Description

I finally decided to retire my day-to-day machine, an HP Pavilion a1510n refurb running WinXP that I picked up fairly cheap. My "art" machine, a Dell Inspiron 530, running Windows 7 on a dual-core Intel (E2220) was feeling a little dated as well, so I made the decision to build a new render/light gaming rig (my first build in about a dozen years), promote the old render box to my new daily driver, and send the Athlon64-based HP out to recycle.

Being on a budget, I agonized over my choice of CPU, finally deciding to center my build around the AMD FX-6300. I've had good luck with AMD processors in the past, and while Intel has pretty much ruled the roost undisputedly for years now, I feel good about my decision, given the money I had to spend. Although it's been a while since my last build, my last several were based on Gigabyte motherboards, so the GA-970A-UD3P was my first choice.

The Inspiron maxed out at 4GB RAM, which seriously hindered the scenes I could set up, so I fairly jumped at the chance to stuff 16GB of G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series RAM into this build, while still leaving room to expand in the future. The choice of Gigabyte's GV-N960G1 video card was based in part on the fact that my rendering software of choice is built around NVIDIA's Iray platform, and in part on the slight price break I found on an open-box deal.

The majority of the parts were ordered from Newegg, with a trip to my local MicroCenter taking care of the case, power supply and optical drive.

Assembly was straightforward, and without complications, except for the cooler (I'm running stock clocks, but better cooling never hurts, right?); that took two readthroughs of the instructions and a helpful YouTube video to figure out the mounting. Install of Windows 8 went smoothly, as did the update to 8.1, (though I'm totally looking forward to upgrading to Windows 10) and so far, I haven't run across any software conflicts.

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Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

What are the temperatures you usually get i'm making a build quite similar to this.

I live in Arizona and it gets quite hot here so i'm planning of adding more fans

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

About 50°C under load, using the 2 stock case fans, the cooler and an additional Noctua 120mm fan on the side panel.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

I think you installed the cpu cooler wrong, isn't it supposed to be facing the RAM? And does it fit with the higher RAM?

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

The cooler's orientation seems to be left pretty much up to the user, and with the fan configured to blow away from the cooling ribs, I chose to mount it so that the exhaust heat would vent through the top of my case. The cooler does overhang the first RAM slot, so that I'd have to remove it to swap out that stick, but otherwise, it's fine.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you have to update the bios on the 970 motherboard to be compatible with the cpu? I have never used that combination before.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope. I've been told that some users have had to adjust their RAM timing, but it worked for me right out of the gate, and is now comfortably running Windows 10.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay, great! Thank you for the information!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd flip the CPU cooler to blow through the stack towards the rear case fan and some cable management. Otherwise great build!!!!

[comment deleted]
  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Heh, yes, when I say "light" gaming, what I tend to mean is "infrequent." Most of my gaming, which isn't all that much, is done via console, but every now and then there's a title that interests me that's PC only.

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

So that's the difference between ud3 and ud3p! I've spent hours of research and never have found the anwser to that. Thank you so much. :D

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, I did leave out the "P"... thanks for the correction. I don't have any immediate plans to overclock, but I won't say never. I'm a little concerned about managing temps, as out of necessity, the rig is in a fairly confined space, but so far, it's holding at a decent level. Thanks.