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Project: Caspersen

by warrenlantz


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

April 30, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.04 GHz


Caspersen Beach in Florida is one of my favorite places to visit, hence the name.

Pictures and Firestrike Benchmark included.

The purpose of this build was to upgrade my first gaming pc. The idea was to eek out the most performance without spending too much in upgrades. This all spawned from when I had to replace a dead motherboard.

Note: The prices that are shown are what I paid. Anything with $0.00 is typically a gift. Prices are low because chances are I sold my old hardware to bring the price down. Anything over market price usually means I paid 1 or 2-day shipping on the part.

The FULL Story: Here I go through every part, why I chose it, and if I would suggest it. If you don't want to read a novel, you don't have to. :D

CPU: AMD FX-8320 (Previously a AMD FX-6300) Didn't really need to upgrade, but a friend was selling his 8320 for $60. I couldn't pass it up, especially because I immediately sold my 6300 for $60, making it a no-brainer! If you are looking into an 8-core AMD, this is just an underclocked 8350. Otherwise, a 6300 or Pentium will be ok for your needs.

Cooler: Corsair H60 (Previously stock) Got this cooler as a Christmas gift. It was also refurbished. I have had ZERO issues with it and would recommend it to anyone who wants a cheap, but reliable water-cooler. You can save about $10 - $20 by going refurbished.

MOBO: MSI 970 Gaming (Previously a MSI 970A-G46) As noted before, my previous mobo died after a combination of windows update, my wifi at home, and weird glitches when using my web browser... Moving on, this board is by no means an upgrade in performance, but it looks BEAUTIFUL. I HIGHLY recommend this board. The price I paid was high since I asked for 2-day shipping from Newegg. I needed it asap.

RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB Didn't change the RAM. It performs well and is sexy... Just buy it. But get 1866 timings if it's the same price. At the time, 1866 timings were more expensive so I didn't bother. Also bought back in October, so I got shafted on price.

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 128 GB (Previously no SSD) If you've been on the fence with an SSD. Just get one! You'll see why. 128GB is enough for my needs. I also paid rush shipping on this with the mobo, that's why it cost more.

HDD: WD Caviar Blue 1TB This used to be the boot drive. For some reason I used to boot in 6-10 seconds on this drive... I don't need more than 1TB at the moment. This had good reviews, so I got it. It works. Not much more to say.

GPU: Asus R9 290 4GB (Previously a Sapphire R9 280 3GB) I was blessed with some spending money, so when I saw this card on sale open box on Newegg for $234 and change shipping included, I couldn't say no. I then sold my 280 to a friend for $100, so that's why the price is $134 and change. In the end, I say it was worth going from 3GB of VRAM to 4GB, an almost 280X to an almost 290X, and it does look nice in my rig with that backplate.

Case: Corsair 230T Grey Windowed Same case as before. I get compliments on the looks, it was nice/easy to build in, and is easy to transport. However, I do have some complaints... It won't support a H100 or H100i, so I can't upgrade the water-cooler. The case feet provide virtually ZERO airflow to the bottom of the case (can be fixed with a mod). The front bezel is a pain to get at. Not much dust filtering. Otherwise, if you see it for under $60, it's a good value. Don't spend more than that for it.

PSU: Corsair CX600 It's cheap, it works, and it hasn't burned my dorm down yet. May need more watts in the future, but this PSU can be had for $35 after rebate. I cannot complain for the money.

Wireless Card MEH. I use ethernet 96% of the time, so I won't comment on it.

Fans: Cougar (Previously stock) The reason why I consider these bang for the buck (people will disagree and that is OK) is because they are ALMOST (emphasis on almost) Noctua performance for 1/2 the price. These fans are almost as quiet, move almost as much air, and produce almost as much static pressure for me to overlook the orange that clashes with my build. German engineering to boot. :D I LOVE these fans.

Monitors Dell 1909W $20 cash from a friend. Hard to resist when it is just a portrait monitor. Dell P1913 $75 from Microcenter. When you don't need anything fancy, this is great! A total of $95 for a dual monitor solution makes me a happy and productive man.

Keyboard: Logitech G710+ My first mechanical keyboard. I got it refurbished from Newegg during Black Friday for $70. I'm in love and it goes with me everywhere. Refurbished isn't half bad from my experience.

Mouse: Steelseries Sensei A mouse with a processor on it is overkill, but it makes you sound like a badass when you're explaining your build. I found this with the box damaged on Amazon for $30. Although the warranty is not honored, I say it's worth the risk to play with a $80+ mouse. The Custom RGB colors makes it match any build.

Headset: Logitech G230 I had a G430s, but when my build went from Blue to Red, I wanted a matching pair. For $30 from CowBoom, I couldn't pass it up. So I gave away my G430s to a good friend who helped me a lot (kept the surround sound adapter of course!), and now my computer thinks I still have the G430s! There is no difference in performance from G230s and G430s, just the color and the G430s come with a surround sound USB adapter.

Speakers: Logitech Z313 Gifted from when I had a laptop, these speakers are good for the money. For $25-$30 you can have an awesome budget speaker system!

That's all folks! Congrats if you made it this far! Hopefully it cleared up some confusion!


Part Reviews


Great overclocker! Beats out the 8350 imo

CPU Cooler

Good cooling for the money and for a 120mm rad.


Good $100 MOBO. 970 chipset is alright. Board gets HOT. But no problems handling overclocks.


S E X Y! Works out of the box. Did I say sexy?


+Good when on promo. +Color is nice +Included fans are OK :D +NICE window +Good cable management +Rubber Grommets Included

-Can't fit a dual radiator in the top. -Case Feet SUCK -Lacks proper dust filtering.

Power Supply

It works. Cheap. 80+ Bronze. Hasn't burned down my house.

Comments Sorted by:

ThatsPoorlyDrawn 3 Builds 2 points 48 months ago

What's with the second GPU in the one picture? Just curious.

warrenlantz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

That was the GPU that the Asus card replaced. It was a Sapphire R9 280.

HayabusaZeroZ 2 points 48 months ago

HOW did you find a 290 for that price?

WhatupdoeYO 1 point 48 months ago

The CPU price is super cheap too

ragontx 1 point 48 months ago

ebay ebay ebay? lol ...

warrenlantz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

Bought it from a friend!

warrenlantz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

I found one open box on Newegg for $234. Sold my old graphics card to a friend for $100. So I spent $134 and change.

If you look, open box Newegg deals are legit. Just sell your old hardware for better value. :D

Nexofedex_99 1 Build 2 points 48 months ago

Really Good Build :)

warrenlantz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago


Nexofedex_99 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago


TechyinAZ 14 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

I personally wouldn't call that the best bang for your buck. But it is still good.

warrenlantz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 48 months ago

Meh. To each his own. Arguably the Pentium is a better value per dollar.

boss1234100 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

have you overlocked your cpu?

warrenlantz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

Yes, I have had it overclocked to 4.5 Ghz. I haven't risked going any higher.

AlchemistZero 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

Nice pictures and build!

warrenlantz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 48 months ago

Thanks man :D

HUNTERG25 1 point 48 months ago

LOL I am running a Gtx 970 and an AMD Athlon II X4 630 and i got a better score than this. Strange...

warrenlantz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 48 months ago

Probably because the 970 is a newer card with newer tech inside. A 970 scores higher than a 290 any day with firestrike. I learned that with a showdown with a friend. :/

Mi_ga 1 point 33 months ago

Does the cooler come with thermal paste

OWENBATCHELDER 1 point 8 months ago

Love the look of the case. I bought one for 25 pounds (about 30 dollars) and it came with all of the fans!

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