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113
The Fish Tank
by skemble
Permalink:   (79 comments)
Description

This build is for a young boy who is walking away from consoles and entering the world of PC gaming. He worked for every penny of this build and at 16 that's pretty impressive. I'm glad he came to me to get a great PC for his gaming needs. I was able to snag a few good deals on parts as well. The main goals of this build were:

  1. Not go over $1000 including everything he needed.
  2. Be ask dark in color as possible.
  3. Have solid gaming performance.

PARTS:

CPU: The FX-8320 is a very solid bang for buck CPU in it's price range. No other CPU seemed right for this system. Overclocked to 4.0Ghz it performs similar to a stock FX-8350.

COOLER: A very popular budget cooler. Easily can handle most moderate overclocks without issues. Did a little custom work on the top fin to remove the glaring chrome look in the window.

MOBO: I used this board (rev 3.0) on a build I did this past summer. It looked pretty then, but the rev. 4.0 version is a great improvement! I'm a big fan of Gigabyte and they have never let me down. Felt very confident going with this board again, especially with the improved heatsink design. The all black and gray coloring is really outstanding. Easily my favorite 990FX Gigabyte board.

RAM: This RAM goes on sale quite a bit. The tall heatsinks look cool, but aren't very practical. CAS 8, 1600 RAM for $60 is something I couldn't pass up. The dark gray/black color fit the theme.

STORAGE: Went with the usual Western Digital Blue as a primary drive. The budget didn't make sense for a SSD.

GPU: I'm a big fan of Sapphire as you can see from my previous builds. I've not been let down thus far by the company. With the release of the R9 series I just had to get my hands on one, so I went with the 280X. The all black and gray coloring made the perfect fit for the theme. Found a combo deal with the motherboard as well.

CASE: I hadn't had the pleasure of working with this case until now and I'm sad I waited this long. Define R4 is an amazingly good case. While the cost is higher for a midtower, if you can get this on sale and you like the look. Get it. This case is great for people who want a classy and quiet tower.

PSU: Was looking for a semi-modular or modular design from XFX, Corsair, Seasonic or something similar. At the time of buying parts this was the best deal. Fully modular, enough wattage for OCs, and a Tier 2 unit. The yellow on the unit didn't fit the color scheme, but the window orientation hid that.


Overall it was a success. I did some touching up on the PSU cables with some spray paint. It didn't quite work as great as I wanted, but as long as you don't touch them they look good in the window.

I can update this with a few other furmark or unigine benchmarks if anyone is interested.

Hope you like it!


BENCHMARKS:

3D MARK 11: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7469297

3D MARK: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/1133181

Valley:

  • 1080p - 44.2 Score: 1849
  • 1440p - 28.7 Score: 1201

Heaven:

  • 1080p - 37.1 Score: 936
  • 1440p - 24.2 Score: 608

Part List
Details
AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate4.0GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle33.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load68.0° C
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB Dual-X Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.07Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate1.6GHz
GPU Temperature While Idle34.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load71.0° C
3DMark 11 Benchmark Results
Performance Preset ScoreP9463
Comments
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Sorted by:
 
 
xBlood_Monkey [8 Builds] 15 points 10 months ago

Vin Diesel approves of this build.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 9 points 10 months ago

I see what you did there ;)

 
 
ravagex 8 points 10 months ago

Solid build. Great choice on the 8320

 
 
MrBeastshaw [14 Builds] 5 points 10 months ago

Where did you hide the HDD? Is it mounted in the 5.25" drive?

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

I had a 3 1/2" drive adapter for that bay so I stuck it in there for kicks.

 
 
MrBeastshaw [14 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Sweet I'm thinking about putting a very thick rad in the front due to lack of room in the top. Where did you get that adapter?

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

I pulled it off of my old Rosewill Blackhawk that I didn't have a use for.

 
 
MrBeastshaw [14 Builds] 3 points 10 months ago

Ahh. I love the look of the R4 without any drive cage bays and really love the black color scheme. Nice nice work.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

I couldn't agree more. Leaving unused HDD holders in there didn't make much sense to me. Thanks for the look!

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Mediciu5 [2 Builds] 5 points 10 months ago

Well heck, that's a fine build for that price. I like how you did the touch-up on the cpu cooler and psu wires.

As to the CPU, you chose the Black edition which matched the build's requirements perfectly.

Good job!

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 3 points 10 months ago

It only made sense to pick the Black edition ;)

 
 
RyneSmith [7 Builds] 4 points 10 months ago

This kid was lucky to find you! As always your build are wonderful to look at and the performance per dollar is great

+1

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 3 points 10 months ago

Thanks again Mr. Smith!

 
 
TehEpicSquid10 3 points 1 month ago

May I ask how exactly you coloured the top fin of the cpu cooler black? I am making my first build with the same cpu cooler and case as this soon, and I do not like the silver colour of the top cpu cooler fin that is very visible through the window. Thanks in advance.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 1 month ago

I took a blank cd, snapped it in half and used the two pieces to pry the top fin off. The CD is thin enough to fit under the top fin and rigid enough to get it off without bending it too bad.

I then put on two coats of primer, letting each coat dry overnight. Then I used a black spray paint that is designed for metals. I got it at my local hardware store. I put on 3 to 4 coats until I liked the way it looked and pushed it back into it's place.

 
 
TehEpicSquid10 2 points 1 month ago

Thanks, I would have never thought of using a cd lol! Did it affect temps at all, or did it have any other effects on how well it cooled the cpu?

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 1 month ago

I didn't notice a change at all. Since it's only the top side of the top fin and there are plenty of other fins to cool, it won't effect it. Plus the copper heat pipes are left alone so no worries there.

 
 
TehEpicSquid10 2 points 1 month ago

I'll probably do that with my build then :) Thanks for the help.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 1 month ago

No problem! Good luck with your first! :D

 
 
deathfromup [6 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

looks real slick. I really like that you did the small touch up on the cooler. Great little mod.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

Thanks! I saw it on overclock.net and thought I would give it a shot.

 
 
deathfromup [6 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

I love OCN, that's the other forum i frequent for PC building.

 
 
Hakumisoso [2 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Amazing how the black-out turned out. Sexy pictures too!

Great for the price.

 
 
Trinity596 [3 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

looks really cool! nice setup :)

 
 
Electrospeed 2 points 10 months ago

I'm so glad to find somebody who actually posts enough pictures :D

I'd have gone for the GTX 770, but that's just a personal opinion.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

More the merrier I always say!

 
 
aragorn98 2 points 10 months ago

Loving the build and think you did a great job for the price. Just saying that the board you used is actually Rev. 4, but I love the look of it and I wish it was available in my country.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

I used the Rev 3 of that board in an older build. Sorry if that was confusing.

 
 
bulgar4e [1 Build] 2 points 10 months ago

This build looks great, nice work!

 
 
dschutt84 [3 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

A nice solid AMD Build!

 
 
Moops 2 points 10 months ago

Love the color scheme +1

 
 
talby [9 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

WD Caviar Blue? :/

LOL kidding

+1, awesome theme

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

I know :( Poor WEI stuck at 5.9...

 
 
FireflyNerd [1 Build] 1 point 9 months ago

Pity you didn't have the budget for a Caviar Black. Would have fit the color requirements better too. ;D

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 9 months ago

Right?! Just like the 8320 Black Edition fit the theme as well! ;)

 
 
FireflyNerd [1 Build] 1 point 9 months ago

See, that was what made me think of that!

Besides, black is so slimming.

 
 
canders [6 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Nice. Always enjoy your builds.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Thank you sir. You've got a nice collection going yourself!

 
 
Starlana [2 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Nothing bad to say at all. Great balanced build. The kid did get lucky, as long as you didn't pick his pockets too hard. :)

+1

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

I don't charge as much for the younger kids. I don't have the heart. This is mostly a hobby anyways :)

 
 
Starlana [2 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Yeah. It is embarrassing cashing in pennies...isnt it. Lol

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

The number of piggy banks I've seen is sad... ;)

 
 
stnz [1 Build] 2 points 10 months ago

Great build, great pictures !

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

Thanks you! Took a second look at your build. I don't think it has nearly enough up votes. I would give it another if I could!

 
 
stnz [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

Thank you, I would give yours another if I could as well ;)

 
 
psherrard [5 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Gorgeous system and amazing photos!

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Thank you kindly!

 
 
kevvn_ 2 points 10 months ago

Motherboard looks so good!

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

Right!? I absolutely love the color.

 
 
Baron187 2 points 9 months ago

Like the build, do you use some kind of universal mounting bracket for the HD in the 5.25 front drive bay? Like how you kept the airflow for both 140mm fans.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 9 months ago

The Rosewill Blackhawk comes with a 3.5" adapter that I used. Thanks for checking it out!

 
 
raf.roland 2 points 9 months ago

I really like how you painted the chrome black. Can i ask what paint you used and how you went about this? i think i might do this! +1

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 9 months ago

Thank you sir! I cut a CD in half and took each side and slipped them between the first and second fin. If you use equal force the fin will pop free. It can easily be bent back into place if you do, I did a little.

Then I got some primer and a semi heat resistant paint (mostly as a precaution, it doesn't get nearly hot enough) I primed the thin sheet and then gave it several coats of black paint over top of that waiting about 12 hours between coats. Probably not the best way to do the job, but it got it done!

 
 
HD7ames [1 Build] 2 points 7 months ago

Dude this is a solid ******* build. I love the parts you took it easy with and even got some good quality parts to save for the more expensive ones like the GPU which really counts more than anything. 8320 instead of 8350 which is the best idea since they are the same just a simple overclock gets you there. No SSD and thats not a bad thing cause I'm starting to think those are over-rated! Love it man just love it. Nice job ;)

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 7 months ago

Haha thanks man! I was able to get the 280X before the mining craze drove up the price. The SSD is great for boot times and general productivity, but has not benefit to game performance so we opted out on that one. I'm all about trying to get the most bang from a customer's budget! Thanks for checking it out! :D

 
 
markwheato71 2 points 7 months ago

probably 1 of the best builds i have seen on here, love it and fantastic pics and great spec it looks so sexy haha...+100

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 7 months ago

Thank you sir! Have you seen my other builds per chance?

 
 
Spiral350 1 point 10 months ago

How is that motherboard? I'm considering for my upcoming build. Is it good for overclocking?

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

I set it to 4.0 Ghz in the BIOS on the 8320 with ease. I didn't try going higher, but I had plenty of voltage headroom. I've used the board twice now and would recommend!

 
 
sphinxman [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

Clean build, looks great with that spacious R4 case.

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

Thank you kindly!

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JCanadian 1 point 8 months ago

Great, clean build. Looks awesome without the HDD cages

 
 
steveN7x 1 point 8 months ago

Whats your fps like on games on high settings? Such as BF4, DayZ, CSGO, TF2, League of Legends or games that are simular.

Nice build i'm in the process building something very simular

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

Sadly I don't have any benchmarks for this system. I don't own the PC otherwise I'd be happy to run some benches for you. Most of my builds I sell or build for someones specific needs. Thanks for checking it out though! Here are some benchmarks for a similar card. I would say that the 8320 will result in a few frames loss compared to what they are using, but it should be fairly similar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DDxGev_TjY

 
 
Gamerdude105 1 point 7 months ago

The 8320 is a lot better of a value than the 8350, for $50 dollars cheaper you can get the 8320 and OC it to perform greater than the 8350.

 
 
changerrs 1 point 6 months ago

I am definitely considering buying a 3.5" to 5.25" adapter so i can drop my hdd in my optical drive.

question: do you think your hdd temps would be cooler if you still had the drives in the lowest drive bay with your fans blowing cool air on it?

(and the drive bay would be rotated 90 degrees so that the air could pass through the hdd tray and directory over the hdd)

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

Well of course the temps would be lower. HDDs don't get nearly hot enough to worry about needing a ton of airflow. If you had multiple drives all clustered together then yes, but just one, not so much.

 
 
ITneto 1 point 6 months ago

Awesome setup! you like black¡? I wish I live in the US!

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks man! I built this for someone else that wanted it as black as possible. I like the way it turned out and so does he!

 
 
hitmaniac [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

for this price, cannot get any better!! +?

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 5 months ago

Thank you sir! I was lucky to snag a 280X before the prices went crazy :)

 
 
nervozer4 [3 Builds] 1 point 4 days ago

how do you test cpu temp on load, what procedure and what programs. nice build+1

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 4 days ago

I run prime 95 at the default settings for usually 12 to 24 hours. To monitor temps I use speccy, real temp, open hardware monitor, and the motherboards built in temp monitors.

 
 
nervozer4 [3 Builds] 1 point 4 days ago

thanks for the quick response, what is your opinion on hwinfo, is it accurate? I had some programs showing two different cpu temperatures, what is up with that which one is the actual temp? cheers, love your work

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 4 days ago

AMD temp sensor are pretty wack.. I have never used hwinfo, but it looks pretty neat! I always look for the most realistic temp. Most CPUs idle between 25-35C, but it depends on your room temps. If the temps are lower than that you either have your computer in a freezer or you don't want to use that software.

 
 
nervozer4 [3 Builds] 1 point 4 days ago

thanks man.

 
 
NovicePCBuild 1 point 2 days ago

you sir are the master of cable management

 
 
skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 1 day ago

:3 I try!

 
 
NovicePCBuild 2 points 1 day ago

I love all of your builds :D