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Best Cost-Effective Upgrade Yet

by colonello1594



CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

18.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

53.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

51.0° C


Hello! I'm 19 years old and this summer I decided to upgrade from my old Athlon 64 FX-62 paired with an 8600GTS. It was a nice rig but I can't play the modern titles anymore :(To start off my build, I wanted to get a "future proof" system and some room for future upgradabilty. SO after months of saving up and hard work I bought the parts and waited for the sales to save more $$$$ . I didn't want anything super high end thats for enthusiast, and benchmarkers, I just wanted to have a cost-effective system that can play modern and future titles and for other uses such as photoshop, web-browsing, website editing, and to OC for fun :D

The building process, booting and OS installation took me about 3 hours. The computer is actually pretty damn fast and my reaction to the new UEFI bios was like, "WTF I can use a mouse for BIOS now?!" My hard drive is recycled from my previous build and I'm starting to save up for a better one.

CPU - I know you guys might bash me on this for not getting the FX-8350 or an Intel i5 etc etc. I was going for a playable and affordable cpu that can last me for a quite a while. The CPU works real well for stock speeds and turbo, and temps stays surprisingly cool. I'm satisfied, nothing more to say abd I plan to OC later.

Cooler - I've been using aircooling for the longest time and now I wanted to experiment on water cooling no matter what the risk are and so far its magical. It might not be the best in the market but it works and its cheap and somewhat has a good quality build and it works surprisingly well. I did a push-pull to help cool it to 11ºC sometimes 8ºC IDLE with 70ºs F room temp. The blue led fan was a nice touch to illuminate the insides from the tinted window.

MOBO - I wanted to OC in the future and possibly get the cheapest yet cost-effective high end board. It was a hard choice but when sales came up and budget became an issue it became a no- brainer. The mobo has a nice color uniformity to it and UEFI bios took me by surprise. Its quality made and its just what I need and I'm totally satisfied.

Memory - Its blue, I like it, its fast, its memory, its 8gb and its was cheap, oh it has heat-spreaders and its blue!

HDD - Still using my old one :/ I will upgrade to an SSD later on though.

Video Card - I wanted to move on from nvidia and this one eats my old one alive. This was a hard choice I was originally going for the 7970s but when I heard a cheaper rebrand, I had to get one of these. It was a hard choice because there was a LOT to choose from, sadly they were mostly out of stock so I chose sapphire. What can I say? Its fast, and doesn't bottleneck my cpu, I don't need to OC yet. Its also stupidly loud at 70% - 100% fan speed but hums at fan speeds below 50% at 49ºC- 50ºC I'm adjusting the fan curve to get coolest and quietest solution with and w/out headphones on. I actually paid a bit less compared to the other cards because I bought from Tiger Direct to avoid tax compared at buying at the other retailers for 9% more cost. Btw it lights up... hue hue hue

Case - Its gorgeous, black, and extra fans. It was on sale and I've been staring at this for the longest time. I had to get it. There's so much room to work with and has tons of hard drive cages for future expand-ability. Its perfect, again nothing more to say. A little note though, I wasn't expecting the window to be that tinted to the point that I have to really stick my nose to the window to see its guts, but problem solved when I slapped a fan from my old build and everything brilliantly illuminated.

PSU - Its 750W, silver plus, semi-modular, and... IT WAS ON SALE! It was on sale for only $89.99 its a steal really, and the best part was it was made Seasonic so its obviously quality made. The downside though was the cable management was a pain but I managed :D and the 8 pin rail barely reached the connector, its really stretched out, hopefully it won't snap in the future. Overall though its great and looks good too!

Monitor - I wanted to move on from a 1024 resolution to a 1080p. So behold... an acer and guess what? On sale also.

Well this the end of my stupidly long essay... sorry I was excited, but if you're still reading, thank you! I hope you guys like it. Photo creds to my older brother and will add soon if you guys like.


Bought a new mouse and OCed to 4.4 at 1.39 Voltage and changed my loud stock Antec fans to Noctuas NF-F12s. I'll show new pics later.

Comments Sorted by:

xx116xx 3 Builds 26 points 47 months ago

Beautiful computer! Finally, someone who takes nice shots and writes up a good description on here... :P +1

EDIT: Nice cable management as well!

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 5 points 47 months ago

Haha thanks I appreciate it!

dschutt84 3 Builds 3 points 47 months ago

Nice build! But does that GPU take up like 2.25 slots?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Yep! As seen on the pic. Its actually pretty big compared to the picture.

ExoTecher 1 Build 3 points 47 months ago

Very clean, really like your build, +1 (if I could I would +5 ;)

JoeyThePCNoob 2 Builds 2 points 47 months ago

Nicely Done, Clean, elegant. +1

Quintana 2 points 47 months ago

Very nice build, I'm going to be doing an Arc Midi R2 build myself next week. As far as the 8 pin power being barely long enough, save yourself the the worry about damage and just pick up an 8 pin extension. They run between $3-$6 on Newegg depending on whether you want it sleeved or not.

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Glad you liked it! Its a really good case so far so good the management wasn't that bad and there's plenty of room on the back. I haven't thought about the extension I'm gonna look into so I can sleep at night haha thanks for the tip.

Matryoshka 2 Builds 2 points 46 months ago

Absolutely love the cleanliness of this build. Exactly how I would build a sub $1000 computer. Bravo.

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Thank you good SIR!

soopermonkey 2 points 44 months ago


xshadowinxbc 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

All very good choices for the money. +1 from me.

BC1096 1 point 47 months ago

So clean! +1

Indloon 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Can you say what blue LED fan is it, which is connected to Antec Kuhler 620?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Its an old nzxt 120mm fan from my old case I think the CFM runs about 50 CFM but I'm planning to replace that later on.

rogun12 1 point 47 months ago

How do you find the board i was going for a similar build i am unsure between thismobo and a GA 99fxa-UD3( 10 $ more) and the fractal arc midi r2 vs the nzxt phantom 410 black (10 $ cheaper) thanks !

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

So far so good the EVO has a UEFI bios and its really identical to the 99FX PRO 2.0 IDK about the GA 99FXA I've read a lot of mixed reviews on it mostly good and bad so I'm a bit unsure about it too. As for the case, its really a personal preference, I liked the FD because it has a bigger window and it was on sale, that was the selling point for me. However the phantom also looks great and it looks like it has tons of room to work with. So it the end its your personal choice haha.

rogun12 1 point 46 months ago

thanks i do apreciate your answer i will go for the asus ! And for the case ... god i don't know haha ! love both

RaptorL 1 point 43 months ago

I have the GA 990FXA-UD3, I've only had it for around a week but so far so good :) I've owned two AsRock Motherboards before this one so I wanted to try a Gigabyte or Asus Motherboard since everyone says they are the best. I'll find out soon enough :)

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colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Thanks for answering that its too early for me to judge between the two haha

Mattkx4 1 point 47 months ago

I must say this is the best build I have seen in a while. Your pictures are beautiful :D you post multiple angle pics and not blurry iPod pics. Your description is very well written describing why you bought the things you bought, but to add to all of it.........(Drum Roll)...... You made an extremely cost efficient build. You're part choices match the performance vs price perfectly. Well done!

EDIT: If you could add a pic or two of the case all closed up that would add the finishing effect :P

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Glad you liked it! My brother took the pictures and he's an amateur photographer at the moment (he's also a builder during the GTX260s era). Also I'm REALLY glad that you got my whole point for my build haha AAAAND I shall take more pics after work and deliver ! :D

candy 2 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

That H2O 620 keeps things as hot as an igloo. How is it?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Its nice and cool idle as I said idle around 11-20C degrees still a bit jumpy at the moment still adjusting the speeds. Soon I'll OC to see what it can really do.

bigblock454 1 point 46 months ago

im building on a budget but im getting the FX-6300 and i was thinking about the same mother bored how is it?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

If you're building on a budget and don't plan to sli then just get the Asus MA5970 R.20 around 90 bucks I think otherwise if you can a bit more then get this, so far so good the bios is easy to work with.

mizamori 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

That is how cable management should be, Out of sight. Very nice, although I would definitely lose the blue fan because it is best for fans to match with a push/pull and I don't recommend blue LED's because they tend to mess with your eyes more than other colors (that is why Gunnar glasses are yellow to filter the damaging blue light)

Cryptos 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

I have that same PSU, I love the series and will be buying a 1050w one for my next build.

Oloacoo 1 point 46 months ago

Very nice build! Really love the effort put into cable management. I only hope I can do mine just as well. I also have to ask, how is that monitor? A 24" seems to be the perfect size for 1080p (at least that's what everyone says) and the Acer has a really nice price point.

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 2 points 46 months ago

I love the monitor its great for the money for sure and I didn't get any dead pixels when i got it. As for the size its perfect for me.

kingknight 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

How's that monitor? I got that monitor on accident (not the ports i needed for triple monitors XD) but it turned out alright i decided to get 2 seperate monitors with dvi and hdmi. Just curious of the performance of the monitor, Btw awesome build!!! :D +1

schoolruler 1 point 46 months ago

This is a great computer but when if you want to make your computer faster than it is right now think about a samsung ssd. Definitely think about it if you computer ever slows down from too many programs.

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Yea I was already eyeballing a 840 EVO possibly a 240GB, I'll probably get it with my next paycheck haha.

schoolruler 1 point 45 months ago

Its 250GB

egmathews 1 point 45 months ago

Nice description of build and explanation of why certain parts were bought. It helps to see someone's rationale and usage plans.

mizamori 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Lucky you got the R9 280x before the Cryptocurrency explosion.

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

I know that's crazy how did that happen?

mizamori 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Everybody is trying to use AMD cards to mine Litecoins. The HD 7950 is the most efficient for this with the 7970 second and therefore the R9 280x too. I just hope I can get my hands on a R9 280X Vapor X so I can crossfire it with my 7950. Maybe the card manufacturers will respond to the huge demand right as the demand falls and they become dirt cheap!

LookTopHats 2 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Hey, what fan is that? The LED one? Cheers

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Old NZXT fan I think its first gen, It came with my old nzxt tempest evo case. I replaced it with new noctuas.

LookTopHats 2 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Alright cool, thanks alot anyway! :D Just ordered all my parts its alot like your build

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 2 points 44 months ago

Oh Nice! Have fun with it!

RaptorL 1 point 43 months ago

Nice build! It's very similar to mine but the major difference is that you have a way better Video Card than I do ;) I still have a Sapphire HD 6870. I'm thinking of getting the new R7 265. That will be my next upgrade :) I also went with a water cpu cooler instead of a traditional air cooler. They are nice and quiet :) and do seem to cool a bit better than the Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 I had before. Very good looking PC!

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Wow thanks so much! Its been a while since someone commented haha and good luck on your upgrade :)

GMAN-DV8 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Nice build it looks great.

smokerising 1 point 42 months ago

Switch on of the top fans to be in the front and you'll get a bit better cooling I have the same case with the same processor too and noticed a couple degrees change. Not much but also it will reduce the amount dust as the hole in the front bottom lets in dust. Also how do you like the front I'm not digging it. The power buttom has to much play the fan switch is not solid and the plastic looks too much like plastic if they made the whole front the same as the two disc bay panels it would be better, I noticed a slight difference in appearance between the font and the disc panel covers. other then the front panel I'm really pleased with the case. I'll probably sand it down and use some car paint to make it look metal.

Bonello 1 point 42 months ago

Well done for the hard work and the cool name! Very neat cables.

ITneto 1 point 41 months ago

Man I'am new to this, how did you get those sales?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

I just waited mine out most of the time and I guess i was pretty lucky on the sales too. Have you built any yet?

ITneto 1 point 41 months ago

No unfortunately, but I plan to build one this year.. I almost went crazy when I saw those prices honeslty specially the XFX modular PSU.. I would really like to get a deal like that

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

There were really good deals back at November 2013. I suggest to buy around that time because Black Friday.

ITneto 1 point 41 months ago

I don't know dude, I was planning my build for this summer, due I'll have 3 months of painfully boring vacations (where I'll start working and earning money). But I think it is worth the wait, thanks for your help! How is your pc doing now¡?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

Doing good. But actually sold my Water Cooler because it couldn't handle it up to 4.6 Socket goes up to 71C and package temps up 67C so I invested on a Thermalright Silver Arrow and it never goes up to 54 for CPU socket and 49 CPU package. As for the video card tho its noisy :( and the coil whine went away after a while. Overall its okay but I'm getting an SSD soon and moar fans! Thanks for asking haha. As for your build good luck its takes lots of patience and observance on the price trend.

Elshelfo 1 point 39 months ago

10/10 would compute.

aggronapkin 1 point 38 months ago

I know this build is fairly old now however , so long as you haven't changed it out, how is the vapour-x 280x?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

The vapor-x was good while it lasted haha. I had to RMA it due to a fan failure. I think they don't manufacture it anymore (my version at least) but there is a newer version of it. They gave me a 280x Toxic.

aggronapkin 1 point 38 months ago

wow ha you got a pretty good deal despite your troubles thanks for the reply

EllisDemonSlayer 1 point 38 months ago

how good are the colors on the monitor

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

The colors are good almost similar to that expensive gaming Asus monitor. Great bang for the buck haha.

EllisDemonSlayer 1 point 38 months ago

Sweet, now i know what monitor i'm getting for my computer at the ned of the week when I get paid :D

Lice23 1 point 37 months ago

Spectacular build, man! I'm putting one together that's pretty similar, myself! And for that exact reason, I ask you this: how have the CPU and GPU been holding up? Do you do any major gaming? If so, how much FPS do you average and at what setting (and at what game, obviously xD)? Thanks in advance!

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 2 points 37 months ago

Hello! I'm actually using a Sapphire r9 280x Toxic now I had to RMA my old one because fans died :( But anyway here the benchmarks on the games I play:

Far Cry 3/ Blood Dragon: 39-50 FPS High-Ultra Settings 1080p

Battlefield 4: 50-80+ FPS w/ MANTLE & ULTRA SETTINGS 1080p

Bioshock 1-3: 100+ FPS

DayZ Stand Alone: 20-50 FPS Normal settings (I wouldn't worry too much though because this game is hella not optimized.

Tomb Raider: 40-60FPS ULTRA

Chivalry Medieval Warfare: 50-60FPS

Dragon Age 1-2: 60+ I play w/ vsync on

That's most of the games I play at least there's more but I don't really know what you plan to play. BTW my CPU is clocked at 4.5ghz. I hope this helps for your build and good luck!

Lice23 1 point 37 months ago

It does! Thanks a lot, man! I still have to decide whether to go with an AMD build or an Intel + nVidia build, though, but this will definitely earn AMD some points! Have you had any trouble with the CPU?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

On the CPU I haven't had much hiccups, probably only on some RTS/MMO games like Shogun 2, I had to turn it down a bit, or Guild Wars 2 when its a 60-100+ players raid I drop to 19 FPS. Other than that its all good on First Person Shooter games. If you plan to OC though make sure to get a good MOBO like a 990FX/X series but you probably already know that ;)

Lice23 1 point 37 months ago

I do ;) I'm in doubt as to whether I go with an FX 8320 or an i5 4690K...

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

Ah I see the dilemma you're having lol. In all honesty here I would go with an i5 4690K. I'm not an Intel fanboy or AMD but if you already have the money to grab the i5 then you should get it, because as simple as it sounds, it's newer and better for gaming than the FX8320. I saw the difference when I built an i5 4690k system for a friend and tested it. I took the FX8320 because I desperately needed a home PC and I just took what's the best bang for the buck in the meantime. Sorry for the story but I hope this helped, not cloud your decision.

nkiki2000 1 point 35 months ago

what case is this

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2

smikoczi 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

So Tidy...looks great!

TGK_Gaming 1 point 34 months ago

I do see the cost efficiency, but there is one step further this could have gone. And still been cheaper.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor $159.99 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $29.98 @ OutletPC
Motherboard MSI 760GMA-P34(FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard $60.98 @ SuperBiiz
Memory Team Vulcan 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $129.99 @ Newegg
Storage *Toshiba Product Series:DT01ACA 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.99 @ NCIX US
Video Card Zotac GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card $327.85 @ B&H
Case Rosewill Line-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case $39.76 @ Amazon
Power Supply CoolMax 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $39.99 @ Micro Center
Optical Drive Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $16.98 @ OutletPC
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $88.98 @ OutletPC
Monitor Acer G226HQLBbd 60Hz 21.5" Monitor $99.99 @ Newegg
Wireless Network Adapter TRENDnet TEW-805UB 802.11a/b/g/n/ac USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter $25.92 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $1070.40
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-17 09:55 EST-0500
turnip10 1 point 34 months ago

Sure, if he waited a year :)

SirSnugzAlot 1 point 34 months ago

Im not sure why but I love the way the watter cooler pipes swirl around the water cooler! Its looks so good!

toffeebandit 1 point 33 months ago

just one question for you. with this setup; liquid cooler and OC 4.4ghz at 1.39v. what is your load temperature like?

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

My bad for the late reply, I rarely visit nowadays haha, but it was going around 60-69° C so it was pretty bad. So I changed to a thermalright silver arrow and now it only tops 50° C at 1.42 volts 4.6

vekspec 5 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

so you have two fans exhaust on top, how about the back? are the two fans exhausting Air Flow fans or Static Pressure ones?

Samtheman453 1 point 29 months ago

Is that liquid cooler necessary, or did you just get it for safety measures?

deadmc26 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

are you recomended this case , or you can recomended something else , i love how this case prioritize airflow rather than most case that only care about silent

colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

To me this case has the best silent to airflow ratio. My rig sits on top of my desk and I can barely hear it while browsing but it is noticeably louder if you're gaming (not too much) but that's because of my video card. I now have 6x140mm fans installed at medium voltage and its not loud at all. BTW I apologize for the late reply I barely check this page nowadays. I might upload updated pics if it will help you.

deadmc26 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

thank you

akar.mathers 0 points 41 months ago

What was the total cost, with shipping and everything?

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colonello1594 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Thanks! Glad to hear it from another FX-8320 owner since theres not much of you guys :( lol

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Scilliant 1 point 46 months ago

Just bought mine now! Are you guys happy with it?

RaptorL 2 points 43 months ago

I just got my FX-8320 about a week or two ago for $99 at Microcenter. So far I'm happy with it. I wish I new how to OC but not that familar with that so I shy away from doing it.

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Scilliant 1 point 46 months ago

That's great! I

mizamori 1 Build -1 points 45 months ago

I got a FX-8350 for $150