Description

Greetings fellow PC Building enthusiasts!

I built this PC for a streaming friend of mine who wanted a new PC that could play most games on High-Ultra settings in 1080p/60+fps, run his illustrating software all while streaming through OBS with multiple capture windows. He was replacing an aging laptop that began crashing even when he was performing basic tasks like web-browsing. His budget was ~$800 with some wiggle room if we needed to prioritize higher end parts to get the job done. To help with the budget, I ended up throwing in a PSU that I had lying around for free and two 8GB sticks of RAM that I bought a while back. This is first time I've done an all AMD build like this so I was excited to see how everything went together. The build should suit his needs perfectly for gaming and streaming alike, enjoy the pictures!

Also, here's a link to his twitch channel http://www.twitch.tv/micahthebrave

Parts Rationale:

CPU - The FX-8350 was my first choice but I couldn't find a way to make it work at this price-point so I went with it's slightly less powerful little brother, the FX-8320. I plan to overclock it and hopefully get it up to the 4.0-4.5GHz range but we'll see. The 8 cores will be great for all of the applications that he'll have running while streaming and from what I've seen the 8320 is no slouch in gaming either.

CPU Cooler - I went with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO because I wanted a medium overclock on the FX-8320 without having to shell out the big bucks for a larger heatsink or an AIO liquid cooler. I was able to slap a second fan (that I had leftover from a previous build) on the back of it and keep the CPU at a cool 23 degrees while idle with no overclock. I'll definitely post the OC temps/results once I get a chance!

Motherboard - The Gigabyte GA-970A-D3P was the cheapest, most feature rich OC capable board I could find for under $80, the budget didn't allow for a fancy 990X/FX board. I've seen great reviews for it online and it was pretty easy to work with, the only gripe I have so far is that one more fan header would have been nice. It recognized the FX-8320 with no BIOS update (something I was worried about) and also picked up the proper RAM frequencies. So far so good!

Memory - Just two sticks of PNY XLR8 that I had been saving for an occasion such as this; I bought them when they were on sale a few months back for dirt cheap so it was no big deal to just go ahead and use them in this build. They were recognized by the MOBO when it posted and are running at the proper frequencies, 16 GB should be good for all of the multitasking he'll be doing.

Storage - The Caviar Blue is a cheap, reliable, 7200 RPM 1TB drive from WD, that's the short and sweet of it. The recipient of this build has a friend that donated an SSD but it has yet to arrive as of the time this was published. Once it shows up I'll install it and add it to the parts list, I believe it was a Kingston V300 128GB SSD.

Video Card - A lot of research went into this one section, I was back and forth for a long time on whether or not to spring for the R9 280 or settle with an R9 270X since the price/performance ratio is similar. I ended up landing on the 280 after seeing a multitude of benchmarks and video's of user's experiences with the two cards. It should hold up well with the FX-8320 and hopefully perform well for his gaming needs. The XFX model in particular caught my eye because of it's clean black look and low price.

Case - Originally we had planned to purchase the Spec-01 but they were out of stock on Amazon at the time of purchase. Bumped up to the Spec-02 for about $10 more and I'm glad we did because I hear that the Spec-01 has even LESS room to work with. Let me get one thing out of the way, this case is a bear to work with. Mounting the MOBO with the CPU cooler attached is a trial in patience, the small cutout for the top 8 Pin MOBO power cable isn't big enough to actually fit the connector through it, mounting an additional fan in the front requires you take the HDD cage out (which has 10 screws attached), access to the front fans also requires you to remove the front panel which is held on by plastic tabs and must be pried open (good luck not scratching the plastic) and cable management is a chore. Other than that, it's relatively sturdy, the tool-less optical drive bays were a nice addition, the window is huge and for $60 it was a pretty good value. I've worked with Corsair cases in the past (Air 240, 450D and 380T) but I've never been underwhelmed like I was with this case, it's probably because they had to cut a few corners to keep it at a value price-point.

PSU - A Corsair CX750M, as previously mentioned, I had it lying around from a previous build and figured I'd throw it in to save a few dollars. It should be more than enough power for his components unless he plans to crossfire the R9 280 in the future. Only issue I had with this PSU is the 24 Pin power connector for the MOBO, it takes a LOT of elbow grease to get it snapped into place.

Optical Drive - The cheapest DVD/CD writer I could find with good reviews on Newegg. Works great!

OS - Windows 8.1 because Windows.

Custom - He needed a capture card that could work with old consoles via composite and component cables as well as HDMI, the Blackmagic Intensity Pro was our best bet. I've used it in the past for my wife's build and (aside from shoddy driver support from Blackmagic) it's been working out great. Whenever an update is sent out however I'll usually just check the forums to make sure that it won't break anything lol

Feel free to comment with any input you have! Thanks for checking out the build!

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Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 4 points

Looks great! I'm sure your friend is loving it.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! And yeah, as soon as I ship it out to him on Tuesday I'm sure he'll be stoked!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build! I also went with a 8320 instead of the 8350 for my next build (a work-in-progress); it was $40 cheaper then the -50 at the time I bought it on the same site. I went in a different direction with the case though; I got a Define R4 on sale for $80 to stuff everything into rather than the Spec-02 I had planned. +2 for including an ODD and using PNY RAM; don't see a lot of either these days and I've always had good results with PNY.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yeah, I almost wish we had an extra $30-40 in the budget for a nice Mid-Tower with a bit more room lol In the end the Spec-02 does its job and has decent airflow but MAN it was a pain to get everything in there! I'm really digging the PNY RAM so far, even overclocked it to 1866! The optical drive was something my buddy wanted, I always mention it as an option to people I do builds for but it might have been better spent on a nicer case lol

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Seems like you gotta make "adjustments" sometimes. I exceeded my budget a little by going with the R4 (paid partly by not getting the 8350) but one of my pet peeves as I've gotten older is noisy PCs. I'm not really a huge fan of "gamer" cases or side windows for that reason. But... Fractal's cases are known for their noise reduction and good looks and when I saw that R4 was on sale I went for it. I'll post the build when I get done so people can see how it compares. (Right now I'm testing the board I was going to pair the 8320 with. I couldn't get it to post even after swapping chips, so I was going to send it back but then had the idea to change the BIOS battery. Ta-da! It started working. Once I feel the new board is stable, the 8320 goes in and the build will get finished.) I'm sure your friend will be very happy with his.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

For the Hyper 212 Evo, what fan did you use for the other fan? You have a push-pull config and I wanted to this as well but i can't find the same fan that comes with the 212 Evo anywhere. What fan did you choose?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually had a spare from a previous build lying around because I replaced the stock fan on a Hyper T4 with a Corsair SP120. It looks like you can buy the fan directly from CoolerMaster though, here's a link! http://www.cmstore-usa.com/hyper-212-evo-120mm-fan-oem-package/

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I will use these for my 212 Evo :)

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

How well did the hyper 212 evo fit in your case?

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

It was pretty snug but definitely not impossible! I was even able to fit a second fan on the cooler, it works great!

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I have to hand it to you, you budgeted this build very well, even considering you threw in the RAM and the PSU for free. However, I'm not too sure you'll get a great overclock on that board, especially considering it has a 4+1 power phase.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I'm not too worried about the overclock though, just wanted to see what I could squeeze out of it. I've seen other people get 8320's into the 4.0-4.5Ghz range with this exact board, so we'll see how it goes!

  • 59 months ago
  • -1 points

2brave