Ok so before you all condemn me to pc build purgatory for building an AMD rig. There's a few things you should know. First I built this rig how I wanted because it was my money and secondly because I like AMD. Go team RED!
First I have to give a huge shout out to my boy Cilvre. Without him this build probably wouldn't have happened!
I really wanted to build a gaming. However having 4 teenage daughters; 1 of which is graduating in 2 months and dealing with all kinds of senior expenses. (application fees, campus tours, cap & gown, not to mention Prom) I have been hesitant to pull the trigger on my build. So why the AMD you ask? Well it's simple.... after doing some research I found the AMD processors still kick major arse. My now old rig was really showing it's age (6 yrs) and I needed something to hold me over until Zen/Polaris - Kabylake/Pascal comes out later this year. So basically this is a stop gap rig for a few months. As such there was a few things I definitely needed the build to accomplish.
~Play GTA V & Overwatch @ 1080P on Ultra settings if possible ✔
~Run QuickBooks software for my Landscape business ✔
~Be budget friendly ✔
~Look killer on my desk ✔
So let's break down the part selection shall we.
CPU: FX-8320 3.5ghz 8-Core CPU (Overclocked to 4.4Ghz)
The short answer to why I chose this is I wanted to keep cost down and I got it for $85 on Hardwareswap! 8-butt kicking cores for less then the price of 6 brand new? Yeah I'll take that!
CPU Cooler: LEPA 120mm AIO - Well I knew I was doing a Black/Red build and I wanted to keep the rig relatively cool. So AIO was definitely on the menu....I love the look of the LEPA AIO and the price was the ultimate deciding factor.
Storage: The OCZ ARC 100 240GB SSD - It's actually a hold over from my old rig that I picked up last Jan from TigerDirect before they closed up shop. It does what I need it to do and my rig boots to the desktop in 9 seconds. I actually grabbed it for a great price of $49.99. so I picked up 2 (1 for me & 1 for the wifes PC) I'll admit at this point I need a larger SSD and that will be a priority when I finally build the newer rig later this year.
Motherboard: AsRock 970M Pro3 - Great budget motherboard. So far so good! I do have a few hang ups I'd like to pimp slap someone at AsRock about. The main 2 are the lack of fan headers and the insanely idiotic placement of the front USB 3.0 header. Maybe the Dev designing the board was ticked he got left out of the circle jerk that day or something but putting the header at the back of the board? I'd really like to give him a baby powder backhand for that. I did get a pretty sweet deal on this though. Grabbed it for $54.99 with a $15 MIR. Plus Newegg screwed up on my shipping so they gave me a $20 GC. So my final cost on this was $19.99
RAM: HyperX Black 1X8GB/ HyperX Savage 1X8GB (16GB total) - Well the story on these puppies is I got them from the same guy I purchased the CPU from. He made it a bundle deal for $125 for the CPU and both ram sticks. Who could turn that down? It's ram and does what I need it to do. I'll admit the savage stick is really irking my OCD, I might have to grab another HyperX in red to replace it.
Update 5/25/16: My OCD was kicking my butt so I replaced the mismatched HyperX sticks with an Avexir core series kit in red. I sold the HyperX sticks for $40 to offset the cost.
Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart 650W - This was honestly an impulse buy. The day I decided to build this I was in Best Buy and saw it on sale. It wasn't modular but it had flat ribbon cables so I figured WTH why not.
Case: Thermaltake V21 mATX - Ok so I chose this case based on the fact I loved the ITX version and figured it was just a little bigger. I guess I under estimated just how much bigger it was. Anyway the case was an absolute dream to build in and the fully modular design allows you to tweak things just how you want for the best look. Since this was the first item to arrive I took that opportunity to add some pimpery to it! The design on the front is a mix of paint & Vinyl. My wife used her Cricut I got her to help me out. She can help you customize yours as well. https://www.facebook.com/courajess/
GPU: MSI R9 380 4GB - Well as I stated I wanted to game at 1080p with better frame rates then I had with my previous gpu (GTX 630....ok you can stop laughing anytime now) Yes my old GPU was lame but it did ok for only having 2GB VRAM. Anyway this card is beastly in size and so far it's kicking major arse in GTA V, CS:GO, Aion, & GW2. One of the primary reasons I picked this over a r9 390 was it was getting replaced in a few months but also Newegg had a killer deal on it. I grabbed the card for $214.99 with a $20 MIR + I got a free game (Ashes of the Singularity) & a free mouse the MSI DS B1 Gaming mouse that's in the pics. So the final cost was $194 for all 3......Yeah sign me up please!
Monitor: BenQ GL2460HM 60Hz 2ms (24") - This is actually another hold over from my old set up. I picked it up a few months back off of Craigslist for $75. I currently have it overclocked to 66Hz. It's 1080p with 2ms and 24"...whats left to say?
Fans: LEPA LP-BOL12P-R 81.5 CFM 120mm - Well they were cheap and had good reviews. Plus I used one of my Newegg screw up GC's on them so I got 2 for free! They move a ton of air and are currently keeping my rig rather breezy! They are pretty freakin' quiet also!
Keyboard: Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator (Red) - Another hold over from my previous rig. I actually have the green version as well. Grabbed them both last Jan. from Newegg on sale for $17.99 each. Never used the mouse though cause it pretty much sucked. The backlit keys are great for gaming late at night when wifey is asleep.
Mouse: MSI Intercepter DS B1 - Well as you read earlier I got this baby scott free.... So far it has a great responsiveness to it. It's smaller then my last mouse but I like it thus far. update (Swapped back to my old mouse T-80 Big Mac because the MSI was just too small)
Cables: I know it's a budget rig but I'm vain and wanted it to look good. So I ordered some sleeved cables from Ensourced.net . They were a last minute decision and should be here by early next week. I'll update the pics once they arrive.
Update - Headphones: Astro A50 - Black 7.1 Channel Headset - Well the story on these puppies and why I got them for $160 off the normal price is simple. I follow Jailbreak aka Ed from TechSource on YouTube and he does a series called best tech deals of the week. Well a few weeks back these were one of the featured items from Newegg. I'm no dummy so I paused the vid ... high tailed it on over to newegg.com and placed my order.
In the end, I am really pleased with this build! I will say I felt slighted by MSI not dropping any stickers in the box with my GPU. Then again knowing me I wouldn't have put them on my case anyway. Thanks for checking out my build.
Update - 4/1/16: Ok so after having the build up and running for a few days now...I like what it can handle but after doing my VR readiness test it falls short in the GPU department. So most likely one of my first upgrades will be to a Polaris R9 4-- or Pascal GTX 1070 something which should hold me until Black Friday sales this fall. I'll also be upgrading my monitor to 1440p
Update - 4/16/16: Ok so my sleeved cables came in a few days ago and I finally got around to putting them in. I also took this opportunity to swap out the 200mm front intake fan with another LEPA fan. I figured since I had to mess with the cables I might as well take my time and try to clean them up more then they were previously. I added a few more pics with the cables installed and my new pup since he pretty much kept nibbling at my socks the entire time I was doing the cable management. (Note to self next build gets fully modular PSU)
Update - 6/1/16: Found an epic deal on Craigslist for an XBOX 360 wireless controller + adapter for windows for $20. This was pretty much a no brainer.
Questions? Comments! Concerns? Drop'em in the comments below..unless it's negative then you can keep that ish to ya self! I'll try to be prompt with my responses!
This CPU is a few years old as far as tech but man does it still kick major butt! It destroys games with blazing speed! Makes me extremely excited for the new Zen stuff coming out.
This is one cool customer. It has been keeping my overclocked FX-8320 nice and breezy!
Great budget motherboard. However just be pre-paired to be a little put off by the USB 3.0 header.
I've been running this SSD 24/7 mostly for over a year and it is still rocking out. Boots from completely off to desktop in 9 seconds.
OK so this GPU absolutely annihilates any game in 1080p. It will even let you roll in 1440p on high settings. Word of advice make sure you download the 16.1 (15.301) driver. Would definitely recommend this GPU for serious 1080p gaming.
Honestly I'd give this case 6 stars if I could. Thermaltake took the complete modders approach when they designed this case. It allows you to tweak it to just how you need it to be. It's super roomy and offers great cable management & superior airflow!
Whoa these puppies move an insane amount of air. Bonus is they are super quiet! I'll be grabbing more for my rig in the future. Kinda wish they made it with white LED's also.
It's a great 1080p gaming monitor! The price is just right also.
Very nice entry level backlit keyboard. Great for those looking for something with the price on the low.
Really nice fluid mouse. Ideal for claw grippers as it is rather small compared to most gaming mice.