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Black and Red - July 2016 Refresh

by tombull89


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

July 1, 2016

Date Built

July 1, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.12 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C


The last time I upgraded any of the parts in my machine was back in May 2015 when I went for a 8-core CPU and from 8GB to 16GB RAM. I recent recieved a major tax rebate and decided to refresh my build.

First on my list was a new GPU - my aging 7770 which replaced my failed 7870 wasn't looking very happy at Just Cause 3 and Tomb Raider. The obvious choice then was an RX 480 - I typically go for XFX cards but as they were not in stock for the supplier I chose Sapphire instead. Very happy with this - yet to fully test it out.

Next up was a new motherboard. I wanted to keep my current CPU as it was perfectly good and didn't want to replace it just yet, so I was after a Red and Black AM3+ socket board, which the MSI 970 Gaming met well. Plenty of fan connectors, well laid out and with a plethora of features, this is an excellent board which I do like. The SATA ports are very very close to the GPU with a few mm clearance but this does not cause an issue. There's some features I'm not fussed about (Killer NIC for one...) but I will very happily tweak this.

SSD. My OCZ was performing as well as I needed it to, however I was running out of space. A 480GB SSD for just under £100 is pretty good considering the amount I paid for my 240GB a few years back. The 480GB SSD will be for OS, main played games, and programs, while the 240GB SSD will be used as a secondary game location and also to run virtual machines. Anything else smaller or less played will go on the 2TB disk.

Finally, Case. I was running a no-brand (iCute Super 9) case, while large (9 5.2" drive bays) and a 12" side fan was horribly dusty as it had no filters. I wanted a case to match the red/black colourscheme with a side window, and the NZXT S340 was a good match. I was concerned about not having a CD/DVD drive but I very rarely use disks at all now anyway.

Everything else was moved across from my old build. The cable management is slightly better than my old case, and I would like to get some solid black or red SATA cables as the only spare ones I had had white tips. Also the power cable for the GPU is not elegantly cabled and the power cables have a multitude of colours - this isn't that bad for me and if I replace the PSU I will try and get leavening. The USB3 header is horridly twisted but there's very little options for me here. The two fans that were included were installed on the front as a pull, with a spare corsair fan I had installed on the rear as an exhaust. Any feedback regarding the fan setup, and about the build is greatly appreciated.

Part Reviews


A superb value oct-core CPU that overclocks well but runs hot - be sure to run a good airflow cooler or a liquid cooler if you're pushing the high clocks.

CPU Cooler

A good third-party cooler that is quiet under load but is a major pain to mount on AMD motherboards.


A decent feature set and a bad-*** colour scheme makes an awesome motherboard. Some features are a bit surplus to requirements (Killer NIC, really?) but plenty of fan headers, ports, and expandability options are all a plus. No onboard video, but if you're trying to run this with no dedicated GPU, well, You're Doing It Wrong.


Typical, dependable, and reliable RAM from Corsair. Not loud and flashy, and no massive heatsinks so they fit under the cooler.


An older OCZ-branded SSD - performance isn't as great as it used to be after a few years of use but is now perfectly happy running the occasional VM.


A 480GB SSD from a recognised name for under £100. Bargain.


Two terabytes of spinning disk for large amounts of data - used in multiple builds and still going.


A superb case with equally superb cable management. Looks neat, slick, and the only downside is no CD/DVD drive bay, but that doesnt matter as much any more.

Power Supply

Actually a Novatech-branded PSU (which is a rebadged OCZ) a decent semi-modular PSU. Only downside is the multi-coloured cables which clashes somewhat with my red/black colour scheme.


A superb set of speakers - my family owned four pairs at one point.

Comments Sorted by:

SFX_MODz 8 Builds 21 points 33 months ago

Here's a tidbit of info that I've come to realize and I feel like absolutely needs to be shared, people are worried that this graphics cards is going to fry their motherboards because of all the reports that sprung up after the NDA was lifted on the 29th. Well I have news for you, the card only draws 16-50W at the PCIe slot while at idle and under light loads i.e. web surfing, which should be mentioned is well within PCI-SIG specs. So the notion that this particular card is going to fry your motherboard upon installation and first boot up is ridiculous!

Secondly, this quote direct from Tom's Hardware (the culprit of this whole powergate fiasco): "AMD's Radeon RX 480 draws 90W through the motherboard’s PCIe slot during our stress test. This is a full 20 percent above the limit. To be clear, your motherboard isn't going to catch fire."

I have a really big problem with this because the game they tested was Metro Last Light at 4K resolution and it's very vague because they didn't specify at what settings (to really stress the card to its max I'm sure it was Ultra). Now, people are saying the target audience for the RX 480 is very cheap and will throw this card in a $50 motherboard and burn their house down (lmao)! Now comes the kicker! This cheap class of PC gamers (referring to us), know that this particular card is NOT a 4k playable GPU! So why on earth would we buy a $200 GPU and a $50 motherboard to try and game in 4K??? SERIOUSLY???

I, for one, would have loved to see what the 480 pulled from the pcie slot on any given game at 1080p in ultra settings, I guarantee it's not 90W! The vast majority of the people who are buying this card do not even own the hardware capable of displaying 4k resolution (4k monitor)! I feel like they set out to kill this card well before it got to the hands of the consumers because they are worried about how blown away we all would be by the fps per dollar value in this "cheap segment"! My last remarks are, if you are like me, and have lots of experience with system building, you won't even hesitate to get a 480, but if you are new to all this, you shouldn't worry about killing off any hardware that you don't even have the capability to destroy for lack of high end equipment (again, 4k monitor).

Judging by what I see in the pictures, your monitor isn't even 4k capable, therefor you can rest easy knowing that, unless you try and stress out your card under 4k settings, you have no worries! Excellent build and congrats on the feature!

San10deep 3 points 33 months ago

totally agree to your point .... i only play @ 720p mostly occasionally @ 1080p in my country 720p is considered a great quality so tell me will this card useful to me this card costs around 43000 rupees for 4GB and 50000 rupees for 8GB

Elios123 2 points 32 months ago

I was really thinking of buying rx480. After all the power issue problems and motherboard i am hesitating of buying it because i am not a rich guy to change gpu every 1-2 years.I want to keep it for at least 4years.As you said I won't be playing at 4k hell no.I just want to make sure there will be no problems with the gpu.I am still worried and i will wait more to check more reviews etc.Btw my motherboard is msi h110m gaming.

EngageDynamo 2 points 32 months ago

There is no problem at all. People think they are experts, but they don't know anything. Every engineer, including PCI experts have already said that it is perfectly safe.

colinreay 3 Builds 5 points 33 months ago

Nice job on picking up that RX 480. This looks like quite a beast for the price!

GentlemanShark 1 Build -5 points 33 months ago

In b4 power gate

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GentlemanShark 1 Build -6 points 33 months ago

Aye, AMD might underclock it to avoid the thousands of "ZOMG!! My RX 480 like exploded".

achtungpanzer 2 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

From what I understand, there will be a software update to address the issue.

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sgtSnyder 6 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Peal the plastic off please and post another picture! It looks so nice but I can't see anything behind it! I wanna see that super clean inside you got going there! Looks awesome, and I'm loving the team red build! The RX 480 seems like a really awesome card, and I wish I didn't already have a 390. Such a better value. Anyways, your cable management looks great, and the color scheme is awesome :) Nice job!

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

added two pictures of plastic-less side panel :)

sgtSnyder 6 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

looks great :)

kingawesome7 -1 points 33 months ago

Be careful about your motherboard dude as the rx480 is out of PCIE compliance. it is reported to draw more than 75w from your motherboard and can kill your motherboard and it pcie slots as well as well as short it out becuase its pulling more power than what MSI and the PCIE standard should be....

Here are some videos and articles:






And dude keep your drivers updated as it might most likely fix this problem.......... For me i would check DAILY for this driver as a driver should be on the way to fix this.. As a pcpmasterrace member i care for you and tyour hardware....Just lookin out for your bro!!!

NOICE build by the way!! It looks clean......


jl31m10 2 points 33 months ago

As noted the issue is being addressed driver update soon. With that said, the issue only happens with motherboards that are not PCI-E 3.0. In other words, older style motherboards or cheap motherboards that don't have built-in overload protection.

The other debate is why AMD left out the eight pin. There is overload on some of the Nvidia cards, but those cards do have eight pin power connection.

Watch this video from Science Studio, he explains that he tries to do a budget build using a Foxconn motherboard. https://youtu.be/rhjC_8ai7QA

kingawesome7 1 point 32 months ago

oh yeah i saw that video with science studio, i like his videos... Anyway, thye said that they also release a compatibly mode that runs the graphics card in compatibility mode so that it wont go over the pci experess limit... I think that amd left out the 8 pin simply because were going for the 750ti type of power usage but at a gtx 970 performance level and a gtx 960/r9 380 price point...... And they delivered, just not on the power side of things...I think they build the rx 480 on the power saving perspective not the overclockers or performance enthusiast perspective.... Also amd has slipped a wide range of optiimizations and performance enhancements so that if compatibiliy mode is turned on then it wont really have much of a performance difference.... An somehow they fixed the issue and rx 480 sees performance improvement as well..

FACUNDO 13 Builds 2 points 33 months ago
Great build. How's that RX? :-)


tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Very nice - runs around 60FPS on Rise of the Tomb Raider on max settings with some drop-off to the low 50s. Very happy with it.

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tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 5 points 33 months ago

my problems wouldn't be the only thing melting ;)

Xizt 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago


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tussiez 1 Build 2 points 25 months ago


FACUNDO 13 Builds 1 point 25 months ago


Growliff1234 2 points 33 months ago

You forgot the "First Build, Budget Red and Black Beast" part :P +1

Monopoly316 1 Build 2 points 33 months ago

RX 480 and Win 7.

Now we just need some Vulkan action!

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

yeah, not a fan of 8.1 or 10. I might do 10 when I have to, but there's a few things that annoy me and stop me upgrading.

arda1907 2 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

wait a second these 480s dont have back plates? i heard those cards are melting high temps over 90s be careful. nice bang for buck build though enjoy.

Zedelwon 1 point 33 months ago

This isn't an AIB card, it's just the RX 480 with "swag" stickers. Give it another week or so and we're going to be seeing after marker cards that WILL have greater thermals, better aesthetics and hopefully better clocks. And as far as the "Melting" AMD cards have run hot for 10+ years, this is their coolest card ever! Please don't fall into the hype of people, do your research. It's a great card for people who game @ 1080p/1440p @ 50-65 frames.

jj0322 2 points 33 months ago

I'm curious why you oriented the cpu cooler to draw air from the bottom rather then the front? Any nice build +1 and congrats on being featured!

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

This particular cooler can only draw from top or bottom, not from the side. If it becomes an issue I may replace it, however, it's done well for the past two years I've had it for.

jj0322 2 points 33 months ago

That's really intersting, thanks yfor the reply. Build looks sleek man.

ZygoteConrad 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

It really won't make a big difference in temps, maybe 1-2 degrees? +1 for the sweet AMD build!

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Nope, not that I'm aware of. It would struggle if I went for a huge overclock however - then I'd be better off with a liquid cooler.

Zedelwon 2 points 33 months ago

Looks super good man, get you some cable extenders from CableMod for about $40 and you're swag as hell. thumbs up mate.

cettore 2 points 33 months ago

Great build man! Always love seeing Team Red!

San10deep 2 points 33 months ago

have you discarded your old items or you still have them like the case motherboard and stuff

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Case and motherboard I have on eBay currently.

San10deep 1 point 32 months ago

ohh ok ok whats the price you set for them do you have a link

tamnhucanh 2 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Why not windows 10? Sad XD

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

I like Windows 10 for the most part, there's just some things that suck, like the search.

ATXON 1 point 33 months ago

Sexy, I love the 8320E! +1

Such a beast overclocker for so little.

Let us know how that RX 480 performs! :)

AidensCalling36 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Any issues with the RX 480? I've heard it's been going over 75 watts on PCI E Power, might cause some damage/issues. I really want one but have been hesitant because of this.

DanielCsillag 1 point 33 months ago

it is fine for any modern motherboard. Almost all graphics cards pull more then 75W from pci especially when overclocked

Atron 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Watch this video and you will understand that the 480 will be fine so long as you have a modern mobo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFuYc2FHgjw

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mtrapuzz 3 Builds -2 points 33 months ago

It doesn't matter to me who made the card, but I would never buy anything that was out of spec.

One correction I need to make however is that the 480 is way farther out of spec than the 960s. If you take the baseline of the power consumption data (which is basically drawing a line along the bottom of the peak), the 960s are avery close to 75W limit. Granted, there are spikes over 75W which is pretty common for any graphics card (especially overclocked). The Strix version of this card was particularly bad, having a baseline around 75W and very large spikes. The baseline for the 480 however, is much higher than 75. It is probably closer to 90W. This would probably be even worse with an overclock (like any card), but who knows how bad.



960 Strix


Take this as you want, I am just showing what other people's testing has found. As far as I know, nobody has tested these in crossfire yet, so I am interested to see if anything interesting happens there.

Will this card cause your components to blow up? Probably not, but I am personally not going to take the risk. I wouldn't buy a 960 Strix either for what it's worth.

Edit: There are some crossfire tests out there now, and so far nothing has blown up :)

rhali8 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

It doesn't matter to me who made the card, but I would never buy anything that was out of spec.

You are talking about like 3W - 5W off. I doubt anything is going to explode.

mtrapuzz 3 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

A standard is a standard. I didn't make the standard, but I am sure the people who did have a god reason it exists.

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colinreay 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Alright, so I am not an electrical engineer and am pretty ignorant on the science of this stuff, but from what I have gathered from Pcper's video and the comments, I agree with you. The increased power draw of the RX480 is a problem for sure, but it isn't as bad as the 960s/other cards with spikes. Again, this is from what I have read, but the increased average draw is not as dangerous as high spikes, the worst that is likely to happen is the system just turning off as it can't supply enough power (won't damage it I think.) The tiny spikes of the 480 aren't anything to worry about either, it is just the nature of a DC-DC conversion, and happens with every card to some degree. What is far worse for your system is the super high sustained spikes of the 960, which were long enough to show up on graphs (not just a few miliseconds.) This could actually destroy components.

TL:DR From what I have read, the 480 power draw is not a danger to your components like the 960s. For the 480, the increased draw could result in a system shutdown (from failsafe I believe.) The 960 spikes could actually destroy a system without warning.

I'm guilty of this too, but people need to stop making hard opinions about this, and making up facts instead of discussing the topic without

a.) having a card and doing the necessary tests

b.) enough electrical knowledge to form a hard opinion

and just being generally ignorant to the subject (which I am), and hopping on the bandwagon of power issues will cause huge repercussions. (They could or could not.)

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NekoTheDank 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

If you ever put this some where where you can see in side the window please get some cable mod cables or exstetions. You won't regret it!

tbhpcbuilder 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Very nice 500 dollar heater! Kidding, nice red build though.

Khaosix 20 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

I don't know why, but my favorite part of this entire build is the way you did the USB 3.0 cables.. The rest of the build looks killer. But the way the USB cables go up and curl and go into the slots is just really cool..

+1 for great parts selection, budget/performance, color scheme, and cable management.

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

thanks for the feedback - I thought the USB3 cable was poorly done but as long as someone likes it, I'm happy!

exige722 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Yeah it looks cool!!

TechyinAZ 14 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Sweet rig! It looks quite nice.

BTW...Don't do any GPU overclocking until AMD fixes the PCIE power issue. Or you could be in for a mobo replacement.

xdthevoidxd 1 point 33 months ago

The motherboard is new enough and of high enough quality (probably) that nothing will happen and the PCIE slots most likely can deliver much more than 75 Watts without issue. the PCIE 75 watt spec is from years ago anyway, when motherboards were of much lower quality. However, this is a "most likely" scenario. If the motherboard is low enough quality, and the power gets too much, it will just shut down the whole PC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhjC_8ai7QA <== that's what happened to this guy. Either way, no fried Mobo and worst case scenario is the whole pc shuts down when the gpu is under full load. It is a pretty bad worst case scenario though. Hopefully AMD gets it to take extra power from the plug or something.

KarmaDyel 1 point 33 months ago

Nice Build will be similar to mine, altho I'm not a fan of the plain cpu cooler, it kinda sticks out like it doesn't belong :) Great build!

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

I considered replacing it with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO but I don't think it would fit in the case :D

KarmaDyel 1 point 33 months ago

Haha really? That's a shame! Eventually maybe get a liquid cpu cooler? Looks dope on that case

sniperpro 1 point 33 months ago


SquareOreo 1 point 33 months ago

Your lucky to get the RX 480 so early lol...

In the US they were sold out after like 4 hours of release and then we get those pricks on eBay who go to actual stores and buy like 6,7 and I seen one guy show a recipt of him buying 15 and selling them for like $300 each....

sniperpro 1 point 33 months ago

cable management is on point, love your build,

i am the only one hoping that sapphire makes a rx 490 with the best coolers on the world, which are the toxic, and the vapor x, my question to sapphire why nitro, everybody loved those cooler, too bad they used it for only one generation. well you have an awesome, go red

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Nice upgrade.

Thumbs up.

szori 1 point 32 months ago

I have almost the same build as you bro. I got a white nzxt and hypercooler evo though. Same cpu and same gpu. Have you overclocked your cpu?

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Nope - I'd want a better CPU cooler to run it at a higher clock because it runs pretty warm as it is.

szori 1 point 32 months ago

oh I see. I recently overclocked it and got a decent amount of juice. 4.4ghz at 1.35. I can definitely oc it more. The 8320e bottleneck's the gpu little bit on certain cpu heavy titles.

SubNauticaWaterWorld47 1 point 30 months ago

50% of comments = watch your power draw out of PCIe slot your motherboard could explode 25% of comments = congrats on getting an rx 480 10% of comments = specs, temps and model of rx 480 14% of comments = amd/nvidia fanboys saying 1 is superior to the others me WHY ON EARTH DID YOU GET A REFERENCE COOLER!!!

Ilovecomputerz 1 point 29 months ago

(I know this is a 3 month old build) Can I have some Pringles too? (Pic 14 bottom left)

halo8527 1 point 29 months ago

First off I want to say you did an amazing job explaining stuff and reviewing the components. Secondly your PC looks really nice and I hope the 480 works well for you. Just some feedback for aesthetics, I think if you got a new CPU cooler either black or black and red it would make that area look a lot nicer. I also think a nice set of led lights would look aesthetically pleasing. Other than that great build +1

Cotesworth 1 point 28 months ago

I don't know why people always ruin their Black/Red builds with a Hyper 212 EVO. I'd recommend going with a black Enermax or something along those lines for something that's low-profile and fits perfectly with the color scheme. The 212 EVO has it's place in plenty of builds but when you're going for a black/red build with a window it sticks out like a shiny ugly copper and aluminum thumb.

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

This isn't a Hyper 212 Evo..

Luckiestluck 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

FX thermal throttles at 59c, ur thermal throttling at 65c

Jeddie2022 1 point 12 months ago

How many fans came pre installed

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

2x front, 1x rear

Pumpfakegalaxy 1 point 3 months ago

When you installed the CPU cooler did you just put it on the thermal paste or did you have to screw it in because I don't see any screws

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

No, it was screwed in. The only downside of this cooler is that it's an absolute pain to mount. Had I just used thermal paste I think it would have fallen off pretty quickly!

Berfs1 1 Build -4 points 33 months ago

Get that RX 480 out of there. It is not safe. Seriously. I am not joking like I usually do.

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Berfs1 1 Build 0 points 33 months ago

Yeah, and do you have any idea how much damage that can cause? If you already got it, chances are, your PC is already damaged, if not destroyed completely.

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ThoughtA staff 1 point 32 months ago

Please keep it polite.

rhali8 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Sorry, I am just a little frustrated with these people hating on this new AMD card. I think its amazing, but people are making a big fuss over it simply because it draws a few more watts than the box says in games that it wasn't designed to play. Won't happen again.

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Berfs1 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Yes, it was pulling more that 75 W. The problem isn't the fact that they put a 6-pin (if they did), it was the fact that they didn't CONFIGURE the transfer of energy from PCIe properly. Even IF they did put an 8 pin, nothing would change, except for the possibility of a little better energy efficiency.

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ThoughtA staff 2 points 33 months ago

This is spam. Please don't spam.

drumilpatel 1 point 32 months ago

No its not a spam. I am trying to gain a few subscribers by asking the members of this website to go and check out my channel. thats it.

tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

yeah, that's spam for sure. there's places to promote your channel - build comments aren't it.

drumilpatel 1 point 32 months ago

ok. I am sorry!

ThoughtA staff 1 point 32 months ago

You are inappropriately advertising your site. That is exactly what spam is. Period.

drumilpatel 1 point 32 months ago

oh. alright. I am sorry!

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tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

ideas around 45 which seems a little high, was at 75-80 when playing Rise of Tomb Raider on Full everything

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tombull89 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Don't know - probably because it was one of the first RX480 builds on the site?

Hell, my first build was basic. This is a bit more than basic, I think.

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