Description

After several years of painful gaming on my Asus laptop, I decided to build my first gaming PC. I debated on parts and prices for this build for several months, but I finally decided on an $800 AMD system. I am very happy with all the parts I have chosen, and also the black and white color scheme. Everything part here was purchased from Newegg.

CPU: I was originally gonna go with an i5, but the cheapest I could get one for was $160. I am planning to upgrade to Skylake next year anyway, so the FX-6300 is just fine at $110. It's very fast, and the 6 cores are actually coming in handy.

CPU Cooler: I had some trouble installing the H7, but I am overall very happy with it. It keeps my CPU nice an chilly and also looks great with my color scheme. It is however very big and makes some of the motherboard hard to get to.

Motherboard: I chose this motherboard because it is new, has a nice black/white color scheme, and it's also from a reliable manufacturer. The bios is also very nice and USB 3.1 is a nice feature.

Memory: It was free (read more below). 8GB. Fast. Black and white.

Storage: I don't play many games, so I really don't need a lot of space. I got this OCZ SSD on sale for $70 at Newegg and it was just too good of a deal to pass up. If I need more storage in the future I can get another one. This thing is really helping load times in CS:GO (~7-10 seconds).

Video Card: When I was researching all my parts, I really never decided on a GPU until I saw this deal at Newegg come along. It included this nice XFX R9 290, a FREE 8GB stick of memory, and a free copy of DiRT: Rally (great game). This was just too good to pass up, as it would save me $60 of memory cost. I am very happy with the GPU because it is crushing every one of my games so far, however there are a few issues. First of all, it sags (fixed). I looked at some other builds with this card and some of them sag as well. Also, when I was updating the drivers, it started to underscan, which gave me a 1 inch black rim around my screen. After some quick research, found out that this was an easy fix in AMD Catalyst. However, sometimes when I go full screen in games this happens again. I have to play around with the settings for it to go away. Not a huge deal. After seeing some reviews, I'm just glad I'm not getting crashes or black screens.

Case: This was another part I debated on a lot. I wanted to go with the H440, but there is no all-black version of that so I went with this. And I do not regret it. Love pretty much everything about it, especially the build quality. I also appreciate the fact that you can stuff all of your cables in the power supply shroud. My only complaint is that it doesn't come with intake fans, but that makes sense because it's made for an AIO liquid cooler.

Power Supply: After hearing some bad things about Corsair CX series PSUs, and hearing some good things about EVGA ones, I decided that this was the best option for me. Semi-modular, which is so helpful, and also 80+ Bronze. Even though my build isn't going to use 750W, the GPU said that this was required. Not sure if this is true or not, but I figured I should play it safe. Only thing I don't like about this PSU is the rainbow cables.

Operating System: It's Windows 8.1. What else is there to say? Had to pay a bit extra to get it from Newegg, but that is fine.

LOGISYS LED Strip: There were a couple bumps in the road when installing this thing. First of all, the 3M sticky stuff is a joke. I used my own double stick tape and that solved the problem. Also, the battery in the remote was dead. Thankfully I had another one laying around that works. And finally, there are no installation instructions which made me have to play around with it in order to set it up correctly. However, after I actually got this thing working, I couldn't be more pleased. It is very bright, has some great colors (all of which work), and also has different lighting modes (some of which may induce seizures). Also, I am thankful I used the S340 with this because I can hide the box behind the cable management bracket.

I am very happy with my first build, and very glad it powers on! If you have any questions or comment please don't hesitate to leave them down below.

Thanks for reading!

Gaming Performance (Not real benchmarks; too lazy):

-CS:GO: ~150-250 fps maxed out

-DiRT Rally: ~100 fps maxed out

7/29/2015 UPDATE:

-Successfully installed Cryorig cooler

-Added Rosewill Wireless Adapter

-Added ghetto Lego stand to eliminate GPU sag

-Replaced both Motherboard and CPU after the PC crashed and refused to start back up

-Tried Windows 10 but wasn't satisfied so switched back to Windows 8.1

-New pictures!

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Comments

  • 58 months ago
  • 3 points

GPU sagging is going to happen regardless of how you mount it if it is a heavy graphics cards like the XFX R9 290.

Looking at your photo, I would attempt to see if you can find a way to support the right half of the card as it is literally beginning to bend past 10 degrees (from your photos).

In the NZXT S340 it may be a bit more difficult to come up with a solution to the sag as there isn't any hideaway spots to tuck any support mechanism you utilise to prevent the GPU sag. Me personally, I used an ITX Case so GPU sag was a bit easier to overcome (I routed the PCIE Extension cable beneath my card a bit below the blower fan as to support the middle half of the GPU hence eliminating sag (Although sag will always be there at about 1 or 2 degrees).

Otherwise its a really clean, beautiful and neat build! Love the XFX Lit up Logo! it'll give a great ambient glow to your case when if you decide to turn off the Case Led's. If you would like to add to the monochromatic theme, try looking into getting some sleeved cable extensions black and white haha, It'll really bring the colour schematic to the next level =)

+1

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! I'm not sure what the downsides to the sag are besides appearance but I may try to find something to support it. Also some sleeved cables are are my upgrade list because those EVGA rainbow cables don't look very good.

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Sag generally won't hurt you, unless it snags too far, the snap, your card breakes, but that's a pretty rare occurrence, so I wouldn't worry about it.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay thanks, if it gets any worse I may do something about it.

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build !! And USB 3.1 support is a nice feature to have.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! :D

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice. It's well rounded and you found a good price on everything. Nice job with the free RAM.

I purchased the Cryorig H7 cooler, but I didn't end up installing it. I don't know if it was just my lack of experience, or the mounting hardware, but I just couldn't find out how to install it.

Kindly put, both. I had an awful time with the Hyper 212 EVO my first time around. AMD makes it harder because you have too remove the stock cooler mount and backplate. Then you just set the new backplate in and adjust the mounts on the cooler to match the posts from the new backplate. If you do install, don't forget to reapply thermal paste. Use 91+% isopropyl alcohol and coffee filters. ;)

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I was able to install the backplate, but no matter how many times I tried the cooler didn't was to line up with the screws. Also I was using alcohol and coffee filters, a little trick I learned from Paul's Hardware. :P

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Those coolers are tricky to get in the right position. I always have a difficult time getting the cooler mounts to line up with the backplate. Good call with the alcohol and coffee filters. They truely save the day.

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Once you get that black and white cooler in I can imagine it will just look incredible. I would recommend just one black and white fan in the back there too if its within your budget cause the window on your case there really puts that back exhaust fan into full view.

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Also they sell some r9 290 backplates out there for only like 20 bucks and it'll look great in your build. Just search up r9 290 backplate on the internet and it'll give you some fairly viable options. (btw 290x backplates will work on your 290 there) Try this... http://shop.ekwb.com/water-blocks/vga-blocks/fc-backplates/amd-radeon-series

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I do want some more white accessories to improve the look. Thanks!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Hows the mobo holding up ?

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

I like it a lot. Very sturdy, plenty of features. However I had som issues when overclocking, so if you're planning on some heavy overclocking, I might look somewhere else. Not a huge deal for me though.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha... it's an iPad Mini. Best camera I had. :P

  • 58 months ago
  • 0 points

Uh what bad things have you heard from the Corsair PSUs because I'm considering using one in my build :P..

  • 58 months ago
  • 0 points

*9

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

I've just seen a lot of people who don't like them, so I figured I'd stay away. Also, it was #7 at the time, I switched the order around. :P