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Build for Programmer Friend

by Julius_



Date Published

July 6, 2014

Date Built

July 3, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate



So my old friend (Dave) blew up his Vista box form 6 years ago. After checking it out, the hard drive was actually salvageable, but not much else was worth it. He asked me to put him a parts list together for a new box. I had been reading about the AMD 9590 for a few days, and was really excited about building something around it especially since I have only dealt with air-cooling solution up till now, and this chip screams for water cooling.

Bear in mind Dave is not a gamer at all. Literally the only video game I can remember him getting into was Command & Conquer Red Alert from WAAAY back. So I knew we did not need an awesome video card, but plenty of CPU and a decent amount of RAM. He said he commonly has to manipulate 15 to 20 sets of data consisting of 700-1000MB a set. (He can't tell me exactly what, he has one of THOSE kind of jobs, lol) He said that everyone else he worked with generally had 4-8 GB of RAM, but once I talked to him about working out of a RAM drive, he got excited and we bumped it up to 16GB of RAM.

I gave him the list of parts, and told him to call me when he gets it all in and I would come over and put it together for him. Lo and behold, he surprises me with a case of my favorite beer, and 32 GB of RAM, saying that he just loved the idea of a RAM drive so much he wanted to leverage it as much as he could.

I tried to take pictures in stages to show the progress, but I got caught up in the process a few times so it's not a part-by-part photo essay, sorry.

The only part of this build I truly regret is not getting a modular PS. Originally Dave had a budget of $1K US, and I was really trying to be mindful of that, while getting him parts that he would not have to replace anytime soon. I love those Thermaltake PSUs, I use them for budget builds quite a bit. I chastised him a bit for going over budget and not telling me, cause a modular PS would have been really good here to spend the extra money on, but it works out ok. It will supply him with more than enough power, even if he adds more drives and gets a beefier graphics card.

The case was great to build in. 140mm stock fans are quiet. Dave dug the LEDs, I didnt care much for them. But no surprise sharp edges, the cable management is laid out well, nice viewing panel on the side. Bottom mount PSU, with a vented bottom so the PSU does not have to exhaust into the case. Cool. Oh, and toolless 5.25 and 3.5 bays. I will buy this case again, for sure.

Had to be a little tricky with the water cooler. Removed the stock fans on the top, placed the radiator over the case and mounted its fans underneath from inside the case to blow upwards. It came with some longer screws to do just that, and the case had convenient pre tapped holes that matched up. Had to do it this way so the top canopy would have room to completely close on the case. I was hoping there would be enough hose to do some cable mgmt, but it turned out ok I think. And it is VERY effective. BIOS reported that hot chip staying at 39-40 degrees Celsius. I was impressed.

The heatsinks on the RAM make it look pretty cool when all 4 chips were installed. I am a total Mushkin fanboy, have their RAM and SSD in every one of my boxes at home. And I'm insanely jealous of this PC having 32GB. I have ESXi virtual hosts at work that handle ~ 25 virtual servers, and they have 64 GB RAM. This one workstation has 32. Gah.

The mobo is stellar. My first time with an ASRock, but I knew they were reputable, so I had no worries. First mobo I've seen that the NB and SB chipsets had a heat pipe. Nice. And more features than you can shake a stick at. Internal power and reset buttons. 2 on-board USB 3.0 headers, diagnostic LED. And if you have a very large video card, it's not going to cover up or limit access to anything on the board, unless you're doing a xfire\SLI. Very well thought out.

I am not a huge fanatic when it comes to cable management. I just like for it to be out of the way of airflow as much as possible.

Did not get around to installing the WiFi card. I left that to Dave, he'll put it in once OS is installed. When I left he was running Killdisk on his old drive. I'm going to see him tomorrow for my daughter's birthday party, will get an update from him then.

The whole build took about 4 hours to do, as I got to explain each component to Dave's 3 year old son when he would wander up. Cute kid. Kept singing the Emperial Death March the entire night.

I've only rated the parts that can be reasonably assessed during installation. I welcome your suggestions, comments, and critiques.

Comments Sorted by:

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 4 points 39 months ago

Thanks for all the comments so far. Even the negs. I value all input, so long as it's not trolling. 8-D.

Update: Dave advises that this thing screams like a banshee! Told me on the phone that it can handle his largest compilations in a fifth of the time. He later IM me, copypasta to follow: "Just rattled off 10,000 digits of pi using a really slow recursive algorithm with a bunch of floating point divides and such. Took about 6 minutes which is phenomenal for that code. The site where I got it said 15 to 20 minutes on a good machine. And that was running single threaded on one core. Almost got the temp to 35. I figured out how to set up that little light up pirate ship so it changes color in response to temperature, blue -> green -> red at 25, 35 and 55C. So far I can't get it over cyan. Thanks again for the badass build!"

I asked him to download and run Passmark PC Benchmark and send me the link to his uploaded benchmark. I'll share it when I have it.

kingawesome7 1 point 24 months ago

Hi I like your build and its black theme!! I was also wondering if you are having any problems with this motherboard i plan to get either this motherboard or the asus sabertooth 990fx r 2.0. Do you think that this motherboard can handle Intense Overclocks and two r9 390's in crossfire??

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 24 months ago

I used this mobo in this build, and in my own main box. No problems in either. I fiddled around and got my 9590 up over 5.0 ghz stable, but I backed it down after a few days, simply because the stock settings were good enough. Same story with the RAM, I got it to 2400, then backed it down. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I have not crossfired\SLI two cards with this board, but I have not witnessed or experienced anything that would lead me to believe that this mobo couldn't handle it.

That ASUS board is really nice too, I don't think you'd go wrong either way.

Thank you for the kind words about the build! Feel free to check out my other build with this board, https://pcpartpicker.com/b/mgZ8TW. It may offer additional insight.

kingawesome7 1 point 24 months ago

Hey dude thanks!!!! Uh about your link i think its broken, and im curious about your other build i like to see other peoples ideas and what they have.

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 24 months ago


I think the previous one was the SSL link. Try this. If not, just poke around on my profile, I have a few different completed builds.

kingawesome7 1 point 24 months ago

If you had to pick between the extreme 9 and the sabertooth would you still go with the extreme 9???

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 24 months ago

The ASRock, because it's the one I have, and I know what to expect, but I have no reason to believe the ASUS board would not be great as well.

Igorzchannel 1 Build 3 points 39 months ago

well done for the scope , the guys who downvote are stupid , programming doesnt need a good video card! so go home and cry to your momma instead of downvoting this awesome programming pc !

Ardeof 2 points 37 months ago

CPU: Fair decision, the FX-8350 would have been an option that'd have given $100 room for something such as a better, and potentially more stable, PSU. Overclocking would have made the 8350 comparable to the 9590.

RAM: Not much to say specifically about the RAM. The differences in performance between brands isn't enough to be of a huge concern.

RAM Configuration: No Dual Channel configuration? I'd certainly check to see if more than 16GB of RAM is being used on this unit. If there isn't a need for more than 16GB, put the 32GB into a Dual Channel configuration to improve the performance of the RAM even more.

Hard Drive: Not much to say here. Personal preference is a RAID 10 configuration. This basically doubles the performance with the RAID 0 striping, and adds redundancy with the RAID 1 mirroring. (That'd require 4 Hard Drives, though...)

Power Supply: This PSU unit slightly raises a question of how future-proof this machine is. While it's still of decent quality, downgrading to a 8350 and using the extra money for a better PSU might have been a better choice.

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 2 points 37 months ago

Thanks for the input. Before discussing a new build, we were talking about processors already, and I was mentioning to him the reading I had been doing on the 9590, and how I would be considering it for my next build. His response was something akin to "Why wait? Build me one now!". I pitched the idea of the 8350 and getting an SSD, but he said he wanted the 9590 for sure.

You suggested a better PSU a couple of times in your comment. I'm curious, is it the wattage or the brand name you have a problem with? I've had nothing but good results with Thermaltake, and that PSU was going to keep him under budget at the time. I would have liked something modular, or even more wattage.

Ardeof 1 point 37 months ago

I think 700W for this unit is a bit overboard. The system probably would have been better off with a 500-600W unit that is gold rated or higher. Part of the reasoning is efficiency, and also redundancy. Some PSU offer longer warranties, up to 10 years.

I'd also consider dust filters for the sake of the longevity of the computer, at some point. Dust isn't a major concern, but one to take into consideration for sure.

such as: http://www.quietpc.com/qpc-filters

other21 2 points 32 months ago

yes good job picking an amd processor. AMD processors can do things, people. +1

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

Thanks. That CPU is a beast.

other21 2 points 32 months ago


LordOfTots 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

Why all the downvotes? For what this build is for, it's actually smartly done.

GamerDeso 3 points 39 months ago

Prolly from fanboys and some who usually mistake every build as a gaming build unless stated/exaggerated (in the title and in the description) that the build isn't for gaming. I quite like the build.

Tahab_1 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

40 degrees in idle with a h100i? Woah

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Yeah, I have to admit that was a bit higher than I thought it would be. But apparently this mobo BIOS does not record the temp that accurately. I recently built another box with same CPU, Case, and h100i, and it reported the same. But the GUI tools I used after OS installation said it was much lower, and I verified with an IR them gun. BIOS over-reports the temp.

jameshaviland 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I have a Sabertooth 990fx GEN3 with this same CPU and a h100i sitting on top of it. There are 4 temp sensors very close to the CPU and at an idle they range from 20-40 degrees Celsius.

MacerV 1 point 39 months ago

The FX 9590 is a bit overkill, I'd cut it down to an fx 8350 and get an SSD, you'll get a lot more bang for your buck.

TehKingKyzr 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

I never really understood what an SSD card is used for.

Soccejoshj07 1 point 31 months ago

A solid state drive is much more faster than a traditional mechanical hard drive.

TehKingKyzr 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Oh, I see, but still quiet a bit cheaper.

babachicken 1 point 39 months ago

doesnt the 9590 lack a display output? EDIT: just saw the 5450....

dbdev 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

great build and smart choices for components for the intended use. +1

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

A lot of you seem to be concerned about the small GPU. For the record, so was I at first, as I know there are plenty of programming duties that utilize GPU fairly intensively. Dave promised me that what he needed was a fast multi-core CPU, that for what he was doing would not leverage a GPU. I normally still would have bought a $100 video card. I probably should have included that in the details above. Again, thanks for all the comments and suggestions, I really do appreciate them.

iwalkwithedead 12 Builds 1 point 34 months ago

Did you get the MB to recognize the 2400MHz?

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 34 months ago

Pretty sure I did. I will be building another box this week with the same mobo, CPU and RAM, I'll be posting it.

iwalkwithedead 12 Builds 1 point 34 months ago

Alright, nice. Thank You for the reply.

TehKingKyzr 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

I'm just wondering, and this may or may not be a stupid question, but do you actually pay for parts that say $0? Any feedback will be appreciated!

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

In this particular build, my friend already had the hard drive, hence the $0 amount. You have the option when you created a "completed build" to make the price whatever you want. I wanted to accurately reflect what was spent. At the time that I am making this comment, I notice that the RAM does not have a price on it. I promise you that there was a cost involved with acquiring it, and whatever it listed at the time I built this box was accurate. RAM prices have increased since then. I've built myself a box more recently (mid November) with the same RAM, and it was $185. Currently, Newegg is out of stock on it, probably why there is no price associated with it.

JakeLA 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

I like the build. I'm in architecture school and need a good computer. In my build( have not decided, just looking) I use that processor with a firepro w8100 graphocs card. Would that be decent for running rhino and cad?

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

Im not a CAD guy, but I know a few CAD guys, and when they build new systems they can play games pretty well on them. So with that logic, if a card that games well equals CAD performance, then that 8100 should do ok, at least according to the benchmarks I see for it. The CPU should absolutely crush whatever you throw at it, so yeah, I'd say pairing those two components should give you a monster.

JakeLA 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Thank you very much. I was just wondering Because I don't have the budget for an Intel cpu and a workstation graphics card

JakeLA 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Thank you very much. I did not have the budget for and Intel CPU and a Quadro GPU so i decided to do an AMD setup with the Firepro.

JakeLA 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Thank you for your feed back. This is my first build for my college work. I just wanted to check with other knowledgeable people.

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

Not sure what happened, but there used to be several more pictures. Perhaps the transition to the new look of the site lost some pictures. I'll see if I can re-upload.

Marduk2015 1 point 27 months ago

I am also planning to make a programming computer, but also a gaming one at the same time, good build though, but all programmers need to game from time to time to retrieve theire strength, and im thinking of using the asus r9 290x, cz it would stay with me for a long time

Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

An R9 290X would be great in this build. You will have yourself a beast!

Marduk2015 1 point 27 months ago

Thx alot.i really appreciate it

jaketredy 1 Build -12 points 39 months ago

An i5 and a GT 740 would have been better with a couple of SSD's. RAMDisks aren't really a thing.

Aceman4556 1 Build 8 points 39 months ago

A RAMDisk offers insane read and write for files, which could contain the data sets needed, thus speeding up his manipulation speed dramatically. "He said he commonly has to manipulate 15 to 20 sets of data consisting of 700-1000MB a set." Sure, SSDs are very fast, but they are still violently put to shame by the bandwidth RAM has to offer.

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reoper6 4 points 39 months ago

I can Back that i have a cousin that does programming and he has 2 systems an 8350/R9280/16GBRam/ssd system then an intel 4770k/2xGTX780/32gbG.skill/ssd and he was always amazed how the amd system destroyed the intel one for everyday tasks

Igorzchannel 1 Build 3 points 39 months ago

every1 knows this :) i think amd is not very good for gaming but for other things like running a large amount of progs and things for work and programming .. is very good compared to some intel cpus

onejackgold -2 points 35 months ago

agree amd is great for gaming and the graphics you could have 20 core i7 but if the graphics are bad then its not a win

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MidnightKr0nix 2 Builds 5 points 39 months ago

Bro, do you even read? PROGRAMING <----- Pro-gram-ing. Hope I helped! haha +1

renigadecrew 3 Builds -1 points 39 months ago

Alot of the programing software doesnt just rely on the cpu and ram but they use the gpu as well

Aceman4556 1 Build 2 points 39 months ago

Depends on the type of programming. Here it appears that the critical points of the build were multiple cores and a large amount of 2400Mhz RAM that is also used for a RAMDisk. So for the type of work that he is doing, he may have to do lots of conditional statements on variables in those sets of data. A GPU is great for doing matrix manipulations and SIMD, but it isn't well optimized for the whole idea of branching with IF and WHILE statements, which a CPU is more suited for. So the RAMDisk allows data to be rapidly accessed from a 700-1000MB set. This data could then be split amongst 8 cores, (depends on the work load and if it can be parallelized), and processed quickly while still having the ability to use branching. Any manipulations to the data may quickly occur and then be rapidly saved back into the file that is in the rapid RAMDisk. So unless he is doing mass matrix manipulation and using a small amount of conditional statements, this setup is exactly what he needs and a GPU really will not benefit him besides having an accelerated video output in general. Technically, the onboard graphics could suffice depending on the need for and GPU accelerated computing or not.

renigadecrew 3 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

Alright that was a lot of reading but i get the point tho

Aceman4556 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

Just a long concept to try and explain quickly :)

TehKingKyzr 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

But you don't need to go all out for one, though, a Sapphire Radeon card would get the job done just fine for $150.

JakeLA 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Thank you all.I know this was for a programming build, I thought you could help out. The gpu that my school wants me to use is the Nvidia Quadro k5000, but since we well also be using Adobe products The firepro is designed with Adobe to utalize it's features. But I will take a look at the Sapphire Radeon

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Julius_ submitter 5 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I didnt install or configure it myself, Dave did. But he said its easy peasy. And the reception is great. I think his wifi fights through at least 2 internal walls in his house. If I were one to go wifi on a PC myself, I'd have no problem with buying that card.