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My First 8350 / 7970

by issac94



CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

49.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C


Hello, this was my first computer build and every thing went smoothly. The water cooler was difficult too put on and i lost a motherboard standoff but beside that the computer booted up on the first go. I wanted to keep my build around $1,000 since i didn't want to go too overboard and i kinda stayed in my budget.

CPU - I went AMD because for me it was just a better value, motherboards were cheaper then their intel counterpart, and for whatever reason, im looking forward to the steamroller release. Im aware i loose a couple of frames against the i5 but im not that that worried about 10 fps.

CPU Cooler - I planned on moving my case some, so i went with water cooling because i didn't want to run the risk of damaging the motherboard when moving it around with a big air cooler attached. I narrowed it down between the h80i and the H90. Since this awesome case had a 140 mm exhaust i bought the h90, it was cheaper than the h80i, quieter, plus i read alot of good things about it. more on that later.

Motherboard - Picking the motherboard was tough. It didn't seem like there were as many good options as the Intel counterpart but i settled on the Sabertooth. Originally i was going to get the gigabite- ud3 but i read it had bad heat issues and would throttle the CPU so i settled with the bit more expensive sabertooth. BTW: I got the cpu/ motherboard combo at Microcenter so i saved like 50 bucks on the motherboard and like 10 on the CPU.

Memory - Read alot of good things about. Plus it looks good.

Storage -I think i over did it on the samsung 840 pro. I read its one of the best ssd's out there but its pricey too on newegg since i ordered everything from there. No doubt its fast, but i think an 840 or 830 model would have sufficed. The 1tb seagate barracuda had a great value so i went ahead and got that too.

Video Card - Surprisingly this wasnt too tough of a decision.For me, It had a better value then a simaliar priced nvidia card, and came with 3 free games. Plus im looking forward to the new release of the AMD GPU lineup so i held off on the 760 because any other 7xx series card would have put me further over budget as well. I was originally going to get the 7950 but with the money i saved from the microcenter bundle i purchased the 7970 . I also Read good things about this Sapphire brand and model, plus it was on the cheaper side so i jumped on it.

Case - Probably the best pick of the whole build, its a beautiful and simplistic case with all the great features on the inside and the price was just amazing. This case is constantly on sale for 60 bucks and its all metal, (brushed looking plastic on front, no biggie) comes with 3 quiet 140 mm fans, has 140 mm capability top, bottom, front and back, great window, has some foam that i think keeps it really quiet, removable and adjustable hdd trays, nice big rubber grommets , padding for psu , and hdd mounts, fan controller, just an amazing case. Why more people don't have it is a mystery to me

Power supply - I think i overdid this one too since i dont have too much hardware on the inside but its nice knowing i have room to expand. Plus its a trusted power supply and i got it on sale for like 80 bucks new so that alone made me pick it

So there it is, my reasoning of my choices. I did have a question though, i idle on 35 c which i though was a bit high, under prime95 it tops out at about 49 c. So i overclocked to 4.4 and my idle temp went to 44 c, in prime95 in a couple of minuets it shot up past 70 c so i stopped the test. Anyone know whats happening? Beside that this build was fun and i learned alot about computers along the way. The computer runs great, and if i get the temperatures right, it will be even greater. All feedback is appreciated .

Comments Sorted by:

jru732 3 points 49 months ago

You should flip that bottom fan around because right now it is an exhaust fighting for air with your graphics card. Nice build otherwise.

issac94 submitter 2 Builds -1 points 49 months ago

I have the bottom fan as exhaust so what with that setup im hoping as the 7970 blows hot air down into my case, that fan down there will immediately catch the warm air and exhaust it. Weather it actually works that way i have no clue haha.

Enlyten 1 Build 10 points 49 months ago

That won't happen seeing as the graphics card will be pulling air in, not blowing it down. Basically right now you have air being pulled in through the front of the case, but being stolen by that bottom fan before it even reaches the graphics card. Turn it over for the sake of the graphics card. That way it feeds cool air directly into the graphics card's zone.

JoeyThePCNoob 2 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

looks very good, that airflow must be outstanding.

issac94 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Thanks, that's what i was aiming for.

Wozza 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Nice part choices ^ +1

issac94 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Thanks. Took me a while to pick them haha.

Apach3 3 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

nice selection for a higher-end AMD build. you might want to consider another stick of RAM for the faster dual-channel memory mode.

for your overclocking concern, you probably have your voltage a bit high. try dropping it down to the lowest it can go without any of the threads failing after the first two Prime tests. i managed to drop several degrees by turning down the voltage with the same frequency settings on my 8350.

also, bear in mind that AMD's temperature sensors might be wonky (they are largely inaccurate at temperatures below 45C). try taking the temperatures from the socket sensor instead; if it's within a few degrees at load, then you should be good.

issac94 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Thanks. ill try to fix that because i actually have 2 4 gig ram sticks in there to take advantage. Im curious though, what frequency are you running at and what voltage did you apply? and what is a safe zone for temps under prime95? thanks

Apach3 3 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

i was running 4.5GHz stable with +0.05V CPU voltage and 22.5x multiplier, but due to temperatures under Prime95 (65+C using Hyper 212 EVO) i only run that frequency if i know i won't be pushing it higher than 50-60 percent. i also tried a 4.2GHz standard overclock (no turbo, 21x multi) at stock voltage with just a slight increase in temperature.

i have a Gigabyte motherboard, and for the voltage functions i can either add or subtract from the standard voltage (i think it's 1.35V). i'm not sure how it is with the Sabertooth board, but if it sets an exact voltage try setting the lowest voltage you can before any core shows errors while stress-testing. since i had a sucessful 4.5 OC with a +0.05V bump, that would mean your standard voltage should be 1.4V if the Sabertooth behaves like that.

as for temperatures, AMD recommends temperatures under 62C at a full load, though you should be safe up through 65C; anything over 70C is not good with an AMD CPU, and you should probably set your motherboard to warn you if it hits 70C. thankfully, Prime95 is an extreme worst-case situation, and regular temperatures should stay below 60C at a nominal (50%) load.

issac94 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Hey there, i did what you told me and i decreased the voltage, it was at 1.4 on a 4.4 GHz overclock. Although i don't think Thats an excuse for the temps to shoot past 70 under prime95 considering its a h90 in there. But I've been able to get 4.4 GHz on 1.32 volts. With that it idles at 35 and under prime95 it stays around 65. Ima try to get the temps down somehow though. Maybe ill reapply thermal paste since i removed the cooler and didn't reapply. Hopefully temps lower. But thanks for the advice

JTsComputer 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

im at 1.4V and 4.6GHz stable with just a hyper 212 so something must be up. Temps never go above 55C

issac94 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Thats great, any idea on what could be the problem? because if im maxing out temps at 4.4 i probally wont be able to go any higher.

sketch24 9 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

This is a very nice high end AMD build.

sqielyr 1 point 49 months ago

Your parts list doesn't say 2 4gb sticks of Ram. But thats what your build has. You make brain hurt with juicy contradiction.

Bartmanicus 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Gorgeous build, and you have to love the sabertooth +1

sqielyr 1 point 49 months ago

I hope she was gentle for your first time.

Sprocket30 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Very clean professional look and awesome part selection ! +1

18hockey 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

AMD :D Are you planning on adding more storage or do you have an external HDD? +1 Overall

Edit: reread and saw the picture with the HDD. I guess you just forgot it in your parts list :P

WickedRG 1 point 49 months ago

Nice build not really a Radeon fan so probs would have gone with a different card but i really like the processor and the clean cable managemant in the case!! XD

leadwolf32 1 point 49 months ago

Im actually wanting to get that same mobo/processor combo myself. I'm just waiting on the funds to come in for everything. If you wanna look at the whole build I'm wanting, here's the link: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/leadwolf32/saved/2rrn

Killerfrenzy96 1 point 49 months ago

Do you have dual channel ram because you only have single channel listed, it looks like dual channel in the pictures.

lancer45 1 point 47 months ago

dat airflow man! but no sweet set up, though i mean should get 2 ssd and run that with raid, friend has that and hot damn loads so fast

but in all honesty sexy *** build

HD7ames 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I like your build and I'm actually in the process of upgrading my PC with a the corsair 500R. I'm thinking of going with your concept of the fan placement and radiator placement but I'm not sure compared to others I've seen placing the radiator ontop instead of at the rear like Corsair recommends.