higher than the parts, but that's one of the things I stand by when building. If the PSU is too close to the parts, a slight dip in it's effectiveness could brown out the whole PC. If the wattage is much higher, a worse PSU that doesn't meet it's potential due to being ****** has a slightly less chance of frying everything. Why not just get a good PSU? No good reason, it's always a better idea to just get a good PSU. This one turned out great for me, but I usually order EVGA Supernova PSUs these days.

Optical Drive

Cheap, but sturdy. In retrospect, I have a TON of these laying around collecting dust. Ordering a new one was pointless. If anything I should have ordered a bluray drive instead, as my only current bluray option is a Playstation that my GF uses constantly.

LG is a good brand. I've never had one go out on me. If you need a disc drive for whatever reason, they're acceptable. Mine was necessary because I had drivers to install to get internet access to install drivers for the rest of the PC. If you already have a PC, you can get the drivers on a thumb drive and use that to transfer them. If you don't have a PC, a disc drive is actually quite handy for getting started.

Monitor

The monitor it's self is pretty damn cool. 1080p ultrawide is not a common format. Some older games won't recognize the aspect ratio, but with a little tweaking they run just fine. Setup was a struggle for me personally, because I had never used a freesync monitor before. I was completely lost, due to believing that it would have some sort of automatic detection/activation. I had to change my monitor and driver settings manually, which was foreign to me having come from a Westinghouse television that did everything I ever needed automatically without any setup of any kind...(except freesync of course, the whole point of a new monitor) Even switching between PCs and consoles and more the old TV adjusted everything masterfully. This one has more control, but with great control comes great adjustments. And I had to make quite a few.

Browsing and multitasking are amazing on this thing. And gaming is much more smooth, now that the initial setup worked out. It's like a whole new world. A magic place I never knew. A space for my windows, and great workflow. It's why I give it all the stars I do.

Keyboard

It's expensive for a reason. You can get good keyboards for cheaper, but this one is quieter and feels wonderful to use. Having never owned one prior to this I thought people were being silly about mechanical keyboards. I was wrong. The difference is amazing. It's staggering. It's like upgrading from a HDD to a SSD, you don't know what you're missing until you upgrade at which point there is no going back. Do yourself a favor and use mechanical keyboards if you type a lot or game a lot. It's a world of difference. Best part is if a key is somehow broken it's replaceable. Just pop off the old one and order a replacement. Wonderful.

Mouse

Have had it for quite some time. I like light to mid-weight high sensitivity mice without too many extra buttons, so Logitech is my preferred brand. It's an older model, but I've trusted Logitech for years and will for many more. G series mice are my favorite. If you want to take a step up from the mice that wear out after a few months but don't want the mice with a billion extra buttons, Logitech G series mice are awesome.

Headphones

These are wonderful headphones. This is the first pair of nice headphones I've used in a long time. They're still on the entry level, not an audiophile piece really. But for the average person these things are spectacular. The sound quality for the price is hard to beat. The first place I used these was for a small time shooter called Nether. When the mutants make their creepy noises I can hear which direction it's coming from and the first time I heard it I could have sworn it was coming from behind me.

Be aware that they have a mic built in, and were originally paired with smart phones. Some mono headphone jacks will not work well with these due to the stereo+mic jack they use. If you're using a 2.0 channel headphone driver they should work perfectly. I've noticed that using my case's front panel headphone jack results in poor quality sound compared to my speaker driver, so be aware that like most good headphones these do require a driver of equal or greater quality to sound great.

Speakers

Cheap and loud enough for me. The sound quality is pretty standard. Being 2.1 channel was a real selling point for me, as I had only owned 1 and 2 channel PC speakers previously. These have lasted me years. If you just need something decently priced that works well for simple home use, these are good. If you're going for something a bit more intense it's likely to cost you much more than these little things.

Edit: The little volume control is helpful, although it can slide around on smooth surfaces. I recommend either replacing the foam feet with rubber ones or just putting a Velcro strip on the bottom to mount it on your desk.

Comments Sorted by:

RhettRO55 1 Build 1 point 22 months ago

Not bad, needs some cable management and an SSD wouldn't hurt but aside from that its pretty stout.

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Thanks. I have another completed build pending that puts this one to shame for about $100 less. But it too has terrible cable management. I haven't had issues with it, I'm simply lazy about it.

I contemplated putting a SSD in, but decided against it. I want to save up all my money for my 2017 build(s) instead, because I'm definitely addicted to the whole thing.

RhettRO55 1 Build 2 points 22 months ago

You can get a decent A-Data or Mushkin SSD for about $40-50. Dont need much for the OS, 120GB will work provided you have additional drives for mass storage.

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 2 points 22 months ago

How labor intensive is a main drive switch for Windows 10?(software wise) Because I have some spare cash and obsessively track price trends so I know I can get a good deal. But would it be possible to copy and paste the OS/files to a large enough SSD, then simply swap the drives to replace the old one? Or is there more to an OS migration that would cause someone as simple as I am great mental trauma? Because if the software side of the process isn't too intense, I'd take that advice and have it upgraded soon after the part arrives. Installing the hardware it's self is all

Edit: I have installed two extra terabytes in addition to my first 1TB drive. So storage wise I should be set for quite a few years, as I have only used about 500GB so far across all the drives, and have many unnecessary programs installed. The SSD would simply be to speed up load times.

RhettRO55 1 Build 1 point 22 months ago

Sadly it doesnt work that way :-(. You cant just drag&drop / copy past the drive contents to another one. Windows creates bootfiles & partitions when you install initially that cant be transitioned via standard normal windows command. Buuttttt there are utilities out in the wild that are designed for this exact situation, migrate an existing version of an operating system to a different/larger drive and then simply swap the drives, easy peasy lemon squeezy and bobs your uncle. I will admit I havent tried it yet on Windows 10 because I havent had a need to. The last time I did was when I transitioned all my Windows 7 PCs to SSDs for boot and I used EaseUS to do the migration. It was a free piece of software when I did it but that was well over 2 years ago. I would honestly suggest the best course of action to simply backup your data to a 2nd drive and either reload windows fresh on your new SSD, or boot up a recovery disk for Windows 10 and choose the backup you made. It should be fairly seemless but we dont live in should-town and there is always an issue that arises during the process.

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

That's what I was afraid of. I hate jumping through those hoops, but if I ever decide to upgrade the PC I'll have to fresh install regardless. So if I decide to get a GTX 1060, or a FX 9590 and a better CPU cooler, or anything that would require a software change I'll keep the SSD in mind for the new OS.

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Adding the text as reviews now. I just figured out how to use the whole completed builds function earlier this morning, as I had never been to interested in sharing them until recently.

RedRageTNT 4 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Nice cases always found them interesting never got to build in one sadly.

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

It's pretty easy to work in, but also large and hard to move.

bigskoops 3 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

hmmm....

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Sapphire Nitro buddy! Mine runs cool... How are you enjoying yours?

bigskoops 3 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

its awesomeee! lol I have no complaints at all

FACUNDO 13 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Looks should always be on par with performance... You did great!

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Thanks. It was my very first build, and I'm still enjoying it. Compared to my previous store bought PCs, it's a huge step up.

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Update: Added new thermal paste to the CPU cooler, and noticed an immediate boost in performance and drop in temperature. The fan doesn't have to work nearly as hard to keep the CPU cool. All in all a great choice. I'll be switching the CPU cooler fan(yes, just the fan... it's to decrease noise while still keeping the heatsink that I actually like a lot) to a modified Noctua case fan. I'll be adding a SSD later on down the road and migrating Windows 10 and a few games/programs to it.

Raphaelsitia 1 point 21 months ago

I'm interested inbox me I'm gonna give you my email sitiajosephraphael@yahoo.com ok

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

YOu might want to edit your email out of the public comments section. I'm not sure what you're asking me, but I send you a message as per request.

zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Parts list updated. CPU cooler should arrive soon. Pictures to come. I also have a 6th HDD to add to the list, but it's the same as my other 300GB drive, and I usually don't use either. I just use the PC to salvage/wipe them because the case has such an easy HDD hot swap system built in. Just push a button, pop the drive out, screw in another, and back in it goes. No opening the case or holding/re-plugging wires. The drive bay has a built in plug system that the hard drives just slide right into. Going to use the TG7 thermal paste on the Cooler Master cooler, depending on whether CM's stock paste is rated higher or not.(and if it's electrically conductive or not)

[comment deleted by staff]
zestychille submitter 4 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Thanks dude. It's a fun one for sure, and it keeps what is possibly the hottest running set of parts available super cool. With both the FX-8350 furnace, and the R9 390 furnace running together the case keeps everything at about 50 degrees under load.(given the correct fan settings, a software controller is a must for the 390) The only complaint is that the thing is massive. I'm pretty clumsy, so a huge case was a great way to ease into my first build, but it takes up more space than any PC I have ever owned. My next PC(building in late 2017-2018) will be built in something much more compact. I know this one still has life in it, but I'm going to want some upgrades that aren't available with my current build.(Ryzen/Vega/DDR4/etc)