Description

In December 2011, I started off buying the iBuyPower Black Mage from Newegg with the following features:

NZXT Gamma Gaming Mid Tower Case (Gamma case not available for choice on PCPartPicker, so I selected the NZXT Source 220 for comparable price and size)

AMD Athlon II X2 240 Dual-Core CPU

4GB (2GBx2) Corsair DDR2-800 RAM

NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 (1GB) GPU

Asus M3A78-CM motherboard

450W power supply

320GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive

22x Dual-Layer DVD Writer

12-in-1 Multi-Format Card Reader

Onboard Audio

Onboard Ethernet

Windows 7 Home

Needless to say, this is (for the most part) outdated. I recently decided that it was time for me to step into the next generation to be able to play some games (Crysis 3, Skyrim, LOTR, and hopefully Star Citizen when it's released) and edit photos at my leisure, and also work from home as a New Home Sales Professional.

Here is what I came up with:

I went with the processor for capability and speed of higher i5, without the pricetag. Still have not overclocked, but have not really found the need to yet.

Started off with an ASUS M5A97 mobo, and it was DOA, so I RMA'd it, and did some research and found the M5A99FX Pro to have a better chipset (and I wasn't butt-hurt from this model)

RAM- I found it, it was cheap. (not 1600, but it works well so far) :Will look to upgrade to corsair vengeance 1600 in the near future

Storage- Have owned the exact SSD previously and was amazed. HDD: came with the original purchase in 2011

Graphics card: Wanted most bang for the buck, and I lucked into finding this for cheaper than cards under it's performance

Power Supply: Originally ordered Corsair CX600, but found on the box of the GC that the PSU was below the recommended, and I did some research and saw that It wasn't really necessary to have a higher PSU, but thought to be better safe than sorry. (Really glad the RM850 is modular)

Monitors I found online for $100 for the pair, couldn't beat the price, and I am very satisfied with them so far. Will eventually upgrade to 23.5" IPS

In conclusion, I went from a pre-built PC to BYO and couldn't be more satisfied (except I intend to upgrade cases from the NZXT Gamma to a full tower (e.g. Corsair 730T, NZXT Source 530, or Rosewill RISE))

Please Feel free to offer opinions on these cases

P.S. I welcome constructive criticism and suggestions

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Comments

  • 67 months ago
  • 3 points

"The Black Mage" First thought, MapleStory.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice! hows the CPU?

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

It's been Great so far. Playing Crysis 3, it doesn't get over 54 C, and LOTR: WIN barely hits 44. Scored a 638 on Cinebench.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Glad to see you came out from the pits.

Nice build!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 (1GB) GPU wut?

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

I think that the build in the description is his old one

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah. Haha. It's tiny. I never even tried to play any games with it, before I decided to upgrade.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Good build! I would've gotten a little higher speed ram but you shouldn't notice too much of a difference, maybe 5fps tops that you're missing but overall it's pretty nice

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I will probably go with Corsair Vengeance when my bank account recovers, I have had some experience with them and loved it, but I found this for a steal.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

You should go for some faster ram, there's an 8gb 1866mhz for around the same price, id advise not going below 1600mhz. Your monitors aren't ips, i'm guessing they are tn panels, thus the bad viewing angles, editing photos on these wont be a pleasing task,the colour reproduction isnt good and the colour shifting will be very noticeable, i would advise going for different monitors.

Otherwise from these two faults, you sir, have a great build. Good processor choice. reliable storage drives. a motherboard that leaves lots of room for future upgrades. great graphics card. excellent choice in peripherals if i do say so myself, Good Job (Y)

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

The monitors are Samsung Syncmaster 943BWX that are now discontinued. I found the pair together for about $100, and couldn't pass that up. They actually have better color and resolution than my friend's pair of 24" ASUS (IDR the model#, but they were quite a bit more expensive than what I paid).

One future upgrade I'm hoping to go for is to crossfire with another saphire 280x, or just save for a 290x.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks great, though for photo editing you might want an IPS panel somewhere and the RAM seems out of place, especially if you're going to OC, it's nice to be able to underclock your RAM to get more stability...

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I fully intend to go for IPS when the funds are present.

My personal favorite monitor is a Dell 23.5", I worked at Best Buy for a while and these had (by far) the best quality picture I have ever seen.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-23-widescreen-flat-panel-ips-led-hd-monitor/6814943.p?id=1218807855013&skuId=6814943&st=pcmcat331600050016_categoryid$pcmcat143700050048&cp=1&lp=1

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Personally would have gone with an Intel i5 of some sort, as well as gotten 1600mhz(+) memory instead since the price is so minimal between 1333, 1600 and sometimes 1866 that there's no use to buy 1333 anymore TBH - but an FX-8350 isn't a bad choice whatsoever. I use a K70 keyboard, it's really nice but I'd just buy a CM Storm keyboard for almost half the price (as much of a Corsair fanboy that I am haha). I also own a Corsair mouse but it's an M40, M65 is probably much better so kudos for choosing that of any since it doesn't seem overpriced for what you get. Interesting choice of monitor size though, I would have just bought a 1920x1080 24" at least, but I'm unsure if you already owned them or just don't care for resolution/size. Not a bad build I'd say overall +1.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I started out ordering the i5 4430, but spoke with 3 of my friends (all of whom have their own custom build at the same level or more powerful than mine) and they recommended this cpu over that particular i5, because this was going to perform on par with some of the upper level i5s for about $50 cheaper.

This was my first build, and while still in college I pushed my budget to the limit for this particular instance.

This ram i was able to find for about $60 on special, but I will definitely be looking to upgrade in the next few months if I notice that I need to.

I really wanted the k70 with mx brown keys, but the only one I could find at the time I ordered the Red key one was ~$170. I also really like Corsair, and it pains me that my case is not Corsair and that I don't have this Corsair water-cooled, or RAM... Not because I'm up their butts, but because I just really like to match. (Yeah, a little lame)

With the Monitors, I knew I wanted 2. I found these for $100 for the pair, and will eventually upgrade to some 23.5" IPS, but for now, I am very satisfied with the quality for what I paid.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Personally, I would've went with 1080p monitors but I guess you had to fit a budget? Also, how's that mouse? I'm going between it and the coolermaster Recon

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Monitors: I got the pair for $100, and I prefer 2 monitors for ease of use and being able to multi-task and maintain visual on my current operating specs while doing whatever on the other screen; I will eventually upgrade, but for the price I couldn't beat them at the time!

Love the mouse; very sensitive, which is something that I was looking for. Haven't macroed the shooter key yet, but the keys click easier than any mouse I've ever used (could be good or bad depending on your style of play)

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

seems good but why gskill ram kek

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Recommendations from a few friends (one managed a computers + in college and saw these fewest for returns), and a couple more who have builds as well that used it. I also found this for ~$60, I will be looking to go for 1600 DDR3 ASAP (Probably Corsair)

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I have the same headset except for it was rebranded as the Earforce Shadows... CoD Ghosts edition. Mic is **** but great sound quality.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually have the earforce X11, however they didn't have that listed. I had them initially for xbox live, but I do not console game very much now that I have this. I really like mine so far for this, but I have nothing to compare to...

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I know, i saw in the photo. the Z11 were rebranded as Phantoms i think.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

OH! Haha, I hadn't realized I had them in one of the photos. My mic hasn't had any issues so far with playing LOTR, but that's with my roommate, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. He hasn't said anything about it, but I'll keep my ears open.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I mean the Mic has bad sound quality, they work, but sound bad. When I play on the console, my friends think I'm using the Kinect Mic

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree with you parts choices, except maybe for the RAM. I have been reading the other comments and I agree with what they are saying. I find that 1866 is a nice speed, especially if you want to underclock to 1600. Something like the Crucial Ballistix or Corsair Vengeance would suit your build well. I do think that the CPU is a nice choice, considering I have a 9590 in my build... lol It all comes down to the main function of the computer to decide what CPU you want to get. As it seems right now, AMD will be just fine.